A L B A N Y C O L L E G E O F P H A R M A C Y A N D H E A LT H S C I E N C E S M A G A Z I N E
THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT WE DISCUSS ITS EFFECT ON PHARMACY, HEALTH CARE, AND HIGHER EDUCATION
MES S AGE F RO M BILL JA BOUR
IF I WERE TO GIVE THIS ISSUE OF THE ALUMNI NEWS MAGAZINE A THEME IT WOULD BE “CHANGE.” As you no doubt have heard, Gregory Dewey, Ph.D., was introduced in December as the eighth president in the school’s 132-year history. Dr. Dewey is currently serving as Provost at the University of La Verne in California, where he oversees academic affairs, student affairs, enrollment management, financial aid, and athletics at the 8,000-student institution. He previously held administrative and faculty positions at the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Science and the University of Denver. Dr. Dewey will succeed President Gozzo on July 1, 2014. Changes are also being felt nationwide with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These changes are affecting the way consumers receive and manage their health care. Naturally the College is examining the way it prepares its students as their roles will likely be expanded by the ACA. Both of these developments, along with many other interesting stories, are covered in the following pages of the magazine. In this issue you will read an informative exchange between three ACPHS faculty members about the ACA and how it will affect pharmacists, lab professionals and health care in general. You will catch up with one of our first Vermont campus graduates to hear how his transition from college to career is going. And hear how four women at the College are making quite an impact in research. Additionally, there are some great alumni features, upcoming events and news from campus. Don’t forget to take a look at the Class Notes section to see what your fellow alumni are up to and remember to send us your news and personal or professional milestones as well. We hope you enjoy this edition of Alumni News as much as we enjoyed putting it together. We encourage you to share your feedback with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Regards, Bill Jabour Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations
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Alumni News ALBANY COLLEGE OF PHARMACY AND HEALTH SCIENCES MAGAZINE
Megan Davis WRITERS
Michael Buckley Megan Davis Bill Jabour Bob Schalit PHOTOGRAPHERS
Scott Barrow Mark McCarty Kris Qua DESIGN
IN T HIS IS SUE 12 HEALTH OUTCOMES RESEARCH MASTER’S PROGRAM SEEKS BETTER WAYS TO IMPROVE PATIENT CARE AND ELIMINATE WASTEFUL PRACTICES
16 THE XX FACTOR ACPHS WOMEN RESEARCHERS MAKE THEIR MARKS AS LEAD INVESTIGATORS ON GOVERNMENT FUNDED RESEARCH PROJECTS
20 DISCUSSING THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT THREE FACULTY MEMBERS SHARE THEIR THOUGHTS ON HOW THE ACT WILL IMPACT THE FUTURE OF HEALTH CARE
02 CAMPUS NEWS
24 STUDENT SPOTLIGHT
04 ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT
26 LEGACY CORNER
15 GIVING BACK
28 CLASS NOTES
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C AMPUS NE W S
Dr. Gregory Dewey Named Eighth President of ACPHS The Board of Trustees of Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has selected Gregory Dewey, Ph.D., to be the College’s next president. When he assumes his new role on July 1, 2014, Dr. Dewey will become just the eighth president in the school’s 132-year history. Dr. Dewey currently serves as Provost at the University of La Verne in California, a role he has held since 2009.The University of La Verne is a comprehensive doctoral university that enrolls approximately 8,000 students over four colleges and nine regional campuses. “We are extremely pleased that Greg has accepted our offer to be the next president of Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences,” said Herbert Chorbajian, Chairman of the ACPHS Board of Trustees. “The College is in the enviable position today of having strong academic programs, accomplished faculty, motivated students, and a solid financial standing. The goal of our search was to find a leader to build upon this foundation and propel ACPHS to even greater heights. I am confident we have found that person in Greg Dewey.” To learn more about Dr. Dewey read his Q&A at acphs.edu and stay tuned for additional information in a future Alumni News issue.
Tobacco Free Campus
Health Expo Was a Hit
In September, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences together with Albany Law School, celebrated its new tobacco-free status with a kickoff in the Student Center Atrium. The College is committed to providing a healthy working and learning environment for the entire campus community and the Tobacco-Free Kickoff was a celebration of this notable step forward. Following remarks from ACPHS President James J. Gozzo and Penny Andrews, President and Dean of Albany Law School, the celebration continued with Zumba, healthy food samples, Weight Watchers, The Butt Stops Here tobacco cessation program information and more. All members of the ACPHS community (including visitors) are expected to exercise respect, cooperation, and compliance with this new policy.
In September, the College hosted its annual Health + Wellness Expo on campus. An estimated 1,000 people attended the event, a sharp increase from 2012. The ACPHS Health + Wellness Expo was a great success and was again spearheaded by APhA-ASP students. Attendees participated in free health screenings and assessments, discounted flu shots, a medication take-back program, medication reviews by pharmacists, Zumba, yoga, and a farmer’s market. They also had opportunities to visit dozens of health and wellness vendors who set up booths in the gym and the Student Center. The day began with the Mario Zeolla 5K walk/run which featured 110 participants. The Expo is a partnership between the College and MVP Health Care.
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ACPHS Athletics on a Roll For the second straight year, the ACPHS women’s soccer team advanced to the semifinals of the USCAA national championship tournament. The women’s team, seeded #6, upset #3 seeded Florida College in the first round before falling 4–1 to defending champion Daemon College (Buffalo, NY). Then ACPHS men’s and women’s soccer teams both won Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Championships (HVIAC). The men avenged an earlier defeat to Berkeley College, winning 1–0 on a goal by Alex Perry-Ferrari. The women defeated King’s College 3–1; Frances “Skippy” Ripepi paced the Panthers with two goals. The men’s team finished with a 10–5 record, while the women closed the year out 13-3-1. In other sports news, thirteen ACPHS student athletes were among those honored by the USCAA as 2013 Academic All-Americans. To qualify for All-Academic status, student-athletes must be upperclassmen with cumulative GPAs of 3.5 or higher while competing for their institutions in their respective sports. Congratulations to this year’s honorees: Cassandra Izzo, Krista Rainville (women’s cross country); Gavin O’Brien, Kevin Ash, Matthew Calnan, Joseph Gottwald (men’s cross country); Skippy Ripepi, Brittany Spencer, Jennifer Bechard, Sarah Cope (women’s soccer); and Spencer Keable, Ryan Mack, Adam HoyeSimek (men’s soccer).
Relay for Life Since its formation in 2007, the ACPHS chapter of Colleges Against Cancer has raised approximately $225,000 through its annual Relay for Life event. The Chapter was recently notified by the American Cancer Society that last April’s Relay for Life officially raised $43,769. That figure represents an all-time school record, and it placed ACPHS third in the country among colleges with enrollments of less than 2,500 students. It also marks the sixth time in seven years that the College has finished in the top five nationwide for fundraising per capita. This year’s Relay for Life Events are scheduled for February 28 on the Albany Campus and April 25 in Vermont.
ACPHS Members Past and Present Pay Tribute to Dr. Bailie A number of current and former faculty, staff, and students paid tribute to Professor George Bailie (pictured third from the left) at a recent retirement party. Dr. Bailie stepped down last year following 25 years as a member of the Department of Pharmacy Practice. Among his many contributions were helping found the Albany Nephrology Pharmacy Group (ANephRx), a group of faculty who research various aspects of kidney disease and treatment options. Dr. Bailie has been given Professor Emeritus status, an honor bestowed upon retired faculty in recognition of distinguished contributions in teaching, scholarship, and service to the College.
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Proud village. Humble man. VILLAGE MAYOR AMONG THOSE HONORING AND CELEBRATING 25 YEARS OF LEADERSHIP AND COMMUNITY SERVICE
Boy, was Tony Graziano ever surprised on Saturday, September 5, 2013. He had modest plans that day to host a small, informal open house marking the 25th anniversary of his ownership of the Alfred Pharmacy in the village of Alfred, New York. He did little to promote the event except for mentioning it to some customers. But then he, his wife Laurie, and youngest daughter took a vacation for a few days. And while they were away, his staff got to work calling everyone and concocting a much more elaborate celebration than what Tony had in mind. “Many more people showed up than I’d anticipated and it was a lot of fun. It was great to see people socially rather than professionally, and my wholesaler and pharmaceutical sales reps from over the years all showed up. I felt very humbled by it all.” The village mayor and a trustee were also on hand. The mayor read a proclamation honoring the pharmacy for a quarter century of operation under Tony’s leadership. Tony’s road to Alfred Pharmacy began in his hometown of Utica, where as a youngster he worked alongside his father in a furniture refinishing business. “Across the street was Fort Schuyler Drugs, which was co-owned by Rocco Giruzzi ’58, an ACPHS graduate and current board member. I used to go in there and understood at a young age what a pharmacist did. I saw them as helping people.”
Tony (first on left) with brothers Rick and Phil at Boilermaker 2013.
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Tony worked at various Rite Aid pharmacies in the Albany area as a freshman, and also worked at several drug stores back home in Utica during the summers. “Wherever there was a need, I would go,” he says. After graduating, he worked in Rochester for several years but was getting disheartened because he didn’t see much room for advancement. “I approached Rochester Drug and sales manager Larry Dowd told me there was a pharmacy for sale in Alfred and I should go down and take a look at it. So I did, mulled it over, lost a lot of sleep, and finally decided to buy it.” Over the years, Tony’s vision for his business has evolved. “We used to be a full-blown retail operation, but now we’re getting out of that and leaning more toward being a professional pharmacy.” Meanwhile, his store still does provide some ancillary services including a dry cleaning dropoff, photo kiosk, bottle redemption machine, stationery, and assorted household products. Some of his fondest memories of his years at the College are the big dinner parties he and his friends would throw. “We’d kick in ten bucks apiece because we all loved to cook and would try to emulate what our parents did in the kitchen. Dean Al White, John Denio, and Bill Cronin would often join us.” Today, when he’s not working, Tony loves riding his Harley Softail, bicycling, running, working out, and splitting wood. This year he tackled the Tough Mudder, a grueling and grimy 12-mile military obstacle course event. “I had to carry this 180 pound guy on my back for 100 yards and I’m only 140 pounds,” he remembers. Today Tony still keeps in close touch with fellow classmates Ron Daprano, Joanne Daprano, Bob Loudis, Mike Greco, Paul Johnson, Gaye Mardany, Frank Carbone, Debbie Mazza, and Sean Dobbins. “I’m extremely grateful to all the people who influenced and encouraged me along the way. I’ve been very blessed.”
Tony and kids outside his Alfred, NY Pharmacy.
Hello, Columbus Matt Clark is extremely proud to be one of the 74 members of the first class to graduate from the College’s Colchester, Vermont campus. And the bonds with his classmates run deep. “We were definitely a small family up there since we were the first class. We really stuck together and made sure we all reached our goals,” Matt says. “I’m still in touch with my friends almost daily. It’s definitely hard leaving the people I’ve just spent the last four years of my life with, but I’m proud of all of us at the same time.” Today Matt is a pharmacist for the Giant Eagle supermarket chain in Columbus, Ohio. “My favorite thing is interacting with customers, finding ways to help them. Whether it’s saving them money or preventing a serious interaction, it’s great to get a thank you. That’s one of the biggest things for me.” Before attending ACPHS, Matt got his undergraduate degree in pharmaceutical sciences from The Ohio State University. He started out in a Pre-Veterinary program, but after seeing a necropsy of a golden retriever, he decided to switch to pharmacy and fell in love with it. “One of the things I appreciated coming from one of the largest universities in the nation to such a small school was having that personal attention. All the professors had open door policies so I never had to worry much about office hours. I’d just drop in.” Matt received several awards while at ACPHS including recognition for his contributions to the Student Government Association executive board and for his work as a peer tutor. He was also active in the Phi Lambda Sigma pharmacy leadership society, the APhA-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP), and served as class president during his last year. One ACPHS faculty member who really
helped Matt set a direction for his future was Dr. Joanna Schwartz, assistant professor of pharmacy practice and a board certified oncology pharmacist who practices at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington. “I learned so much from her about how to talk to cancer patients and treat them with compassion. It was inspiring to see her dealing with cancer patients every day and making peoples’ lives better. She showed me that pharmacists are so important and actually shaped what I want to do eventually.” Down the road Matt wants to work with Giant Eagle to develop a community oncology coun-
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR DR. JOANNA SCHWARTZ SHOWED ME HOW IMPORTANT PHARMACISTS ARE AND SHAPED WHAT I EVENTUALLY WANTED TO DO. FOR ME, PHARMACY IS DEFINITELY NOT JUST A JOB. seling clinic where he can work with hospitals or directly with patients taking oral medications. “A lot of chemotherapy medications are being dispensed in community pharmacies now instead of being infused intravenously in a hospital or clinic. I want to meet with patients, talk about and manage their side effects, follow up with their doctors, and make recommendations so they can have the best quality of life.” An avid Cleveland Browns fan, Matt enjoys hanging out with friends when he’s not working. Recently he went skydiving in Vermont for the first time. “It was one of the scariest moments of my life but also the most fun. “For me, pharmacy is definitely not just a job. It’s not like I’m going to work every day. It’s something I really enjoy doing.”
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Pharmacist. Photographer. Fly fisherman. Musician. Ray Palmer, ACPHS Class of 1974, wears many hats and wears them very well. After graduating with his bachelor’s in pharmacy, he worked at Einstein’s Pharmacy, a small independent pharmacy in Albany, before joining Towne Pharmacy in Schenectady. He moved on to Golden Drugs in Mechanicville and followed that with a position at Community Health Plan in Latham until 1990. Today Ray is Supervising Pharmacist at a Rite Aid in Schenectady, where he has worked for the past 23 years. The store has been through several incarnations since he began, first as a Fay’s, then J.C. Penney and Eckerd, then Brooks, and was finally acquired by Rite Aid.
“I would just see these phenomenal places and started bringing along a camera. After a while I started getting some successful shots, then began reading all I could about photography to improve my technique and everything else just seemed to fall by the wayside,” Ray says. Ray’s main focus is on landscapes, though “I’ll take whatever happens to come along if it looks good. I also shoot wildlife and do macro or extreme close-up work.” Some of his favorite places to shoot are the Sierra Nevada, Mount Rainier, Olympic National Park, Zion and Bryce, Monument Valley, Mesa Verde, the Three Sisters Area in Oregon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Escalante, and locations in Montana, New England, West Virginia, and Tennessee. And, of
NOT JUST YOUR AVERAGE PHARMACIST
While in school, Ray and fellow student and guitarist John Naioti played acoustic folk music at area pubs and clubs. Ray also played in a number of prominent area bands following graduation including one called Grand Larceny. “I always tended to follow my artistic side, but finally got out of the music business around 1990. My mother was a violin prodigy, so I guess musical ability runs in our family.” Around the time Ray left the music world, a friend got him interested in hiking and Ray began visiting some scenic areas in the Adirondacks. He also became an expert fly fisherman and has fished many famous rivers across the country.
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course, the Grand Canyon. “Everything I’ve ever done I’ve thrown myself into obsessively. Like music and pharmacy, this was just another example.” Ray markets his photography online, exhibits at local arts organizations, and sells his work at various shows. He also has been photographing an annual calendar featuring breathtaking Adirondack scenes for Benchemark Printing in Schenectady for the past dozen years. Ray is originally from the village of Unadilla, New York, but he and his wife Carol now live in Glenville, New York. Ray’s father was a sales representative for a wholesale drug company that later became part of Cardinal Health. “My
dad was in the business and thought pharmacy would be a good career for me. There was a small drugstore in town so when I got into 11th grade I went to work there, and they helped me get into ACP.” Even after nearly 40 years, Ray still stays in touch with several classmates including Gordie Hobday and fellow musician John Naioti. “Back then it was a relatively small school and everybody knew everybody.”
And Ray’s natural friendliness hasn’t faded with the years. “I’ve been at Rite Aid for more than 20 years, so I know most of the people by first name. I get involved in their lives to some extent, and they get involved in mine. Even though I’m working for a big chain, it’s very much like a small town pharmacy.”
TO SEE MORE OF RAY’S PHOTOGRAPHY, VISIT raypalmerphotography.com
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IN THE PINK Victoria Pierle isn’t just a pharmacist. She’s also a successful senior director for Mary Kay who’s been awarded three pink Cadillacs, trips, and plenty of “bling” for her achievements. “About 10 years ago a friend started selling Mary Kay, and I had always used their products. So I got involved. I figured I’d just do a little bit here and there to make some extra money. I thought it was fun, and I’ve always loved doing social things,” Victoria says. Within a year and working just six hours a week, Victoria earned her first company car and advanced to a management position. To earn the iconic pink Cadillac, Victoria and the women she mentors need to reach $200,000 in sales in six months. “Then I thought I could do this full time and have more choices versus working for another person,” she says. Four years later, Victoria was able to make the switch, and today works as a pharmacist only on a per diem basis. “I’m a
corporate trainer, teacher, and business coach, and my goal is to become a national sales director for Mary Kay,” Victoria says. A native of Penn Yan, New York, Victoria is the child of Richard F. Pierle and Mabel (Pierce) Pierle who were both pharmacists and both 1965 graduates of ACPHS. “I’d always wanted to be a pharmacist and still absolutely love it. I always liked the actual study of the drugs and learning how to explain how they work in the body to a lay person. I really enjoy the customers. I’m a people person, and I try to get to know them.”
fter graduating in 1995 with a B.S. in pharmacy, Victoria worked in several pharmacies in the Rochester area including Rochester General Hospital’s outpatient pharmacy, Rite Aid, Wegman’s, Eckerd, Fairport Pharmacy, Mead Square Pharmacy, and Henderson’s. Just recently she had a 13-week contracted position at Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Buffalo.
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Victoria has many fond memories of her years at ACPHS, including faculty members Dr. MacDonald and Dr. Spoor. “Coming from a small town, I liked that the College wasn’t huge or overwhelming. Our classes were small, and you got one-on-one attention from the professors if you needed it. I knew everybody in my class, and we were a pretty tight knit group of people.” Today, Victoria still keeps in touch with Lisa Schwartz, John Steria, and Kelly Doggett among others. Graduating at the top of her class, Victoria was active in Lambda Kappa Sigma, Rho Chi, and student government; played on the basketball team; and did plenty of lobbying in downtown Albany on behalf of pharmacists as a member of the student chapter of ASHP. “I remember all the bus trips we took playing our basketball rivals, and those fraternity hayrides.” And then there’s another memory that’s not so fond: the blustery winter day she was walking
down the wind tunnel of Holland Avenue burdened with heavy books, tripped and fell, and couldn’t get up. “I was like a bug lying there on the ground. It was my first week at school, and I was mortified. After they stopped laughing hysterically, my friends helped me get up.” Today Victoria lives in Fairport, a Rochester suburb, with her two Shih Tzus, Abigail and Emma. She enjoys golfing, basketball, cooking, watching forensics programs on TV, and reading mysteries and books about spiritual leadership. “You value different things as you get older, and for me now it’s all about quality of life. Today what I value is balancing the spiritual, mental, physical, social, and personal aspects of my life with my career.”
GOL F TOU R NA M E N T
JULY 28, 2014 // ALBANY COUNTRY CLUB REGISTER ONLINE at acphs.edu/alumnievents by Friday, July 11 For more information contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at (518) 694-7304
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A Gift to Last an Eternity WHILE CHESTER KOBLANTZ DID NOT attend Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, he has a deep appreciation for the school and a connection that began with his father, Nathan Koblantz ’26. “I grew up with the College in my life,” Chester explains. “My father and wife attended Albany College of Pharmacy and they often shared fond memories of their time at the school.” Chester remembers a childhood full of days spent in his father’s drugstore, City Line Pharmacy in North Albany, which he owned for 35 years. “Pharmacy is very close to my heart; as far back as I can remember I was always in the drugstore helping my parents and the customers out. It was like a second home.” When Chester went to work at the New York State Department of Health, he made his own connection with the College upon meeting and marrying an ACPHS graduate. His late wife, Susan Greenspan Koblantz ’65, was a senior chemist for the DOH for 32 years. Chester worked in a lab there where he would often see Susan. “We hit it off right away,” he recalls. Chester started and finished his career in research with the DOH. In between he had opportunities with Agway Inc. analyzing nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium and performing quality control testing for fertilizers. “It was an interesting job, I learned a lot in the seven years
➼ Chester and Susan Greenspan Koblantz ’65
➼ Chester and koala friend
He took the test. “I was almost certain I had flunked it, I was practically in tears over it,” he remembers. “When the results arrived in the mail, I opened the envelope with trepidation and with Susan looking over my shoulder.” Well, not only did Chester score very well, he was the only one in his entire department who passed. After a wonderful and rewarding career in laboratory research, Chester and Susan both retired from the DOH on April 2, 1998. Retirement was good to them. Chester started a model train hobby. Together they pursued musical interests like organ playing and expanded their world travel repertoire. Some of the couple’s destinations included: Ireland, The Netherlands, Egypt, Israel, Germany, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Spain, Great Britain, Soviet Union, Norway, Sweden, Australia, Fiji, Bora Bora, and Tahiti.
Chester has named ACPHS as the beneficiary of his estate through a will bequest; the gift will be the largest in the College’s 132-year history. I worked there,” he says, until that plant closed and he moved on to Sterling-Winthrop, Inc. There he worked in a drug metabolism lab conducting clinical trials for stage two and three arrhythmia drugs. In 1988, Sterling-Winthrop was acquired by Eastman Kodak for $5.1 billion, at which point Chester returned to the DOH, this time performing genetic testing and newborn screenings in a specialty lab. While there, Susan encouraged Chester to take a state test that would elevate him to a senior laboratory technician. “Susan had more confidence in me than I had in myself. She was always pushing me and encouraging me to take on or try new opportunities,” he said. “She was my angel.”
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While the South Pacific Islands were a clear standout in Chester’s mind for the natural and breathtaking beauty, one of his most memorable trips was to New Zealand where he bonded with a Koala bear. “The animal came right to me and wrapped its arms around me,” Chester explains. “The ranger said he had never seen anything like it. The bear was so attached that we had to actually pry its paws off me. It was an amazing experience. I’ll never forget it.” Chester and Susan shared a long and happy marriage of 43 years. “What a wonderful lady,” he reminisces. “We would lie in bed at night and tell jokes. Oh, we would laugh.” Before Susan passed away in 2006, Chester spoke to her about establishing a scholarship
RESEARCH SCIENTIST AND MODEL TRAIN HOBBYIST, CHESTER KOBLANTZ EXPRESSES HIS DEEP APPRECIATION FOR ACPHS
in her and his parents honor. “It was something that made us feel good,” Chester recalls. “The students are the heart of the College. I know that this scholarship will help train these wonderful young people to be pharmacists. They are doing a great service to the community.” Chester has named ACPHS as the beneficiary of his estate through a will bequest. Through his estate plan, Chester will endow the Chester I. Koblantz Scholarship in honor of Susan Marilyn Greenspan Koblantz and Nathan and Betty Koblantz. This will be the largest gift the College has ever seen in its 132-year history. “I’ve been working all my life and it makes me feel so good to know that the fruits of my labor will be here long after me,” Chester says. “And I know my mom and dad would love it too.”
I’ve been working all my life and it makes me feel so good to know that the fruits of my labor will be here long after me.”
Chester designed and built these layouts using Plaster of Paris and various color pigments. The buildings, constructed using craftsman kits, feature detailed and illuminated interiors and exteriors. The waterfall is made out of transparent bathroom caulk and colored with pigment. The layout also features a fully functioning metal crane and roundhouse.
Susan bundles up on a jaunting cart during one of their trips through Ireland.
Susan and Chester are pictured here in Morocco.
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FE ATURE STO RY
Health Outcomes Research
THE PERFECT PRESCRIP TION FOR A BET TER HE ALTH CARE SYSTEM
Dr. John Polimeni, ACPHS associate professor of economics, is excited about the future of the masterâ€™s program in Health Outcomes Research.
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“Our program has been evaluated by major pharmaceutical and health care companies as well as leading academic institutions. The feedback we’ve gotten is that it’s a very solid curriculum,” according to Dr. Polimeni who also serves as the program director. Now in its third year, the program includes seven students, with four new students coming on board this spring. “Each of our graduates has gone on to be very successful,” he says. Not only does Dr. Polimeni head up the program, he has helped market it through his international contacts and connections with current students. “We’re also designing a joint degree program so that both B.S. and Pharm.D. students can earn a master’s degree in
make effective clinical and business decisions, improve patient-reported outcomes and health quality, and decrease payer costs by discouraging the use of costly, ineffective treatments. In the early 1980s the urgent need for health outcomes research came to light when studies found that medical practices like hysterectomies and hernia repairs were performed much more frequently in some locations than in others, even when there were no differences in the underlying rates of disease. Also, there was often no information about the end results for the patients who received a particular procedure and few comparative studies to show which interventions were most effective. These findings challenged policy-makers and
BY LINKING THE CARE PEOPLE RECEIVE TO THE OUTCOMES THE Y E XPERIENCE, OUTCOMES RESE ARCH HAS BECOME THE KE Y TO DE VELOPING BET TER WAYS TO MONITOR AND IMPROVE THE QUALIT Y OF CARE. health outcomes research concurrently while they’re here. We’re aiming for the program to roll out in the fall of 2014,” he says. Most health outcomes research classes at ACPHS are small in size, permitting plenty of one-on-one interaction and collaborative research opportunities between faculty and students. “I’ll match our curriculum with anyone’s,” he says. “I’m that confident. We give our students the tools to be successful.” Health outcomes is the domain where business and economics intersect with health care. Outcomes research seeks to understand the end results of particular health care practices and interventions. By linking the care people receive to the outcomes they experience, outcomes research has become the key to developing better ways to monitor and improve the quality of care. The need for health outcomes research is growing rapidly as health care resources become scarce and more attention is focused on health care costs and inefficiencies. Health outcomes research is used to
key stakeholders to develop new tools to assess the impact of health care services. A report by the Institute of Medicine on September 7, 2012 found that the U.S. health care system wastes an estimated $750 billion a year, or 30 cents out of every dollar spent on health care. Given the meteoric rise in health care costs, such waste has caught the attention of politicians, health care administrators, and insurance corporations. Better use of data is where health outcomes enter the picture. “The costs are out of control in health care,” Dr. Polimeni says, “and it’s a combination of many factors. We always want the latest and greatest technology. Add in regulatory actions, high research and development costs, the profit motive, supply and demand forces, and a handful of major health care players controlling the market, and you have the inevitable result of skyrocketing costs. “Our health care sector accounts for close to 20% of our national GDP, and it’s definitely not good for one sector to be such a major component of our economy. We need to be more diversified.
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Health Outcomes continued
With our serious national budget deficit and debt issues and the fact that so many of our dollars are funding Medicaid, Medicare, and people without insurance, it’s become an unsustainable path.” Nearly all health care reform plans rely heavily on health outcomes research and measures, and according to Dr. Polimeni, health outcomes research is an integral part of the Affordable Care Act. “Even though the legislation doesn’t refer to health outcomes research by name, much of the law deals with containing health care costs by examining outcomes associated with new interventions to determine whether or not they’re cost-effective.”
In fact, a recent employment projection report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that health care support occupations are expected to grow by nearly 35% in the next decade and that one-third of the fastest growing occupations are related to health care. Employment opportunities in health care outcomes research exist in the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, hospitals, and the government sector. In the M.S. Health Outcomes Research program at ACPHS, students receive a solid foundation providing them with knowledge of the language and concepts of public health research and statistical methods. Students learn to design,
ONE-THIRD OF THE FASTEST GROWING O CCUPATIONS ARE REL ATED TO HE ALTH CARE As a result of the urgent need to understand health expenditures, some of the fastest growing careers, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, are related to health outcomes. These include medical and health services managers with an annual salary of more than $93,000 and health care administrators with a median salary between $71,000 and $87,000.
HE ALTH CARE SUPP ORT O CCUPATIONS ARE E XPECTED TO GROW
THE NE X T DECADE
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implement and analyze health outcomes studies and critically review and use outcomes research and data. The program gives students the knowledge they need to succeed in continuing their education at the Ph.D. level or in the workforce. Students with backgrounds in the health sciences, economics, business administration, management, or social sciences as well as the physical, mathematical and computer sciences are ideal candidates for the program. The four graduates of the program, all international students, are pursuing their Ph.D. degrees at the University of Colorado in Denver, Johns Hopkins University, Baylor University and Monash University in Asia. “We offer an outstanding research degree which enhances our students’ current experience and helps them build new, dynamic careers in health care,” Dr. Polimeni says.
CHAR ITA BLE GIFT
Michael Buckley DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
My parents are your typical baby boomers. They
Retirement is a big life change for anyone and
got married in their early twenties and had three
presents its own set of complicated problems. Like
children by the time they were thirty. They rarely
many pre-retired couples, finances are a primary
spent a foolish dime. They paid every obligation
concern. Why wouldn’t it be? Most retirement
on time and tended to go a little over the top at
assets are in individual 401(k) plans or IRAs. A
Christmas, while being reserved the other 364 days.
growing population of retirees have turned to
They’re also typical in the sense that they are pre-
annuities as a way to guarantee their retirement
paring for the next chapter of their lives — empty
income. The earnings from these annuities tend
nesting, grandchildren, and retirement. They’ve
to be lower than other investments, but the income
saved and planned and they’re ready to leave the
working life behind — they think. Few people are aware that the College can offer our According to Pew Research Center roughly 10,000
alumni and friends the opportunity to establish a
Baby Boomers turned 65 on December 29, 2010,
Charitable Gift Annuity that not only provides life
and about 10,000 more crossed that threshold every
income for the donor or a donor’s designee, but
day since then and will continue to for the next 16
also provides a charitable gift tax deduction and a
years. Come February 1, my parents will join this
legacy to the College. Your Charitable Gift Annuity
retired group of Baby Boomers. With a little bit of
can provide income to you, your spouse, or both.
planning, it sounds like mom and dad will be finan-
The balance of the Charitable Gift Annuity can be
cially prepared for the next exciting chapter
applied anywhere — toward establishing a scholar-
in their life.
ship, purchasing lab equipment, or added to the Annual Fund.
Charitable Gift Annuities might be a great way for you to guarantee income for yourself while supporting an institution you love. If you’re interested in these or other estate planning tools, visit acphs.plannedgiving.org.
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FE ATURE STO RY
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ACPHS WOMEN IN RESEARCH
In an unprecedented run of success for ACPHS female researchers, the last four NIH research grants awarded to the College have gone to women: Dr. Meenakshi Malik, Dr. Martha Hass, Dr. Karen Glass, and Dr. Amy Barton Pai.
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I encourage women to pursue research only if it’s something they’re truly passionate about.
TO SOME, this may not seem out of the ordinary. After all, women have made sizeable inroads in the sciences through the years. For example, in 1970 only 13% of Ph.D.s awarded in the life sciences went to women. Today that figure stands at 52%. But those numbers don’t necessarily correlate to the awarding of research grants. According to a recent report, women constitute just 27% of all principal investigators on NIH grants, a statistic that makes the accomplishments of these ACPHS women that much more noteworthy. Yet, the question remains: Why aren’t more women succeeding in research? The Alumni News sat down with Drs. Malik, Hass, Glass, and Barton Pai to get their thoughts on this question and how the system can evolve to enable more women to succeed in a relentlessly demanding, extremely competitive environment for research funding.
There needs to be a consistent mechanism to let women reenter the field after spending time with their children. — DR. MEENAKSHI MALIK
LAST JULY Dr. Meenakshi Malik, an assistant professor in the Department of Basic and Social Sciences, received a $465,000 NIH grant enabling her to continue research of the Francisella tularensis bacterium. It marked her first NIH grant as a principal investigator. Francisella tularensis is classified as a Category A select bioterrorism agent. This designation means the U.S. government views Francisella as a “high-priority agent that poses a risk to national security.” That places it in the same threat category as anthrax, plague, and smallpox.
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— DR. MARTHA HASS
Genetically and environmentally, Dr. Malik was pretty much predestined for a research career. Her father, a veterinarian and virologist, created a vaccine protecting poultry from Newcastle disease virus and received a major scientific award in India for this advance. Meenakshi was just eight or nine at the time, and this recognition for her family had a huge influence on her future life and career. “The biggest thing I feel women have to face is that research is a 24/7 obsession. The most productive time of women’s careers is also when the biological clock is ticking and they’re thinking about families. This makes it very difficult for women to pursue research with the single-mindedness required to be successful,” she says. “It’s almost impossible for a woman who’s been out of the research arena for an extended period of time to come back into the mainstream. There needs to be a consistent mechanism to let women reenter the field after spending time with their children.” “My husband’s also a scientist so he understands the challenges our profession presents. He’s extremely supportive at home and shares equally in raising our daughter and household responsibilities,” she says.
THE IMPORTANCE of having an understanding spouse is echoed by Martha Hass who credits her husband with “accepting that it would take me longer to achieve some things with my work and family obligations.” Dr. Hass, who is an Associate Professor of Chemistry and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, received a three-year $454,000 NIH grant in 2011. She and her team are working to develop topical antioxidant compounds to limit the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays. She is currently applying for an NIH grant renewal for psoriasis research. Dr. Hass began her career in research as an undergraduate at the University of Vermont following the encouragement of a laboratory class teaching assistant.
“I think the biggest challenges facing women in lab-based research are the time commitment and balance with family life,” she says. “I encountered significant stress when my children were younger, trying to work while being engaged with their lives. I have been fortunate
ACPHS is very supportive of career development for women and it’s demonstrated by the fact that women are getting these grants. — DR. K AREN GL ASS to be at ACPHS where there is a very familyfriendly atmosphere.” “Because it can be so difficult, I encourage women to pursue research only if it’s something they’re truly passionate about. Even then, it’s important to find work environments that will match your level of commitment and research ability.”
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the ACPHSVermont Campus Karen Glass is certainly passionate about research. On the heels of a 2011 research grant from the American Heart Association, she was awarded a three-year NIH grant in 2013 totaling $353,400. Dr. Glass is seeking to identify new ways to prevent and treat Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). AML is a blood and bone marrow cancer where cells that would typically develop into white blood cells grow abnormally. She is studying the factors that regulate gene activity in AML and exploring if these factors
My approach is to engage women very early in research experiences and increase their autonomy so they can envision themselves doing research independently. — DR. AMY BARTON PAI
can be manipulated to treat or prevent the disease. “I think the fact that the last four NIH grants at our school have gone to female researchers is wonderful,” Dr. Glass says. “ACPHS is very supportive of career development for women, which is not the case in many other institutions, and it’s demonstrated by the fact that women are getting these grants.”
THE MOST RECENT of the four grant recipients is Amy Barton Pai ’96, an Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice. Dr. Barton Pai was awarded a one-year, $499,990 research grant in September by NIH in cooperation with the FDA. She is collaborating on the grant with her husband, ACPHS Associate Professor Dr. Amit Pai, as well as Dr. Dan Meyer and Dr. Brian Bales, both from GE Global Research. Dr. Barton Pai and her team are working to develop a model that will help improve the safety of generic IV iron products through improved equivalence testing between generics and brand name compounds. “There’s a transition period for many women at the conclusion of their training when they’re starting families and experiencing work/life balance challenges. Institutions should have support mechanisms during this period encouraging women to stay on their academic career paths,” she says. “It’s unfortunate, but many bright female students cannot picture themselves being academicians. My approach is to engage them very early in research experiences and increase their autonomy so they can ultimately envision themselves doing research independently.”
WITH ROLE MODELS like Dr. Barton Pai and a core of other successful women researchers at ACPHS, it’s easy to foresee more women gravitating towards careers in research and achieving similar successes.
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FE ATURE STO RY
How will the Affordable Care Act Affect Pharmacy, Health Care, and Higher Education? On October 31, three ACPHS faculty members sat down for a discussion on the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on health care delivery, the pharmacy profession, and the educational programs that ACPHS provides. The participants were Dr. Angela Dominelli, Dean of the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Associate Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness; Dr. Elyse Wheeler, Chair of the Department of Health Sciences and Director for the B.S. and M.S. programs in Clinical Laboratory Sciences; and Dr. Wendy Parker, Director of the B.S. program in Health and Human Sciences. Each faculty member brought her unique perspective, experience, and insight to the discussion. The following are highlights from their exchange.
Dr. Dominelli: Depending on which estimate you read, there will be either 32 to 45 million new people receiving health care coverage as a result of the ACA. At a minimum, this will raise prescription volumes because people who couldn’t get prescriptions before will now have that coverage, and people who were relying on over-the-counter medications will now have access to prescription drugs. So at a basic level, we anticipate more revenue for pharmacies. But I think the more important change won’t be the volume of prescriptions but the role of the pharmacist. For the last several years, the pharmacy profession has seen this train coming and has been gearing up to welcome its arrival. Even before the ACA, pharmacy was moving toward a role that leaves Dr. Wheeler: The scopes of practice of phartraditional dispensing in the past. macists and clinical and anatomic laboratory Today, sophisticated robotic technolprofessionals have changed over time as the ogy has taken over much of dispensneeds of the population have changed. Health ing, allowing time for pharmacists to care professionals other than physicians and collaborate more closely with other PAs are finding greater roles as consultants with health professionals and interact more patients and among health care providers. with patients. The ACA’s emphasis on prevention and wellness will give pharmacists more face time with their patients, helping them manage their diseases and their drug therapies. The other major thrust of the ACA is quality and accountability, and metrics are in place to measure outcomes and pay on the basis of whether those outcomes are achieved.
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Dr. Parker: Pharmacists are now more engaged in broader health care teams, which is the model we see for the future of medicine in hospitals and health systems. Now there’s a place for many different health care providers on the team, and even prior to the ACA, pharmacists had more of a seat at the table as part of the health care management process. Dr. Wheeler: One of the downsides of the current situation is that as our population ages and needs more in the way of health care, there is simultaneously a serious personnel shortage in the clinical and anatomical laboratories across the country. Many laboratory professionals are ready to retire, and they are not being replaced quickly enough by younger people. Plus, laboratory training Dr. Dominelli: Within pharmacy teachprograms at the associate’s and bachelor’s ing, there’s been an emphasis on medication degree levels have been cut back significantly therapy management and interprofessional eduin the last 20 years. This manpower shortage is cation which gives our students opportunities to leading to delayed lab results and consequently study alongside medical, nursing, and clinical delayed patient care. The workload will only laboratory science students. So all are tackling increase as the ACA puts another 50 million problems together and discovering how to learn insured people into the system. and work in teams. I think that’s been lacking Medicare also has a longstanding hisin the U.S. health system because we’ve been tory of under-reimbursement for lab tests, and the recipients of “silo” care with everyone workthe ACA really has no provisions to address this ing independently rather than as a unified force. problem. In many cases, reimbursements have dropped below the cost of performing the test. This means that pathologists and laboratory personnel are scrutinizing physicians’ requests for lab tests much more carefully both to contain costs and to improve health care outcomes. It is a very complex situation.
Dr. Parker: We’ve also moved from a model where we were very much focused on infectious disease to a chronic disease model. Today, people no longer die from HIV and other infectious diseases on a regular basis. People are living a lot longer, and there’s consequently been a noticeable change in how we deal with patients. It’s led us to design better ways to manage their care and have input from multiple perspectives and voices. As we said earlier, physicians and providers are going to be increasingly judged on quality metrics which assess not only patient satisfaction but issues like timeliness and diagnosis. So the lab personnel shortage could potentially be a perfect storm in the making. I think it’s also expecting a lot of lab professionals who haven’t necessarily been standing up to physicians to start asking them to minimize their tests while the physicians are being pressured to follow all of these prevention metrics to meet the new ACA criteria. There are many competing forces that still need to be worked out.
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FE ATURE STO RY
Dr. Wheeler: We have two types of labs in our country: hospital-based labs and private or reference labs. Generally, physicians want to see lab tests performed in hospitals where they know and trust what’s going the quality and depend on quick turnaround time. But soon economics may force smaller hospitals in particular to send all their specimens out to large private labs, and we may reach the point where these are the only labs that will be able to stay in business. The problem with that is that these labs have turnaround times that are longer than those of hospital labs. This will have a serious impact on how long patients wait before they are provided treatment. What’s happening now, particularly among aging baby boomers, is that they’re going to nephrologists, cardiologists, endocrinologists, neurologists – all different kinds of specialists. But because of the volume of patients the care providers being forced to see to maintain the reimbursements, physicians aren’t communicating with each other as effectively as they used to with regard to medications. In this scenario, the pharmacist is the one person who sees the whole picture of that patient so they can determine how drugs are interacting with each other, whether the patient is receiving any benefit at all, and even whether a drug combination is actually making the patient feel worse.
Dr. Dominelli: Say you’re a patient and you’re home and you’re dealing with an adverse effect from a drug. Isn’t it wonderful to be able to sit down with a pharmacist who will look at all your prescriptions and evaluate your needs? Now, with the teamwork the ACA will promote, it will help create a much more comprehensive, holistic picture of patients. There’s also going to be much more focus on Patient Centered Medical Homes and Accountable Care Organizations as a result of the ACA. The Patient Centered Medical Home Dr. Parker: One of the research projects I’m working on at the is typically a primary care College is helping evaluate medication therapy management (MTM) practice that becomes a services performed by some of our pharmacy practice faculty. One one-stop shop that will thing we are looking at is the educational component: how do we work with specialists, teach students to offer MTM counseling services? Some of it is an laboratories, hospitals, IT question, but there’s also a significant communication aspect and pharmacies to provide to this: how to engage patients and build relationships so we can coordinated patient care. ultimately improve outcomes while reducing hospitalizations and Pharmacists can find a health care costs. home in these Patient Centered Medical Homes to provide medication therapy management services. Accountable Care Organizations are medical care neighborhoods consisting of many medical homes, and pharmacists will have a place there, too. Today there are more than 100 Accountable Care Organizations across the country including five in New York and one in Vermont.
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Dr. Parker: The concept of the medical home allows for a lot more seats at the health care table and falls under a model of prevention. Health care today is extremely complex because patients are interacting with a wide range of providers, and there are many different electronic medical records for each person. That’s why the ACA also has significant information technology and informatics components that aren’t about direct patient care but help practitioners provide better quality care by analyzing and figuring out how to deal with this plethora of data. If you’re seeing six different providers, how do you funnel all that information someplace where someone can take a proactive look instead of just being reactive?
Dr. Dominelli: The good news is that this college didn’t wait for the ACA because we’ve actually been following many of its principles for decades. Even as far back as the late 1970s, we encouraged students to work closely with physicians and counsel patients when they came to the pharmacy counter. We not only give our students the clinical skills to provide medication therapy management, we also teach them how to work in teams through interprofessional education. We’ve told our students for years that pharmacy isn’t going to be just about dispensing skills, it’s going to be about what you know and the care you can provide to your patients. Because that’s what really matters. In our Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum, 30% of the program is experiential so students have to work in a variety of health care settings, and they spend the final professional year providing pharmacy care in an experiential setting. They’re working with doctors and other health care providers, and meeting and talking to patients about their drug therapy.
Dr. Parker: The College is also diversifying our range of faculty expertise and research. Social scientists were not necessarily a mainstay on our campus until perhaps five or six years ago. As a social scientist myself, I perform data and hypothesis driven research that specifically looks at health outcomes. By bringing in a wider variety of people to teach classes and mentor students, ACPHS is helping pull all the pieces of the ACA together for our students.
Dr. Wheeler: One of the things I’ve seen in my association with Dr. Dominelli and her approach to educating students and what we also focus on in the clinical laboratory sciences program is outcomes. We have been teaching quality improvement for many years and preparing our students not just to turn out precise lab results, but also to think about how they can work with the physicians to improve patient outcomes.
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While much of the emphasis has been on helping students study and travel abroad, the College is also interested in bringing exchange students to ACPHS – students such as Olalla Montero-Perez and Lola Macia-Rivas. Three years ago, Olalla met Lola while both were students at the University of Santiago de Compestela in northwestern Spain. Lola wanted to continue her studies in Australia but couldn’t because she wouldn’t have been able to take a full pharmacy schedule, so Olalla asked her
DiLorenzo and Mary Schulte in the College’s Office of Global Initiatives. Olalla has already been to New York City and Boston, where she walked the Freedom Trail and went to an NBA basketball game. “I’m a huge Celtics fan,” she says. But her real passion is horses. “I’ve been riding horses since I was four years old, and I’m in the Equestrian Club here at the College.” Both of Olalla’s parents are doctors and she has two sisters, one a doctor and the other a teacher. Olalla says she isn’t
INTRIGUE A S PA R T O F T H E CO L L E GE ’ S S T R AT E GIC P L A N , A CP H S H A S B E E N W O R K IN G A GGR E S S I V E LY T O E X PA N D I T S G L O B A L INI T I AT I V E S P R OGR A M
to join her at Albany College Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Today, the two friends are spending their fourth years at ACPHS.
homesick, but she does miss Chester, her Chihuahua. “I’ve always been interested in science and health, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to deal well with people and diseases as a physician. I’m really interested in pharmaceuticals, and I think pharmacy’s just another dimension of medicine.” After graduation Olalla would like to work in a research laboratory. “Pharmacies in Spain are not like they are here. Pharmacies here do a lot of things, but in Spain it’s mostly dispensing medications. I need to finish my program back home,
Pharmacies in Spain are not like they are here. Pharmacies here do a lot of things, but in Spain it’s mostly dispensing medications. This is the first visit to the United States for Olalla, who will graduate with a master’s in pharmacy from the University of Santiago de Compestela. “It’s really different from Spain, and I’m glad to be here,” she says. As exchange students, Olalla and Lola work closely with Jessica
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but I would really love to come back to the U.S.” What drives Olalla to achieve? “What helps me the most is that I never give up, not in my studies, not in sports, not in anything. That’s what makes me successful.” Unlike Olalla, Lola has been to the U.S. before, when she spent her senior year of high school in the state of Washington. That’s where she started playing soccer, which “doesn’t make a lot of sense, since soc-
3-1 in the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletics Conference Championship Game held at ACPHS. Like Olalla, both of Lola’s parents are physicians, but the person who was the most influential in pointing her to pharmacy
I thank the school for the opportunity to be here; it’s a big deal for us. was her grandmother. “She had a pharmacy, and I used to hang around and help her
Spanish exchange students Olalla Montero-Perez (left) and Lola Macia-Rivas.
cer is the biggest sport in Spain,” Lola jokes. This year, Lola was a defender on the women’s soccer team, which finished the season with an impressive 13-3-1 record. Coach Christine Kanawada says, “Lola’s positive attitude and work ethic were a real asset to the team and the team’s chemistry. She’s just a great girl.” In early November, for the second year in a row, the Panthers competed in the USCAA National Soccer Championship Tournament in West Virginia, advancing to the semifinals before falling to Daemen College. But the season ended on a positive note when the Panthers returned home and defeated The King’s College
out. That really piqued my interest.” At ACPHS, where she excels academically, Lola has joined a number of clubs and loves volunteering. “In October our soccer team visited the local Special Olympics program and helped with their bowling competition. I’m also thinking about joining the ACPHS Academy where we help teach young kids science.” She also loves to cook and is learning the guitar. “I thank the school for the opportunity to be here; it’s a big deal for us. People have been so welcoming, and the Office of Global Initiatives has been amazing,” she says.
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LEG ACY C O RNER
back row :
Roco Femia, Sr. // Maryann Caruso // Tony Chiffy, Jr. // Tony Chiffy, Sr. Vinny Chiffy // Jim Femia // Rocco Femia, Jr. // Joe Chiffy
front row :
Utica, New York in the 1950s. Bobby socks and poodle skirts were hot. Elvis was all the rage. The tool and die industry was booming. A movie at the Stanley Theatre cost less than a buck. And the seeds of a pharmacy dynasty were being sown.
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Rocco Femia and Anthony Chiffy met in grade school, played basketball in high school, and became best friends. Rocco and Anthony’s sister Mary were also high school sweethearts. “Back then a date meant walking someone home from a chaperoned dance,” Rocco reminisces. After high school, the buddies decided to attend Albany College of Pharmacy and became roommates. In his junior year Rocco married Mary, and the two pals graduated in 1960. Rocco recalls: “The cafeteria was in the gym and when we played basketball the ball would sometimes hit the ceiling. It was a wonderful school but challenging. I remember Dean O’Brien saying, ’Look to your right and look to your left because four years from now those people probably won’t be here.’ And sure enough we started with 150 students and graduated with 67 or 68.” Back in Utica, Rocco worked for Daw’s Drugs while Anthony worked at Grey Drugs, but they dreamed of owning their own pharmacy. Rocco also befriended Dick Paternoster, the owner of a nursery and ice cream parlor across the street
Tricia Femia MacDonough manages and does bookkeeping for all locations, and Anthony Sr.’s granddaughter Ann Van de Wall ’10, a registered pharmacist, is also part of the Parkway family. “All nine children and grandchildren are here. We never forced it on them. They just wanted to,” says Rocco. “We know many of our customers on a firstname basis, even though we fill nearly 10,000 prescriptions a week at all three stores.” Anthony Chiffy, Sr.’s twin sons Joseph and Vincent were roommates and classmates at ACPHS. “When we went there you just got so close with all your classmates because the school wasn’t that huge,” Vinny says. “We’ve got our 20-year reunion coming up and Joe and I will be happy to make phone calls so we can see our old friends. I’ve also become close with John Denio, who was kind enough to open his home to me recently while we were attending an alumni soccer game.” “At Parkway, I’m spearheading a new program that will allow me to be at a separate counter with a computer so when
We were all very close growing up which makes it easy to run a business. from a pool where Rocco moonlighted as a lifeguard. One day in 1965 Dick called Rocco with an offer he couldn’t refuse: 4,000 square feet of space for a pharmacy in his new shopping center. “I had two kids and a mortgage and we both had to quit our jobs. It was just the two of us and two employees when we started out,” Rocco says. “My dad was kind enough to cash in his wartime E-bonds, and we parlayed that into what we have today.” What they have today is Parkway Drugs, the region’s largest independent pharmacy with three stores, roughly $30 million in annual sales and 150 employees including 16 pharmacists. The pharmacy is owned by registered pharmacists Rocco Femia, Sr. and Anthony Chiffy, Sr.; Rocco Femia, Jr. ’90; James Femia ’86; Anthony Chiffy, Jr.; and Joseph and Vincent Chiffy ’94. Also working there are family members MaryAnne Chiffy Caruso and Rocco, Jr.’s wife Sabrina Morris Femia ’93.
a patient comes in with a new prescription I can discuss that medication and all their meds and bring everything up to date. Technology is helping us transform the way we do business and communicate with patients.” Joe recalls, “Vinny and I loved the school because it was small and you made friends quickly. We had an apartment on New Scotland near Sainato’s Deli, and we discovered the owner’s father and our grandfather were friends back in Italy.” He has fond memories of Dr. Martha Hass and the way she took the time to help her organic chemistry students. “And Dean White, what a great guy he was. He was my dad’s basketball coach when he went there.” Today, Joe enjoys working with fellow family members. “It’s wonderful because we all have the same mindset. We were all very close growing up so we all think alike, which makes it easy to run a business.”
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CL A S S NOTES
1 Peter Aiello ’14, Michael Buckley, Hannah Pickworth, Wally Pickworth ’69, John McCarthy ’58, Anne Marie McCarthy, President James J. Gozzo, Cynthia Thompson ’04 and Kay Petrone ’59
1957 Nick Anagnost was inducted into the Schuyler County Hall of Fame for his years of dedication and service to the community and residents of Montour Falls.
1959 Special thanks from ACPHS to Kay Petrone who hosted an Alumni and Friends Reception on Saturday, October 5, 2013 at her home outside of Washington DC. PHOTO 1
1970 Congratulations to Wayne Mabb and Peggy Rowe, who were married on July 1, 2012 after an engagement that spanned a couple decades. They spent their first anniversary on the road to Gettysburg for the 150th anniversary of the battle in which Wayne’s great, great uncle was wounded.
1972 Congratulations to Michael Julius, who was elected Mayor of Johnstown, NY on November 5, 2013. PHOTO 2
1975 Saratoga Hospital recently promoted Philip Weissman to clinical manager of laboratory services for Malta Med Emergent Care in Malta, NY. Philip joined Saratoga Hospital in 1998,
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and served most recently as supervisor of laboratory services at Malta Medical Arts. He is registered as a laboratory technologist by the American Society of Clinical Pathology, and is licensed by the New York State Department of Education.
Congratulations and best of luck to David Stachnik along with his family, colleagues, and partners who celebrated the grand opening of Palmyra Pharmacy in October 2013. PHOTO 3
This past August, Dr. Frank Avason, cosmetic dentist in Denver, NC, introduced and began offering intraoral camera technology to assist patients in improving oral hygiene. This technology allows his patients to be more involved in the process of achieving personal oral health by seeing, evaluating and communicating with Dr. Avason exactly what is occurring in their mouth. Intraoral cameras assist in preventing invasive and expensive procedures because the cameras detect maladies at earlier stages.
Dr. Nicholas Zacharczenko in action, competing and claiming titles once again this past summer! Congratulations and keep it going. PHOTO 4
1984 Harold Lehman was honored by the Boy Scouts of America with the Silver Beaver Award this past July. This national award is the highest honor that can bestowed on a volunteer by a council. The award signifies the impact that leaders have made on youth through service, hard work, and dedication to their community.
Allison Trawinski, class of 2009, and Scott Downey, class of 2011, pictured in front of the ACPHS Student Center for their engagement session. The couple married this past summer in Rochester, NY. PHOTO 5
Megan Rando and Mina Nakhla, members of Class of 2009, were married on October 11, 2013, Megan is currently the Pharmacy Manager at Main Line Spine Pharmacy and Mina is Pharmacy Manager for Rite Aid. The couple resides in Philadelphia, PA. PHOTO 6 Congratulations to Scott McCabe, class of 2009, and his wife, Megan, welcome baby Shealyn to their family in July 2013. PHOTO 7
SHA RE YOUR NE WS ! The Office of Institutional Advancement is happy to pass along your news and messages to fellow classmates and community members. If you would like to share an announcement, news or update regarding your professional and/or personal life, please contact: OFFICE OF INSTITUTIONAL ADVANCEMENT at (518) 694-7393 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2010 Nicholas J. Nobles and Theresa A. Leo, both members of the Class of 2010, were united in marriage October 20, 2012. Nicholas is employed at St. Peters Hospital and Theresa is employed at Albany Medical Center. The family resides in Albany, NY. PHOTO 8 Congratulations to Lisa Langer and Robert Coyle who celebrated their marriage with family and friends on October 19, 2013 at Union College and Glen Sanders Mansion.
2011 Congratulations to Neil Tierson and Daniela Reed, members of the Class of 2011, who were married on May 13, 2013. Neil and Daniela currently reside in central NY. Neil is a Regional Pharmacy Manager with Kinney Drugs and Daniela is an Inpatient Pharmacist with Oswego Hospital. PHOTO 9
2012 Frank Matthew Szczerb completed his PGY1 Pharmacy Practice residency in June 2013 at The University of Toledo. Photo Caption: Dr. Frank Matthew Szczerba (left) with pharmacy practice associate professor Dr. Marianne Churchwell. PHOTO 10
Friends We’ll Miss
William Meyer April 16, 2013 Eleanor M. (VanBuren) Messia May 26, 2013
1956 Paul Lanciault October 13, 2013
Mark “Marklar” Andrew Drescher November 4, 2013
1957 Frederick “Fred” Giles Siegenthaler May 19, 2013
1962 Frank C. LaPuma October 28, 2013 Dustin Baker November 17, 2013
1974 Thomas Elvey September 20, 2013
Friends of ACPHS
Ralph Bassi July 13, 2013
Donald J. Benza May 23, 2013
George J. Welch April 8, 2013
Tracey Ann Pike August 29, 2012
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ALUMNI + FRIENDS
APhA Mid-Year Conference Reception Orlando, Florida
CLS White Coat Ceremony
National Lab Week Dinner
Commencement ALUMNI + FRIENDS
Sorensen/Zeolla Memorial Golf Tournament Normanside Country Club
GOLF TOURNAMENT • BREAKFAST • LUNCH COCKTAIL & DINNER RECEPTIONS CAMPUS TOURS • LIVE ENTERTAINMENT CASINO NIGHT • AND SO MUCH MORE!
06-ALUMNI + FRIENDS 08 Reunion Weekend 2014
INTERESTED IN BEING A CLASS AGENT?
Call 518.694.7393 or email email@example.com. ALUMNI + FRIENDS
Yankee Stadium Bus Trip Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees ALUMNI + FRIENDS
President’s Cup Golf Tournament Albany Country Club
For registration details and a complete listing of ACPHS calendar of events visit
REUNION WEEKEND JUNE 6–8 acphs.edu/reunion
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Your Investment. Our Gratitude. The 2012–13 ANNUAL REPORT OF GIFTS is Available Online at acphs.edu A hard copy can be requested by contacting the Office of Institutional Advancement at (888) 203-8010, (518) 694-7393, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Summer Science Camp Summer Science Camp at ACPHS sparks imaginative learning and gives kids the opportunity to discover science through interactive and hands-on activities and experiments. Children become junior scientists and embark on fun science inspired field trips each week! Three one-week sessions for elementary and middle school aged children. $210 per session. Register your child for one or all three weeks to receive a discounted rate. Discounts will also be available for early registration.
July 14 – July 18 July 21 – July 25 July 28 – August 1
Entering grades 4–6 Entering grades 7–8
For info visit acphs.edu/sciencecamp or call Rebecca Beach at (518) 694-7189
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The Annual Fund is a crucial component in bridging the gap between tuition and government support and the actual cost of educating students.
Help Us Fill the Test Tube
$500 $400 $300
Please consider making a gift to the 2013–2014 Annual Fund and help us fill the test tube. Together we can reach our fundraising goal for this year of $500,000. Every gift, no matter the size, makes an immediate impact on students and families.
TO MAKE A GIFT ONLINE VISIT acphs.edu/annualfund 32
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Tuition and government support provide only a portion of the funding required to meet the needs of today’s students and tomorrow’s pharmacy and health care professionals.
V I S I T US AT TH E N E W
STAY CON N ECTE D facebook.com/acphs youtube.com/user/ACPHS1881 achps.edu/publications
Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Office of Institutional Advancement 106 New Scotland Avenue Albany New York 12208
Permit No. 349 Albany NY
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