VCU School of Pharmacy’s Pharmacist Collaborative Care and Outreach in the Community program has won its second national award since last fall: the 2014-15 Lawrence C. Weaver Transformative Community Service Award. Representatives from the school and its PCOC program will be on hand to accept the award at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy’s Annual Meeting in July. Previous recipients of the Weaver Award are the schools and colleges of pharmacy at the University of Oklahoma, the University of Minnesota, the University of Mississippi, the University of Washington, the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the University of Southern California.
The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy has selected the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy to receive the 2014-15 Lawrence C. Weaver Transformative Community Service Award for the school’s commitment to addressing unmet community needs through education, practice and research.
Representatives from the school will be honored for the Pharmacist Collaborative Care and Outreach in the Community program during AACP’s annual meeting in July.
“The PCOC program comprises exemplary initiatives that include academic-community partnerships with independent senior living facilities and underserved clinics, large-scale community outreach programs and programs to train the next generation of health professionals,” said Joseph T. DiPiro, Pharm.D., dean of the VCU School of Pharmacy. “The common theme that unifies PCOC initiatives is the focus on underserved populations, including the uninsured, older adults, homeless individuals and those in rural areas.”
VCU School of Pharmacy professor David Holdford will be presented the 2015 Rufus A. Lyman Award during the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy’s Annual Meeting in July. The award recognizes Holdford’s paper, “Is a Pharmacy Student the Customer or the Product?”, as the best paper published in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education in 2014.
The University of Virginia Health System’s PGY1 Residency Program has been selected as one of 10 PGY1 or PGY2 programs nationwide to receive a $40,000 Pharmacy Residency Expansion Grant from the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists Research and Education Foundation. VCU School of Pharmacy alumnus Rafael Saenz (Pharm.D.’03/P) is pharmacy director for the U.Va. Health System and assistant dean of the School of Pharmacy’s U.Va. Division.
Harold Linwood Smith (B.S.’56/P; Ph.D.’62/P), a School of Pharmacy alumnus and associate professor emeritus, died April 17, 2015, at age 87. He joined the Department of Pharmaceutics in 1968 and worked there till retiring in 1996. He also served as assistant director of the clinical studies unit.
Two VCU School of Pharmacy alumni, associate professor Evan Sisson (B.S.‘92/P; Pharm.D.‘94/P; M.S.H.A.’96/P) and PGY1 resident Michael Kelly (Pharm.D.’14/P), are featured in iForum Rx’s first podcast discussion. The interactive online community was designed to share practice-changing evidence with ambulatory care pharmacy specialists, residents and students. Using podcasts to complement written commentaries was the brainchild of SOP assistant professor Dave Dixon, social media editor for iForum Rx as well as editorial board member.
Representatives of seven Richmond-area community partnerships were invited to a breakfast reception honoring their work with VCU School of Pharmacy over the last 15 years. Those partnerships, collectively known as Pharmacist Collaborative Care and Outreach in the Community, were recognized last year with the C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award. A committee decided the best way to recognize the community partners would be to “buy them breakfast” and then divide the $20,000 Magrath Award among them.
A group of VCU School of Pharmacy graduate alumni recently launched an initiative to honor their former professor and mentor, H. Thomas Karnes, by establishing an endowment in his name. Many of those former students also attended a retirement party for Karnes in April at Positive Vibe Cafe in Richmond.
Pharmacy faculty and alumni news:
- Emeritus professor Don Abraham, associate professor Martin Safo and former professor Richmond Danso-Danquah were noted in a VCU News Center story for their contributions toward a new treatment for sickle cell disease.
- Professor Gretchen Brophy has been invited to join the Hospital Course and Acute Therapies Subcommittee of the Cerebral Aneurysms and SAH Common Data Elements Project, which is being developed by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Library of Medicine and the Neurocritical Care Society.
- Professor and alumna Jean-Venable “Kelly” Goode, Pharm.D. (B.S.’89/P, Pharm.D.’94/P), was guest speaker for the 2015 VCU School of Pharmacy Hooding and Diploma Ceremony May 8 at St. Paul’s Baptist Church. Assistant professors Krista Donohoe (Pharm.D.’10/P) and K.C. Ogbonna were faculty marshals, and Leigh Anne Gravatt (Pharm.D. ’03/P) administered the Pharmacist’s Oath.
- Assistant professors Leigh Anne Gravatt (Pharm.D.‘03/P) and Jeremy Stultz agreed to be “prince and princess” for a day to help the school’s Pediatric Pharmacy Student Group raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
- Professor Glen Kellogg was inducted into the Rho Chi Society, and assistant professor Emily Peron was inducted into Phi Lambda Sigma pharmacy leadership society.
- Professor and alumna Cindy Kirkwood (B.S.’82/P, Pharm.D.‘85/P) has been invited to participate in the 2015-16 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Academic Leadership Fellows Program.
- Assistant professors Leticia R. Moczygemba and Benjamin Van Tassell have been promoted to associate professors with tenure.
- Professor and alumna Jennifer Neal (Pharm.D.‘09/P) was quoted in a Boomer Magazine feature offering tips on saving your skin this summer.
- Associate professor and alumna Brigitte Sicat (Pharm.D.‘98/P) has been named a Distinguished Practitioner and fellow by the National Academies of Practice. She was inducted during the NAP’s 2015 Annual Meeting & Forum.
- Associate professor Evan Sisson’s (B.S.‘92/P, Pharm.D.‘94/P, M.S.H.A.’96/P) poster, “Pharmacist-Physician Collaboration to Improve Blood Pressure Control in an Inner City Safety-Net Clinic,” won first place in the Third Annual Jewell and Carl Emswiller Symposium poster session.
- Jaclyn Elbin Smith (Pharm.D. ’09) is pharmacist for VCU’s new Walmart on Campus at 912 W. Grace St. in Richmond.
Drug development research by Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy associate professor Yan Zhang, Ph.D., at the Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine has been renewed by the National Institutes of Health for the next five years with funding of $1.9 million. The threefold study is geared toward developing new chemical entities to treat substance abuse disorders.
“A lot of treatments for drug abuse and addiction, particularly for opioids, have all the side effects that the drugs themselves have,” said Zhang, who is the principal investigator for the multidisciplinary research project that began in his lab at the Department of Medicinal Chemistry in 2005. “We are looking for better treatments,” he said.
Zhang’s lab targets mu-opioid receptors, which are one of three opioid receptors that trigger the brain’s rewards system and are thought to contribute to addictive behaviors. “By not blocking the function of the other two receptors, you will avoid a lot of side effects that could be generated if the chemical was not selective to mu-receptors,” Zhang said.
The first aim of the research is to develop a drug that will lessen the effects of addiction to opioids such as morphine. The second research purpose is to lessen the effects of addiction to stimulants such as cocaine. Thirdly, the lab is working on a compound that will treat constipation related to opioid use.