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FALL 2019 • Volume 42 • Issue 1

The Magazine of the the UIC College of Pharmacy

ENTREPRENEURIAL DRIVE

Dr. Hashim Zaibak’s 15 independent pharmacies are serving under served communities.

Practical Partnership AbbVie and the UIC College of Pharmacy team up on health economics and outcomes research.

Global Reach How UIC is influencing clinical pharmacy in Taiwan.

Revolving Door How educators at UIC helped shape Rutgers pharmacy program, and vice versa.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

8 Features 8

Independent Pharmacy Entrepreneur

How Dr. Hashim Zaibak’s 15 independent pharmacies are changing the Milwaukee area.

12 Partners with a Purpose

AbbVie and UIC team up on health economics outcomes research.

18 Pharmacy Education Powerhouse Dr. Popovich may be retired but his legacy will remain.

20 Global Partners

How UIC is changing the face of clinical pharmacy in Taiwan.

22 Pharmacy’s Next Generation

How the High School Pharmacy Camp is reaching a new wave of leaders.

24 The UIC-Rutgers Connection

The symbiotic relationship between the two schools has made pharmacy better for everyone.


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18 EDITORIAL CREDITS Publisher Glen T. Schumock, PharmD, MBA, PhD Professor and Dean Editors Chris Gummert Associate Director of Donor Relations

20 Departments 3

Calendar

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College News

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Student News

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White Coat Ceremony

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Alumni Profile

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Alumni News

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Obituaries

Ben Stickan, MBA, CFRE Associate Dean of Advancement Proofreaders Nate Downing Deb Fox Glen Schumock Ben Stickan Imani Watson Contributing Editors Michael Dhar Chris Gummert Daniel Smith Imani Watson Photography Barry Donald 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: pharmacy@uic.edu ©2019. All rights reserved.

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.

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FROM THE DEAN

Creating Leaders for 160 Years BY DEAN GLEN SCHUMOCK

And we’re just getting started. The start of classes on August 26th this year marked 160 years since the first cohort of new students entered the College of Pharmacy. Except for the two times when we had to suspend the program – for the Civil War and the Great Chicago Fire – there has been an uninterrupted flow of new students. Bright, energetic, and motivated students. Students seeking the best possible education in pharmacy. Students from diverse backgrounds, from Chicago, the Midwest, across the US and the world. Students who, after completing our program, have made their mark on the profession of pharmacy. As alumni, these students have been leaders in settings where pharmaceuticals are developed, manufactured, handled, dispensed, used, and managed. They have pushed the boundaries of practice in clinical pharmacy and medication therapy management. They are entrepreneurs in new pharmacy businesses, and pioneers in drug research and discovery. They have represented UIC and our College well. This issue of the Pharmacist includes stories about some of those leaders. Alumni like Hashim Zaibak (PharmD ’99). Dr. Zaibak owns Hayat Pharmacy – a 15-store, 150-employee operation in Milwaukee that serves some of that city’s neediest residents. Born in Gaza, Zaibak came to the US in 1992. His story is an inspiration to all of us. Helping patients is also the career goal of Rachel O’Koren, PharmD ’02. Now leading Walgreens’ Office of Clinical Integrity, O'Koren was an early pioneer in pharmacist-provided immunizations. She was instrumental

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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in developing Walgreens’ immunization program, which now boasts over 27,000 pharmacists trained and over 9 million vaccines administered yearly. It is an impressive legacy. Doing things on a grand scale is also the way Kaitlyn Solem, MS ’08, PhD ’10, has approached has approached her career. Caitlyn’s work as executive director at Pharmerit – a consulting company – focuses on population-level data and research to understand the real-world use and outcomes of medications. A graduate of the College’s PhD program in Pharmacy Systems, Outcomes and Policy – Dr. Solem is passionate about research that informs our ability to improve patient outcomes. Graduates of our College, like Drs. Solem, O’Koren and Zaibak are successful for many reasons. One of these is the opportunities afforded them via the connections made while at UIC. Connections with alumni and by way of the partnerships that come with a world-class organization. The influence of connections on careers is illustrated in a pair of articles. One describes the professional linkages between UIC and Rutgers University – where complimentary programs have produced key faculty and leaders at both schools. Another describes a longstanding relationship between UIC and the National Taiwan University, which has similarly helped train many, and has advanced clinical pharmacy practice internationally. One-hundred sixty years of incoming students and of successful alumni. One-hundred sixty years of leadership in pharmacy education, research and practice to improve human health. That is the UIC College of Pharmacy.

Our Digital Edition issuu.com/uicpharmacy

FALL 2019 • Volume 42 • Issue 1

The Magazine of the the UIC College of Pharmacy

ENTREPRENEURIAL DRIVE

Dr. Hashim Zaibek’s 15 independent pharmacies are serving under served communities.

Dr. Hashim Zaibek’s 15 independent pharmacies are serving under served communities.

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

Abbvie and the UIC College of Pharmacy team up on health economics and outcomes research.

Global Reach How UIC is influencing clinical pharmacy in Taiwan.

Revolving Door How educators at UIC helped shape Rutgers pharmacy program, and vice versa.

E-mail: pharmacy@uic.edu

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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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. To register please visit go.uic.edu/PharmReunion.

OCT

NATIONAL WOMEN’S PHARMACY DAY The UIC College of Pharmacy will be celebrating National Women’s Pharmacy Day with guest speaker Denise Scarpelli, PharmD ’96; Executive Director of Ambulatory Pharmacy and Business Development at University of Chicago. The event will be held 12:30-1:20 p.m. on both the Chicago and Rockford campuses. Room 134-3 in Chicago and Room E210 in Rockford.

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TARGETING CANCER: ANNUAL UPDATE IN ONCOLOGY PHARMACY This conference will examine

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RETZKY SIMULATION CENTER OPENING

Please join us as we celebrate our latest college renovation, the Herbert and Carol Retzky Simulation Center Ribbon Cutting. This state-of-the-art education and training space, made possible by the generous support of Dr. Carol Retzky and her late husband, Herb Retzky, BS ’46, will allow, will allow for our students to receive a life-changing education in an innovative, interactive learning space. We hope to see you on Thursday, October 10th, at 9 a.m., for the unveiling of the newest addition to our ever-evolving facilities at the UIC College of Pharmacy.

CALENDAR

FIVE-POINT VISION

Foster a culture of excellence, collaboration, and inclusiveness

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ICHP MIXER This annual event gives an opportunity for local pharmacy professionals to get together and network with current students. Rockford OSA co-sponsors the event with APhA-ASP & ICHP. Franchesco’s, 7128 Spring Creek Road, Rockford, Illinois, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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ASHP MIDYEAR MEETING Las Vegas, Nevada

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Got News?

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.

approaches to the treatment of hematologic malignancies and provide an overview of new drug therapies. 833 South Wood Street, Rm 134-1, Chicago, Illinois, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

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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.

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COLLEGE NEWS

PEOPLE

Drs. Erin Carson and Alice Hemenway, had their review of aspirin use for primary prevention published in Annals of Pharmacotherapy.

Dr. Jennie Jarret was awarded the 2019

College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) Ambulatory Care PRN Innovation Grant for the project entitled, “Stratification of Burnout in Health-System Pharmacists: a Focus on the Ambulatory Care Pharmacist�. This project aims to evaluate the frequency and severity of burnout in ambulatory care pharmacists, compare burnout to health-system pharmacists in other areas, and describe the current landscape of mitigation strategies utilized to combat these symptoms. Dr. Robert Didomenico, Associate Professor and Dr. Brianna McQuade, Academic/Family Medicine Research fellow at UIC are co-investigators on the project.

Dr. Edith Nutescu has been selected by

ACCP as the 2019 Russel Miller Award recipient. The award recognizes an ACCP member who has made substantial contributions to the literature of clinical pharmacy and is the most prestigious scholarly award bestowed upon an ACCP member. She will receive the award at the ACCP annual meeting this fall.

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Mary Moody, Drs. Adam Bursua and Kevin Rynn collaborated with the Department of Public Health to secure $60,000 in funding to develop an opioid stewardship online certificate program. The program starts early 2020 and will provide CME/CPE credits.


BABY

Dr. Erin Carson and her husband Dr. Zach Carson welcomed their first child, son August Jack Carson was born April 30, 2019 at 10:03 p.m. weighing 7lb 10oz and 19 3/4” long.

Jan Engle, PharmD ’85, is leaving UIC after 36

years to become the new Executive Director of the Accreditation Council for Pharmcy Education (ACPE).

Dr. Rosalyn Vellurattil was co-author

of a paper selected for the AACP Assessment SIG Collaborative Publication Award. The work was “Factors associated with cultures of assessment at US schools and colleges of pharmacy.”

Drs. Guido Pauli and Jim Wang have received the honorary title of UIC Distinguished Professor for the 2019-2020 academic year. This designation was created to recognize faculty who've made significant impacts through scholarship, creativity, and leadership.

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COLLEGE NEWS

Alumni Room Is Now Open! Mr. and Mrs. Ted R. and Jean L. Gladson joined faculty, staff and supporters for a ribbon-cutting ceremony in celebration of the new Alumni Room, formerly Conference Room 145, on June 12. Thanks to the generosity of the Gladsons and the Gladson Design Group in supporting this project and displaying the wonderful memorabilia from the college’s 160-year history. At the event, Ted (BS ’59) remarked, it is “a place to plan the future of the College while being informed by the past.”

Dean Glen Schumock, Ted and Jen Gladson, their niece Kim Byrne, and UIC Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs Robert Barish cut the ribbon on the new, first-floor conference space.

Thanks for your service!

Retirements at UIC College of Pharmacy

Dr. Marieke Schoen

Dr. Mike Pacini

The Department of Pharmacy Systems, Outcomes, and Policies, and the Center for Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomic Research, hosted alumni and friends during the ISPOR Annual Meeting in New Orleans.

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Dr. Nick Popovich

Mr. Dominick Zotta


STUDENT NEWS P3 Student Wins Schweitzer Fellowship Sara Al Azmeh, P3, was one of ten students selected for the prestigious Schweitzer Fellowship. Named in honor of humanitarian & Nobel laureate Dr. Albert Schweitzer, the program supports future leaders in projects addressing unmet health needs. Sara, plans to work on a pharmacy-related project that serves refugees from various countries. The project will guide and educate new immigrants about the health care system in general, the pharmacy system specifically, medication management, and disease state management.

SNPhA Convention Update The SNPhA/NPhA National Convention was held in Houston, Texas, on July 26 to the 29. UIC Pharmacy P4, Travis Lester, was named as the National SNPhA CKD Chair (Keepsake Chair) and P4, Mayam Naveed, received a national scholarship from the organization.

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SMITH IE L P. N A D BY

sin, n o c s i W t utheas o s n i s n o i pire cat m o l e y i c n i a m m r a s built a ayat Pha h H k 5 a 1 b i h t a i W mZ acies m r a h p t n Dr. Hashi nde of indepe FIVE-POINT VISION U ED

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Hashim Zaibak

PharmD ’99 swears there’s no secret

sauce. Just an earnest desire to help the underserved. Provide unparalleled pharmacy “If that education and training SEARCH RE

can even be considered a secret sauce,” quips Zaibak, who founded Milwaukee-

based Hayat Pharmacy in 2011 and has shepherded its growth into a 15-store, 150-employee operation serving some of the Milwaukee area’s poorest zip codes. With an unrelenting focus on customer service, health education, medication adherence

Lead the nation in pharmaceutical and community research that impacts health I

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partnerships, Zaibak has built one of the Midwest’s largest independent

pharmacy operations. “It’s a blessing from God and maybe a little luck that things have fallen into the place the way they have,” says Zaibak from his Milwaukee office on a sunny June day.

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INDEPENDENT PHARMACY INDEPENDENT PHARMACY ENTREPRENEUR Developing a foundation Born in poverty-ridden Gaza to a family that later fled the Middle Eastern region amid rising conflict, Zaibak came to the U.S. in 1992 to begin studies at Moraine Valley Community College in Chicago’s southwestern suburbs. Though Zaibak held visions of becoming an engineer, his father urged him to pursue pharmacy. “My father wanted to become a pharmacist, but circumstances didn’t allow that. His dream was to see one of his five children become a pharmacist,” says Zaibak, who, as the eldest Zaibak child, felt especially compelled to give pharmacy a shot. In 1995, while still acclimating to U.S. culture and the English language, Zaibak began pursuing his PharmD degree at UIC. He confesses he felt overwhelmed by the high caliber of those around him, including peers who held bachelor’s and master’s degrees and even one with a PhD.

district supervisor responsible for 22 CVS pharmacies across Wisconsin and Michigan. All the while, he was adding to his toolkit, gaining an advanced degree in community pharmacy, retail operations and management that, unbeknownst to Zaibak, was preparing him for an unexpected opportunity.

“And here I was with my two-year degree from Moraine Valley,” he says.

Entering the entrepreneurial ranks

Yet, Zaibak was no less motivated to succeed and eager to learn. “I had teachers and peers who pushed me and am forever grateful for the education UIC provided,” he says.

“I want to continue entering underserved areas and having a real impact on people and their lives.” Landing a summer internship with Jewel-Osco in 1997, Zaibak enjoyed his first taste of community pharmacy. He relished working face-to-face with customers and considered the community pharmacy setting the best way to make a long-term impact in individual lives. “I loved being able to connect with people on a personal level,” he says. Two days after graduating from UIC in May 1999, Zaibak moved to Milwaukee to work for Jewel-Osco. There, he progressed from staff pharmacist to pharmacist in charge, primarily working in inner-city Milwaukee locations where health literacy languished. “I felt I was making a difference with people who needed the services I could provide,” he says. When CVS acquired free-standing Osco stores in 2006, Zaibak joined CVS, managing some of its busiest and most challenging Milwaukee stores before becoming a

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Near the end of 2010, a group of independent physicians contacted Zaibak about their new clinic on the outskirts of downtown Milwaukee. The physicians thought an on-site pharmacy would create a more seamless, convenient experience for patients and that Zaibak, with his deep experience in community and retail pharmacy, stood an ideal partner. Though intrigued by the opportunity, including the clinic’s mission to serve neglected populations and the chance to run his own pharmacy, Zaibak struggled with the decision. He hesitated to abandon the stability CVS offered – a steady salary, four weeks paid vacation, insurance and other rich benefits – for the unknown. With three children and a mortgage, the entrepreneurial risks proved unsettling. “I was scared,” Zaibak says, “but then I remembered that I didn’t come to the United States to have an average life. I came to do something more.” On January 17, 2011, Zaibak opened a pharmacy inside the Procare Medical Group clinic in Milwaukee’s Valley Pigsville neighborhood. The doctors’ established client base combined with the convenience of an on-site pharmacy and Zaibak’s business acumen generated immediate results. Months later, another independent physician approached Zaibak about replicating the on-site pharmacy model at his new clinic as well. Zaibak accepted and adopted a new name for his now-burgeoning business: Hayat Pharmacy. Meaning “life” in Arabic, the Hayat name characterized Zaibak’s mission to support healthier living.


ENTREPRENEUR With attentive in-store service and programs like home delivery, Zaibak began building an unapologetically patient-centered business. Today, online reviews often praise Hayat’s personal service and use words like “awesome” to describe their experiences in Hayat stores. Hayat’s clinical pharmacists get involved with MTM, both through telephone calls and in-home visits, while packaging solutions, such as a single bubble pack that carries all the medications for specific at-risk patients, help boost adherence and house accounts offer patients flexible payment options. More than 4,000 current Hayat customers, meanwhile, utilize the Simplify My Meds program, an innovative National Community Pharmacists Association-sponsored effort that synchronizes prescriptions and minimizes pharmacy visits. Hayat even created a YouTube channel with health education videos designed exclusively for Milwaukee’s sizable Rohingya community. Whereas ROI, cost-efficiency and liability frequently guide the decisions of his corporate competitors, Zaibak leverages his independence to make decisions based on his own calculus. His pharmacies, for instance, don’t sell alcohol or tobacco products, a decision Zaibak made not only on religious grounds, but also to promote healthier lifestyles. “For us, it’s simple: how can we offer better options to help our patients lead healthier lives?” he says.

Zaibak’s leadership. She says Zaibak has built a collaborative company that empowers staff to be at the forefront of practice, while Zaibak himself has remained actively engaged with patients. Sokhal, in fact, has watched Zaibak approach people and convince them to quit smoking. “He’s someone who wants to connect with people and wants to help them be their best selves,” says Sokhal, who joined Hayat in 2014. “That type of leadership is powerful.” To that end, Zaibak visits his pharmacies regularly and conducts one-on-one meetings each week with employees across the blossoming Hayat empire – drivers, technicians, pharmacists and cashiers alike – to help ensure employees are engaged with their work and that Hayat captures every possible opportunity to improve. Confident in the field of independent pharmacy as well as Hayat’s own future, Zaibak sees endless opportunities to improve patient care in Wisconsin, a massive state with its share of pharmacy deserts and a long runway to improve medication adherence and residents’ overall health. “I simply hope we can be a part of the solution,” Zaibak says. “I want to continue entering underserved areas and having a real impact on people and their lives.” That, after all, is the secret sauce.

Building a respected business Hayat’s customer-centric philosophy has stimulated a loyal following across southeastern Wisconsin. “Once people feel that you’re not there exclusively for the money, that you care and are there for the right reasons, then they tell their neighbors and friends,” Zaibak says of his customers. That same good will extends to healthcare partners, including payers and physicians, who continue approaching Hayat with collaborative opportunities given Hayat’s proven success with clinics. Though Hayat does operate some stand-alone pharmacies, most Hayat pharmacies sit inside clinics, which Zaibak says helps to jumpstart the business while providing an enhanced value proposition to patients. “The reputation we’ve established is driving our expansion,” says Zaibak, who looks to have 20 Hayat Pharmacy locations operating by the end of 2020. But Dimmy Sokhal, Hayat’s chief clinical officer, attributes the company’s growth to something else:

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partners purpose B Y D A N I E L P. S M I T H

with a

The UIC College of E-P OIN T VIS ION FIVPharmacy and AbbVie UCATIONto strengthen a continue ED relationship that delivers benefits to both sides.

Provide unparalleled pharmacy education and training

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r. Tony Hebden understands the realities better than most.

As the vice president of Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) at AbbVie, a research-based global Lead the nation in pharmaceutica thatthe impacts health biopharmaceutical company, Hebdenresearch recognizes ever-evolving nature of the healthcare landscapeOand VATIO N NN pharmacy’s role in it. I

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“And when we look at our doorstep, we see UIC,” Hebden Advance the profession through says. leadership and advocacy

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“So, when you look to the future of pharmacy, HEOR’s role will only grow,” says Hebden, who joined North Chicago-based AbbVie in 2013, the same year it spun Be the epicenter of innovative off from Abbott. pharmacy services That reality has put AbbVie, which boasts one of the D ERS H EA teams,I industry’s most active and well-respected HEOR on a constant search for new talent, insights and strategies to build expertise.

Foster a culture of excellence, collaboration, and inclusiveness


HEOR ROUNDTABLE

Discussing where HEOR is, why it matters and where it’s going

With rising pressure on healthcare systems to deliver effective patient care, health economics and outcomes research (HEOR) has shed its upstart, novelty status and emerged an established, critical function for big pharma players like AbbVie. Blending traditional HEOR activities such as building costeffectiveness models with cutting-edge research techniques and high-tech tools, AbbVie’s HEOR team has emerged a prominent, leading unit in the fast-evolving HEOR field. Working alongside

colleagues across the AbbVie enterprise – medical affairs, market access, marketing and regulatory affairs among them, the company’s HEOR team continues to develop and execute outcomes research strategies demonstrating the value of AbbVie medications to patients, providers, healthcare payers and regulators. A conversation with six current AbbVie HEOR professionals, all of them sporting ties to UIC, reflect on the current state of HEOR, the field’s escalating importance and its future.

■ DR. ALI ALOBAIDI

PHARMD ’18

• second year of a two-year UIC-AbbVie fellowship in HEOR • currently working with AbbVie’s neuroscience team

■ DR. JESSICA HUTTI

MS CER ’19

• Associate Director on AbbVie’s HEOR oncology team • leads HEOR for the company’s hematology pipeline

■ DR. YASH JALUNDHWALA

MS ’10, PHD ’16

• Director in AbbVie’s HEOR group supporting neuroscience

■ DR. BEENISH MANZOOR

PHD ’17

• Manager of HEOR in oncology (joined AbbVie in early 2019)

■ DR. TOM MARSHALL

PHARMD ’04

• spent eight years at AbbVie (the last two leading a six-person hematology team in HEOR)

■ DR. PATRICK ZUEGER

PHARMD ’13, PHD ’18

• Manager on AbbVie’s HEOR global immunology team

MARSHALL HEOR has grown steadily and I’d argue that it’s at its peak now, especially with the cost of healthcare and the importance of value becoming such hot-button topics. More therapies and innovative drugs in the market has created more scrutiny. ZUEGER Many of us who go into HEOR consider ourselves lifelong learners and problem solvers. The prospect of being able to constantly learn something new and be challenged to think “outside the box” using novel approaches to tackle complex problems keeps me coming back for more. MARSHALL When I was in school at UIC in the early 2000s, I was interested in alternative careers and, in particular, the economics of pharmaceuticals whereas many of my classmates were heading into more traditional clinical and retail pharmacy career paths. Now, you see rising interest from students who see the opportunities in an area that is providing valuable data to decision makers. HUTTI I have a PhD in Cell Biology and worked previously within the Oncology Discovery and Oncology Development groups at AbbVie. That’s where I first learned about the exciting work of HEOR scientists and decided I wanted to move into HEOR. I knew that if I wanted to be in this field, then I needed to build the core knowledge necessary in areas like epidemiology, CER, health economics and decision modeling, which compelled me to enroll in the Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) Master’s program at UIC.

ALOBAIDI I’m obviously new to the field, but what’s most exciting is the everexpanding nature of the field. Cutting-edge technologies such as wearables and machine learning have the potential to improve health outcomes and reduce costs for millions of patients. JALUNDHWALA For me, the most exciting part of working in HEOR is the ability to apply principles from multiple fields – economics, statistics, epidemiology, psychology, survey design, health policy and others – to conduct patient-centric research informing the appropriate use of medications. The HEOR field offers an opportunity to pursue diverse research areas which are sought by all the key healthcare stakeholders, which often means you can see the impact of your work. ZUEGER The work we do in HEOR is increasingly recognized as essential in the healthcare decision-making process. Randomized, controlled trials are still the gold standard for generating clinical efficacy and safety data, but they are not always practical and the evidence needed to fully characterize the benefits and risks of a medication cannot usually be captured in the clinical trial setting alone. This is where HEOR can shine. MARSHALL HEOR is a critical function at AbbVie and in the industry at large. It’s such an innovative field with so many different types of research approaches that can be taken. JALUNDHWALA HEOR research leveraging real-world data, innovative analytical approaches and a patient-centric vision of health is crucial in informationappropriate decision making to manage population-level access to innovative treatments alleviating disease and increasing well-being for patients and their families.

ZUEGER There is a staggering amount of healthcare data available for research today and it comes in more forms than ever before, which demands innovative thinking to harness the data’s potential. Some of the avenues we’re actively exploring at AbbVie include the use of digital devices to collect patient data in real-time and implementation of machine learning methods to reveal new insights from big data. MANZOOR One thing I appreciate is the autonomy we have at AbbVie to answer research questions using HEOR tactics. I can play with different tools and work with crossfunctional partners to address business needs. ZUEGER We are at the forefront of realworld evidence generation that allows us to understand how treatments are used, how well they work and the impact they have on patients in the real world. This data is crucial to painting a complete picture of a medication’s value and aids patients, providers and other healthcare stakeholders in making the best possible decisions to improve patient health. ALOBAIDI: That’s why I hope to continue working in the HEOR field. I see it as a way to combine my clinical background with the research knowledge I’m gaining with this fellowship to impact outcomes of care for my patients. MANZOOR: I’ll admit I’m sometimes amazed at the transcendency of our HEOR work at AbbVie and how it feeds so many other engines at the company. That’s exciting, but also challenging because the bar is so high. You have to put together thorough, sound work.

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partners with a purpose In recent years, AbbVie and UIC, home to one of the nation’s top pharmacy schools as well as the pioneering Center for Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomic Research (CPR), have become increasingly collaborative and invested partners eager to learn from and grow with one another, especially in the HEOR field. “We’re certainly strengthening an existing relationship with greater intent and purpose,” Hebden says.

A BURGEONING PARTNERSHIP Walk through AbbVie’s modern campus in Chicago’s northern suburbs and it’s not difficult to find staff with

ties to the UIC College of Pharmacy. College alumni fill roles throughout the AbbVie enterprise – in areas such as research, medical and regulatory affairs and HEOR – while numerous current AbbVie employees are enrolled in the College’s post-graduate or certificate programs as well. Others like Dr. Jeremy Jokinen and Dr. Jay Duhig, PhD ’11 from AbbVie’s pharmacovigilance and patient safety group bring their industry work into UIC classrooms as adjunct faculty at the College. Dig deeper, though, and there’s plenty more rippling below those surface-level connections. There are College faculty exploring research collaborations with AbbVie scientists, UIC PharmD students partaking in six-week HEOR experiential rotations and graduate students involved in AbbVie’s summer internship program.

B Y D A N I E L P. S M I T H

TRAILBLAZING PARTNERS In addition to their flagship fellowship in health economics and outcomes research (HEOR), AbbVie and the UIC College of Pharmacy have also developed a two-year fellowship in pharmacovigilance. One of the nation’s few pharmacovigilance fellowships, the pioneering program leverages UIC’s substantial research in drug safety as well as AbbVie’s robust and industry-leading Pharmacovigilance and Patient Safety (PPS) department to provide students a one-of-a-kind, hands-on experience. UIC PhD student Dr. Chandler Coleman is currently the second such fellow, following in the footsteps of inaugural fellow and PhD candidate Inyoung Lee. During the 2018-2019 academic year, Coleman took PhD coursework at UIC while also conducting drug

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AbbVie and UIC develop one of the nation’s only fellowships in pharmacovigilance

and patient safety research alongside Greg Calip, PharmD ’08, her fellowship director and an assistant professor in the College’s Department of Pharmacy Systems, Outcomes and Policy. “I had the clinical knowledge, but the first year helped me to develop the more solid research foundation I needed to bring to large-scale projects,” says Coleman, whose efforts along with Calip included investigating the toxic effects of chemotherapy to the heart after treatment. Having begun year two of her fellowship this past June, Coleman is now working full-time at AbbVie on a project team redesigning the informed consent document used in clinical trials, which includes developing clear and accessible safety language around potential risks to the patient.

“It’s unique to be working on a largescale project with potential global reach,” says Coleman, particularly grateful that she’s being exposed to prospective career opportunities around patient safety. Coleman’s AbbVie fellowship supervisor Jay Duhig, PhD ’11 says Coleman is gaining valuable training as an independent scientist at AbbVie while also developing the professional skill set she will need to pursue the research questions she’s most passionate about and to tackle some of healthcare’s most daunting problems. “Patient safety is an area in which pharmacy can do better and Chandler’s work can help show this,” says Duhig, a director in AbbVie’s PPS department and adjunct faculty member at the UIC College of Pharmacy. “This fellowship is a great way to take people with talent and

put them in a position to become real change agents.” For Coleman and future pharmacovigilance fellows, Calip believes the two-year endeavor provides students a rich sense of team science, particularly the interaction between industry and academia, and highlights the interdisciplinary nature of pharmacovigilance, a fast-growing field that includes complementary areas such as health communications, economics and epidemiology. Most importantly, though, Calip says the fellowship provides students an early opportunity to manage their own projects. “To gain that leadership experience right away is so important given how leadership is such a sought-after quality in today’s environment,” he says. “Healthcare needs leaders and this fellowship fosters that.”


Walk through AbbVie’s modern campus in Chicago’s northern suburbs and it’s not difficult to find staff with ties to the UIC College of Pharmacy. There is also a steady stream of idea sharing. AbbVie personnel, for example, have visited UIC to offer presentations on topics such as safety decision analytics, artificial intelligence and careers in industry, while a group of UIC faculty and students traveled to AbbVie headquarters on July 12 for discussions around state-of-the art evidence generation, mediation analysis and machine learning applications with members of the company’s HEOR team. “There’s a consistent exchange of ideas, knowledge and brainstorming about what’s hot in industry and academia,” CPR director Edith Nutescu, PharmD ’94 says. Adds AbbVie director of HEOR Steve Marx, PharmD ’00: “With HEOR, specifically, there’s not a lot set in stone,

which means there’s ample opportunity to try new ideas and learn from each other.” Perhaps most notably, AbbVie and UIC teamed together in 2016 to offer a joint two-year fellowship in HEOR, one that arms students with the research tools to evaluate economic, humanistic and clinical outcomes of drug therapy. The fellows, up to three at a time, spend their first year at UIC taking classes and training analytically in research methods before applying that knowledge and skillset to a full-time position within AbbVie’s HEOR department in the program’s second year. “This prepares our fellows to be industry ready,” Nutescu says. Spurred by the success of the HEOR fellowship, AbbVie and UIC subsequently added a second fellowship focused on pharmacovigilance and drug safety, one of the only such fellowship programs in the U.S. For College leaders like Nutescu and Dr. Todd Lee, professor and head of the College’s Department of Pharmacy Systems, Outcomes and Policy, both fellowships help the College recruit high-caliber students, provide trainees rich industry experience and deepen activity with a distinguished and progressive industry player.

Group photo from the recent AbbVie, UIC College of Pharmacy meeting. IGNITE

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“These fellowships are a wonderful avenue for our trainees to get industry experience at a notable company right in our own backyard and potentially open up professional opportunities beyond graduation,” Nutescu says. AbbVie, meanwhile, welcomes the opportunity to bring promising candidates into its system and then expose them to the company’s culture, work and vision. This, Hebden notes, provides the company access to motivated young scientists capable of injecting energy and perspective into AbbVie’s HEOR and drug safety efforts in the present and the future. “There’s still some mystery about the roles available in industry and these fellowships help us introduce different possibilities to talented individuals intrigued by the opportunities,” Hebden says.

LOOKING TO GROW TOGETHER Though still a relatively young relationship, leaders at both the College of Pharmacy and AbbVie recognize the benefits and stand eager to develop the partnership. “To have a world-class college of pharmacy right here, people we know and respect, there’s significant benefit to that,” Hebden says. The College’s respected researchers in pharmacoepidemiology, pharmacoeconomics and comparativeeffectiveness research, for instance, help to underscore the seriousness and rigor of AbbVie’s HEOR research. “Having independent researchers working with us reinforces the research data AbbVie is generating,” Hebden says. For UIC, a strong partnership with AbbVie means access to the brainpower of top HEOR experts who can provide insights on move-ment in the swelling healthcare field, unique training opportunities for students and dialogue capable of sparking new research directions. “AbbVie is forward-thinking and willing to be an engaged partner in state-of-the-art work, which allows us both to keep up in the latest areas of HEOR and succeed in being the innovative forces we aim to be,” Lee says.

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Moving forward, both Nutescu and Lee see opportunities for more robust research collaborations, expanded training programs and heightened information exchange. “We have a lot of great momentum going with AbbVie and we want to sustain that while continually looking for new ways to grow together and engage with each other,” Lee says. In just a few years, Marx notes, AbbVie and UIC have progressed from a handful of students on rotation to a dynamic summer internship program to a competitive fellowship and a variety of other collaborative endeavors. “Who knows what’s next?” Marx says. Hebden, too, acknowledges the potential possibilities, especially given the fast-moving nature of pharma and HEOR. With HEOR, in particular, requiring a more contemporary focus – HEOR 2.0, Hebden calls it – AbbVie stands committed to creating an interesting, innovative culture grounded in forward-thinking people, evidence-based science that positions AbbVie as an industry leader and thoughtful partnerships that invite additional talent and energy into the fold. “Our relationship with UIC hits on all three pillars here and we see a lot of opportunity to leverage our worldclass facility at AbbVie with the world-class researchers at UIC to build and expand our relationship in new and exciting ways,” Hebden says. That could include leveraging the College of Pharmacy’s ties to its partners on the Chicago campus. With Hebden interested in areas such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, big data and other novel techniques to analyze and explore massive swaths of data, he sees potential to work with the College of Pharmacy’s allies in engineering and medicine to bring an even greater interdisciplinary spin to current HEOR efforts. “We are excited to expand our existing partnerships to further build upon our expertise,” Hebden says. “UIC is a large institution and there are various touchpoints between our two organizations that could lead to opportunities for larger synergies and potential on the macro level.”


UIC’S PRESENCE AT ABBVIE BEYOND HEOR While the UIC College of Pharmacy’s relationship with AbbVie is particularly pronounced in the field of health economics and outcomes research, UIC alumni inhabit positions across the AbbVie enterprise.

BRIAN IDSTEIN, PHARMD ’07

Director of Regulatory Affairs,U.S. Advertising and Promotion

ON WORKING AT ABBVIE “I’m most energized by how government policy at the federal level informs my role, which could be in response to things such as new regulations, changes in FDA leadership or technological advances that inform the FDA’s approach to protecting public health. How we approach our review of promotional materials is directly or indirectly impacted by all of this.” ON HIS UIC EDUCATION “So much of our training can be directly applied to assessing the communication of benefits and risks of prescription drugs in promotional materials. Product labeling, which forms the basis for how we promote our products, is heavily geared towards information that is relevant to the pharmacist. And as a current student in the pharmacoepidemiology certificate program, I’m gathering useful perspective into how regulators evaluate products once they’re approved and used in clinical practice.”

GREG LENZ, BS PHARM ’84

Director, Global Clinical Drug Supply Program Management

ON WORKING AT ABBVIE “There is a cultural focus across AbbVie to always act in the best interest of our patients and that aligns perfectly with why I became a pharmacist. I also enjoy the opportunity to interact daily with highly educated and talented people of diverse scientific backgrounds. Over my career I

have learned a great deal from these people and they have helped me become a better pharmacist.” ON HIS UIC EDUCATION “The cumulative coursework and educational experiences I had at UIC have enabled me to exchange ideas with biologists, organic and analytical chemists, pharmacologists, pharmacokineticists, toxicologists and physicians of various specialties. The breadth of knowledge that my pharmacy education provided prepared me to practice in a diverse range of settings and that’s something I’ve been able to leverage over a 35year career.”

JENNIFER SAMP, PHARMD ’11, MS ’12, PHD ’17

Associate Scientific Director, Medical Affairs

ON WORKING AT ABBVIE “The most energizing part of my job is being able to help patients by generating scientific information for the medical community that ultimately informs treatment decisions and helps ensure that patients receive the best treatment for them.” ON HER UIC EDUCATION “My pharmacy degree gave me the clinical background necessary to understand clinical decisions, the healthcare system and the treatment journey for patients. My PhD was critical for giving me the needed tools to become a researcher, understanding how to formulate research questions to address problems and design studies that would address these gaps in knowledge. I also formed relationships with a strong network of alumni and faculty who provided support and guidance, exposed me to different career paths and opened doors to new opportunities.”

JAY DUHIG, PHD ’11

Director of Patient Integration

ON WORKING AT ABBVIE “My dad, Patrick Duhig RPH ’61, was a community pharmacist in Chicago for 47 years and I grew up watching him connect with hundreds, maybe thousands of people who came to him looking for advice. That’s something I’m now doing at a mass scale as a behavioral scientist at AbbVie. At the end of the day, these are real people using these medications and our team’s work is on being thorough and having a positive impact on their lives.” ON HIS UIC EDUCATION “I had a chance to work with so many different disciplines at UIC – doctors, nurses, pharmacists and more – and to experience a truly collaborative environment focused on how the medical system needs to work for patients. That’s something that has stayed with me and continues to inform my work today.”

CAROLINE PARK, PHARMD ’05

Senior Scientific Director, U.S. Medical Affairs

ON WORKING AT ABBVIE “The most thrilling part of my work is that we’re able to address problems and have a national impact on healthcare. We’re all marching toward the same vision, which, in the case of my team, is eliminating Hepatitis C in the U.S. Honestly, I never imagined I could do something like this in pharmacy school and it’s incredibly exciting to be in a position to change people’s lives.”

ON HER UIC EDUCATION “The biggest thing I learned as UIC was to be on a constant quest for knowledge, to keep learning. Because of UIC, I’m always looking for more information, always testing hypotheses and that continues to drive me here today.”

NELLA BARSHTEYN, PHARMD ’02, PHD

Manager, Global Labeling Strategy in Regulatory Affairs

ON WORKING AT ABBVIE “The best part about working at AbbVie is being involved in the crossfunctional process of label (or package insert) development. It’s exciting to think about how all the years of research that went into developing a drug are condensed onto a piece of paper. The label development process, whether it’s for a new drug or a marketed drug, is always intellectually stimulating.” ON HER UIC EDUCATION

“Fundamental understanding of drugs, dosage forms, PK parameters, drug interactions, human physiology and so much more prepared me for this role. Years of pharmacy school as well as graduate school and working as a pharmacist taught me to pay attention to detail, to be open to new insight from others and being able to work with different personalities.”

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On June 27 the UIC College of Pharmacy celebrated the retirement of Dr. Nicholas G. Popovich. In appreciation of the significant impact that Dr. Popovich has had on the profession and the lives of so many Pharmacists, Dr. Todd Chermak (PhD '09), and his wife Debbie, generously established the Professor Nicholas G. Popovich Endowed Scholarship Fund to honor this great educator while supporting current and future students. “Nick is both a great teacher and mentor to many students,” Chermak said, “which I believe is his greatest legacy. My wife and I wanted to make sure others have the same academic opportunities that I experienced, and I believe a scholarship in Dr. Popovich’s name is one of the best ways to honor his great legacy.”

“My students are my family too . . . . My goal was to get to know as many of them as I could. Some of them even call me dad!” DR. NICHOLAS POPOVICH

Though Dr. Popovich’s 50-year legacy has been filled with much success, when asked to reflect on his journey, he confessed his proudest moments are more personal. For example, in 1982, Dr. Popovich found out he did not get a promotion at Purdue University. When he told his wife about his rejection, she responded, “Kids, let’s tell dad how much we love him and how we’re proud of him.” Once his children told him they were proud of him, his sadness went away.


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“In that moment, I knew that it would be alright,” Popovich said. “Family is most important.” And with Dr. Popovich, everyone was family. “My students are my family too,” he said. “My goal was to get to know as many of them as I could. Some of them even call me dad!”

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As Associate Dean for Professional Development at the UIC College of Pharmacy he developed numerous programs, ranging from a NAPLEX review course to career development workshops. But Dr. Popovich always made time for his “children.” “So many students wanted me to be their advisor, which I, unfortunately, did not have the time to do,” he recounted. “But, I scheduled professional development lunches with them once a week, and sometimes I would bring in different friends who worked in different areas of pharmacy to show them that pharmacists have other opportunities outside of retail and academia.” And his efforts were richly rewarded. He received the Golden Apple Award, for outstanding teaching twice, the Pharmacist of the Year recognition from the Illinois Pharmacist Association in 2012, the Rufus A. Lyman Awards from the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education a record six times, and most recently, being honored by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Popovich left a tremendous impact on the lives and careers of a multitude of students, residents, fellows, faculty, and staff. “Teachers (like Nick) can have such a powerful impact on a student’s academic path and future,” Dr. Chermak said. “We hope that those who ultimately benefit from the scholarship will leave a memorable and positive mark in pharmacy and always remember Dr. Popovich as being part of that success.”

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) located 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 | shuba@uic.edu

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B Y D A N I E L P. S M I T H

TAIPEI CIT Y

The UIC College of Pharmacy’s longstanding relationship with National Taiwan University has elevated Though separated by some 7,500 miles, the UIC College of Pharmacy and National Taiwan University (NTU) maintain a close, intimate bond, one forged over nearly two decades of interaction and formally solidified by a 2007 gift from veteran pharmaceutical executive Jane Hsiao, PhD ’73.

Empowered by the gift, one explicitly designed to help NTU develop a PharmD program, UIC shared details of its curriculum, held pharmacotherapy and clinical teaching skill workshops and welcomed 14 clinical preceptors from NTU’s hospital to UIC for a six-month training program.

With UIC’s support, NTU established Taiwan’s first PharmD program, laying the groundwork for an evergrowing array of academic and clinical opportunities that have enhanced patient care, ignited new opportunities and modernized clinical pharmacy practice in the Asian nation.

The College’s partnership with NTU has further solidified UIC’s global reputation as a leader in clinical pharmacy education and practice.

“NTU is a trailblazer and we’re proud to be a part of their story,” says Dr. Alan Lau, professor emeritus and director of International Clinical Pharmacy Education at UIC. Developing a beneficial relationship Two decades ago, Lau participated in a national pharmacy conference in Taiwan, a trip that brought him onto the campus of NTU, Taiwan’s most prestigious public university and one of the globe’s top-ranked institutions of higher learning. As Lau maintained communications with NTU faculty and students following his visit and later connected personnel at the two schools together, a deeper relationship blossomed. “Over time, we got to know each another well and saw the benefits of being engaged with one another,” Lau says, noting that UIC has long valued international allies, holding established partnerships with the likes of Peking Union Medical College in Beijing and the National University of Singapore. UIC’s decade-long informal relationship with NTU transformed into a formal partnership in 2007 when Hsiao, an NTU graduate herself, established the Jane H. Hsiao National Taiwan University Doctorate Development Fund at UIC.

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Given rising momentum in Taiwan for the nation’s pharmacists to play a more clinical role in drug therapy, UIC’s ties to NTU have only deepened in subsequent years. UIC faculty have helped NTU update course content, served as speakers at NTU-hosted symposiums on clinical practice and leadership in pharmacy practice, run programs on clinical teaching skills and propelled the development of NTU’s community pharmacy program. UIC also helped NTU open Taiwan’s first operating room pharmacy, which included training NTU pharmacists at UIC hospital and clinics, while UIC personnel also advised on the launch of an anticoagulation clinic at NTU that currently provides training to pharmacists across Taiwan. “They are doers at NTU, and they’ve taken what they’ve learned to improve clinical pharmacy practice, education and patient care,” says Dr. Jan Engle, UIC’s senior associate dean responsible for International Affairs, and now Executive Director of Accreditation at ACPE. “There’s been commitment on both sides to making this a true partnership so that we’re all making a difference.” Dr. Fe-Lin Lin Wu, an associate professor at the NTU School of Pharmacy, says UIC has made a “tremendous contribution” to transforming pharmacy education at NTU.


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A model for other international partnerships The success of UIC’s partnership with NTU has fueled the College of Pharmacy to more intentionally develop collaborations with other international partners, stimulating relationships with institutions in more than a dozen countries, including Thailand, Malta and the Philippines. “Part of our mission is to serve society, and that service isn’t limited to the Chicago area,” UIC College of Pharmacy Dean Dr. Glen Schumock says. “Our relationship with NTU has helped us better identify the value we can bring to these relationships.” With NTU, Lau says UIC has been able to inspire global pharmacy leaders by advancing education, practice and scholarship to drive improved patient care.

“We’ve been able to help transform clinical pharmacy practice and have a lasting impact on people at the professional and personal level,” he says, adding that UIC’s ties to NTU have also spurred a much broader view of pharmacy practice and education that has enriched and affirmed the work of faculty and students at both institutions. “There have certainly been opportunities to learn from each other.”

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“The training at UIC is an eye-opening and mindopening journey for all the pharmacists and students from NTU,” Wu says. “With many pharmacists facing the same direction, we can then create a vision, light the platform and build a bridge.”

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Yet more, the College’s partnership with NTU has further solidified UIC’s global reputation as a leader in clinical pharmacy education and practice. By helping institutions develop their pharmacy curriculums to teaching, speaking and consulting, UIC has raised its international profile and created a level of international partnering and impact matched by few of its U.S. peers. “Where we see an opportunity make an impact – to improve health, educate and drive the level of care pharmacists can provide to their patients – then we’re going to do that, and our partnership with NTU stands a wonderful example of that,” Schumock says.

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Rockford Reaches

Pharmacy’s Next at Summer

‘Summer Pharmacy Institute’ Opens Eyes for Pharmacy’s Next Every summer, the UIC Rockford campus makes a big investment in pharmacy’s future. The school’s Summer Pharmacy Institute (SPI) welcomes some of the country’s most promising undergraduate students considering health care, hosting them in a weeklong, intensive exploration of the profession.

For many students, the biggest lesson from SPI is that the world of pharmacy extends far beyond the gleaming-white walls of their local Walgreens. SPI makes a concerted effort to ensure that students learn, yes, about retail pharmacy, but also hospital pharmacy, ambulatory care, and research and development.

Led by UIC Pharmacy faculty dedicated to giving these enthusiastic students a hands-on, immersive pharmacy experience, the institute benefits future pharmacists, the field in general – and UIC in particular, said UIC Rockford College of Pharmacy Vice Dean Dr. Kevin Rynn. This year, the institute’s fourth, SPI expanded to two weeklong sessions, with a total of 50 attendees (double previous years). Students now come from across the country, including 20 from Puerto Rico and some from as far as California.

“So many people think that it’s just retail — Walgreens, CVS. But there are so many other career opportunities,” said Cindi Schaefer, MEd, a UIC Rockford Student Program Advisor, who works on the institute. “Students had an eye-opening experience because they got to see all of the different career paths.”

“We’re doing it, I think, as a service to the profession in trying to attract more people to pharmacy,” Rynn said. “But we’re also doing it to attract people to UIC College of Pharmacy. … We’re always trying to get the best and brightest to come to pharmacy school here.” When Rynn and other UIC faculty interact with SPI attendees, however, the professors’ focus is on helping the students understand the profession. “I tend try to take off my UIC hat at that point,” Rynn said.

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This year’s two sessions ran June 3-7 and July 22-26, with different UIC Pharmacy faculty heading each day. Area pharmacy professionals also lead sessions, and current PharmD candidates serve as interns, giving attendees a first-hand perspective on what pharmacy school is like. As in other years, the first day covered community and retail pharmacy, while the second day focused on ambulatory care, with talks on HIV advances and activities in immunization. Day 3 took on research, including a tour of Thermo-Fisher and a hands-on compounding-lab experience. Both weeks finished up with experiential sessions, RPharm and pharmacy school admission, as students saw presentations on admissions and “How to Be Successful in Pharmacy School.”


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“A lot of the students … did not even realize that was an opportunity for them within pharmacy,” said Schaefer. "It was really just eye-opening for them to see that they could still do hard-science stuff.”

SPI seems to accomplish its main goal, too, of helping students choose a career path, with statements like “I have a better understanding of the pharmacy profession” earning 4s and 5s out of 5 in feedback.

The program gets a lot of support from the Rockford community, too, with area pharmacy professionals coming in to engage with students. The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois additionally funds housing for students from outside the area and subsidizes tuition costs for local participants.

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The institute collects participant feedback, too, and students have frequently echoed that “eye-opening” part. “Overall, I learned A LOT,” said one. “This definitely showed me many things I never knew/heard about pharmacy.” Another called it a “very fun & eye-opening experience.”

That positive experience traces, in large part, to UIC faculty’s dedication to introducing participants to pharmacy, Clarizio said. “It’s really great that faculty are interacting with the students,” she said. “It shows that our faculty are interested in giving back to prospective students and future pharmacists or future health care providers, because they’re just so passionate about it.”

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Many students, too, are excited to learn about the research opportunities with a pharmacy degree, Schaefer said.

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“They were able to see how the drug is compounded and then the delivery of the drug and then practice how they would give it to the patient,” she said. “That one seemed to be a standout session.”

P2, Phoebe Phoebe Kunjara Na Ayudhya, a 2022 UIC PharmD candidate and an SPI intern who attended SPI herself, agreed that the experience eases the decisionmaking process. “I attended SPI knowing I wanted to pursue pharmacy, but I really felt like being there and experiencing it solidified my decision,” she said.

“To me that just proves that the community itself … believes in the program and believes in the UIC College of Pharmacy,” Clarizio said. Advance the profession through leadership and advocacy

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Usually, some of the most popular activities have given participants hands-on experience, said Katie Clarizio, UIC College of Pharmacy recruiter who works on the program. In one session, students made IV in the compounding lab and then tried injecting it into an orange.

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Though located some 800 miles apart, the UIC College of Pharmacy and the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, share many similarities.

Both pharmacy schools sport high national rankings, robust post-graduate programs and active research and clinical faculties, realities that attract top students year after year. Among the oldest and largest pharmacy schools in the U.S., both UIC and Rutgers claim extensive alumni networks and graduates involved across the pharmaceutical ecosystem. Both state universities are also located in major metropolitan areas with direct access to industry giants such as AbbVie, Astellas, Pfizer and Merck among others for partnerships, training opportunities and more. Dig beyond the basic factoids, however, and deeper, stronger ties between the two institutions begin to blossom, including a long and storied history of students, alumni, residents and fellows moving between the two schools to enhance their skill sets and fuel their professional futures. Take Dr. Joe Barone, RES ’82. Barone was the first resident in emergency medicine at UIC, where one of his preceptors was Dr. Jerry Bauman, the dean of UIC’s College of Pharmacy from 20072017. When Barone completed his residency at UIC in 1982, Bauman encouraged him to pursue a tenuretrack position in emergency medicine at Rutgers.

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An instrumental figure at Rutgers over the last 37 years, and the school’s dean since 2013, Barone spearheaded the launch of an emergency medicine program as well as a clinical program at Rutgers, both of which he modeled heavily after UIC. The interdisciplinary nature of Rutgers’ clinical program, for instance, mimics Barone’s valuable experience as a UIC resident. “There were little nuggets and behaviors I picked up as a resident and connections I built at UIC that helped me form these programs and, quick frankly, do my job better,” Barone says. Dr. Kevin Rynn, RES ’93, FEL ’94, Clinical Professor and Vice Dean, earned his pharmacy degree from Rutgers in 1990. Interested in emergency medicine training, Barone urged Rynn to consider UIC, where Rynn completed a two-year fellowship in emergency medicine and toxicology followed by a five-year run as a clinical faculty member on the West Side. Rynn later joined the faculty at Rutgers before returning to UIC in 2017 to lead the College of Pharmacy’s Rockford campus. “My early experiences at Rutgers and UIC helped me develop a large network of colleagues and mentors that opened doors that might not have otherwise existed,” Rynn says. Over the years, others have similarly leveraged their experiences at both heralded institutions to tackle new professional opportunities, sharpen their clinical skills and improve patient care.


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The training at both UIC and Rutgers is impeccable, but beyond that there’s a drive, grit and street smarts prevalent at both institutions. DR. JOE BARONE RES ’82

Following pharmacy school at UIC, Claire Dybala, PharmD ’99 enjoyed a one-year fellowship at Rutgers where she conducted market research for Ortho Biotech, a Johnson & Johnson company. Now leading Takeda’s Account Medical Lead Team, she calls her UIC-Rutgers experience “a one-two punch” that helped her develop creative solutions and make sound professional decisions. “Both experiences expanded my knowledge of the industry so that I could see different perspectives – the science and the business aspects – when trying to solve a problem,” Dybala says. Like Dybala, Diane Javier, PharmD ’14 followed her UIC studies with a fellowship at Rutgers, a one-year run in regulatory affairs at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Currently a senior specialty sales rep with Amgen, one of the world’s leading biotech enterprises, Javier credits the richness and depth of her experiences at UIC and Rutgers for enabling her to move from regulatory to medical to commercial over her early professional years. “That’s not a journey I would’ve been able to navigate without these two institutions providing me the skills and flexibility to succeed in an evolving industry,”

she says. “Both schools supported my professional development in an unparalleled academic environment.” After earning his PharmD from Rutgers in 2001, Dr. Philippe Mentler, RES ’02 ventured to UIC for his PGY1 before returning to Rutgers for his PGY2 residency. While Rutgers provided a strong scientific foundation, UIC heightened Mentler’s clinical skills, complementary experiences that empowered him to later create emergency medicine programs in California and North Carolina before entering the clinical consulting ranks with Vizient, a group purchasing organization. “Because of my education at Rutgers and UIC, people knocked on my door with opportunities,” Mentler says. “I’m not where I am without Rutgers and UIC.” Renee Petzel Gimbar, PharmD ’04, RES ’05 followed her PGY1 residency at UIC with a PGY2 residency in emergency medicine at Rutgers under Rynn. At Rutgers, Gimbar found faculty willing to push her more because of her UIC background.

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“They knew I had the tools to take on challenging tasks,” she says. “Being pushed in that way just made me an even better clinician and brought more tools into my toolbox.”

And the synergies continue. Barone consistently directs Rutgers pharmacy students to UIC for post-graduate work while four of the New Jersey school’s current industry fellows hold PharmD degrees from UIC.

Gimbar now employs that vast skill set at UIC, where she serves as an emergency department clinical pharmacist. Her husband, Dr. Matt Gimbar, a 2007 Rutgers PharmD alumnus, joined her at UIC as well. The Associate Director of Hospital Pharmacy Operations at UIC, he, too, notes an important tie between the two institutions.

“The training at both UIC and Rutgers is impeccable, but beyond that there’s a drive, grit and street smarts prevalent at both institutions,” Barone says. “Those who experience training at both institutions come out that much more prepared to be successful in today’s complex, competitive healthcare environment and that’s something we should all be proud of.”

“There’s a mentality at both schools that good isn’t good enough, that you need to strive for success,” he says.

COMPLEMENTARY EDUCATION:

How pharmacy education at UIC and Rutgers has powered professional lives Though claiming distinct experiences, both Drs. Vin Kalathiveetil, PharmD ’05 and Jeffrey Mucksavage, RES ’01, FEL ’02 are quick to credit their studies at the UIC College of Pharmacy and Rutgers University’s Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy for propelling their professional lives. Currently an independent strategy consultant working with several large pharmaceutical corporations and universities, Kalathiveetil says his UIC education exposed him to “the language of pharmacy,” foundational building blocks that proved advantageous when he marched into one-year, post-graduate fellowship at Rutgers working in market research and business analytics at Tibotec Therapeutics, a division of Johnson & Johnson. “UIC provided the valuable technical knowledge, while Rutgers then expounded upon that knowledge, translating it within the corporate environment,” he says. “Those two experiences enabled me to step into different professional roles before spinning off and becoming an independent consultant.” After earning his PharmD from Rutgers in 2000, where he studied under current UIC College of Pharmacy administrator Dr. Kevin Rynn, Mucksavage ventured to UIC for a PGY1 residency at Rynn’s encouragement – though Mucksavage recalls it didn’t take much convincing. “When I saw what Kevin was doing, how hands on he was with pharmacy and the pharmacists, I was blown away by it and knew I wanted to gain those skills, too,” he says. Mucksavage followed his PGY1 residency with a PGY2 year in critical care at UIC. Thereafter, he joined the UIC faculty, where he has remained and currently serves in the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit as a clinical pharmacist. “Rutgers provided the theoretical knowledge and UIC gave me the clinical piece to round it all out,” Mucksavage says. “Having these two experiences put it all together for me, helping me improve patient care and preparing me to tackle any clinical problems I encounter.”

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A Coat, A Career, A Calling On August 22, the UIC College of Pharmacy Class of 2023 took the Oath of the Pharmacist during our annual White Coat Ceremony. Alumni in Chicago and Rockford helped to welcome the incoming class. Chicago alumni coaters were: Sarah Ashrafi, PharmD ’98; Dustin Cavida, PharmD ’15; Norm Garges, PharmD ’93; Bob Heyman, BS ’52; Serin Homsi, PharmD ’18; Mark Jao, PharmD ’19; Richard John McKenna, PharmD ’92; Nicole Salata, PharmD ’10; Larry Sanchez, PharmD ’18; Nancy Silva, BS ’86; and Michelle Smith, PharmD ’19. The Rockford campus featured alumni coaters: Kourtney Fermanich, PharmD ’17; Amolee Patel, PharmD ’19 and Tom Warzecha, BS, ’83. The ceremony was graciously sponsored by Jewel-Osco.

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ALUMNI PROFILE

Rachel O’Koren Succeeded by Saying Yes A Winding Path Can Be the Most Rewarding, Rachel O’Koren Says RAC

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From shepherding innovative pharmacy technologies to launching Walgreens’ massive immunization program, Dr. Rachel O’Koren’s career has been as varied as it is impressive. Now directing Walgreens’ Office of Clinical Integrity, O’Koren, PharmD ’02, credits both her success and her winding path to a willingness to say yes to new challenges. “I wouldn’t have predicted the path that I had. …I worked a little in program development, pharmacy operations, specialty pharmacy — kind of all over the place,” she said. “My advice would be when presented with an opportunity that's new or not really well-defined, to go ahead and jump in. … Some of the best experiences you can have are the ones you can shape yourself.” Perhaps the biggest project O’Koren jumped into came when a group of Seattle Walgreens pharmacists wanted to deliver immunizations. She led that pilot program, then took on expanding the practice company- and nation-wide. “Literally, we had nothing, so I had to put together policies, procedures, training plans, building out how we’re going to buy vaccines …really from the ground up,” she said.

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FALL 2019

Today, O’Koren sees that work as a legacy, with over 27,000 pharmacists trained and over 9 million vaccines administered yearly. “It’s a program that I don’t think will go away. … That’s pretty rewarding to see.”

“ My advice would be when presented with an opportunity that’s new or not really well-defined, to go ahead and jump in. … Some of the best experiences you can have are the ones you can shape yourself.” O’Koren started her Walgreens career building clinical programs for specialty pharmacy diseases, before overseeing patient care centers. After running the immunization program, she developed Walgreens’ medication therapy management program, built up adherence programs and managed accountable care efforts. In her current role, she ensures clinical programs’ quality of care. Through her winding path, O’Koren’s stayed true to her original goals of helping patients, she said. “I’m not seeing patients one on one, but I can do a lot more from a population-health perspective now.”


ALUMNI PROFILE

Inspired by UIC Professors, Caitlyn Solem Rose Quickly at Pharmerit YN

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Solem, MS ’08, PhD ’10, first encountered Pharmerit, a health economics and outcomes consultancy, during a fellowship sponsored by UIC and Novo Nordisk. As one of her projects, she reviewed a paper prepared by Pharmerit. Following her preceptor’s instructions, she treated it like her professors treated her work.

trying to say, and then working with them on how best to measure that,” she said.

Hired initially as a scientist at Pharmerit, Solem rose to senior scientist and lead scientist positions, becoming associate director within four years.

Hired initially as a scientist at Pharmerit, Solem rose to senior scientist and lead scientist positions, becoming associate director within four years. Next came senior and executive director positions. “So it’s been roughly a promotion per year, which has been really, really nice,” she said.

“I sent back very much a bleeding document,” Solem said. “It had a lot of edits.” That “bloody” paper first alarmed Pharmerit partner Marc Botteman — he thought they might be angry with him — then impressed him. He had a job waiting for Solem when she graduated. Now an executive director at Pharmerit, Solem manages projects helping pharma companies develop studies to support their medications. She also jumps in to work on the projects directly, leveraging her background in and love for healtheconomics and -outcomes research and statistics. “It’s a lot of trying to help pharmaceutical companies…figure out what are they

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Dr. Caitlyn Solem’s fast rise at Pharmerit began with a lesson from her UIC professors: Edit vigorously

Solem’s career has grown quickly, alongside the company. “At the time I joined, there were around 20 people on, so everyone was doing everything,” she said. “And it was really exciting. It was going through a period of a lot of change.”

Along the way, Solem took leadership roles at the company's new centers for excellence, starting with the real-world evidence/data analytics center in 2016 and taking over the patient-centered outcomes center in 2018. (She handed off data-analytics leadership this year.)

’10

A lot of Solem’s work involves training, advising and mentoring other researchers, which she calls one of the most rewarding parts of her job. “It's just kind of seeing the progression of people that I've been able to mentor also succeed in their own ways,” she said. And aside from those early lessons in red-filled edits, UIC helped make Solem's career trajectory possible, she said. “I got to see a lot of passionate researchers, and that made me want to do the same,” she said. “That really drove me to my career.”

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ALUMNI PROFILE

KUDOS Mohammed Ahmed, PharmD ’16, started a new position as Advisor, Pharmacy Operations at CVS Health. Carmen Aceves, BS ’77, was awarded the Bowl of Hygeia Award for the state of Florida. Sarah Banday, PharmD ’18, started a new position as Clinical Pharmacist (Clinical Care Service/Transitions of Care) at Comprehensive Pharmacy Services.

Trevor Christ, PharmD ’13, is now a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at Rush University Medical Center.

Miriam Mobley Smith, PharmD ’95, was

appointed by Governor Pritzker to the Board of Trustees of Chicago State University. She spent eight years at the Chicago State University College of Pharmacy, ultimately servings as Dean. Prior, Mobley Smith spent 13 years as a clinical faculty member and eventually the Director of Experiential Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy. She has received numerous professional and civic awards including the 2013 Illinois Pharmacists Association “Pharmacist of the Year”, 2013 Fellow of the American Society of HealthSystem Pharmacists, and 2012 National Pharmaceutical Association’s Chauncey I. Cooper Award.

Paula Bielnicka, PharmD ’18, started a new position as a Clinical Staff Pharmacist & Outpatient Anticoagulation Pharmacist at Swedish Covenant Hospital. Anna (Cao) Block, PharmD ’14, started a new position as Clinical Staff Pharmacist at Kindred Healthcare.

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Rosemary (Pfau) Geier, PharmD ’14, married Lucas Geier on September 9, 2018. The happy couple resides in Denver, CO.

Colleen Murray, PharmD ’12, married Eric Cappelli on February 9, 2019, in Negril, Jamaica. The couple are planning a formal honeymoon around their one-year anniversary.

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George Carro, BS ’77, Senior Director of Oncology Pharmacy Services at NorthShore University Health System, was selected to receive the 2019 Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA) Award of Excellence. This top honor is awarded to a hematology/oncology pharmacy pioneer who has provided excellent leadership in developing and supporting hematology/oncology pharmacy and has made a significant, sustained contribution to this field.

Suchi Gandhi, PharmD ’12, was promoted to Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Supervisor at Providence St. Joseph Health in Orange County, CA. Kyle Gordon, PharmD ’14, is now a Board Certified Critical Care Pharmacist (BCCCP). He was also appointed to the board of Utah Poison Control. Rosemary (Pfau) Geier, PharmD ’14, is now a Clinical Manager for Enclara Pharmacia.

Patrice Davis, PharmD ’17, is now a Pharmacist at OSF HealthCare.

Radhika (Mehta) Gomez, PharmD ’15, started a new position as Promotional Review Advisor at Syneos Health, a full service provider to Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Carolyn Dewart, PharmD ’15, was promoted to Clinical Services Supervising Consultative Pharmacist at Humana.

Diane Javier, PharmD ’15, started a new position as Senior Specialty Sales Representative, Oncology at Eli Lilly & Company.

Kendall (Buchmiller) Dunlap, PharmD ’16, started a new role as an Assistant Scientific Director with the US Medical Affairs Rheumatology team at AbbVie.

Jenny Le, PharmD ’16, is now a Board Certified Ambulatory Care Pharmacist.

Moses Dunson, PharmD ’11, started a new position as Clinical Pharmacist at University of Chicago. Lauren Endriukaitis, PharmD ’17, started a new position as Clinical Assistant Professor/Clinical Pharmacist of Drug Information at UIC. Sviatlana (Sveta) Ferri, PharmD ’17, was promoted to Medical Director, US Medical Affairs, Internal Medicine at Pfizer.

FEB

Brittany Lee, PharmD ’17, started a new position as Clinical Pharmacist, Drug Information at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Yijia Luo, PharmD ’15, has been promoted to Senior Manager, Global Regulatory Affairs Development – Neuroscience at Takeda. Gerald Mosak, BS ’63, started a new position as Pharmacist at Pharmacist at Ready Care Pharmacy in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area.

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Nadine Isho, PharmD ’14, married Melad Qodsi on February 16, 2019. The newlyweds honeymooned in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.

Bonnie Vu, PharmD ’14, married Jimmy Seto on February 16, 2019, in Phuket, Thailand. The newlyweds honeymooned in Cambodia and Vietnam The couple both work for Walgreens and live in San Francisco, California.

Bolu Oladini, PharmD ’18, married Titi Bakare on May 5, 2019. The newlyweds honeymooned in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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speaker at Touro College of Pharmacy in Harlem and was awarded an honorary doctorate of science. Dr. Manasse urged the graduates to “embrace the biological and genetic revolution” taking place in the understanding and treatment of disease and drug action, safety and effectiveness. “We will likely get to a point where an individual’s genetic map

Colleen Murray, PharmD ’12, started a new position as a Prior Authorization Clinical Pharmacist at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Diana Nowicki, PharmD ’18, is now a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist (BCPS). Arturo Ortega, PharmD ’13, started a new position as Clinical Site Manager at Genoa Healthcare. Kevin Pacheco, PharmD ’10, started a new position as Pharmacy Residency Coordinator at AdventHealth Central Florida. He also started an additional position as Career Coach, Mentor at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. Kripa Patel, PharmD ’16, is now a Board Certified Critical Care Pharmacist (BCCCP).

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Kevin Meyer, PharmD ’19, married Emily Seifert on May 18, 2019. The happy couple honeymooned in the Dominican Republic and recently moved to Indianapolis

will dictate the drug to be used and the dose… There will be ethical [and] financial challenges regarding access, affordability and sustainability,” he said, adding it will be important for the graduates to “work towards greater autonomy of scientific and professional decision-making” and be accountable for their work. “Practice at the level of your education and training, not only to the level of your license. Creatively use the tension at the interface of law and practice as a catalyst for change. Society needs you to do this,” said Dr. Manasse.

Mark Pilkington, BS ’84, MS ’88, started a new position as Vice President, Managed Care at AmerisourceBergen. Elmor Pineda, PharmD ’17, started a new position as Associate Health Economist, Evidence for Access at Genentech. Jelena Saric, PharmD ’16, was named the 2018-2019 Residency Clinical Staff Preceptor of the Year at Rush University Medical Center. Daniel A. Seckler, BS ’66, was awarded a Commemorative Pharmacist Permit by the Florida Board of Pharmacy for being a Florida Registered Pharmacist for 50 years. The award was presented at the Florida Pharmacy Association Annual Meeting and included a Lifetime Membership in the Association. Daniel continues to serve the elderly in Florida as a Long Term Care Consultant Pharmacist with Senior Care Consultant Group, LLC Tallahassee, Florida.

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Juanita Bruce, PharmD ’14, married Jarvis Jackson on May 27, 2019, in the Dominican Republic.

ALUMNI NEWS

Henri Manasse, BS ’68, was the keynote

Dharmi Shah, PharmD ’19, started a new position as Adjunct Faculty, Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University. In addition, she also started her Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Global Regulatory Affairs – Labeling at Sanofi. Rina Shah, PharmD ’05, traveled to Qingdao, Shandong to speak at the China Retail Pharmacy Annual Conference and the First China Specialty Development Forum. Shan Xing, PhD ’17, starting a new position as Associate Director in Outcomes Research and Data Science at Takeda. Vladimir Yurukov, PharmD ’18, accepted a position at California Health Sciences University (CHSU) as an Assistant Professor.

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Albert Mei, PharmD ’17, and Connie He, PharmD ’16, got married on June 22, 2019. The newlyweds honeymooned in Bali..

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Rene Williams, PharmD ’17, married Michael Rabaza on July 16, 2019.

Phil Hodur, PharmD ’16, and Dawn Hyatt, PharmD ’17, got married on April 27, 2019, in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. Marc McDowell, PharmD ’14 and Clare Kane, PharmD ’15, to married on Saturday, June 1. Noha Mohamed, PharmD ’19, married Ibrahim Haridy on June 7, 2019. The couple honeymooned in Costa Rica.

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ALUMNI NEWS

BABIES Ali Alobaidi, PharmD ’18, and Zaynab Wahbi, welcomed daughter Lily into the world on May 31 at 7:37 a.m. She weighed 7 lbs and was 20 inches long. Ed Cohen, BS ’75, became a grandfather for the first time. Ed’s son Steven and his wife Teddy welcomed son, Levi William Cohen on July 4. Levi weighed in at 8 lb and 2 ½ oz. Stephanie (Williams) Crosby, PharmD ’10, and husband Thomas, welcomed their second child, son Taron Jameson into the world on June 25. Weighing in at 8 lbs 4 oz, Taron joins big brother Liam, age two.

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Dipa (Shah) DenOuden, PharmD ’14, and husband Christian DenOuden, welcomed their second child, Leo Chrisitan on July 19, 2019. Leo joins big sister, Lyla, age 2. Brennan Ertmer, PharmD ’11, and his wife Kari, welcomed their first child, daughter Laila Ann on May 2, 2019. She

Donald Iglinksi, BS ’58, passed away May 14, 2019.

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Kendall (Buchmiller) Dunlap, PharmD ’16, and husband Jason, welcomed their second child, son Jack, on March 14, 2018.

Bruce Kimble, BS ’68, PharmD ’94, passed away May 30, 2019. Diane Fisher, BS ’74, MS ’79, passed away June 24, 2019.

FALL 2019

weighed 6 lb, 2 oz and was 19 inches long. Jennifer (Chan) Kim, PharmD ’09, and husband Eugene, welcomed their first child, Alexander, on June 15. Oksana Kucher, PharmD ’16, and Alex Baranovski, welcomed their first child on May 19. Emma Nataliya Baranovski weighed 8 lb, 7oz and was 19 inches long.

John Woon, PharmD ’95, passed away April 18, 2019. John received a B.S. degree in pharmacy from the University of Montana in 1980 and a Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of Illinois in Chicago in 1995. John worked in several positions throughout his Pharmacy career including Montana Deaconess Medical Center (now called Benefis Healthcare System), the Oregon Health Sciences University, Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, and Providence Health

Tatyana (Lawrecki) Laureto, PharmD ’10, and husband Thomas welcomed their first child, Anthony Jacob on June 9 at 1:18 a.m. weighing 7 lb, 13 oz and 20 inches long. Laurie (Kania) Noschese, PharmD ’12, and husband Ricky welcomed their second child, son Jacob (Jake) Richard on April 24. Jake weighed 7 lb, 4 oz and was 20 inches long. Jake joins big sister, Abby, age 2 ½. Dana Schmelzer, PharmD ’19, and husband Nolan, welcomed their second child, daughter Abigail Rose, on May 12, 2019. She joins big sister Emily, age 2.

System. He served as Pharmacy Services Project Lead for Legacy Health System in the construction and opening of Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital in Vancouver, Washington. John was also employed by Idaho State University College of Pharmacy as a clinical instructor at Kootenai Medical Center in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and concluded his career with Providence Health and Services as a Senior EPIC Analyst.


ALUMNI NEWS

Ask an Alumnus Dan Salemi ’80 Group Vice President, Pharmacy Services Albertsons Companies Dan Salemi, RPh., is currently Group Vice President of Pharmacy Services for Albertsons Companies. In this role, he is responsible for managed care contracting, pharmacy systems, pharmacy procurement, specialty pharmacy, and pharmacy compliance for the more than 1,700 Albertsons Companies community pharmacies across the U.S. Dan is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Pharmacy and has attended the University of Southern California Executive Development Program for Health Professionals. He has nearly 40 years of experience in the pharmacy industry, holding numerous management roles since joining Osco Drug as a staff Pharmacist in Elgin, IL in 1980. Previous roles include President of the Pharmacy Division, Vice President of Managed Care, and co-General Manager of the RxAmerica Pharmacy Benefits Management group. Dan is a recipient of IQVIA’s Bernie Greenberg Pharmacy Partnership Award from NACDS, Albertsons Eagle Award for Leadership, and the IMS HEALTH Pharmacy Partnership Award. He participates on a number of industry advisory boards and is a member of the National Association of Chain Drugstores Foundation (NACDS) Board of Directors.

Q A

As a Pharmacist, how can I best prepare to adapt to the inevitable changes ahead in the next 20 years?

I see major changes taking place in the community pharmacy space - all centered around pharmacists becoming more involved in patient care than ever before. I think our pharmacists should prepare for a world where pharmacies become destinations for people seeking health and wellness care and are no longer places patients simply fill prescriptions.

Q A

What excites you about the profession of pharmacy?

As our population continues to age, our current health care system will be pressured. This means pharmacists will need to be more and more involved in the coordination of care for the patient. What excites me are the endless opportunities to expand the pharmacist’s scope of practice to address this need in our communities.

Q A

What are you working on right now and what have you learned from it?

One of the most important things that I’m involved in right now is monitoring the regulatory environment and strategizing on how the changes will impact our pharmacies. The two major topics we’re focusing on that could immediately impact community pharmacy are DIR Reform and the Trump Administration’s efforts to lower drug costs for the

patient. What I’ve learned throughout this process is that the pharmacy profession needs to be more involved in educating legislators about the industry.

Q A

How does your pharmacy degree inform your leadership style?

Although I’m in charge of running a business, I never forget that taking care of the patient is the number one priority.

Q A

What was the most important lesson that you learned as a Pharmacy student?

Knowledge of pharmaceuticals is a critical skill needed to be a pharmacist, but I learned early on that it is equally important to be able to communicate with patients, doctors, and other members of the health care team.

Q A

What words of wisdom would you share with current students?

I would tell current students to stay in tune with the political landscape impacting healthcare and get involved. Regulatory laws directly impact them and their patients. I would also add what I tell my own children, "every day is a job interview.”

Q A

What does it mean to you to be an alumnus of the UIC College of Pharmacy?

I'm proud to have graduated from a program that is ranked so high in curriculum and for the quality of their faculty and students. I have many fond memories of attending UIC College of pharmacy, including meeting many lifelong friends and my wife, Carla.

Q A

What motivates you to support the College?

As a member of the pharmacy community, I feel a responsibility to help the college continue its mission and help foster our future pharmacists. I’m excited to see what new contributions are made by future UIC graduates.

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You are creating opportunities for our students! A Life-changing education. Life-changing opportunities MADE possible by YOU! Gifts from generous alumni and friends are the backbone of a UIC College of Pharmacy education. Investments from alumni, friends, and partners are making enriching opportunities in and outside of the classroom possible.

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Did you know? Last year, 366 donors contributed $5,057,598 in support for our mission and the students with whom we serve. Monthly support for to the UIC College of Pharmacy’s Deans Fund for Excellence or General Scholarship Fund provides valuable support that ensures our legacy of shaping the Pharmacy leaders of tomorrow continues.

Would you be willing to help by making a monthly gift this year? Your support ensures our excellence, providing our margin of excellence, ensuring support for student scholarships and programs as well as research and enrichment activities such as participation and presentations at both regional and national conferences.

$10/month $25/month

will provide valuable support for a student organization

will enable us to schedule a student bus trip to a pharmaceutical partner or enrichment event

$50/month $100+/month

will expand our existing scholarship support

will support student travel to a national conference

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO MAKE A MONTHLY OR ONE-TIME GIFT IN SUPPORT OF CURRENT STUDENTS, PLEASE VISIT GIVING.PHARMACY.UIC.EDU. TO DISCUSS CONTRIBUTING TO OUR IGNITE CAMPAIGN OR ANY QUESTIONS

COLLEGE OF PHARMACY

THAT YOU MAY HAVE, PLEASE CONTACT ASSOCIATE DEAN OF ADVANCEMENT, BEN STICKAN, 312-639-9069 OR BSTICKAN@UIC.EDU.

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COLLEGE OF PHARMACY UIC College of Pharmacy 833 S. Wood St. (MC 874) Chicago, Illinois 60612

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The Pharmacists - Fall 2019