SUMMER 2019 • Volume 41 • Issue 4
The Magazine of the the UIC College of Pharmacy
Smart speakers bring the pharmacist home to older adults.
Ohler in Charge Dr. Kirsten Ohler takes the PGY1 residency program helm.
Graduation The class of 2019 becomes our newest crop of alumni!
Giving Michael Reese Research and Education Foundation gift will create a professorship in cardiovascular pharmacotherapy.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
12 Features 8
Smart speakers could ﬁll in the gap for older adults with medication questions.
12 Ohler in Charge
Dr. Kirsten Ohler is now charting the path of the ﬂagship residency program.
We welcome the newest crop of professionals to the world of pharmacy!
19 Michael Reese Endowed Professorship
“The Michael Reese Endowed Professorship will have a lasting impact by supporting an outstanding professor working in cardiovascular pharmacotherapy research,” said Glen Schumock, dean of the UIC College of Pharmacy.
In September of 1868, our college published the ﬁrst issue of a trade journal simply named “The Pharmacist.” The magazine you see before you is named in honor of that historic journal.
16 EDITORIAL CREDITS Publisher Dr. Glen T. Schumock, PharmD, MBA, PhD Professor and Dean Editors Chris Gummert Associate Director of Donor Relations
Ben Stickan, MBA, CFRE Assistant Dean of Advancement Proofreaders Nate Downing Deb Fox Glen Schumock Ben Stickan
From The Dean
Contributing Editors Michael Dhar Chris Gummert Daniel Smith
Photography Barry Donald
UIC: The Epicenter of Innovative Pharmacy Services
Designed by Godfrey Carmona UIC Creative and Digital Services +++ The Pharmacist 833 S. Wood St. (MC 874) Chicago, IL 60612 Phone: 312-996-7240 E-mail: email@example.com ©2019. All rights reserved.
FROM THE DEAN
No Matter the Career Path, We Are All UIC BY DEAN GLEN SCHUMOCK
Pharmacy provides myriad opportunities for bright minds to create their own future. Community practice, pharmaceutical industry, healthsystem pharmacy, government agencies – the list goes on and on. One of the things that has impressed me the most in my short time as Dean, is the diversity of careers and opportunities that our students have after graduation. Whether they go to a residency or fellowship, or straight into practice – there are many different paths available. Observing that progression and the success that follows is very rewarding. It affirms the efforts of our admissions committee in selecting the best students, the work of our faculty in the classroom, our preceptors, the alumni who have donated time or scholarships, and all of the staff and others that contribute to the education and career preparation of our students. In this issue of The Pharmacist you will read about that paths taken by some of our recent graduates. Alumni like Kyle Shick, PharmD ’07. Dr. Shick is regional pharmacy director of operations for OSF Healthcare’s Northern Region - including four hospitals, one of with is the 254-bed OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford, Illinois. His path included a stop in Lexington Kentucky and a clinical focus that turned administrative. Shalaka Samant, PhD ’08, took a research-focused route. After studying under Alexander Neyfakh at UIC, Samant completed post-doctoral fellowships at Yale and at the University of Texas Health Science Center. In 2010 she returned to her home country to join Anthem Biosciences, an upstart contract research and innovation service provider. Kyle and Shalaka are great examples of UIC College of Pharmacy alumni. They are UIC. Like Dr. Samant, many students pursue residencies or fellowships after completing their degree at UIC. In fact, UIC students compete for the top residencies and fellowships across the country – like 2019 graduates, Sam Hong, Katherine Breese, David Silva, Jessica Carlson, Michelle Yu, and Mark Jao, all of whom were profiled for this magazine.
Online pharmacy.uic.edu go.uic.edu/PharmFBChicago go.uic.edu/PharmFBRockford go.uic.edu/PharmTwitter go.uic.edu/PharmLinkedIn go.uic.edu/PharmInstagram go.uic.edu/PharmYouTube
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(Some of their profiles are web exclusives.) Sam, Katherine, David, Jessica, Michelle and Mark are UIC. For these and other students pursuing a residency, there is much anticipation in the lead up to “Match Day” – the day they are notified of the residency program they will join. Dr. Kristin Ohler, the new director of the UIC College of Pharmacy’s PGY1 residency program, knows this better than anyone. Read about her preparation for match day and the great career opportunities that come from being a resident at UIC. Finally, this issue of The Pharmacist also highlights some innovative research being conducted at the UIC College of Pharmacy in partnership with Amazon. Drs. Jennie Jarrett and Robert DiDomenico, PharmD ’96, are leading the project, which tests the use of Amazon's Alexa-enabled Echo Dot smart speakers to bring medication education, medication reminders, and other functions to seniors living at the Admiral at the Lake Continuing Care Retirement Community. Drs. Jarrett and DiDomenico exemplify the transformative research being conducted by UIC College of Pharmacy faculty. They are UIC. The UIC College of Pharmacy has played a big role in the careers of thousands of students over the past 160 years. And on May 9, 2019 during our commencement ceremony we added 224 new alumni - conferring PharmD, PhD and Master's degrees; and an honorary Doctor of Science to philanthropist Carol Retzky. Like the commencement speaker, Jenny Columbo, and the Golden (50 year) Graduates present at the ceremony, these new graduates will each follow their own path. But as they do so they will all have in common their roots at UIC. They will proudly represent the UIC College of Pharmacy. They are UIC. We would love to highlight, in a future issue of The Pharmacist, your career journey and what “You are UIC” means to you. Contact us.
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The Pharmacist would like to hear from you and welcomes your letters: UIC Pharmacist (MC 874) 833 S. Wood St., Rm. 184K Chicago, Illinois 60612-7230 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Letters are edited for length and clarity. All reader correspondence to the magazine and its editorial staff will be treated as assigned for publication unless otherwise speciﬁed.
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12 14 TO
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WHITE COAT CEREMONY
The annual ceremony where students accept the mantle of responsibility that comes with their white coat. To participate as an alumni coater, contact Deb Fox at email@example.com.
THE ICHP ANNUAL MEETING
The ICHP Annual Meeting will be held at Drury Lane in Oak Brook, Illinois.
ILLINOIS PHARMACISTS (IPHA) ANNUAL CONFERENCE
The 2019 Illinois Pharmacists (IPHA) Annual Conference will be held at the Crown Plaza in Springﬁeld, Illinois.
ALUMNI REUNION 2019
Dean Glen Schumock invites you to join us for a terriﬁc evening with classmates and friends. This year we are proud to celebrate the classes of 1949, 1954, 1959, 1964, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014. Reconnect, reminisce and share memories with classmates, faculty and students and enjoy one another’s company. Festivities will take place on Friday, October 11 at Carlisle Banquets in Lombard, Illinois. For more information, please visit: http://go.uic.edu/PharmReunion.
Foster a culture of excellence, collaboration, and inclusiveness
Change jobs? Get a promotion? Publish a paper? Publish a book? Get married? Have a baby? We want to hear about it all! Now you can send your news directly to the magazine editor. Simply go to: go.uic.edu/PharmNews. We’ll do our best to ﬁt it into our publications and/or social media! If you don’t see it in The Pharmacist please go to go.uic.edu/PharmNews.
Margaret Byun, PharmD, MS received the 2019 AMCP Distinguished Service Award at the AMCP Managed Cared & Specialty Pharmacy Annual Meeting in San Diego.
Laura Meyer-Junco, PharmD, BCPS, CPE,
was invited by the Hong Kong Pharmacy Conference to speak on the ethical dilemmas pharmacists face when caring for older adults.
UIC - NTU Partnership UIC College of Pharmacy was honored to host Dr. Chung-Ming Kuan, President, and Dr. Chris Lin, Deputy VP for International Affairs, of National Taiwan University (NTU). They discussed the long-standing partnership between UIC College of Pharmacy and NTU Pharmacy and also discussed future collaborations. Pictured left to right, Nora Bonnin, Senior Director, OfďŹ ce of International Affairs; Dr. Jan Engle, UIC College of Pharmacy; Dr. Chung-Ming Kuan, President of NTU; Dr. Glen Schumock, Dean of the UIC College of Pharmacy, Dr. Chris Lin, Deputy Vice President for International Affairs, NTU; Dr. Alan Lau, UIC College of Pharmacy; and Ben Stickan, UIC College of Pharmacy.
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Female Contraceptive Licensed From UIC and Rush University To Complete Pre-Clinical Trial Soon Yaso Therapeutics Inc. announced the award of a ﬁfth SBIR grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), enabling the ﬁrm to complete preclinical testing of a novel polymer, PPCM as a contraceptive, multi-purpose prevention drug product. Preclinical studies of PPCM indicate it is both contraceptive and can prevent various sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including herpes, gonorrhea and chlamydia.
CEO Mary Weitzel states “This two-year, $2 million award enables Yaso Therapeutics to complete all preclinical studies required to submit our IND. All preclinical studies indicate the drug is effective, safe and non-irritating. If future clinical trials bear out these ﬁndings, Yaso could provide a new contraceptive and anti-infective option for women around the world”. Yaso Therapeutics Inc. has an exclusive, worldwide license for the use of PPCM from the University of Illinois-Chicago and Rush University, which jointly hold patents for the drug. First established in 2005 as Yaso Biotechnology Inc., privately held Yaso Therapeutics Inc. earlier was awarded four NIH grants totaling $4.5 million and a $50,000 prize for ﬁrst place in the New Venture Competition at the Harvard Business School.
Rufus A. Lyman Award Winners Drs. Nicholas G. Popovich, Clara Okorie-Awe, Stephanie Y. Crawford, Fabricio E. Balcazar, Rosalyn P. Vellurattil, Terry W. Moore and Allison E. Schriever won the Rufus A. Lyman Award and will be recognized at the AACP Annual Meeting on July 16. The award is presented annually for the best paper published in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education. The papers are judged on four criteria: utility and signiﬁcance to pharmacy education, originality, research methodology and writing style.
Dean Schumock with the Norman R. Farnsworth lecturer Dr. Ikhlas A. Khan from the University of Mississippi. The Annual Norman R. Farnsworth Lecture was held on March 22.
Paula A. Fleming passed away on March 16, 2019. Paula was born on June 1, 1954 at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center shortly after the birth of her twin brother Paul A. Fleming. She completed her elementary and high school education in Chicago and later attended Elmhurst College. She began working in the Ofﬁce of Student Affairs at the UIC College of Pharmacy in July of 1987. In her various student affairs roles, she interacted with a large number of prospective students, current faculty and staff, current students, and members of various university ofﬁces. Paula genuinely enjoyed serving others, which was evident by the outpouring of condolences in the wake of her passing. Her presence is truly missed in the college and her memory will be cherished by all that knew her.
Emily Beskar Wins UPHS Award
Emily Beskar, P3, won the U.S. Public Health Service Award. The award was established to recognize pharmacy students that make signiﬁcant contributions to public health. This includes advancing the objectives of Healthy People 2020, the National Prevention Strategy, the Surgeon Generals’ initiatives, and the pharmacy profession. Her award letter noted that Beskar’s, “demonstrated passion and dedication to advance public health and the profession of pharmacy is truly impressive.”
SNPhA Celebrates 25 Years SNPhA celebrated their 25th Anniversary on April 13 at the National Hellenic Museum in Chicago. Former Faculty member, Dr. Francesca (Fran) Cunningham was the featured keynote speaker. Alumnae, Miriam Mobley Smith, PharmD ’95, FASHP, received the Imagine, Believe, Achieve Pharmacy Excellence Award from the Ofﬁce of Diversity and Inclusion. Alumni from the Class of 2017, Drs. Eldred Bell, Coreliss Blue, Leo Pratt and Rene Williams sponsored a new scholarship – Rising Pharmacy Leadership Scholarship which was award to P4 Student, Travis Lester. The event was proudly sponsored by Chicago Pharmacists Association, CVS Health, Jewel-Osco, UIC College of Pharmacy Ofﬁce of Advancement & Alumni Affairs, UI Health Pharmacies: Ambulatory Care Department and countless individual donors that included faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the College.
AMCP - CVS Partnership The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) student organization at UIC College of Pharmacy has partnered with CVS Health in offering students a tour of their mail-order facility in Mount Prospect. Students are given a short presentation on the different divisions within the CVS Health Corporation and the internship, residency and job opportunities available to them as students and pharmacists. Dr. Sunny Hirpara, PharmD ’13, and Clinical Advisor for CVS Caremark, talked about his professional background and his role in working for one the largest Pharmacy Beneﬁt Managers. Dr. Hirpara also discussed his involvement in the AMCP UIC Chapter when he was at UIC, and how it ultimately shaped his desire to pursue a career in Managed Care Pharmacy.
Dean Schumock, alumni, faculty and students at a reception during the APhA Annual Meeting in Seattle.
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96 Students Awarded Scholarships
The 67th Annual Honors Convocation took place on April 2. The College awarded over 96 students over $128,000 in scholarships and awards. This year we recognized the ﬁve newly created scholarships: the Blahunka Family Scholarship, the Dr. John B. Coleman and Jill A. Coleman Scholarship, the Nora and Takis Kotis Scholarship, the Scholarship for Outstanding Pharmacy Leadership and Service, and the Washington & Old Dominion Biologics, Inc. Scholarship.
UIC Rho Chi Wins Award The UIC College of Pharmacy Rho Chi chapter for receiving the 2018 Summer Chapter Project Proposal award titled “Health Management for Those in Need: Paciﬁc Garden Community Outreach.” Chapter President Samantha Socco accepted the award at the APhA meeting in Seattle.
Students participated in the annual lobbying of the legislature in Springfield.
Samantha Socco, Rho Chi President, Class of 2019 PharmD.
BRING THE PHARMACIST HOME Every day, a group of Chicago older adults return to their independent-living apartments and says hello to a friendly, helpful and inﬁnitely knowledgeable voice: Alexa, Amazon's AI-powered digital assistant. And now, a pair of UIC Pharmacy researchers hopes to turn that technology into a medication resource for older adults. Thanks to a project at the Admiral at the Lake Continuing Care Retirement Community, Amazon’s Alexa-enabled Echo Dot smart speakers now reside in 100 of the facility’s independent-living apartments. Drs. Jennie Jarrett, UIC assistant professor of pharmacy, and Robert DiDomenico (UIC 1996), UIC associate professor of pharmacy practice, lead the university’s portion of the project. They will work to bring medication education into older adults’ homes through a podcast on the Dots, a companion live-presentation series, and potentially other applications, like medication reminders. Through this partnership, DiDomenico said, the school hopes to show that technology can give older adults a sense of independence. We want to “empower the residents to … have some measure of control over their health and their medications, which I think can sometimes be ﬂeeting
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Lead the nation in pharmaceutica research that impacts health I
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ABORAT LL I
TO OLDER ADULTS
Advance the profession through leadership and advocacy
SMART SPEAKERS COULD Foster a culture of excellence, FILL THE INFORMATION GAP
collaboration, and inclusiveness
photo courtesy of The Admiral at the Lake
Dr. Jennie Jarrett
Dr. Robert DiDomenico
to them,” he said, “particularly when you start adding up not only the health conditions that they may have, but the medications that they have.”
The Admiral ﬁrst put dots in100 residents’ apartments in December, with a second rollout of 50-100 occurring this spring. In all cases, the residents volunteered to take part.
Connecting with Amazon
Thanks to their contacts at Admiral, Jarrett and DiDomenico learned that residents have already found a medication application for their Dots — even before the UIC has launched its activities. “A lot of the older adults were, even without instructions, using the smart speakers … for their medication reminders,” Jarrett said.
The perhaps-surprising pairing of artiﬁcially intelligent gadgets with older adults ﬁrst arose for reasons entirely unrelated to medicine: The Admiral saw an opportunity to help its residents decide what to eat — among other things. Speciﬁcally, the facility wanted to give its residents better access to information about programs at the Admiral, such as activities and restaurant menus, “largely for their own quality of life,” DiDomenico said. However, a colleague of Jarrett and DiDomenico’s — Jewel Younge, clinical assistant professor at UIC — has links to the Admiral and saw a research opportunity. So, she got ahold of the two professors. “We got to talking,” DiDomenico said, “and we tried to put a little bit of a healthcare spin on it.”
Admiral at the Lake Residence
UIC’s healthcare content and functions for the speakers, including the planned podcasts, will come after upcoming focus sessions. But that medication-reminder angle will likely be a goal, DiDomenico said. “It's certainly on our radar screen,” he said. “I do think that it’s a very simple way for the residents to in some way take control of their medication administration.”
The greatest healthcare application of the Dots, however, will likely come not as a reminder service but as an informational source
Podcast ﬁlls information gap The greatest healthcare application of the Dots, however, will likely come not as a reminder service but as an informational source, the researchers said. Older adults face complex medication regimens, in which they take multiple medications. They also must deal with a sea of bad information, limited time with their healthcare providers and compounding issues like dementia. The Amazon project could address that information gap, DiDomenico said, helping pharmacy experts get medication education to older adults where they live. “That’s, for us as providers, the biggest challenge that we face is actually getting eyes and ears inside their homes,” he said. “You have a ﬁnite period of time to interact with that patient when they’re in your clinic or when they’re in your pharmacy ... But the majority of what happens in control of their health happens inside their own home, and that's the black box for us.” With the podcast, Jarrett and DiDomenico aim to illuminate that shadowy area, providing education “around both disease-state management but also problematic drugs within this population to help them manage their medications,” DiDomenico said. The content will be on-demand, too, so residents can listen whenever they want — including when they may most need it, while taking their medications. The project will pair that content with live Q-and-A sessions at the Admiral presented by UIC Pharmacy professionals. The host of each podcast will visit the facility the week following their episode.
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Unique medication challenges This all aims to address the acute medication challenges older populations face. Most importantly, there’s the challenge of poly-medication: Older adults take an average of seven drugs, raising their risk of adverse events and medication errors. “And we know that the older adults are particularly susceptible to that,” DiDomenico said, “not only because of, in some cases, their frailty, but [also] … the complexity of their medication regimen, their disease state and in some cases the issues with dementia.” Further compounding the problem, these complex regimens don't come with extra information from doctors or pharmacists. “Due to the complexity of their health problems, older adults need more time and interaction with their health care provider for a full understanding,” Jarrett said. “Yet … they still get the 15 minutes that every other patient gets.” Meanwhile, older adults often receive too much information from bad sources — “from Google or Dr. Oz — or their family members, who speak from their own experiences,” Jarrett said. “They’re getting a lot of false information. “So, a goal with this project is … to provide older adults with information in a personalized way that they may not be receiving,” she added. “It's giving them more time with a provider and quality information they can trust.”
Ideal partners Amazon’s smart speakers made a logical choice as the technological aides to provide that information, Jarrett said. Many older adults have vision impairments, making screen-based devices like smartphones and tablets difﬁcult to use. Those devices also “require tactile dexterity, and many [older adults] may not have as good of use of their hands as they once did,” she said. “But if they can just talk to a device, it will be able to help them in a way that’s supportive of their stage in life,” Jarrett said.
In addition to that technology ﬁt, the Admiral makes an ideal partner for UIC. Because the facility offers services ranging from independent living to 24-hour care, the college can study across that spectrum, DiDomenico said. For its part, UIC’s medication expertise makes it an ideal partner, too. “We like to think of ourselves as one of the best [pharmacy] schools in the country,” DiDomenico said. “We are the experts when it comes to medications, and we think we should be the ones pushing the envelope and trying to improve medication use.”
Launch and expansion In their next steps, the researchers will host a series of focus groups this spring to pinpoint what the residents could get from the Dots. The podcast will launch this summer. Then, with good results, hopefully the project can expand — perhaps developing an Alexa Skill (app) to formalize the medication-reminder function. Beyond that, the researchers want to bring the Dots to more older adults at more facilities. “If we’re able to show that this is effective and improves the quality of life for their residents, this … then becomes potentially scalable,” DiDomenico said. “That’s the hope — that if we’re able to show this on a smaller scale, this has some scalability.”
Learn more about Admiral at the Lake Continuing Care Retirement Community at admiral.kendal.org.
OHLER IN B Y D A N I E L P. S M I T H
With Dr. Kirsten Ohler enters
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at the helm, the College’s flagship PGY1 residency program s a new era and looks to build on nearly 50 years of success For Dr. Kirsten Ohler, this July 1 carries added emotion. That’s the day Ohler, the new director of the UIC College of Pharmacy’s PGY1 (year-one) residency program, will stand before the College’s latest crop of 12 residents for the ﬁrst time and welcome them into the fold during the heralded program’s annual orientation. “It’s the beginning of a new journey for all of us,” says Ohler, a clinical associate professor in the Department Pharmacy Practice now in her 13th year at UIC. “For me, it’s an opportunity to lead a program that does so much to help individuals grow into independent, autonomous practitioners who do good things for patient care. For the trainees, it’s an opportunity to mature in the profession and set their career on a positive trajectory.”
Coveted spots For students, the PGY1 residency matching process is competitive and tension ﬁlled. At UIC, some 200 candidates annually compete for a dozen spots and, nationally, only two out of every three talented candidates seeking a residency position at universities, medical centers and other healthcare institutions secure
a spot. Landing a residency, meanwhile, can spur a cross-country move, push individuals well outside their comfort zone and steer the early trajectory of one’s professional career. “A PGY1 residency is a serious commitment and shouldn’t be Plan B,” Ohler says. Appointed to replace Dr. Frank Paloucek, who had led the College’s PGY1 residency program for the last 20 years, Ohler began recruiting UIC’s current collection of incoming residents – her ﬁrst such batch – last December. She traveled to the recruiting forum at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ (ASHP) Midyear Clinical Meeting in Anaheim, California, reviewed applications, conducted on-site interviews and ranked her top candidates. This year, on March 15 – so-called “Match Day” and a day burned into the minds of all prospective residents – an AHSP computer algorithm released its pairings, matching program leaders’ preferences with those of students. “There’s always a lot of anxiety leading up to Match Day,” says Ohler, who holds previous experience with Match
FIVE-POINT VISION U ED
Provide unparalleled pharmacy education and training IGNITE
Day having served as the College’s PGY2 (second-year) pediatric residency director since 2016. “Though that’s for one resident, not 12, so nothing to this PGY1 level.”
OHLER IN CHARGE
With the names of her inaugural class in hand, Ohler’s attention has since turned to integrating trainees into the UIC program and, speciﬁcally, how she might best honor each individual’s interests and career goals. “Putting students in positions to learn and gain valuable clinical skills has been central to our program’s success over the years,” Ohler says.
Building upon a legacy Running for more than four decades, UIC’s residency program stands among the nation’s most prominent and distinguished. Alumni routinely land prized PGY2 opportunities in specialty areas such as pediatrics, transplant, oncology and intensive care before embarking on careers that bring them into visible roles and leading institutions such as Memorial SloanKettering, MD Anderson and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“The success of our past residents leaves an impression on people and shows what we can shape and develop,” Ohler says. A former resident in the program herself, Ohler knows the coming year for trainees will be intellectually taxing and stressful, yet critical to developing their clinical skills and conﬁdence. Ohler looks to help the residents navigate the intense one-year learning adventure that is equated to approximately three years of clinical experience. “My role is to best serve these 12 different personalities and their respective needs in a way that drives their careers,” Ohler says. To accomplish that, Ohler will focus on tailoring the program to each resident’s individual goals, particularly for those interested in a specialty area, and transitioning all students from passive learners in the classroom into responsible pharmacists in the clinical setting. “We give residents independent experiences so they can practice autonomously and develop a sense of responsibility as clinical professionals,” Ohler says. That singular focus, a hallmark of the UIC program, not only equips trainees with robust and relevant clinical skills, but also ensures the College’s residency program retains its standing as a cutting-edge effort that prepares pharmacy leaders. “Others before me have laid a great foundation and established this program’s core tenets,” Ohler says. “For me, it’s about building upon that momentum, while growing the program with the residents and alongside the profession.”
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MARK JAO, PHARMD ’19 THE NEW BEGINNING Jao is staying on the University
of Illinois at Chicago campus having received one of the College’s competitive PGY1 residency slots, which include performing pharmacy duties in a rotating array of practice areas ranging from pediatrics to critical care. THE APPEAL “I felt like a residency would allow me
to experience varied opportunities and push me to become an expert pharmacist in any ﬁeld I might pursue. Plus, I built wonderful connections throughout my time as a UIC student and I wanted to become a colleague to all the faculty that have taught me. I take great pride in continuing my career at an institution I take such pride in.” THE HOPE “I am excited at the many amazing patient-
care experiences that lie ahead and hope to perform at the top of my licensing and learn from experts in different ﬁelds. I spent many years and made sacriﬁces to get where I am today and am ecstatic to be a pharmacist.” THE LONG-TERM GOAL Jao hopes to someday become
a clinical pharmacist at a teaching institution, perhaps UIC. “I hope to work in an area that provides continuous learning opportunities and gives the University of Illinois at Chicago a fantastic name.”
BEGINNINGS More residency stories can be found at go.uic.edu/ ResidencyStories.
JACQUELYN PUNCHES, PHARMD ’19
MICHELLE YU, PHARMD ’19
THE NEW BEGINNING Punches is off to the Kingman
THE NEW BEGINNING Yu received the lone spot in
Regional Medical Center (KRMC) in northwestern Arizona, where her one-year PGY1 residency will carry an ambulatory care focus. KRMC, which is located about 110 miles south of Las Vegas and 70 miles south of the Grand Canyon, is a 235-bed teaching hospital and a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network.
Johns Hopkins Hospital’s combined PGY1/2 residency in Investigational Drugs and Research. The two-year program includes the typical PGY1 experience followed by a second year that pairs experiences in various clinical and research settings with pharmacy operations and a focus on investigational drugs.
THE APPEAL With KRMC’s emphasis on ambulatory
care, interprofessional training, teaching opportunities and community involvement, Punches calls the PGY1 residency “a great ﬁt.” Plus, she adds, KRMC “has an excellent program with a reputation for serving patients with exceptional care.” THE HOPE Punches looks forward to an experience that
will allow her to work at the top of her profession and foster the development of new clinical skills, which will ultimately translate into improved patient care. “I have a deep compassion for patients and am motivated by the chance to serve as an advocate for patients.” THE LONG-TERM GOAL Punches would like to provide
top-level care as an ambulatory care pharmacist at an academic center and hopes her experience at KRMC propels her development as “a conﬁdent leader in pharmacy practice.”
THE APPEAL Yu earned her undergraduate
degree in biomedical engineering, worked at a startup biopharmaceutical company in pre-clinical drug development and happily discovered the worlds of clinical pharmacy and investigational drugs while a PharmD student. “The [Johns Hopkins] residency program allows me to be at the cutting-edge of drug development at a ﬁrst-rate institution and represents the perfect combination of my interests in pharmacy, drug development and research.” THE HOPE “I want to broaden and deepen my clinical
pharmacy knowledge and hope the experiences I have at Johns Hopkins combined with moving to a new city allow me to grow both professionally and personally.” THE LONG-TERM GOAL Though Yu anticipates her
career with likely involve clinical pharmacy and drug development and research, she remains open to the possibilities. “This residency program will expose to me to career opportunities that I never knew existed and I am very excited to explore those options.”
Congratulations Class of 2019! On May 9, the UIC College of Pharmacy conferred 224 PharmD, PhD and Master's degrees. There was also one very special Honorary Doctor of Science to philanthropist Carol Retzky. The graduates received a memorable address from Dr. Jenny Colombo, a 1989 alumna. We were also happy to welcome back the graduates of the class of 1969, our Golden Grads.
Dr. Jenny Colombo
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Dr. Carol Retzky
JUNE 22, 2019
Our unique program will offer the latest clinical data while exploring best practices and management strategies for pharmacists today.
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6.0 Live CE Credits · Law Credit Included
Support Your Pharmacy School! When you register to attend the
9th annual Directions in Pharmacy® conference, 50% of the discounted registration rate will be donated back to the UIC College of Pharmacy!
Discounted Price $70 Original Price: $109 • Use code: UIC • Ask us about group discounts
To register, call 609-325-4720 or visit us online at www.pharmacytimes.org/go/DIP2019
Desi Kotis, BS ’83, PharmD ’94, and her husband David Holmes, established a scholarship in memory of her parents named Nora and Takis Kotis, pictured here.
Investing in the Future of Our Profession Every spring, the UIC College of Pharmacy holds an awards ceremony that recognizes outstanding student pharmacy leaders. This event is known as Honors Convocation, and at this year’s ceremony, we distributed over $128,000 in scholarships and awards to our current Pharmacy students. At Honors Convocation this year, we featured a new scholarship: the Nora and Takis Kotis Family Scholarship. The scholarship, created by alumna Desi Kotis, BS ’83, PharmD ’94, and her husband David Holmes, recognizes a second or third-year Pharmacy student who, while in school, has demonstrated leadership within the pharmacy profession. Dr. Kotis, who named the scholarship after her parents, is a passionate believer in philanthropy. “When reﬂecting on our legacy,” Kotis said, “we discussed how important it is to give back. Giving back to students, residents, and those in professional training is a true investment in the future of our profession.” A sentiment echoed by UIC College of Pharmacy’s Assistant Dean of Advancement, Ben Stickan. “Alumni and friends such as Desi and Dave provide important resources for the next generation of Pharmacy leaders, and we couldn’t be more thrilled by their generosity,” Stickan said. “Honors Convocation is a special event, and we are forever thankful for our alumni and friends’ investment in our current students’ success.” Endowed scholarships are the life’s blood of the college. They provide a self-sustaining means of providing for generations of future Pharmacy students. To discuss contributing to our IGNITE Campaign, please contact Assistant Dean of Advancement Ben Stickan at 312-639-9069 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2019 Kotis Family Scholarship recipient Henry Okoroike and Ben Stickan.
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COLLEGE OF PHARMACY
Endowed Professorship Supports Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy Program at the UIC College of Pharmacy A gift from the Michael Reese Research & Education Foundation will establish the Michael Reese Endowed Professorship in Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy at the UIC College of Pharmacy. The contribution will allow the college to advance its educational and research programs related to heart disease, which is a leading cause of death for men and women. “The Michael Reese Endowed Professorship will have a lasting impact by supporting an outstanding professor working in cardiovascular pharmacotherapy research,” said Glen Schumock, dean of the UIC College of Pharmacy. “This valuable support furthers our ability to discover novel therapies and treatments for patients, and impacts the education we provide to promising young pharmacists."
“ This endowed professorship provides signiﬁcant support to our research mission, and our campaign goals.” DEAN GLEN SCHUMOCK
The gift builds on the college's long history of excellence in cardiovascular drug research and practice innovations. To date, the college's practice innovations include interdisciplinary programs shown to improve patient outcomes and reduce emergency room visits and hospitalizations due to medication-related complications. Associated research has led to highimpact publications and national consensus statements and practice guidelines for the treatment and prevention of venous thrombosis, safe use of direct oral anticoagulants, and the delivery of optimized inpatient and outpatient anticoagulation therapy. "We value our shared history with the Michael Reese Research & Education Foundation and its progenitor, the Michael Reese Hospital, where so many pharmacy leaders trained and advanced the practice," Schumock said. "We are grateful to the Michael Reese Research & Education Foundation for its continued support of the University of Illinois at Chicago.” The endowed professorship drives the College of Pharmacy’s efforts to achieve three of its key IGNITE Campaign goals, which are to retain and grow worldclass faculty, support the next generation of students and build research programs in key areas. And, it contributes to UIC’s $750 million IGNITE Campaign goal and its efforts to redeﬁne the model for student experience and success, cultivate and empower faculty leaders and drive life-changing discovery. The Michael Reese Research & Education Foundation was formed in 1991 when Humana took over the operation of the Michael Reese Hospital. While the hospital closed in 2009, its 127-year history of serving Chicago patients continues as the foundation actively supports area hospitals and medical centers, including UIC’s academic and clinical enterprises that foster quality health care.
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$22,076,177 17 3 $1,484,790 1 4 $7,915,427 1,909
to $35M goal by 2022 as of 4·19·19
Newly Endowed Scholarships
Fellowships and Graduate Support
Program and Research Support
To discuss contributing to our IGNITE Campaign, for current and future students, or any questions that you may have, please contact Assistant Dean of Advancement Ben Stickan, 312-639-9069 or email@example.com.
Career Fuel Solid skills learned at UIC accelerated the career growth for Kyle Shick, PharmD ’07 DR.
Over the last 12 years, Dr. Kyle Shick has enjoyed an active professional life – and not one he could have easily predicted as a UIC student.
“My goal was to optimize the pharmacy team, operate at the top of our licenses and have everyone push on the same goals,” Shick says.
Departing UIC with “the clinical foundation to practice anywhere,” Shick began his career as a hospital pharmacist in Lexington, Kentucky, before moving into clinical pharmacy at the 254-bed OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford, Illinois.
Promoted to regional pharmacy director of operations in 2015, Shick’s star continues to shine. He currently oversees four hospitals in OSF Healthcare’s Northern Region as well as some 75 employees, including systemwide coordinators who specialize in infectious diseases, critical care and oncology service lines.
“ My goal was to optimize the pharmacy team, operate at the top of our licenses and have everyone push on the same goals.” KYLE SHICK, PHARMD ’07
Shick’s career began to veer from that seemingly pre-destined path in 2013 when he was appointed Saint Anthony’s director of pharmacy. Responsible for a $24 million budget and nearly 50 employees, Shick began displaying his chops as a progressive healthcare leader. He expanded clinical pharmacy services, improved safety measures and quality compliance, introduced revised metrics around staff accountability and productivity and boosted employee engagement.
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And in working both in and beyond the pharmacy realm, he’s proven himself a valuable leader in OSF’s Healthcare enterprise. He contributed to the transformation of pharmacy operations throughout the 13-hospital system, established a PGY-1 pharmacy residency program that’s elevated practice and staff expertise and helped craft the transition of staff, units and ﬂow into Saint Anthony’s new $85 million, 78-room North Tower in 2018. “The solid clinical foundation I received at UIC lent itself to accelerated growth,” Shick says. “That’s allowed me to transition into these different roles and take on some really unique and compelling opportunities to improve patient care and broaden my career.”
Publications and Industry How Shalaka Samant, PhD ’08, balances both
“Studying at UIC introduced a sea change into my way of thinking and analysis,” Samant says. “I learned to critique and analytically think about experiments, to troubleshoot and to function as an independent researcher.” After a pair of post-doctoral fellowships, ﬁrst at Yale and then at the University of Texas Health Science Center, Samant returned to her home nation of India in 2010 and joined Anthem Biosciences, an upstart contract research and innovation service provider. Samant spent her earliest days at the startup tackling a diverse array of projects – bench research, scouting clients and designing standard operating procedures among them. With Anthem’s robust growth, however, Samant embraced a more deﬁned role. Now a manager of discovery research, she guides a team of four scientists developing cell lines
“ Studying at UIC introduced a sea change into my way of thinking and analysis.”
and microbial strains for various small molecules, therapeutic proteins and industrial enzymes.
Shalaka Samant Pharmacognosy arrived at UIC with little research experience and even less knowledge of nucleic acids, proteins and cells. By the end of her ﬁrst year at the College of Pharmacy, however, Samant was well positioned for a productive scientiﬁc career thanks to lab rotations, seminars and interactions that had sparked new skills and fresh perspectives.
SHALAKA SAMANT, PHD ’08
Leveraging the molecular biology skills and strain engineering principles she began honing at UIC under the direction of Dr. Alexander Neyfakh, Samant investigates various bacterial, fungal and mammalian host systems. The cuttingedge work has spurred results for clients and produced three peer-reviewed publications, a rare accomplishment among industry personnel. “This work is challenging and rewarding at the same time,” says Samant, who draws scientiﬁc inspiration from journals such as Nature and Science. “Failures are integral to science and not every project results in success, but keeping at it with an undaunting spirit and making rational amends to experiments and approaches is always exciting.”
BABIES Cynthia (Kehinde) Ajomale, PharmD Ajomale ’18, and husband Oluwagbenga welcomed their ﬁrst child in October. Shomi Ajomale was born on October 22, 2018. Mike Flavin, Flavin PhD ’76, and wife Karen became grandparents for the second time to granddaughter, Jean. (NO PHOTO)
Ronak Gandhi, PhD ’16, and wife Kinjal celebrated Kyra, their ﬁrst daughter’s birthday on April 21st. Nirmal Ghuman, PharmD ’12, and husband Inderjeet Singh welcomed their ﬁrst child. Daughter Tejnoor Kaur was born on February 6, 2019. (NO PHOTO) Linda (Sitkiewicz) Harmer, PharmD ’09, and husband Rob welcomed daughter Eliana Katherine to the world on February 10. Eliana weighed 6 pounds and 8 ounces.
Bethany (Daliy) Keys, PharmD ’13, and her husband Chip welcomed their second child, daughter Caroline Mae on September 22, 2018. She joins big sister Rosemary, age three. Tom Vari, BS Pharm ’79, and Margaret (Marks) Vari, BS Pharm '80, became grandparents to Evelyn on April 9. Evelyn is the daughter of Chris Vari, PharmD ’10, and wife Dani. Evelyn joins sisters Stella and Claire.
Bill Wittleder, BS ’74, and wife Denise became grandparents for the ﬁfth time on March 1 when daughter Lisa O'Byrne and husband Kevin welcomed daughter Nora Grace. Nora is little sister to big brother Bryan!
PLAN TODAY AND INVEST IN THE
The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy is continually strengthened by the generosity of our dedicated alumni and friends. As you reﬂect on your own goals, we hope you’ll also consider a deferred gift that will beneﬁt the College after your lifetime. We suggest the following language to include the University of Illinois Foundation for the beneﬁt of the College in your will or living trust: “I give, devise, and bequeath to the University of Illinois Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation (Tax ID 37-6006007) l ocated in the state of Illinois, [dollar amount, percentage, specific asset, or residue to increase educational opportunities for students and to enhance academic excellence at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy.” We can also provide you custom language for a beneﬁciary designation via a retirement plan, whole-life insurance policy, or payable on death (POD)/transferable on death (TOD) account or to further designate your bequest in a way that is meaningful to you. Please contact Director of Gift Planning Jason James Shuba, JD, for more information on how to invest in the future at the UIC College of Pharmacy.
Office of Gift Planning 2525 University Hall, (MC 002) | 601 S. Morgan St. Chicago, IL 60607 312.413.3394 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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KUDOS Wei-Han (Wendy) Cheng, MS ’14, started a new position as Manager, Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) at AbbVie. Angela Considine, PharmD ’07, was promoted to Supervisor of Specialty Pharmacy at SwedishAmerican Hospital, a Division of UW Health. Marc Gaines, BS ’71, retired from Walgreens after 49 years. Serin Homsi, PharmD ’18, started a new position as Pharmacist at CVS Pharmacy Alicia Juska, PharmD ’02, has started a new position as Director of Pharmacy at Swedish Covenant Hospital.
Annie (Rakoczy) Schuster, PharmD ’06, was named the 2019 AMCP Managed Care Pharmacy Residency Director/Preceptor Award Recipient at the AMCP Managed Cared & Specialty Pharmacy Annual Meeting in San Diego. Pratik Shah, PharmD ’14, started a new position as Clinical Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Pharmacist at CVS Specialty. Suzanne Soliman, PharmD ’04, kicked off Women’s History Month at the College on March 8, 2019 with a presentation, “Women Paving the Way in Pharmacy in the 21st Century.” Min Song, PharmD ’06, is now with WellStar HealthSystem.
Albert Mei, PharmD ’17, was promoted to Senior Clinical Pharmacist at Express Scripts.
Hardik Thakkar, PharmD ’17, started a new position as Pharmacy Manager Emerging Leader at CVS Health.
Titilayo Oladipupo, PharmD ’16, started a new position as Registered Pharmacist at divvyDOSE.
Mallory Thompson, PharmD ’16, started a new position as Clinical Pharmacist at Centene Corporation in Sacramento, California.
Paul Rugar, BS ’76, is currently “retired and living the good life.”
Rene Williams, PharmD ’17, was promoted to Manager, Regulatory Affairs US Advertising & Promotions at Abbvie.
Root, Root, Root for the Cubbies
Dean Schumock, alumni and guests cheered on the Chicago Cubs at Sloan Park in Mesa, Arizona during a spring training alumni and friends event in March.
ALUMNI NEWS Alumni at AMPC Annual Meeting in San Diego
Pictured, left to right: Elizabeth Sergeant, PharmD ’06, Margaret Byun, PharmD ’97, Michael Gannon, PharmD ’15, Rebekah Hanson Anguiano, PharmD ’06 and Annie Schuster, PharmD ’06.
Brittany Lee, PharmD ’17, married Andrew Karas on April 6, 2019. (NO PHOTO)
Julius Bulyovszky, BS ’62, passed away November 8, 2018.
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Max A. Covalt, PHC ’42, passed away January 28, 2019. Max worked as a pharmacist in Chicago until he joined the US Navy as a pharmacist's mate. After his military service, he then returned to Charleston, IL with his wife, Marjorie and purchased and ran Covalt Rexall Drug Store on the square for more than 40 years. Leroy Green, BS ’84, passed away. Jerome “Jerry” Landsman, BS ’51, passed away March 28, 2019. Jerry graduated from the University of Illinois
Greg Calip, PharmD ’08, became engaged to Brock McInteer while on vacation in Vietnam. Ruixuan Jiang and Dan Lee, both PharmD ’15, became engaged. (NO PHOTO)
at Chicago with a pharmacy degree in 1951. He was the well-known owner of Landsman’s Pharmacy in Skokie, IL for many years and retired at age 82. On his 90th birthday his cousin, Laurie DuBow, BS ’53, endowed a scholarship in his name at the UIC College of Pharmacy to give to students in need. Stanley H. Margolis, BS ’55, passed away November 11, 2018. Herbert T. Myerson, BS ’51, passed away February 5, 2018.
RONALD L. KOCH, BS ’70, PHD ’76
Long-time donor and Emeritus Associate Professor, Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, UIC College of Pharmacy
Timing is Everything “It was past time that I endowed a scholarship. What a wonderful education I received as a 1970 graduate of the college for the “outrageous” cost of $100 per quarter/ $300 per year. My education steered me to a research degree in pharmacology and well beyond. Over the years, I have donated to several scholarship funds to help endow them in perpetuity. Now with the IGNITE Campaign for UIC, I was inspired to endow a scholarship in my name. Others have endowed scholarships to help students have the same opportunities as they had. Others were inspired by how their own life was altered by a life-changing education or in the realization that their pharmacy education was the foundation of their careers. I likewise feel that my pharmacy education was a great experience that changed my life. Yes, it is time to give back, and I hope my gift will inspire others to give back either in donating time, talents or resources. Every donation is a treasure that helps our students and the college. I hope my giving will be a spark to IGNITE a conﬂagration of giving from our alumni.”
“Over the years, I have donated to several scholarship funds to help endow them in perpetuity. Now with the IGNITE Campaign for UIC, I was inspired to endow a scholarship in my name.”
It only takes a minute to make the gift that lasts a lifetime. giving.pharmacy.uic.edu
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Make a TAX-FREE Gift from Your IRA! COLLEGE OF PHARMACY
The law — now permanent — allowing tax-free gifts from IRAs for those age 70½ and older makes it easier than ever to minimize the tax bite associated with IRA required minimum distributions (RMDs). It’s a simple and highly effective way to reduce or eliminate the tax on income you are forced to take, but may not need. Start planning your tax-free IRA gift today! Contact us with questions.
The Gift of Education Lasts a Lifetime
Jason James Shuba, J.D. Director of Gift Planning, UIC 312·585·9038 / email@example.com Learn more about all of your gift planning options at uif.giftplans.org.