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IN THIS ISSUE: Hand sanitizer made for clinics, first responders page 2

Adapting to COVID-19 page 8

Elevating the experience page 18

A year like no other


Hand sanitizer made for clinics, first responders


Adapting to COVID-19

18 Elevating the experience 20 Faculty news 24 Tackling the opioid epidemic 30 Alumni news

ADMINISTRATION Dr. Brian Noland ETSU President Dr. Wilsie Bishop Senior Vice President for Academics and Interim Provost

BILL GATTON COLLEGE OF PHARMACY Dr. Debbie Byrd Dean Dr. Adam Welch Associate Dean, Assessment and Academic Affairs Dr. Ralph Lugo Chair, Department of Pharmacy Practice Dr. David Roane Chair, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences Steve Ellis Assistant Dean, Student Affairs Bruce Gannaway Assistant Dean, Finance John King Development Officer 423-439-5933 kingjw2@etsu.edu Editors Melissa Nipper Assistant Director for Communications Stephen Woodward Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy Communications and Engagement Manager Graphic Design Jeanette Jewell Principal Photography Ron Campbell, Matthew Carroll, Larry Smith, Charlie Warden, Stephen Woodward

etsu.edu/pharmacy Pictured on the cover: Secondyears Krystal Chavez, Caleb Jones, and Regan Bell pose on the VA Mountain Home campus lawn, Fall 2019.

Greetings from Gatton! This annual magazine always has served as a way to connect the alumni and friends of Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy. Looking back over what has transpired since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, I sense a greater need for connection and community than I ever have witnessed before. Our classrooms, workplaces, routines, and plans have changed dramatically in ways that we never could have imagined just one year ago. However, in our families, at our jobs, and here at Gatton, we continue to carry on the work we believe in–celebrating accomplishments and setting new goals. As COVID-19 began to spread throughout the country in March, ETSU transitioned all classes to an online format and most university employees began to work remotely. To say that these changes presented challenges is an understatement. COVID-19 interrupted clinical rotations, paused research, and drove coursework into Zoom meetings and breakout rooms. For the first time in the college’s history, we celebrated our graduating class with a virtual commencement ceremony, recognizing the Class of 2020 in an online format, so that friends and family could be a part of their special day. This fall we are continuing mostly remote to help ensure the safety of our student pharmacists, faculty, and staff. It truly has been a year like no other. However, COVID-19 did something else for which I am extremely grateful: It underscored the importance of Gatton’s mission of developing progressive, team-oriented pharmacists who improve health, focusing on rural and underserved communities. In our region and across the country, our alumni (essential workers in every sense of the word) served as a vital lifeline to patients who needed their medications despite the pandemic’s grip on the country. Our faculty pulled together to adapt curricula and ensure that student pharmacists continued to receive high-quality pharmacy education. And they persevered, developing an even better understanding of their role in the health of patients and our communities. This issue of Gatton Rx contains snapshots of how the college pulled together during the COVID-19 crisis, including a piece about how Dr. Charles Collins, Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, used his expertise and the compounding lab to produce muchneeded hand sanitizer for ETSU Health clinics and first responders. You also will read about many other ways that our faculty, staff, student pharmacists, and alumni are fulfilling Gatton’s mission, including the significant service of our student pharmacists and how our research is impacting important issues like bridging gaps in rural health care and new possibilities in transdermal naloxone treatment of opioid addiction. Several Gatton student pharmacists were featured on the cover of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists’ Student Pharmacist magazine, and several of our faculty members have received national recognition for their work. Granted, there have been many challenges over the past year. But I am so proud of the way the Gatton community has adapted and exemplified the “team-oriented” approach that we tout in our mission. Working as a team and caring for others are hallmarks of the pharmacy profession—and they will help us get through this pandemic. Thank you for your commitment to improve the lives of your patients and communities. Be well and please stay in touch!

Debbie Byrd, PharmD, MBA, BCPS Dean and Professor

A year like no other Since the arrival of COVID-19, many important things have been in short supply. Opportunities for in-person gatherings and time spent with friends and family have been scarce. And shortages of necessities like hand sanitizer and personal protective equipment for health care workers have made headlines. However, there have been no shortages of ways to step up and help during the pandemic. From faculty producing much-needed hand sanitizer to student pharmacists assisting with medication pickups and grocery runs for their neighbors, the Gatton community continues to be a pillar of education and care in the Appalachian Highlands and beyond.





Hand sanitizer made for clinics, first responders

In April, Gatton College of Pharmacy began producing hand sanitizer to help Gatton College of Pharmacy clinics and first responders curb shortages and prevent the spread of COVID-19. With the local need identified, Dr. Charles Collins, Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, immediately went to work in the college’s compounding lab producing the hand sanitizer. “During this stressful time, there are numerous instances in providing quality health care when soap and water are not readily or conveniently available,” said Collins. “This hand sanitizer will allow our health care providers and first responders to quickly clean their hands between patients so they do not spread any infection.” If interested, first responders can contact Collins at collincc@etsu.edu to inquire about receiving free sanitizer. Despite facing a shortage of hydrogen peroxide, a key component of the official Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hand sanitizer formulation that is used as


a preservative, Collins found another way to replace it with an ingredient he had on hand in the lab, benzalkonium chloride. The formulation Collins ultimately used is ethanol 65% (minimum of 60% needed), benzalkonium chloride 0.13%, glycerin, and distilled water. Collins also sees the impact this project could have in teaching his student pharmacists at the college. “As a consideration for future events, I plan to incorporate this formulation into our teaching compounding lab so that our pharmacy graduates can be ready when in practice to provide this product should it be necessary during some subsequent medical event to help mitigate a future crisis,” he said. Dr. Debbie Byrd, Dean of Gatton College of Pharmacy, said the project goes straight to the heart of the college’s mission.


“As we strive to serve the rural and underserved in this region,” said Byrd, “producing hand sanitizer is just one way we can help support health care workers in our community as they fight the spread of COVID-19. In addition, this is a great way to show student pharmacists how important a pharmacist’s skills are to help patients during a public health crisis.” Collins continues to receive orders and has made roughly 76 gallons and distributed 70. About two-thirds went to Quillen College of Medicine and ETSU Health clinics and first responders, and the other third to postal workers,

churches, schools (including ETSU libraries), and even some to the homeless. “The need to use hand sanitizer has never been greater with supplies quickly being depleted,” said Dr. Bill Block, Vice President for Clinical Affairs and Dean of Quillen College of Medicine. “Gatton College of Pharmacy’s help to supply this crucial need is instrumental in keeping our patients, faculty, and staff safe from transmission of COVID-19. I can’t thank them enough for how they are helping ETSU Health and our community.”

Watch Dr. Collins make hand sanitizer by scanning the QR code.



Alumna committed to profession during pandemic “Even though people are still having babies, more are able to be cared for at home via telemedicine instead of being held for observation at the hospital. The idea is to avoid longer hospital stays than necessary,” said Cortese, who now often finds herself staffing an operating room or working in the hospital’s main pharmacy, or in other posts. Cortese says the entire hospital was dramatically affected by the unexpected deployment to Los Angeles of the USNS Mercy, which is based in San Diego. “The Mercy is a 1,000bed hospital ship—about the same size as an aircraft carrier.” The 500-bed hospital Cortese works at contributed staff and supplies.


Reprinted with permission from Simmons University.

In an online video interview from her home, Robyn Holman Cortese (’13) radiated the reassuring calm any patient might prescribe as the preferred bedside manner for their caregivers. Between shifts working as a clinical pharmacist at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, California—while co-juggling childcare with her pilot husband, also an “essential employee” on a demanding schedule—Cortese discussed COVID-19’s impact on her job, and what keeps her going. “It’s a hard time to be at work. I’ve never seen so many deaths in my career as I have since this started. It has been pretty harrowing in that regard. But it’s still a profession I love,” said Cortese. “I think for me, seeing my patients leave the hospital is maybe why I go back every day. Because I want to know that they are recovering, and they’re going to go home. It breaks my heart when that doesn’t happen, but 95% of the time it does.” Cortese usually works in the hospital’s pediatric or neonatal intensive care units. But the COVID-19 crisis has changed things.


“We ended up losing about half of our pharmacy staff— almost all of our active-duty staff,” said Cortese. “And with that, about 50% of the medications in the hospital were also lost to the Mercy so that they could carry out their mission.” She adds that the COVID-19 virus “can become pretty significant pretty quickly, so you run through a lot of medical supplies very quickly.” Cortese’s commitment to her profession has deep roots. “My mom is a physician and my father’s a pharmacist, so I kind of grew up with health care in my blood,” said Cortese, whose hometown is Pittsburgh. She also drew inspiration from the late local luminary Fred Rogers. “There’s a phrase from ‘Mister Rogers’ that was always ‘look for the helpers,’” said Cortese. “That always stuck with me. There’s actually a Facebook group of healthcare providers that I know from Pittsburgh that’s called ‘Look for the Helpers,’ and they’ve been posting a lot of inspirational stories.” Cortese’s determination to be a “helper” led her to Simmons University where she majored in biopsychology. She went on to earn her PharmD at Gatton College of Pharmacy. “Most of my family had been members of the U.S. military, so I took a military scholarship, and I became an Air Force pharmacist right after I graduated,” said Cortese. Reflecting on the current crisis, Cortese sees a “helper” role for everyone. “Any sacrifice you’re making today is truly saving lives tomorrow,” she said, even by just consolidating trips to the grocery store. “It may not seem like it. But from somebody on the inside, somebody who’s going to work every day and seeing that, it truly is making a difference.” 5

Alumni impact on COVID-19 Over 825 graduates from Gatton College of Pharmacy are out in the world, most practicing in Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, or Kentucky, making an impact on the frontlines of COVID-19. These are the faces of just some of our alumni.

Mallory Tucker (ʼ19)

Sean Monroe (ʼ17)

Whitney Varney (ʼ15) 6

Merri Cash (ʼ11)

Rachel Jamieson (ʼ16)

Mikka Riley (ʼ15)


Tracy Carter (ʼ14)

Lyndsey Howard (ʼ16)

Brianne Williams (ʼ10)

Robyn Cortese (ʼ13)

Jesse Reed (ʼ18)

Emily Dixon Hammonds (ʼ16)

Courtney Pitre (ʼ13)



Adapting to COVID-19 8

The COVID-19 pandemic halted on-campus classes and in-person Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences mid-semester, but it did not stop learning at Gatton College of Pharmacy. As soon as it was apparent that ETSU would move classes online in March, the faculty and staff quickly mobilized and began the task of pivoting the learning and clinical experiences online, so that student pharmacists could continue their pharmacy education.


Classes and Coursework COVID-19 affected courses at Gatton in two major ways: it shifted all existing classes online and inspired the development of new course content and a new elective class in response to the pandemic. Faculty explored a variety of technology options to replicate the classroom, including Zoom and GroupMe. They also leveraged technology and personnel resources such as standardized patients, educational coordinators, and academic success specialists to

create virtual lab offerings, including a virtual home visit experience. In addition to adapting existing courses to an online format, a new elective course was developed in the wake of the coronavirus. Dr. Emily Flores, Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice, helped create an interprofessional Public Health Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) where student pharmacists spent time collaborating with medical students virtually to learn about COVID-19 preparedness

and management. Then, they developed a pharmacy emergency preparedness plan for a pharmacy location of their choosing. “We are innovating in many ways and learning from the spring as well as best practices in higher education to inform our plans for fall. We are learning from each other and from academia as a whole,” said Flores. “Through all of this we are striving to keep the ‘Gatton family’ aspects that we are known for as we care for our student pharmacists and our community now and looking forward.”

Community Pharmacy Even as COVID-19 closed down businesses and affected many health care providers, community pharmacies continued to be a lifeline to patients, and Gatton faculty worked creatively to ensure that student pharmacists received vital training in community pharmacy. “Early in the pandemic, when ETSU Health pulled final year student pharmacists from experiential rotations in direct patient care settings, community pharmacy faculty from the Department of Pharmacy Practice (DPP) developed a hybrid community pharmacy rotation to ensure that final year student pharmacists would be able to graduate on-time in May 2020,” said Dr. Jessica Robinson, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice. The rotation featured a mixture of virtual learning experiences as well as student pharmacists spending time in a “closed-door” pharmacy without public access.

This undertaking presented challenges. However, faculty also discovered new opportunities for learning and innovations to the curricula that will continue even after the COVID-19 crisis has passed. Here are some snapshots of some of the ways that the Gatton community adapted to the impact of COVID-19.


For current P4 student pharmacists (Class of 2021), community faculty continued to take them on a variety of virtual experiential rotation types that focused on research or practice innovations in community pharmacy. Lastly, DPP faculty worked closely with local community pharmacists to identify and share best practices for COVID-19 response, including developing procedures for closing and re-opening pharmacy storefronts to align with CDC and WHO recommendations, adapting pharmacy workflow for curbside or home delivery, and developing protocols to conduct COVID-19 testing in community pharmacies.


Ambulatory Care As it became clear that student pharmacists would not be able to complete their ambulatory care rotations in person, a group of approximately 15 health care practitioners from ETSU Health and other health care providers throughout the region began meeting to discuss how they could ensure that the fourth-year student pharmacists were able to complete the requirements and gain the experience they needed to graduate. “It became this concept of ‘it takes a village’ to move the student pharmacists through this,” said Dr. Brian Cross, Vice-Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice. “We provided them a bridge between nothing and the

Specialty Rotations Dr. Sarah Melton, Professor of Pharmacy Practice, was one of the practitioners who pivoted her work to accommodate student pharmacists who were set to complete their psychiatric rotation with her at ETSU Health’s Infectious Disease clinic and the Johnson City Community Health Center. With the arrival of COVID-19, Melton saw an increased caseload of patients dealing with anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions. Telehealth allowed her patients to continue to get the care they needed and the student pharmacists to proceed with their rotation, interacting and learning from these patients. Melton saw several benefits to the use of telehealth in her practice and for her student pharmacists. 10

point when they could return and get back out into rotations.” Utilizing telehealth, the student pharmacists were able to interact with patients. Student pharmacists, faculty, and practitioners also used HIPAA-compliant Zoom to review electronic medical records to review charts and discuss cases. This way, even if the student pharmacist was not able to meet with a patient with a particular disease, they benefited from reviewing the chart and group discussions working through the issues that might arise in specific cases. The pandemic prompted teamwork and conversations among the practitioners that Cross believes will benefit students moving forward. As the student pharmacists return to traditional ambulatory care

She noticed fewer appointment cancellations because patients could easily access care from their own homes without having to worry about transportation or being around others and risking exposure to the coronavirus. And since telehealth appointments are not confined to small exam rooms where social distancing could be difficult, Melton was able to take more student pharmacists on rotation than she normally would. In some cases, she noticed that the telehealth format presented the opportunity to offer even better care to patients. “I have found telehealth to be an excellent way for me to teach the student pharmacists and work with

rotations, Cross foresees that some of the adaptations they have made during the pandemic will become permanent fixtures in the rotations. “Up until this spring, our experiential model historically has been that each individual pharmacist gets a couple of student pharmacists with them each month, and they are in a very focused role,” Cross said. “In the future, we are looking at some type of hybrid model where we could have a Zoom call with 20 student pharmacists who are on rotation across the Tri-Cities, and they could all benefit from discussing their various patients and situations.”

the patients because we were able to go into patients’ homes with them, so to speak,” Melton said. “Now, they can take their phone and show us where they keep their medications. We get a look at their environment and discover things we never would have from an office visit." “It can help us provide better care because everything we need is right there.”


Global and Rural Engagement The pandemic provided Gatton student pharmacists with a timely and up-close look at the importance of global and rural engagement. “The COVID-19 pandemic has made individuals more aware of their connectivity to the entire world and in turn the health disparities, as well,” said Dr. Emily Flores, Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice. “The concepts of global health, rural health, and public health are very intertwined, and pandemics demonstrate this even more.”

• Daniel Osborne (’22) volunteered through the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps to spread awareness on social media related to COVID-19 and assist with a drug take-back project. • Annie Woods (’22) helped make mask extenders to give away to those who needed them.

While student pharmacists were not able to travel globally during the pandemic, their coursework and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences provided experience working with different cultures and in rural settings. In addition, when student pharmacists dispersed back to their home communities in March, many of them engaged to help meet needs of their individual communities, many of which align with Gatton’s mission to assist rural and underserved populations. For example: • Harsimran Singh (’21, pictured below) served people who are homeless in Memphis by providing food, masks, and answering questions about COVID-19.

• Several student pharmacists, such as Mikaela Rhodes (’23, pictured above) volunteered with local feeding programs to package and deliver meals within their communities to those in need. • Other student pharmacists such as Keirstian Hall (’22) helped make masks or assist elderly neighbors or family members with prescription pick-ups and grocery runs. • Several student pharmacists such as Dylan Harless (’21) and Magdalena Bielski (’23) assisted different pharmacies making batches of hand sanitizer. “We are thankful that our student pharmacists are out there caring for their communities as they develop into pharmacists,” Flores said. “It is important that pharmacists care for the whole person of their patients which includes their nutritional, mental, and preventive health as well as the usual medication use and education components.”



A family affair VIRTUAL GRADUATION WELCOMES PARTICIPATION FROM FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND LOVED ONES Gatton College of Pharmacy celebrated the Class of 2020 with a Virtual Hooding and Commencement for its 68 graduates on Friday, May 8. The Class of 2020 is the college’s 11th graduating class and the first class to celebrate its commencement virtually. For many student pharmacists, the event was extremely personal as their family, friends, and loved ones were able to hood them, something normally done by a pharmacist.

Carrie Anderson Winchester, Virginia

Danielle Marie Eskens Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Doug Kent Koh Kent, Washington

Stephanie Joy Harris Maynardville, Tennessee

Jessica Brooke Bouldin McMinnville, Tennessee

Augustine Bui Baldwin Park, California

Jessica Lynn Scrudder Clinton, Tennessee

Christopher Cody Wallen Jonesborough, Tennessee

La'Travia Siquise Norvel Howard Knoxville, Tennessee

Taylor M. Gregory Chapin, South Carolina

Stacie Allison Parker Dandridge, Tennessee

Payton Cynthia Tipton Jonesborough, Tennessee

In her address to the graduates, Dr. Debbie Byrd, Dean of Gatton College of Pharmacy, acknowledged that it is an unprecedented time, but one which the graduates are well prepared to face. “You will be on the front lines of patient care, not just for COVID-19, but for many diseases and conditions that patients struggle with every day,” Byrd said. “I have heard so many stories of Gatton alumni who continue to care for patients in some of the areas hardest hit by COVID-19. Pharmacists truly are health care heroes, and the world needs you now more than ever before.” These are snapshots from the virtual hooding.

To watch the ceremony, scan the code. 12


Delgerzul Dorjsuren Nashville, Tennessee

Makayla Elise Brashears Tazewell, Tennessee

Kirsti Reynolds Shatley Lenoir, North Carolina

Taisha Siera Jones Spartanburg, South Carolina

Emily Rebekah Eldridge Middlesboro, Kentucky

Mark L. Tyler Kolarsky Fall Branch, Tennessee

Yaa Yamoah Anane Arlington, Texas

Lily Hoang Tran Austin, Texas

Victoria Grace Minnix Roanoke, Virginia

Keaton Summers Seymour, Tennessee

Danielle Victoria Casaus Kingston, Tennessee

Rachael Snyder Johnson City, Tennessee



No. 1 in Tennessee, 12th in nation for PGY1 residency match rate

The college ranked first in Tennessee for its Postgraduate Year 1 (PGY1) residency match rate, as well as 12th in the nation. In total, nearly half of the Class of 2020, 32 student pharmacists, participated in the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) match program for PGY1 positions, and 25 (78%) successfully matched. “I am so proud of these student pharmacists and their success,” said Dr. Debbie Byrd, Dean of Gatton College of Pharmacy. “Matching with a residency program is a major milestone for a pharmacist and one that helps a graduate specialize for a wide variety of pharmacy careers. Given our current circumstances with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever for our health care system to have highly trained pharmacists making an impact on patient care, and I know that our student pharmacists are well prepared to accept this challenge.” These future pharmacists will complete their training at a variety of programs across the country, including Indiana University Health, University of Louisville, the University of North Carolina, Texas Children’s Hospital, and Moses Cone Hospital. Eight student pharmacists will be staying in Tennessee to complete their training, and five will serve in the Tri-Cities.



Student impact for 2019-20 BY THE NUMBERS

Student pharmacists volunteered at Remote Area Medical in Gray, Tennessee, in 2019 as part of Gatton’s mission to serve the rural and underserved.

1758+ 1758+

Total Total student student service service hours hours

7.8 7.8 Service Service

hours hours per per student student

The college’s mission is “to develop progressive, teamoriented pharmacists who improve health care, focusing on rural and underserved communities." In 2019-20, student pharmacists were able to complete hundreds of service hours through various events, despite COVID-19 sending them home after spring break in 2020. In Fall 2019, the college implemented a new program called “Rural Service Experiences” for all didactic student pharmacists, where they participate in patient care service or education for rural or underserved populations each year. Rural Service Experiences included events like Remote Area Medical in Gray among many others.



Rural service hours

Fifteen student pharmacists served patients in the community through the ACT (Academia-CPESN Transformation) Pharmacy Collaborative National Day of Service. They provided outreach at four independent community pharmacies across the region conducting blood pressure readings, immunizations, and patient education. The pharmacies were Atchley Drug Center, Colonial Heights Pharmacy & Gifts, Olde Towne Pharmacy, and West Towne Pharmacy. American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) hosted 24 local Girl Scouts and 18 parents for a fun-filled morning learning about a


Remote Area Medical, Gray, Tennessee

pharmacy career and health. Activities included teaching the importance of eating healthy with “eat from the rainbow” smoothies using different colored fruit. APhA-ASP also hosted 891 patient care projects, activities, and events. Over 6,680 individuals and community members were screened and educated by local patient care projects. Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International (CPFI) gave 65 shots to the hospital staff at Johnson City Medical Center. The College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP) led the Syringe Trade and Education Program (STEP) donation drive in collaboration with APhA-ASP, the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), and the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA), educating student pharmacists on the impact of harm reduction provided by the STEP program and collecting nearly 100 laundry detergent containers. CPFI and SNPhA had a booth at the inaugural Quillen 100 Cycling Race at Bristol Motor Speedway, giving blood pressure tests and handing out educational material to the public. They packed over 65 boxes with toiletries, toys, and other items for Operation Christmas Child shipped by a local church overseas for children in need.


Kappa Psi held the annual Apothecary Dash 5K raising $1,000 for the Boys and Girls Club of Johnson City. Because of COVID-19, the race this year was virtual so participants could run on their own time on the day of the race. After the March tornadoes in Nashville, NCPA helped gather donations to send to Nashville including canned food, water, pet supplies, and clothing. Phi Delta Chi collected and assembled 13 Easter baskets to give to children at Niswonger Children’s Hospital and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. SNPhA partnered with Insight Alliance to provide medication lock boxes, counseling on smoking cessation (both smoked and smokeless), and drug overdose information to over 600 patients attending the Appalachian Fair in August 2019. Over three days, student pharmacists handed out more than 180 lockboxes to families in need. The Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists (SSHP) raised over $800 through “Clipboards for Kay” by selling white coat clipboards to benefit their fellow student pharmacist Kayshalla Charlton to help her and her family in the Bahamas with disaster recovery from Hurricane Dorian.


Gatton welcomes the Class of 2024


1/2 from TN

14 states


different colleges and universities

50% 2 international

have a bachelor’s or higher


from ETSU

GEAR UP FOR THE HOLIDAYS Order at etsu.edu/GattonRxGear by Oct. 23, 2020. Enter giveaway for a chance to win free swag.




East Tennessee State University elevated its interprofessional education (IPE) curriculum with two new innovative IPE experiences that included student pharmacists and faculty from Gatton College of Pharmacy.

‘Code Blue’ simulation

Capstone event

In November 2019, student pharmacists participated in the pilot Interprofessional and Profession-Specific Skills Simulation, which brought together students and faculty from Gatton, College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences, College of Nursing, College of Public Health, and Quillen College of Medicine for a code blue simulation in a state-of-the-art skills simulation lab, located in ETSU’s Interprofessional Education and Research Center (known as Building 60) on the VA campus. Interprofessional education, or learning to work across health care disciplines to ensure better patient outcomes, is a well-established priority at ETSU. However, the code blue IPE simulation is a new addition to the program.

Code blue event


The students’ “patient” was a highfidelity simulation manikin whose vital signs could be manipulated


Code blue event

by technicians behind the scenes. Utilizing ETSU standardized patient services, an actor playing the role of the patient’s spouse was also part of the scenario, which added a truer human element to the learning experience. The students from the various health professions disciplines worked together as a team to navigate the intricacies of the situation to save the patient’s life, just as they would in a real medical emergency. While the students worked on the patient in the simulation lab, other students, faculty, and leaders from the health sciences colleges viewed the action as it streamed real-time on monitors in nearby debrief rooms. Afterwards, the participants came together to debrief as an interprofessional team, and then separated into their colleges/ disciplines for additional debriefing specific to their profession. “It was pretty exhilarating,” said Christie Monahan, a fourth-year student pharmacist at the time who later graduated in May 2020. “I thought we worked really well as


a team, but also highlighted some areas for improvement. It was a good learning experience for all of us.” Faculty and administration hope to further develop the IPE code blue simulation, eventually making it a staple of the thriving IPE program curriculum.

Capstone Event

The culminating experience of the IPE curriculum took place in February 2020 with the inaugural IPE capstone event. The students who participated in this event had completed the IPE curriculum and were brought together for one final experience in which they worked in teams to deal with a situation that was presented to them by a simulated patient. The patient situations ranged from a pregnant woman unexpectedly going into labor during a routine exam to a patient who required end-of-life care at home. The faculty who created the event ensured that the patients had complex issues and many social determinants of health to consider.

To create these experiences, organizers utilized all of the simulation spaces in Building 60, including hospital rooms, exam rooms, ERs, step-down units, and home settings. As the teams followed their patients, they focused on transitions of care and the importance of communication among the health care professions. At the end of the experience, they participated in a final debriefing session to unpack the important lessons they learned that day and throughout the two-year longitudinal IPE curriculum at ETSU. “One of the things we are most proud of about our IPE program is that it is an intentional journey that culminated in this capstone event,” said Dr. Brian Cross, Director of ETSU’s Interprofessional Research Center and Associate Professor at Gatton College of Pharmacy. “We at ETSU are really fortunate that we have a culture that encourages the value and importance of working in teams." “We are trying to create an environment of trust and teamwork. This environment elevates everyone’s training.”


Faculty news Katelyn Alexander, PharmD Dr. Alexander was installed as Chair of the AACP Self-Care Therapeutics/Nonprescription Medicine SIG during the June 2020 business meeting. She was elected in Spring 2019 for a three-year term, and just finished up her tenure as Chair of the SIG's Programming Committee. In April 2020, the College's PGY1 Community-based Pharmacy Residency program was granted accreditation by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, in partnership with the American Pharmacists Association. The residency is a partnership between ETSU and Boone Drugs, Inc. of Boone, NC. The program was established in 2018 and recently graduated its second resident. Alexander serves as the residency program director.

John Bossaer, PharmD, BCPS, BCOP Dr. Bossaer contributed an article to the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association newsletter on “Peripheral Neuropathy in NonHodgkin Lymphoma Patients Receiving Vincristine With and Without Aprepitant/Fosaprepitant.” Bossaer's OncoPharm podcast explores topics in oncology pharmacy. In the past year alone, he has produced 50 weekly episodes that have been listened to or downloaded over 62,000 times.

David Cluck, PharmD, BCPS, AAHIVP

Emily K. Flores, PharmD, BCPS Dr. Flores co-authored a manuscript on partnerships in Uganda with colleagues from various U.S. and Ugandan institutions. Also, she facilitated student pharmacists through the first year of Rural Service Experiences for all didactic student pharmacists. Flores received funding from ETSU's Presidential Grantsin-Aid Committee to present at the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA) World Rural Health Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on the subject of “Activating Student Pharmacists to Collaboratively Bridge Gaps in Rural Healthcare.”

Nick Hagemeier, PharmD, PhD Dr. Hagemeier was one of three university faculty selected as Presidential Fellows for the Fall 2020 semester. As a fellow, he will develop and execute a project that is aligned with one of the university’s major initiatives in teaching, learning, and service. He will work closely with ETSU President Brian Noland, his leadership team, and the ETSU Center for Teaching Excellence staff.

McKenzie Highsmith, PharmD Dr. Highsmith was appointed to the Tennessee Department of Education Health Science Advisory Council, the first pharmacist to help shape secondary education as it relates to preparing students for health sciences professions.

Tyler Melton & Aaron Salwan, PharmD, MPH

Dr. Cluck moderated “Antiretroviral Care in 2019: Do the Numbers Matter?” at the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) HIV PRN Focus Session.

KariLynn Dowling-McClay, PharmD, MPH, BCACP Dr. Dowling-McClay received an intramural grant to help her student pharmacists understand the unique needs of patients in the Appalachian region through a video series she plans to implement in her curriculum, casting characters who portray disease states like addiction, mental health, cardiovascular and their underlying social determinants of health. 20

Drs. Tyler Melton (’12) and Aaron Salwan, both community pharmacy practice research fellows, earned their MPH degrees from the ETSU College of Public Health. Also, they were both recipients of the Walmart Scholars program award. Drs. Sarah Melton and Nick Hagemeier were selected as their Walmart Scholars program mentors.


Sarah T. Melton, PharmD, BCPP, BCACP, FASCP

2019 AACP presentations

Dr. Melton was selected to participate in the 2020-2021 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Academic Leadership Fellows Program (ALFP). The ALFP supports and contributes to the development of leaders in academic pharmacy and higher education. The program provides an opportunity for Fellows to expand relationships with peers and colleagues in other institutions, as well as within their own college and university. Melton joins 23 other faculty from across the U.S. to participate in the 17th cohort of the program.

 Dr. Stacy Brown, “AACP Research and Graduate Affairs Committee: Needs for Research Leadership Development Among U.S. Pharmacy Schools,” poster

In addition, she led a pilot project in collaboration with the Yale School of Medicine and the American Association of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) during spring semester 2020 to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on caring for patients with substance abuse disorders.

 Fellows Drs. Tyler Melton and Aaron Salwan were recognized as honorable mentions by the substance abuse community at AACP for their poster presentations: Melton, “Primary Care Physician and Community Pharmacist Opioid-Related Communication and Screening Behaviors,” and Salwan, “Pharmacist and Physician Engagement in Tertiary Prevention of Opioid Use Disorder.”

Melton also participated in a recorded, interdisciplinary session for the Yale/AAAP project in May 2020 that addressed caring for patients with substance use disorders during COVID-19 to be included in future versions of the course. She was selected to highlight the role of pharmacists in rural areas caring for patients with opioid use disorder.

 Dean Debbie Byrd, “Bringing More Women into Senior Leadership–Breaking the Glass Ceiling,” presentation  Drs. Susie Crowe, Katelyn Alexander, and Jeff Gray, “Reaching Progressive Curricular Objectives Through an Older Adult Focused Longitudinal IPPE,” poster  Dr. Nick Hagemeier, “Choices, Choices, Choices: Seeking Synergy in PharmD and PhD Admissions,” presentation

 Drs. Adam Welch and Byrd, “Correlating Big 5 Personality Dimensions with Academic Performance,” poster  Dr. Michele Williams, “The Top 10 Learning Strategies: What They Are and How to Use Them,” roundtable discussion

Brooklyn Nelson, PharmD, BC-ADM The ETSU Introduction to Pharmacy course (PMPR 1100) was offered for the first time in Spring 2020, taught by Dr. Nelson and Dr. McKenzie Highsmith, and students were able to explore the profession of pharmacy. For students who may be interested in taking this course in Spring 2021, please email Nelson at nelsonbr@etsu.edu for more information.

Vicky Palau, PhD Dr. Palau’s student, Jessa Murphy, a chemistry major who studied plant metabolites in Dr. Palau’s laboratory through the Honors College, obtained a fellowship at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to study plant enzymes.

Research and scholarship by faculty and students 48 peer-reviewed publications by faculty 33 presentations by faculty and student pharmacists at scientific meetings and conferences 15 student pharmacist appearances as authors 4 publications featured student pharmacists as first-time authors 62 student pharmacists listed as authors on abstracts 14 student pharmacists were first-time/presenting authors



Puri receives AACP New Investigator Award to research opioid addiction Dr. Ashana Puri, Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, received a grant to aid in her research of the transdermal naloxone treatment of opioid addiction, potentially saving more lives from overdose by making the life-saving drug easier to administer and require fewer doses. She earned one of 16 national American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy 2020 New Investigator Awards (NIA) worth $10,000 that will help fund her research project “Development of Transdermal Systems of Naloxone for Treatment of Opioid Addiction.”

“I was excited to have received recognition for my research at an early stage in my career right now which provides me the motivation to keep moving and think about more ideas,” said Puri. Naloxone is a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose. It is currently administered by a professional as an injectable; however, anyone can administer the medication in its autoinjector and nasal spray forms.

and decreasing the chance of someone needing multiple doses. She said research has been very limited in this area and she hopes to contribute a lot more to the field. Originally from Chandigarh, India, Puri completed her Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics at Mercer University and earned a Master of Science in Pharmaceutics and a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy at Panjab University, India. She has experience working on research projects with cosmetic companies L’Oreal and NuFace, as well as Teva Pharmaceuticals before joining ETSU. Watch video about Dr. Puri's research project.

A transdermal system would explore ways to administer naloxone through the skin. Puri’s project will focus on making naloxone as easy as possible to administer, eliminating the use of needles by a professional,

Melton honored among Notable Women of ETSU The two award recipients were honored at the 18th annual Notable Women of ETSU Colloquium in Fall 2019. The awards and colloquium highlight the expertise and accomplishments of women at ETSU; provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, research, and projects generated by women faculty; and identify women faculty whose work advances understanding of women and their lives.

ETSU’s Women’s Studies Program named Dr. Sarah Melton and Dr. Lynn Williams as the 2019 recipients of the Notable Women of ETSU award. 22

Melton is a Professor of Pharmacy Practice as well as a clinical pharmacist at both the Johnson City Community Health Center and Quillen College of Medicine’s Center for Excellence for HIV/AIDS. She is a board-certified psychiatric, ambulatory care, and geriatric

pharmacist, as well as a certified trainer for Volunteer to Save a Life: Tennessee Naloxone Overdose Education and Distribution. Melton is a dedicated pharmacist, researcher, educator, and community member. As one of her nominators noted, “Dr. Melton is passionate about the student pharmacists she teaches and the patients she cares for, which positively impacts ETSU and our region.” Williams serves as associate dean of the College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences and is a professor in the Department of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology.


Robinson joins pharmacy practice faculty Alumna Dr. Jessica Robinson (’17) joins pharmacy practice faculty at the Gatton College of Pharmacy as assistant professor serving as community pharmacy practitioner. After earning her PharmD, Robinson completed a Community Pharmacy Practice Research Fellowship (2017-2019) at the University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy and Interprofessional Geriatrics Fellowship (2018-2019) at the School of Medicine at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She returned to East Tennessee in JuneJuly 2019 to work on a pilot grant

with 15 local community pharmacies in the Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network (CPESN®USA) to provide coaching and training to transform community pharmacy workflow processes to accommodate enhanced services. The grant was funded through the Community Pharmacy Foundation (CPF) and was a pilot for the national Flip the Pharmacy initiative, also funded by CPF. Robinson is the lead coach for the Greater Appalachian Transformation Effort, one of 20 teams across the United States selected to receive grant funding through Flip the Pharmacy, a national movement to transform and expand the role of community pharmacy. At Gatton, she is working closely with local community pharmacy networks and a team of coaches across East Tennessee, Virginia, and Western North Carolina to oversee implementation of practice

transformation training in more than 100 community pharmacies in Southern Appalachia. She is partnering with faculty to implement Gatton’s Community Pharmacy Initiative, a three-year strategic plan to support community pharmacy practice, teaching and research across the region. “By working together with other members of the health care team, community pharmacists can improve quality and coordination of patient care,” said Robinson. “I am thrilled to return to ETSU and begin working with our student pharmacists, faculty, and regional practitioners.” Her professional and research interests include community pharmacy, interprofessional care, geriatrics, and rural health. She and her husband, Andrae, live in Blountville, Tennessee.

Hagemeier receives NIH subaward Dr. Nick Hagemeier, Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Pharmacy Practice, has received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) subaward from Duke University for a grant submitted to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The award will continue to support his research into the role of pharmacists in preventing and treating substance use disorders. The study, “Integrating pharmacybased prevention and treatment of opioid and other substance use disorders: A survey of pharmacists and stakeholders,” will measure pharmacists’ ability to provide patient care and services for substance use screening, brief


intervention, referral to treatment and medication treatment for opioid use disorders. The findings will inform barriers and facilitators related to pharmacist-provided services and patient care for those suffering from addiction. “I continue to be encouraged by the potential impact community pharmacists can have in caring for patients who struggle with substance use disorders,” said Hagemeier. “This project will help us understand how best to equip pharmacists to provide evidence-based care. I’m excited to collaborate with Dr. (Li-Tzy) Wu and the Mid-Southern Node of the NIDA’s Clinical Trials Network.”

In addition, Hagemeier helped lead the writing of the Education section of a report, released in June 2019, on best practices related to pain management from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force. Hagemeier was appointed to the group in 2018 by Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar.

Watch video about Dr. Hagemeier's research project.


Tackling the opioid epidemic SURGEON GENERAL, REP. ROE LEAD ROUNDTABLE United States Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams (left) visited the campus of ETSU with U.S. Rep. Dr. Phil Roe on Thursday, Jan. 30, where they hosted a roundtable discussion about opioids with local leaders, including Dr. Sarah Melton (right).

United States Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams visited the campus of East Tennessee State University with U.S. Rep. Dr. Phil Roe in January, where they hosted a roundtable discussion with ETSU, community, and state leaders about opioids. Dr. Sarah Melton, Professor of Pharmacy Practice, trained Roe in using naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal medication, as part of his visit. Approximately 65 university, community, state and federal leaders attended the roundtable discussion, held in ETSU’s Interprofessional Education and Research Center (also known as Building 60) on the VA campus, including Dean Debbie Curtis Byrd and Dean Emeritus and City Commissioner Larry Calhoun. In addition, fourth-year Kojo Abakah, from Ghana, West Africa, got the opportunity to meet Drs. Roe and Adams.


Participants in the roundtable included representatives from law enforcement, health care, government, education, and public health. In addition, ETSU Health leaders had the opportunity to meet with Adams while he was on campus. Adams is the 20th Surgeon General of the United States. As the Surgeon General, Adams holds the rank of Vice Admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. In this capacity, he oversees the operations of approximately 6,500 uniformed health officers who serve in nearly 800 locations around the world, promoting, protecting, and advancing the health and safety of the nation. During his tenure as Surgeon General, Adams has created several initiatives to tackle the nation’s most pressing health issues, including: the opioid epidemic, oral health,


and the links between community health and both economic prosperity and national security. In response to the opioid epidemic, Adams issued the first Surgeon General’s Advisory in 13 years, urging more Americans to carry naloxone, an FDA-approved medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. While at ETSU, he applauded the university’s naloxone training efforts, including ETSU’s addition of naloxone in the AED response boxes in all of its residence halls, an initiative led by Gatton’s national award-winning Generation Rx committee under the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP).

Fourth-year Kojo Abakah (center), from Ghana, West Africa, got the opportunity to meet Drs. Roe and Adams.



A Christmas shoebox changed the life of a student from Ghana As he finished putting gifts inside his shoebox that would soon jet around the world to a needy child, Kojo Abakah knew firsthand the potential impact. He had received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox himself in Ghana, West Africa, which ultimately led him on a journey to pursue his dream of becoming a pharmacist at Gatton College of Pharmacy. In November, Abakah worked with others in ETSU’s Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International chapter to fill 66 shoeboxes as part of Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. Since 1993, more than 168 million Operation Christmas Child gift-filled shoeboxes have been distributed to children in more than 160 countries and territories.

Above, second from right, is fourth-year Kojo Abakah, from Ghana, West Africa

Abakah will never forget the day he received his box as a 12-year-old. “All of a sudden there were big trucks moving into the school,” recalled Abakah, now a fourthyear student pharmacist at Gatton College of Pharmacy. “The first thing they (workers with Operation Christmas Child) did was to tell us about Jesus, and after that they started distributing the boxes.” For a child raised in an impoverished community, he couldn’t wait to show his items—a yo-yo, toy cars, wash cloth, and pencils made in the U.S.—to his friends and family. But there was more to the gift than just physical items.


“Today, I don’t have the box with me, but I have the message that they gave me, which is Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

“I went to school every day—walked three miles in and out, whether food or no food,” he said. “Even when it is raining, I still walked to school.”

Despite his poverty and inability to attend school until he was 9 years old, Abakah had an incredible passion and drive to succeed in his studies.

Abakah credits his mother for his early interest in healing the sick through medicine. “When I was growing up, my mom put herbs together to help other


people. She didn’t go to school, but she knew exactly what herbs to put together. So I wanted to take what she does, develop it, make it better for the people, and so that’s why I got into pharmacy.” Ultimately, after coming to Tennessee for college, his mission for health care lined up with Gatton College of Pharmacy—serve the rural and underserved. “Seeing how many people are helping me achieve my goal, I am motivated to work hard,” said Abakah. “It’s not going to be

easy. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m encouraged from the support that I’m receiving from everybody ... I’m pushing and pressing on to achieve that goal of becoming a pharmacist and going back to Ghana and helping my people.” Watch Kojo Abakah's story about receiving his shoebox.

A child receives a shoebox from Operation Christmas Child. Photo courtesy of samaritanspurse.org.

Candy or medicine?


During the holidays, many children throughout the region build gingerbread houses and eat candy as part of their celebrations; however, the visual similarities between candy and over-the-counter medicine can present dangerous health concerns from improper ingestion. Student pharmacists helped raise awareness about this issue last holiday season by making gingerbread houses out of both medicine and candy to help show how easily the two can be confused. The display featured a game that visitors could play to try to guess which colorful pieces are actually medicine. This activity was part of the student pharmacists’ service to the community through health care education.



APhA-ASP receives national achievement award The college’s American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists Chapter received the national Division AAA Chapter Achievement Award this year at their national meeting. In addition, the college’s Generation Rx Initiative and Operation Diabetes Project were recognized as the Region 3 award winners for their work in 2018-2019.

Three students named Ambrose Scholars

Three student pharmacists were accepted into the prestigious Paul Ambrose Scholars Program, which prepares public health and clinical health professions students to

promote change and be leaders in addressing population health challenges at the national and community level.

The student pharmacists include, pictured left to right, fourth years Rebecca Maloney (left), Dowelltown,Tennessee; Chandler Parris (center), Canton, North Carolina; and Nicholas Shields (right), Granite Falls, North Carolina. They were selected out of 40 students from health profession institutions across the United States for the program’s leadership symposium in San Antonio, Texas. They commit their time and effort to improve health within their communities through the planning and implementation of a community-based project, according to the program’s website.

Early Admission Pathway created The college has created an Early Admission Pathway for aspiring pharmacists to get started on their pharmacy career as early as high school. High-achieving high school seniors choosing to attend ETSU or current ETSU freshmen can apply to be accepted directly into Gatton College of Pharmacy through the Early Admission Pathway, which provides students the opportunity to earn both a Bachelor of Science and a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) in six years.

This pathway can be combined with a new 3+1 degree completion in biology, chemistry, or health sciences, which allows students in those majors to matriculate after three years to Gatton College of Pharmacy, if accepted, and complete their bachelor’s after successful completion of their first year in the PharmD program. ETSU students also have the option to complete their Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy Studies at Gatton College of Pharmacy after three years as an undergraduate.

Scholarships to cover the application fee may be available for applicants with need. Students can learn more and apply at etsu.edu/RxEarlyAdmit.



Students featured on national pharmacy magazine cover

A group of student pharmacists were featured on the cover of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists’ (APhA-ASP) Student Pharmacist magazine. The theme of the photoshoot in the November/December 2019 bimonthly magazine was “Personal & Team Development” and featured Gatton student pharmacists on the ETSU Basler Team Challenge and Aerial Adventure Course completing team-based activities. The photos were included in the magazine’s feature article, “Becoming a Successful Team,” by Crystal Atwell, PharmD, APhA director of student and new practitioner development in Washington, D.C. BILL GATTON COLLEGE OF PHARMACY

The student pharmacists included, front left to right: Alexa Bancroft (’21), Cleveland, and Andrew Dickerson (’21), Chattanooga; back left to right, Dawnna Metcalfe (’21), Bluefield, Virginia, and Kelsey Brimer (’21), Hiwassee, Virginia. Class of 2020 graduate Auggie Bui, of Baldwin Park, California, took the photos that were featured on the cover and throughout the magazine. He was a member of the college’s APhA-ASP chapter and served on the organization’s Communications National Standing Committee along with four other student pharmacists from across the country.

“As future pharmacists, teamwork is an essential skill,” said Dickerson, president of the college’s APhA-ASP chapter. “We have to be able to rely on each other in order to achieve the ultimate goal. This applies to both our organization and for us as members of an interprofessional health care team. Overall, I think the photoshoot turned out really great and represents our chapter and college well.” The magazine also featured Metcalfe in a separate article on her efforts as part of APhA-ASP’s Generation Rx committee to save lives through naloxone training.


Alumni news Class of 2011 Amanda Morris Congrats to Dr. Morris and her husband, Josh, on the birth of their little girl, Avery Claire Morris.

Homecoming 2019 Gatton alumni, faculty, and staff reconnected at ETSU Homecoming 2019 before the football game at Lunch Under the Tent. Pictured L-R are Drs. Arissa and Aaron Cupp (’13), Jessica Robinson (’17), Lucy Adkins (’14), as well as Aaron Scott, former director of development for Gatton who now serves at the ETSU College of Public Health. In addition, the college’s APhA-ASP chapter handed out information in the tailgate area regarding flu shots and shingles vaccinations.

Crystal Brown Rochelle Dr. Rochelle had a baby girl, Margaux Lucille, on March 6.

Phillip Daniel O’Bourke

3,000 officers closer together who are spread out among 13 agencies all over the U.S. O’Bourke also received a unit award for starting a naloxone clinic, before the opioid epidemic, that trained over 500 pain patients.

Class of 2013

Class of 2012

Courtney Pitre Dr. Pitre, an independent community pharmacy owner in Arnaudville, Louisiana, is making an impact in her town with a charity she created called Le Bon Voison, which ensures donations help local families and individuals.

Morgan Pendleton Randolph Dr. Randolph and her husband, David Randolph II, had their first baby, David Marcus Randolph III, on May 29, 2019. According to her, “We spend our days enjoying him, watching him grow, and just being in awe of how much you can love someone so small!”

Class of 2014 Lucy Adkins and Aaron Garst LCDR O’Bourke, PharmD, has three children now and recently moved from Gallup, New Mexico, to work in Lawton, Oklahoma. He received two commendation medals as an LCDR within the U.S. Public Health Service: the first for helping Gallup Indian Medical Center triple their revenue to over $40 million, which provided much needed income to the rural Navajo area; the second for leading the way in social media groups that created a safe place for officers within his service to network, ask questions, and share information, which brought over


Drs. Adkins and Garst (’16) recently published together in the Journal of American Pharmacists Association, “The Optimizing Care Model: A novel community pharmacy approach to enhance patient care delivery by leveraging the technician workforce through technician product verification.”

Allie Torrence Dr. Torrence presented on USP800 at the Tennessee Pharmacists Association Medication Safety Program for Pharmacy Technicians in June.


Class of 2015 Chelsea Phillips Renfro Dr. Renfro won the Tennessee Pharmacists Association Distinguished Young Pharmacist Award presented at the virtual summer meeting. She became the first pharmacy faculty member in Tennessee to become a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. She also received the Service Award from the Pharmacy Affinity Group at the 2020 International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare. In addition, Renfro had a recent publication in the Journal of American Pharmacists Association, “Implementation process for comprehensive medication review in the community pharmacy setting.” She and Dr. Jessica Robinson (’17) also published “Care coordination and follow-up practices in the community pharmacy setting: A mixed methods study” in the same journal.

Class of 2016 Rachel Brown Dr. Brown spoke in Dr. Kathy Mueller’s Evidence-Based Practice of Pharmacy II class and showcased to Gatton's student pharmacists the wide variety of pharmacy careers in the world. Brown talked about how she uses her unique skills as a pharmacist, writer, and graphic designer to work as a freelancer in medical communications.

TPA Dean’s Dinner Gatton's student pharmacists, faculty, and alumni had a great time at the Tennessee Pharmacists Association Winter Meeting in February held at Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee.

Class of 2019 Dylan Hayes Dr. Hayes completed his PGY1 pharmacy practice residency at Sentara RMH Medical Center on June 19 and will continue his training at Salem VA Medical Center, PGY2 in Psychiatry.

Ronald Carico Dr. Carico published in the journal Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, “Community pharmacists and communication in the time of COVID-19: Applying the health belief model.” He also published in the American Journal for Health-System Pharmacy, “Review of purchases of unapproved medications by the Veterans Health Administration.”

Dan Ventricelli Dr. Ventricelli, former Community Pharmacy Practice Research Fellow, and Dr. Sarah Melton, Professor, recently published “An untapped potential in addressing the opioid epidemic” in the Journal of American Pharmacists Association.


Pharmacy Leadership Forum Several alumni spoke in Dr. Nick Hagemeier’s Pharmacy Leadership Forum class last year including Drs. Chase Ballinger (’14), Kyle Hagen (’14), Les Louden (’14) pictured above, Melissa McCall (’10), and Courtney Pitre (’13). Hayes (left), with other graduates, poses outside of the hospital for graduation.

Drew McClendon Dr. McClendon shared on social media a great example of interprofessional work through Crawford’s Pharmacy in Cleveland, Tennessee. He helped a nurse practitioner at East Tennessee Gastroenterology set up infusion. His wife, Brooke (’19), works at Walgreens in Madisonville, Tennessee.


Gatton welcomes John King in development role John King, Associate Vice President for Advancement at ETSU, now serves as the development officer for Gatton College of Pharmacy. He joined the ETSU Advancement team in March 2017, bringing with him more than 15 years of experience in Advancement and Alumni Relations. During his time at ETSU, King has worked very closely with Pam Ritter, Vice President for Advancement, to plan and execute the ongoing Campaign for ETSU, a five-year


comprehensive campaign designed to raise funds to support all facets of ETSU, including Gatton College of Pharmacy. Also, he provides guidance to the other development officers to assist them in raising money for their students and programs. “I am very excited to work with Dr. Debbie Byrd to secure philanthropic gifts to support the student pharmacists, faculty, and staff of Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy,” said King. “Gatton is an integral part of ETSU, and I am very committed to assisting our alumni and donors who wish to provide the necessary scholarship, program, and capital support to ensure a bright future for the college.” If you are interested in finding out more about the Campaign for ETSU, or learning how you may support Gatton College of Pharmacy, please contact King at 423-439-5933, or via email at kingjw2@etsu.edu.


Thank you to our 2019-2020 donors* *Donors from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020

Anonymous Donors

Steve and Patricia Ellis

Scott and Nikki Niswonger

Yaritza and Carlos Abdelnour

Don Granger

Thomas Adams

Michele and Hunter Graybeal

Northeast Tennessee Independent Pharmacy Coalition LLC

Lucy Adkins

Larry Grubb

Azurity Pharmaceuticals

Nicholas and Molly Hagemeier

Janet Banks

Evelyn and George Hall

Kathleen Bannon-Ecay and Thomas Ecay

Rachel Hargreaves

Jacqueline Barker

McKenzie and Akiah Highsmith

Carol and Chester Blankenship

Jonathan Holan

Holly Booth

Nancy Horton

John and Larissa Bossaer

Joy Hurley

Stacy and Patrick Brown

Lou Johnson

Betty and Robert Bulkeley

Linda Keller

Jessica and Darrin Burchette

Kimberly Dykes Interiors

Debbie and Robert Byrd

LA Wire

Cheri and John Clavier

Linda Larkey

Joel and Betty Conger

Heather and Stephen Levesque

Jane Corcoran

Linda Mansker

Corley's Pharmacy

Sarah Melton

Maria Costa

K and D Metzger

Joe and Barbara Cox

Michael S Snyder Trucking

Leonard Cross and Patricia Amadio

Mooney's Pharmacy

Marion Crowell

Margaret Moore

CVS Health Foundation

Terry and Robert Mosley

Hunter Hickie

Margaret and Ted Pate Amy and James Perkins Courtney Pitre Brooks and David Pond Chelsea Renfro Kimberley Rhoton Ellen and Jackson Sewell Joe and Pam Sewell Paige Sholes Brenda and Thomas Shumpert Mary and Anthony Smallwood Caralyn and Joseph Snyder Barbara Sylvester Christan and Joshua Thomas Darlene Thompson Steven and Annette Thornburg Rita Vestal Mary and Harry Vick Walgreens Joseph White Suzanne and Todd Williams Tracy and Robert Wright

East Tennessee State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, master’s, education specialist, and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, telephone 404-679-4500, or http://www.sacscoc.org, for questions about the accreditation of East Tennessee State University. East Tennessee State University Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy’s Doctor of Pharmacy program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE),135 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 4100 Chicago, IL 60603-4810, 312/664-3575, fax 312/664-4652, website www.acpe-accredit.org. The ACPE accredits Doctor of Pharmacy programs offered by Colleges and Schools of Pharmacy in the United States and selected non-US sites. ETSU is an AA/EEO employer. ETSU-PHARM-0001-20 2600




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ETSU Gatton College of Pharmacy - Gatton RX 2020 Magazine  

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