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PHARMACIST SUMMER 2014 | Volume 37 | Number 1

Rockford’s “pioneers” graduate 1

IN THIS ISSUE | A tipping point | The new independents | A hazy outlook

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For further information, please visit

In This Issue A Tipping Point 24 Obamacare may be a game-changer for the pharmacy profession.

The New Independents 28 After years of declining numbers, independent pharmacies have stabilized and, some believe, are poised for a renaissance.

A Hazy Outlook 32 Medical marijuana becomes legal in Illinois next year. What that means for the state’s pharmacists is still unclear.

The New Independents, 28

In Every Issue From the Dean




Lab Notes


Rising Stars


Faculty Fanfare


Rockford Files




Class Notes


Obituaries 40

On the Cover The college celebrates a historic event in its history, the first graduating class from the Rockford campus.

The Tipping Point, 24


Editorial Credits Summer 2014 Publisher Jerry L. Bauman,bs ’76, pharmd Dean Editors Jessica A. Canlas Associate Director of Communications Christopher J. Shoemaker, med, mba, cfre Assistant Dean for Advancement & Alumni Affairs Managing Editor Rachel P. Farrell Contributing Editors Sonya Booth Hugh M. Cook Sam Hostettler Daniel P. Smith Photography Joshua Clark Barry Donald Roberta Dupuis-Devlin Richard Foertsch GuidoPauli Designer Kimberly A. Hegarty College of Pharmacy Administrative Officers Department Heads William Beck, phd Biopharmaceutical Sciences Judy Bolton, phd Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy

Find us online

Glen Schumock, pharmd, mba ’94, phd ’12 Pharmacy Systems, Outcomes, and Policy

Vice Dean, Rockford Regional Program David W. Bartels, pharmd

Executive Associate Dean Janet Engle, pharmd ’85

Associate Deans Clara Awe, phd, edd Diversity Affairs

Marieke Schoen, pharmd ’88 Academic Affairs Steven M. Swanson, phd ’90 Research Thomas TenHoeve III, phd Student Affairs Assistant Deans Debra Agard, pharmd ’92, mhpe Student Affairs

Our digital edition find at

Suzanne Rabi, pharmd Academic Affairs


UIC Pharmacist 833 S. Wood St. (MC 874) Chicago, IL 60612 Phone: (312) 996-7240 Fax: (312) 413-1910 E-mail: ©2010. All rights reserved

Janet Engle, pharmd ’85 Pharmacy Practice

Rockford’s “pioneers” graduate 1

IN THIS ISSUE | A tipping point | The new independents | A hazy outlook | Imaging research

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Nicholas Popovich, bs ’68, ms ’71, ’73 Office of Professional Development phd

UIC Pharmacist would like to hear from you and welcomes your letters: UIC Pharmacist (MC 874) 833 South Wood Street, Room 184KA Chicago, IL 60612-7230 E-mail:


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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.


It’s time for Illinois pharmacy organizations to unite


et’s take a moment to review the history of pharmacy organizations in Illinois:

• 1879: A magazine called The Pharmacist—published by the Chicago College of Pharmacy, now known as the UIC College of Pharmacy — prints an editorial that urges Illinois pharmacists to create the first pharmacy practice act. This prompts a meeting among prominent Illinois pharmacists to form a permanent pharmacy association. • 1880: The Illinois Pharmaceutical Association is officially formed at a pharmacist convention in Springfield. The association’s inaugural officers draft and approve a constitution and bylaws. Dues after the first year are $1. • 1940s: The first organization of Illinois-based hospital pharmacists is created. Originally called the Hospital Pharmacists of Chicagoland, it later becomes the Illinois Society of Hospital Pharmacists and, following a merger, is named the Northern Illinois Society of Hospital Pharmacists. Later, prominent pharmacists in Belleville and Murphysboro help form the Southern Illinois Society of Hospital Pharmacists. • 1963: The Illinois Society of Hospital Pharmacists merges with the Southern Illinois Society to become the Illinois Council of Hospital (now Healthsystem) Pharmacists, a new affiliate of the American Society of Hospital (now Healthsystem) Pharmacy. The UIC College of Pharmacy has played an important role in this history. As the only college of pharmacy in Illinois for 132 years, we have provided leadership on issues related to our

profession while working in concert with pharmacy organizations. As dean of the college, I believe we need a unified voice for the pharmacy profession in Illinois. We need a single, professional organization that represents and supports all Illinois pharmacists. We need an organization that can muster the capital and authority to make an impact on our profession. Further, I think we suffer (as all of pharmacy does) from fragmented representation and divergent agendas. In my view, other states have managed to unify their organizations for the benefit of their members. Look, for example, at the progress in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin on reimbursement issues for MTM. To my knowledge, the Illinois Medical Society, American Nurses Association for Illinois, and Illinois Academy of Physician Assistants all speak on behalf of their profession with unified voices. Nurses and physician assistants have been successful in expanding their scope of practice and prescriptive authority in Illinois. I have thought about writing this piece for some time but put it on the back burner because of the sensitivities involved. I know this will not be a uniformly popular stance; it will be opposed even by some of my close friends and mentors. I further realize there are thorny political issues involved, but I would be happy to mediate a solution if there is a ground swell of support. Perhaps there is a way to create a transition in which each organization retains its identity? I have no idea

Jerry L. Bauman

what we would name a single organization, but that’s of minor importance. The goal is to unite Illinois pharmacists. I would be happy to hear from our alumni and friends on this issue. In 1888, our college’s famous alumnus Albert Ebert led the reorganization of the Illinois Pharmaceutical Association so that every pharmacist in the state was a member. Now that’s the big-time vision that Illinois pharmacists deserve. Together, we can lead the progressive practice of pharmacy. Reference: Prairie State Pharmacy. Lewis ER Illinois Pharmacists Association 1980



A group effort Pharmacists strengthen the performance of FDA advisory committees BY JOHN SPIZZIRRI


harmacists play a vital role in helping the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) make important decisions on the numerous scientific, technical, and policy issues that affect drug oversight. But many may not know that opportunities exist to participate on any one of the administration’s 33 committees that advise on these and other issues. Janet Engle, executive associate dean and professor and head of the Department of Pharmacy Practice, serves on the FDA’s Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee, which provides counsel on over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. She first learned about the committee process when she served on the board of trustees and as president of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) in 2002. “I did a lot of testifying in front of the advisory committees. I participated in public hearings where we would give pharmacy’s perspective on whatever issues they were discussing,” she recalls. “Eventually, the APhA helped nominate me to serve on the advisory committee and I was appointed.” According to FDA spokesperson Morgan Liscinsky, the FDA advisory committees are either mandated by statute or established at the discretion of the Department of Health and Human Services “to provide functions which support the FDA’s mission of protecting and promoting the public health, while meeting the requirements set forth in the Federal Advisory Committee Act.” In order to serve on an FDA advisory committee or one of 18 panels, individuals must be nominated or selfnominated, and they must possess the proper credentials and qualifications to 6

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contribute to the goals of the specific committees. “The nomination process begins with a review of a potential member’s curriculum vitae, conflict of interest forms, list of publications, and committee affiliations,” says Liscinsky.

“I think we bring an expertise and a set of experiences that are very different from the other practitioners. Sometimes it’s the science aspect, and sometimes it’s something that is extremely practical.”

The agency has a policy that committees represent diversity in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, and disability. Individuals are selected from varied fields to ensure that viewpoints are reasonably balanced. For instance, Engle recently served on the OTC committee that voted to convert a prescription inhaled steroid to over-the-counter status—the firstever in the OTC market. Along with Engle and one other pharmacist, the committee was composed of physicians, nurses, patient and industry representatives, a consumer representative, a statistician, and even a literacy expert to help determine whether patients could understand the label.

Once selected, an individual can serve on no more than one committee at a time and for a term of up to four years. Engle argues the importance of having more pharmacists on the FDA advisory committees, maintaining that pharmacists’ viewpoints are different than those of other healthcare professionals. “I think we bring an expertise and a set of experiences that are very different from the other practitioners. Sometimes it’s the science aspect, and sometimes it’s something that is extremely practical,” she says. “There are things that physicians don’t necessarily know because they’re not dealing with consumers in the same setting that we are, especially in the OTC environment,” she continues. “There are a lot of factors that can make a product better or safer to use, and we can bring that expertise.” Engle says that more education and outreach is necessary to increase awareness of these opportunities for pharmacists. For her part, she has shared information about the committees at various seminars and regularly talks to residents about the process of joining a committee. The FDA website has detailed information about the advisory committees, including a link to how many positions are available and on which committees. This same information is also published in the Federal Register journal. For more information on the FDA advisory committees and committee process, visit AdvisoryCommittees/default.htm.

Specialized knowledge, exceptional care UIC’s organ-transplant residency is advancing the skills of pharmacists —while improving the health of patients BY RACHEL FARRELL


wenty years ago, pharmacists had little involvement in the clinical decision-making of organ transplant procedures. Today, thanks in part to a mandate from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, pharmacists are recognized as critical members of transplant teams—and, as a result, are increasingly in demand. UIC is helping to fulfill that demand through an innovative residency program. Launched in 2003, the Solid Organ Transplant Residency Program (PGY-2) equips pharmacists with expertise and skills in solid-organ transplants through a blend of teaching, research, and clinical training. Pharmacists spend about half of the one-year program in clinical rotations, where they work closely with transplant surgeons, medical specialists, and nurse practitioners to ensure that patients are receiving appropriate care before, during, and after organ transplant surgery.

“There’s good continuity of care,” says Jamie Benkin, pharmd, clinical assistant professor, explaining that, unlike most medical professionals involved in transplant procedures, pharmacy residents work with transplant patients for an extended period of time—during pretransplant clinics, admission to surgery, follow-up appointments, and, in some cases, readmission to the hospital. Currently, in the United States, there are about 25 residency programs for pharmacists in organ transplant. But unlike most of these programs, UIC’s residency program gives pharmacists the authority to manage patients’ medications and care. “We have what we call a ‘collaborative agreement’ with our physicians that

allows us to be in charge of the medications,” explains James Thielke, pharmd, clinical associate professor and director of the residency. “We don’t have to come to rounds and say, ‘I want to do each of these things.’ It’s just expected that we’re doing them.” Granting this level of autonomy to pharmacists is a huge benefit to patient The team, from left to right: Michelle Huber, pharmd, PGY2, resident; Maya Campara, care, explains Kelly pharmd, clinical pharmacist; Jim Thielke, pharmd, clinical pharmacist; Beth Hetterman, Galen, pharmd, one pharmd, clinical pharmacist; and Kelly Galen, pharmd, PGY2, resident (Team members not pictured: Jamie Benken, pharmd, clinical pharmacist, and Patricia West-Thielke, pharmd, of two residents in director of research). this year’s program. Explaining that organ transplants are most often come up with research ideas while common among patients suffering from working side-by-side. diabetes or hypertension, Galen says To complement their clinical training, “pharmacists are meticulous when it pharmacists in the residency program comes to managing chronic disease engage in a one-year research project states.” while participating in ongoing medication In other words, pharmacists ensure that studies within the University of Illinois transplant patients are taking the right Hospital. In addition, the program offers immunosuppression drugs following a new elective in which residents develop surgery and are also being properly and deliver lectures to classes of about monitored for their long-term diseases. 160 students in the College of Pharmacy. “Surgeons are [often] most concerned Of the nine pharmacists who have about surgical aspects…but we take care completed UIC’s residency program, of the patient as a whole,” she explains. four have accepted clinical roles at the The residency program also invites college. Such a retention rate speaks to collaboration between residents from the exceptional nature of UIC’s program. other colleges, which sets the stage “UIC is very advanced from a clinical for informal learning opportunities. pharmacist standpoint,” says Thielke. For example, during clinical rotations, “Our transplant services are a step Benken says that nurses often above.” approach pharmacists with medication questions. Pharmacists may help other residents correct medication errors. And pharmacy fellows and residents PHARMACIST


Moving on up Recent administrative changes at the college


rofessor Nicholas Popovich was named associate dean for professional development in the newly created Office of Professional Development (located in Room 184N). In this role, Popovich will focus on preparing the college’s students for the job market by offering exposure to different areas of pharmacy practice, providing mentoring opportunities with pharmacy alumni, and building students’ professional skills and confidence. Associate professor Stephanie Crawford has been reappointed as associate head of the Department of Pharmacy Systems, Outcomes, and Policy (PSOP).

What’s in a name? The Department of Pharmacy Administration has a new name. It’s now the Department of Pharmacy Systems, Outcomes, and Policy (PSOP), a change motivated by the need to better “represent the nature and scope of the activities and research of the department,” explains Glen Shumock, head of PSOP.

Glen Schumock was appointed head for the Department of Pharmacy Systems, Outcomes, and Policy (PSOP) and has stepped down as director of the Center for Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomic Research (CPR).


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Jerry Bauman, dean of the College of Pharmacy, was named interim vice president for health affairs on Sept. 1. To help manage these dual responsibilities, Bauman has appointed Marieke Schoen, clinical associate professor and associate dean of academic affairs, to help manage the college’s day-to-day operations.

Clinical professor Edith Nutescu and associate professor Todd Lee were appointed codirectors for the Center for Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomic Research, where they will develop research-funding opportunities and oversee administrative affairs.

Todd Lee, associate professor and assistant director of CPR; Simon Pickard, associate professor of pharmacy practice; and Dan Touchette, associate professor of pharmacy practice, have joined PSOP. With these additions, PSOP is among the best and largest departments of its kind in the nation.

Associate professor Simon Pickard has been appointed director of graduate studies.

Steve Swanson, phd ’90, professor of pharmacognosy and associate dean for research and graduate education, has been chosen as the new dean at the University of Wisconsin College of Pharmacy. We wish Steve all the best in his new role.

With Dr. Swanson moving on, Joanna Burdette, phd ’03, associate professor of pharmacognosy, has accepted the position of associate dean for research.



UIC scientist fights war against bacteria BY SAM HOSTETTLER


ichael Federle believes bacteria are smarter than many scientists give them credit for.

“We’re losing the war with bacteria,” Federle says. “Every antibiotic we’ve come up with has some level of resistance.”

By studying quorum sensing—the means by which bacteria cells communicate with one another—Federle, assistant professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy, is trying to convince sicknesscausing microorganisms to remain in a nonhostile state.

Federle is studying the bacteria in streptococci, which are responsible for strep throat, cases of meningitis, bacterial pneumonia, endocarditis, erysipelas, and the fleshMichael Federle is studying how eating bacteria necrotizing bacteria cells communicate with fasciitis. His research each other. explores ways to disrupt biofilms—communities of bacteria that live on a surface—that are extremely resistant to antibiotics. Federle is one of 10 U.S. scientists to receive a five-year grant from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, which brings multidisciplinary approaches to the study of human infectious diseases. The program, based in Research Triangle Park, N.C., provides $500,000 to support accomplished investigators still early in their careers to study what happens at the points where human and microbial systems connect.

Manipulating bacteria that carry health complications is Federle’s long-term goal. Bacteria enter the body and grow quietly until reaching a certain population density to inflict damage, but quorum sensing can help ward off this illness-breeding form of bodily terrorism. “If we can manipulate bacteria by understanding the chemical signals they use, then we can interfere with the

bacteria’s ability to make people sick,” he says. “We’ll try to fool the bacteria by artificially stimulating them.” When he learned he was a recipient of the Burroughs Wellcome grant, Federle was “flabbergasted,” especially considering the exceptional quality and impact of research conducted by current and past awardees, he says. “I don’t consider this work. I’m having so much fun unraveling the basic nature of bacterial communication,” he says. In addition to the Burroughs Wellcome award, Federle’s research is being funded through a grant from the National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The Burroughs Wellcome Fund is a private, independent nonprofit foundation whose mission is to advance the medical sciences by supporting research and other educational activities. The awards are intended to give recipients the freedom and flexibility to pursue high-risk projects and new avenues of inquiry.

Mankin recognized for ribosome, biotech research BY SAM HOSTETTLER


iotechnology is the use of biological processes to manufacture products to improve the quality of human life. But Alexander “Shura” Mankin, professor and director of the Center for Biopharmaceutical Technology, says it is that and much more. “Biotechnology is about developing new technologies to understand the nature of diseases and drug discovery, as well as applying unorthodox approaches to


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basic research that will eventually feed the applied branches of pharmaceutical sciences,” Mankin says. Mankin is the 2013 recipient of the Paul R. Dawson Biotechnology Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. The award recognizes an active scientist within pharmacy education who is a leader in the teaching of biotechnology and its related science. Throughout his career, Mankin has

Alexander “Shura” Mankin

performed extensive research on the functions of the ribosome and how it can be inhibited by drugs. His laboratory has established modes of action of several important classes of antibiotics.

“We’re working to discover how antibiotics bind to the ribosome, which is responsible for churning out all the proteins a cell needs for survival, and how they interfere with its function,” Mankin says. “We investigate mechanisms of drug resistance and are trying to develop new, superior antibiotics.” Currently, Mankin is studying how the ribosome deals with the newly formed polypeptide, how drugs can affect this process, and how microbes can become resistant. Mankin has published more than 100 papers in leading journals. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and other funding agencies.

Grant will help train natural product scientists

Michael Mullowney, far left, and Elizabeth Martinez, right, are the first recipients of a new federal grant to train UIC students in natural-product drugs and dietary supplements. Richard van Breemen, front, is principal investigator of the grant.



he College of Pharmacy has received a five-year, $2.1 million grant to train graduate and postdoctoral students like Elizabeth Martinez in natural-product drugs and dietary supplements. The grant is funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, one of the National Institutes of Health. “This grant will support the education of the next generation of scientists who will be responsible for establishing the safety and efficacy of dietary supplements and for the discovery of new therapeutic agents from naturalproduct sources,” says Richard van Breemen, professor of medicinal chemistry and director of the UIC/ NIH Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements Research.

Research Service Award Institutional Training Grant provides funding to eligible institutions to develop or enhance predoctoral and postdoctoral research training opportunities in biomedical and behavioral research. The award provides five years of renewable support to institutions, including annual NRSA stipends for trainees and institutional allowances to defray the expenses of those receiving the grant. Two PhD students—Martinez and Michael Mullowney—were selected as the first recipients of the grant.

“The majority of drugs and supplements in use today are derived from natural products,” he adds.

Under the direction of Van Breemen, Martinez is now studying how to prevent dangerous side effects caused by drug-herb interactions in menopausal women. She tests plant extracts used in the formulation of dietary supplements for potential connections with drugs that are metabolized in the liver by the same enzymes.

The T32-Ruth L. Kirschstein National

“Preventing harm and improving the

quality of life for menopausal women is the driving force of our research,” Martinez says. “This grant will allow me to continue my dream of helping people.” Working in the laboratory of Brian Murphy, assistant professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy, Mullowney is attempting to discover leads for new antibiotics in marine and freshwater bacteria–sources that he says have been “largely overlooked by traditional drug discovery programs.” He hopes to one day oversee his own university laboratory. “I want to be part of the future of medicine that unravels the mysteries of science to more effectively treat humanity,” Mullowney says. “The intersection of biology and chemistry found in the research in UIC’s pharmacognosy department is the perfect next step in my life of creative discovery.”



Recruiting talent Walgreens selects Dahlia Sultan for its prestigious internship and ambassador program


algreens has found a future leader in Dahlia Sultan.

The PharmD student was one of only two students nationwide chosen for Walgreens’ Corporate Pharmacy Internship, a highly selective, 12-week program that exposes budding pharmacists to nontraditional pharmacy careers. This past summer, along with a student from Harding University, Sultan rotated through positions with Walgreens’ health-system pharmacy group and ancillary services and process teams. Working with the heath-system pharmacy group “opened my eyes,” says Sultan, explaining that Walgreens has developed a new model for helping patients transition out of the hospital. The model, which features bedside delivery of medications, medication counseling, and extensive follow-up after discharge, “allows pharmacists to really make a difference with patient care,” she notes. “It’s exciting—and it’s helping to move our profession forward.”

After completing the internship, Sultan was encouraged to apply for the Walgreens Campus Ambassador program. She was one of three students nationwide chosen for the appointment (the other students were from the St. Louis College of Pharmacy). Campus ambassadors are charged with helping to engage and educate pharmacy students about Walgreens’ programs. To that end, Sultan organized a panel session for UIC students on Nov. 18 that featured pharmacists working in nontraditional roles, including one pharmacist from the HIV Center of Excellence, another with a corporate role, one working in home infusion, and a district supervisor. The session was held on the Chicago campus and broadcasted live to students on the Rockford campus. Next semester, Sultan plans to take UIC students on a tour of a Walgreens “Well Experience” store, such as the flagship store on State and Randolph in Chicago’s Loop. In these stores, pharmacists are stationed at a desk

Dahlia Sultan was one of only two students nationwide chosen for Walgreens’ Corporate Pharmacy Internship.

beside the pharmacy counter so they can provide clinical and counseling services to patients on demand. In these stores, “the work flow is different and the role of the pharmacist is different,” she explains. “They’re cool stores—and I’d like to show our students what they’re like.”

Golden Apple Recipient 2014 Nicholas G. Popovich

Photo by Guido Pauli, PhD


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Congratulations to Nick Popovich, bs ’68, phd ’71, this year’s recipient of the prestigious Golden Apple Award. The Golden Apple recipient is chosen by the students and is the college’s most prestigious teaching award. Dr. Popovich has been the recipient of previous teaching awards and a nominee for Preceptor of the Year, but this is his first Golden Apple Award. He has advised and mentored literally hundreds of students over the years and now serves as associate dean of professional education. Join us in congratulating Dr. Popovich!

Powerful partners Internships are a win-win for pharmacy students and companies


arina SzymulanskaRamamurthy was pretty sure she wanted to work in the pharmaceutical industry after finishing her PharmD degree at UIC. But the student still had some lingering questions about whether it was the right fit for her. She found her answer at an internship with Fresenius Kabi, a leading international healthcare company that develops, produces, and markets pharmaceuticals and medical devices for critically and chronically ill patients. The internship, which was coordinated through the UIC College of Pharmacy, “gave me a feel for what it’s like to be in this setting…while offering a good opportunity to learn a lot of new things, meet new people, and see different perspectives,” she says. “It definitely reassured me that [working in this industry] is the right decision.” Thanks to recent partnerships between UIC and several leading pharmaceutical companies, an increasing number of pharmacy students are participating in internships. And these experiences are proving to be incredibly valuable—not only for the student interns, but for the companies that host them. Patrick Costello, a PharmD student from the Rockford campus, completed an internship over the summer at Sagent Pharmaceuticals, a Schaumburg-based company that develops and distributes injectable generic drugs and has grown almost 200,000 percent in the past five years. (Such remarkable sales led Crain’s Chicago Business to name the company no. 1 on its 2013 list of Chicago’s fastest-growing companies.) There, he supported Sagent’s regulatory manager in activities that included promotional

submissions to the FDA, updating the product catalog, and generating and reviewing documentation in support of FDA submissions. “Before the internship, I was going to go clinical,” Costello recalls. “I had it all figured out.” Working for Sagent, however, “clouded everything up—in a good way. It helped me see other [professional] avenues.” Jeff Wojtynek, pharmd ’88, senior manager of medical affairs at Sagent, affirms that this is why internships are so important: They help pharmacists figure out what careers are right—or completely wrong—for them. What’s more, internships are great resumebuilders that “set you a part from other pharmacists” when you’re applying for jobs, he says. At the same time, Wojtynek says that companies have a lot to gain from offering internships. “Students can be good resources,” he explains, extending praise to UIC students in particular. “The caliber of UIC students is high. They can hit the ground running.” Kathryn Patterson, a senior manager at Sagent, agrees. “Patrick was a whip cracker,” she says. “We’d give him work and he’d crank it out. He was very motivated and needed very little direction. I was very impressed by the level of intelligence and drive that he brought here.” For PharmD student Yu Zhang, an internship at Fresenius Kabi—which she completed alongside SzymulanskaRamamurthy—helped round out her academic experience. Hailing from China, Zhang came to UIC in 2010 with a master’s in botanical pharmaceuticals and a desire to beef up her research skills. Through

Yu Zhang (left) and Karina Szymulanska-Ramamurthy recently completed internships with Fresenius Kabi, a leading international healthcare company.

her program, she learned research methodologies in the classroom and worked on several studies with Associate Professor Richard Gemeinhart, such as a study about the shared markers between differentiated mesenchymal stem cells. At Fresenius Kabi, Zhang was able to put her research knowledge to the test while also gaining hands-on experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Through that process, she found clarity in her professional journey. “This experience confirmed for me that I want to work in pharma,” she says. “It was a stepping stone for my career.”



Leading the way For her leadership on the Rockford campus, Juhae Lee is awarded the 2013 Alan Granat Memorial Scholarship


his summer, Juhae Lee will be among the first to graduate from the College of Pharmacy’s Rockford campus. And she is setting a strong example for those who will follow her. Now in her fourth year of pharmacy school, Lee hit the ground running as soon as she arrived on the Rockford campus, forming the student chapters of APhA and IPhA during her first year. The Doctor of Pharmacy candidate also became active in a number of professional organizations, including the American Pharmacists Association

Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP), IPhA, Phi Lambda Sigma, Pharmacy Student Council, and Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International. As the first president of the UIC APhAASP Rockford, Lee is focused on fostering the professional growth of her peers on the Rockford campus. For these accomplishments, Lee was awarded the 2013 Alan Granat Memorial Scholarship Award by the Illinois Pharmacists Association. The award was established as a memorial

tribute to Alan Granat, who served as executive director of IPhA from 1979 until his death in 1989. It recognizes individuals who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to pharmacy and the community as evidenced by membership and participation in pharmacy organizations and community involvement.

Nitric oxide regulates gene expression SAM HOSTETTLER


cientists at the UIC College of Pharmacy have discovered a new role for nitric oxide, a gas molecule crucial for cellular signaling and health. Along with his UIC coworkers, Douglas Thomas, associate professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy, discovered that nitric oxide plays an important role in epigenetics—heritable alterations in gene expression caused by mechanisms other than changes in DNA sequence. One such example, Thomas says, is the modification of specialized proteins called histones, which are responsible for packaging DNA in the cell nucleus and influencing how genes are regulated. Genes wound very tightly around their histones are not expressed as strongly as genes that are more loosely wrapped. The latter are more easily accessible to the cellular machinery that translates genes into their protein products. 14

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“Small alterations on these histones act as a molecular switch to turn certain genes on and others off,” Thomas says. “It’s no surprise then that abnormal histone modifications have been associated with a tremendous variety of diseases.” Attaching chemical bits called methyl groups at certain histone sites can shut down genes that are vital for suppressing tumor formation or activate genes that cause cancer, Thomas says. In addition, alterations in the expression of enzymes that change the methylation of histones have been linked to disease and poor survival in a variety of conditions. In a new study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Thomas and his colleagues focused on the protein KDM3A, which removes methyl groups from histones. The group discovered that nitric oxide could inhibit the ability of the protein to remove histone methyl groups.

“We also found that nitric oxide can differentially regulate the expression of a variety of histone methylmodifying enzymes, many of which have strong associations with specific cancers,” Thomas says. This is the first study to demonstrate an epigenetic model of nitric oxide signaling that has the potential to “change our fundamental understanding of both nitric oxide biology and epigenetic regulation,” Thomas says. “This could significantly alter our understanding of gene expression in health and disease.” Coauthors on the report are Jason Hickok, a visiting research assistant professor at UIC, and graduate student Divya Vasudevan. The work was supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under award number R01GM085232.

Honors Convocation At this year’s Honors Convocation, the college awarded over 50 scholarships totaling over $100,000 to our deserving students. Honors Convocation takes place the first Thursday of the month each April, so mark your calendars for next year! The event honors our amazing students and donors who support them each year. For more information about scholarships, please contact Chris Shoemaker at (312) 996-3376.



A leader in pediatrics Donna Kraus is honored with the Helms Award


onna Kraus, bs ’77, pharmd ’82, associate professor of pharmacy practice, has been named the 2013 recipient of the Richard A. Helms Award of Excellence in Pediatric Pharmacy Practice. Established in 2006 by the Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group (PPAG) Board of Directors, the Helms Award recognizes individuals who have made exceptional contributions to PPAG and pediatric pharmacy practice. Kraus delivered the Helms Award Lecture during the PPAG Conference and Pediatric Pharmacy Conference on May 3.

Kraus served as a pediatric intensive-care clinical pharmacist for 15 years. For the past 14 years, she has been an ambulatorycare pediatric clinical pharmacist, specializing in pediatric HIV pharmacotherapy and patient/parent medication adherence. She has also served as a clinical pharmacist


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consultant to a pediatric long-term care facility for more than 21 years. In addition to teaching at UIC, Kraus has been a guest lecturer in China, Thailand, and Hong Kong. She has played a leading role in the advanced training of postgraduate pharmacists and has been the director of the ASHP-accredited Pediatric Residency Program at UIC for 25 years. Kraus’s research areas include pediatric drug dosing and developmental pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. She has published 30 articles and 10 book chapters on various issues of pediatric pharmacy and pharmacotherapy. Kraus is coauthor of the Pediatric & Neonatal Dosage Handbook (previously called the Pediatric Dosage Handbook), which is currently in its 19th edition. Along with serving as an active member of several professional associations, Kraus was elected a fellow for the American Pharmacists Association, the Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group, and the American College of Clinical Pharmacy.

Active service A snapshot of Kraus’s contributions to the pharmacy profession • Member, American Pharmacists Association • Member, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists • Member, Illinois Pharmacists Association • Member, American College of Clinical Pharmacy • Member, Illinois College of Clinical Pharmacy • Chairperson, ASHP Commission on Therapeutics • Member, Board of Directors, Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group • Member-at-Large, Academy of Pharmaceutical Research and Science • Member, ASHP Commission on Credentialing, Design/Writing Group, Educational Outcomes, Goals, and Objectives for Postgraduate Year Two (PGY2) Pediatric Pharmacy Residency Programs • Member, Alliance for Pediatric Quality, Improve First Measures Task Force • Member, PPAG Advisory Board • Editorial Board Member, American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy and the Journal of Pediatric Pharmacy Practice • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics

A winning team Meet the pharmacy all-stars named “Woman of the Year”


he women of the College of Pharmacy are on a roll.

Four of the college’s female faculty members have been named “Woman of the Year” by the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women (CCSW) since the award was established in 1992. That’s a record. It’s more than any other school or campus unit at UIC. Each year, one woman is selected for the award. These leaders have distinguished themselves in many ways. They’ve promoted women’s issues. They’ve mentored female academics. They’ve lead organizations that support women. And they’ve become role models for other UIC women. Meet the winners of our college: Judy Bolton, Clara Awe, Hayat Onyuksel, and Janet Engle. Judy Bolton, Professor and Head, Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy; Director of the Carinogensis and Chemoprevention Program, UIC Cancer Center; Woman of the Year, 2013 Words that describe her: Efficient and a good listener. “I walk like there’s a raging fire behind me,” Bolton says. Fast facts: Only female head of a basic science department at UIC. Named a fellow of the American Chemical Society in 2011. Published more than 130 peer-reviewed research papers. Wrote nine book chapters. Holds multiple NIH grants. Favorite food: Chocolate mousse Making women healthier: Bolton has devoted her research career to women’s health, focusing on mechanisms of hormonal carcinogensis in breast

Judy Bolton, phd

cancer and natural alternatives to postmenopausal estrogen replacement therapy. She led the UIC Cancer Center’s Carcinogenesis and Chemoprevention Program for 10 years and is heavily involved in the UIC/NIH Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements Research. Advice to faculty: Attend meetings where you can meet face-to-face with the people who are going to review your papers or grants. That simple act “really helps people succeed,” she says. Mentoring matters: Reflecting on her career, Bolton says that she’s “most proud of the students I’ve mentored.” Her mentees have nothing but glowing words for her: “Bolton is the type of mentor who constantly provided the support and resources that allowed me to flourish as a young scientist,” says Joanna E. Burdette, assistant professor in the
Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy. “She is tireless in her pursuit of training [mentees] to become better writers and premiere researchers and to

form collaborations to move the field forward.” Committed to committees: Bolton serves on committees for the American Chemical Society, Society of Toxicology, American Association of Cancer Research, and NIH study sections. Favorite way to spend a Saturday: Biking. A resident of downtown Chicago, Bolton is a big fan of the new Divvy bike system. Why UIC is the place for her: “It’s an easy place to do multidisciplinary research,” she says. “People are very open to discussions about scientific areas or problems and open to collaborating.” Hayat Onyuksel, Professor, Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy; Woman of the Year, 2003 Three words that describe her: Approachable, inspiring, and focused. A healthy obsession: Onyuksel’s research focuses on making drugs less toxic and more effective. Her interests include drug delivery using nanotechnology and nanomedicine; treating Alzheimer’s


FACULTY FANFARE A winning team (continued)

Meet the pharmacy all-stars named ‘Woman of the Year’ a permanent faculty position at Ankara University. Other awards on her shelf: UIC Graduate Mentoring Award (2008), AAPS LipidBased Drug Delivery Outstanding Research Award (2008), UIC University Scholar (2008), AAPS Fellow (2006), UIC Inventor of the Year (2003)

Hayat Onyuksel

disease using PEGylated phospholipids; targeted therapy of rheumatoid arthritis; and early detection and targeted chemotherapy of breast cancer. As a result of her most recent work, she says, “We may cure breast cancer.” Paying it forward: Known for her mentorship, Onyuksel has led many of her students toward successful careers in science. For example, one of her former students, Sharon Ayd, is now the global vice president for innovation and development at Fresenius Kabi USA. Favorite food: Salad. “I like healthy food,” she laughs. By the numbers: Two start-up companies are based on her inventions. Her research has led to eight patents. She was the first woman to receive UIC’s Inventor of the Year Award in 2003. Advice to women: “Get the highest degree you can.” Putting down roots: A native of Turkey, Onyuksel came to UIC in 1985 for a temporary research project. At the end of the summer, she decided to remain in Chicago—leaving family, friends, and 18

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Bringing women on board: Ten years ago, Onyuksel served on a search committee for new faculty hires. “I was vocal about getting good women faculty,” she says. “And we did. We hired three—who definitely deserved the positions and were definitely competitive. Now, the number of women in our department is pretty high compared to the rest of UIC.” But her work is not yet done. “We need to work in an appropriate and fair way to increase the number of women” in academia, she says. Final word: “I definitely encourage every woman to become a mom,” she says. “Nothing is as rewarding.”

for women in administrative roles, Awe was determined to help give other women the opportunity to attend. When budgetary issues arose, she established the Philomena Okorie Memorial Scholarship and used the funds raised to send several women to the program. Cultivating leaders: A member of the CCSW for more than 12 years, Awe founded a mentoring program for academic professionals and faculty interested in administrative roles. Other awards on her shelf: Outstanding Leadership in Higher Education for Mentoring and Public Service Award (2008), Association of Black Women in Higher Education, Princeton University Secret talent: Martial arts. “It calms my mind,” Awe says. Her advice to women: “Work hard and never give up. You can become whatever you wish. The only limiting factor is yourself.”

Clara Awe, Associate Dean for Diversity Affairs; Director of Urban Health Program; Adjunct Associate Professor, Pharmacy Systems, Outcomes, and Policy; Woman of the Year, 2001 Three words that describe her: Integrity, diligent, and visionary. Parental influence: Originally from Nigeria, Awe grew up in a male-dominated society where women were treated as “second-class citizens,” she says. Her late mother, Philomena Okorie, taught her and her sisters that they should “never let anyone tell you that you’ll amount to nothing,” she recalls. “She encouraged us to get an education and not sell ourselves short. I never forgot that.” On the short list: In 2012, Awe was named to the “Who’s Who in Black Chicago” list. Paving the way: After attending Leadership Illinois, a training program

Clara Awe

Catching her colleagues’ attention: Carla Knorowski, the former associate dean for development and external affairs

in the UIC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, says, “From the first time I met Clara, it was apparent that she was on a mission—a mission to assist women in their efforts to advance as individuals, both professionally and personally. I was struck by her tremendous sense of commitment to advancing women at UIC.” Favorite way to spend a Saturday: Spending time with her husband, reading, and having a glass of wine.

Excellence at work Faculty awards, honors, and recognitions

Janet Engle (left) is a nationally recognized expert in non-prescription drugs, pharmacy education, ambulatory care pharmacy practice and leadership.

Why she loves UIC: “I love working with diverse people. And I have mentors across campus. UIC is a very supportive and empowering place.” Janet P. Engle, Professor and Head, Department of Pharmacy Practice; Executive Associate Dean, College of Pharmacy; Woman of the Year, 1999 Three words that describe her: Organized, energetic, and optimistic. A history of leadership: Engle has held a number of leadership positions on both the local and national stage, including honorary president of the IPha (2013); president of the American Pharmacists Association, and member of the FDA Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee (2009–11, 2013– present). Music of choice: Classic rock n’ roll. She loves Aerosmith, the Rolling Stones, and The Last Vegas. Star power: A nationally recognized expert in nonprescription drugs, pharmacy education, and ambulatorycare pharmacy practice and leadership, Engle is a regular media contributor. She has been featured in outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, Business Week magazine, USA Today, The Oprah Winfrey Show, World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, Bloomberg News, Dr. Oz, and local and national

newscasts on ABC, CBS, and FOX channels, among others. Favorite food: Steak and fries Five-star general: At UIC, along with leading a large and complex department of 150-plus faculty, residents, and staff, Engle is committed to providing mentorship to others. She hosts a leadership series for pharmacists that covers topic such as time management, work/life balance, interviewing for jobs, and more. “My goal has always been to help give people the tools they need to be successful,” she says. Balancing act: Along with being a teacher, researcher, and administrator, Engle is a mother. “People do need to see that you can do this—and have a family,” she says. Globetrotter: A guest professor at Harbin Medical University in China, Engle has lectured in Singapore, Thailand, and China. She’s also been a consultant for the World Health Organization and Pharmacy Council of Thailand.

Stephanie Crawford, associate professor and associate head in the Department of Pharmacy Systems, Outcomes, and Policy, was named vice chair of the U.S. Pharmacopeia Expert Committee on Nomenclature, Safety, and Labeling. Janet Engle, executive associate dean, professor and head of the Department of Pharmacy Practice, was named honorary president of the Illinois Pharmacists Association (IPhA) at the IPhA Annual Meeting on Sept. 27. The appointment recognizes a lengthy and sustained commitment of support to the pharmacy profession and IPhA. Jennifer George, pharmd, clinical assistant professor, was honored with the Distinguished Young Pharmacist Award at the Illinois Pharmacists Association Annual Meeting on Sept. 27. The award recognizes individuals who show tremendous commitment to the profession and his/her community, leadership potential, professional aspirations, and involvement in community service. Simon Pickard, PSOP faculty member and associate CPR director, was named to the editorial board of Medical Decision Making, the official journal of the Society for Medical Decision Making. According to the 2012 Journal Citation Reports, MDM was the 4thranked journal in medical informatics and the 12th-ranked journal in healthcare services and sciences.

Other awards on her shelf: Engle is the recipient of multiple awards, including American Pharmacists Association Spokesperson of the Year (2007); Alumnus of the Year, Ernest Mario College of Pharmacy, Rutgers University (2006); and APhA Distinguished Achievement Award for Clinical/Pharmacotherapeutic Practice (2001). PHARMACIST


Urban training for rural service Now in its third year, the Rural Pharmacy Education Program prepares pharmacists to bring quality healthcare to rural communities BY DANIEL P. SMITH


lise Wildman is on a path to professional bliss.

A second-year pharmacy student at the UIC College of Pharmacy in Rockford, Wildman is one of 20 students enrolled in the Concentration in Rural Pharmacy Services (RPHARM). This innovative, three-year-old program prepares pharmacy students to practice in rural Illinois. “When I learned about RPHARM… my heart was set,” says Wildman, a native of Lovington, Ill., a town with approximately 1,200 residents located about 70 miles east of Springfield. The program offers preparation for “everything I wanted to do with the rest of my life.” In conjunction with the Rockford campus’s long-running Rural Medical Education (RMED) program, RPHARM incorporates the university’s new Rural Health Professions (RHP) initiative. RHP offers an interdisciplinary curriculum and enables pharmacy and medical students to learn side-by-side while focusing on rural issues. “There’s no other program in the country that has the rural focus to this extent,” says David Bartels, vice dean for the College of Pharmacy in Rockford. Allison Schriever, head of RPHARM and director of experiential education at the Rockford campus, says one of healthcare’s lingering problems is that professionals tend to train and practice in silos. By having doctors and pharmacists learn alongside one another in RHP, Schriever says they can learn from each other before venturing into a professional setting. “If our students can understand this, then patient care can only improve,” 20

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David Bartels, vice dean for the College of Pharmacy in Rockford, notes that “no other program in the country...has the rural focus to this extent.”

Schriever says, adding that RPHARM also helps shrink the state’s persistent shortage of pharmacists. Several years ago, when the Rockford campus expanded and added pharmacy studies, college leadership capitalized on the opportunity to create RPHARM as a complement to the celebrated RMED program. The College of Pharmacy welcomed its first RPHARM students in the fall of 2010 and currently has three classes of students enrolled, the first of which will graduate in May 2014. Designed to supplement regular pharmacy courses, RPHARM prepares students to face healthcare issues unique to rural communities through elective courses, field trips, guest speakers, and observation. In their first year, RPHARM students follow a rural pharmacist. In their second year, they shadow another healthcare professional—such as a family physician, veterinarian, or dentist—in a rural setting.

During the final two years of the program, students prepare and execute a community project, a task accomplished in tandem with an RMED student over an 18-week period in an assigned rural town. The cumulative project includes interviews with stakeholder groups to identify a community health need, such as childhood obesity, prenatal care, or medication adherence among the elderly population. Thereafter, the two RHP students create an actionable plan to attack the issue. Alongside RMED participants, RPHARM students also take biannual field trips. Visits thus far have included hospital tours throughout southern Illinois; the Springfield headquarters of pharmaceutical wholesaler H.D. Smith; a nursing home in Marshall; and a dairy farm in Cedarville, where students learned about farm safety and witnessed a mock tractor rollover and subsequent medical response. In addition, students hear from various guest speakers presenting on rural-

Rockford’s “pioneers” graduate based issues, such as farm safety and mental health. “These students know about growing up in a small town, but we want to them to learn about being a health professional in a small town,” Schriever says, noting that RPHARM also allows pharmacy students to see the inventive ways in which they can expand their clinical roles and advance the profession. “The pharmacist’s role is not in solely filling prescriptions, but in providing a wide range of services, such as running a hypertension clinic or serving in an integrated practice.” Bartels says RPHARM has room to accommodate 15 new students each year. While that capacity has yet to be reached (a recruitment issue RMED faced in its earliest years as well), the college’s Rockford leadership team remains dedicated to showcasing the rich benefits of the upstart program and its ability to improve rural healthcare practice. “We are committed to building this program because we believe the training it provides can change the model of healthcare for those in the state’s rural areas,” Bartels says. For Wildman, who hopes to someday run her own independent pharmacy in central Illinois, RPHARM has motivated her to return to her small-town roots following graduation in 2015. “Growing up in a rural area, I knew there was a general lack of healthcare professionals,” she says. “But what I’ve learned in RPHARM has just opened my eyes to the depth of these needs. There’s no doubt in my mind I want to go back to a rural area and provide the professional care that’s lacking.”

The first students to enroll on the Rockford campus are now the first to graduate. Here, they reflect on the past four years Elizabeth Berthel, ’14, remembers the day she and her classmates first set foot on UIC’s Rockford campus. “It felt like we were all traveling to a new country where we would live for the next four years,” she recalls. “That first day, everyone’s expression was filled with excitement at starting the journey that would lead us to our dream of becoming pharmacists. But there was also the fear of starting a journey that no one had done before.” Elizabeth Weller, ’14, remembers the start of classes even more vividly: “It was like a deserted island and empty!” Weller and Berthel were among the first 35 students to enroll in the Rockford Regional Pharmacy Program in fall 2010. In June, they were also among the first to graduate. Christopher Schriever, clinical assistant professor, recalls some of the challenges faced by the first students and faculty on the Rockford campus. This first class learned to deal with “all the little nuances you expect now,” he says. “What happens when you have a fire drill during a test? What “I think several members happens when the AV goes of the class will be down? These students were the guinea pigs.” leaders in the profession “We realized we were all in the future.” going through this together —David Bartels, vice dean of the Rockford and we became each Regional Pharmacy Program other’s support system,” says Berthel. “We studied together, helped each other through struggles, and ultimately developed close friendships.” Chris Radunz, ’14, expressed pride that his class helped bring student groups, such as the APhA, AMCP, Kappa Psi, and SNPhA, to Rockford from Chicago. “These organizations are strong and have evolved into great avenues for student service and professional advocacy,” observes his classmate Ellyn Rose de Jesus, ’14.

Alison Schriever, head of RPHARM, says that the program is helping to “change the model of healthcare” in rural areas.

David Bartels, vice dean of the Rockford Regional Pharmacy Program, has high hopes for the first class. “They learned to work together and became a tighter-knit group,” he says. “I think several members of the class will be leaders in the profession in the future.” Berthel, who is looking forward to a job with the pharmaceutical company AbbVie after graduation, feels “bittersweet” about leaving a campus that now feels like home. “I am excited to start my new life. There is also the sense of sorrow, though, because I will be parting ways with those who I considered family.” But there is one thing Radunz won’t miss: “The faculty talking trash about the annual student-faculty basketball game. It’s almost as embarrassing P H A R MasA their C I S Tjump shots!”


UIC COP Daniel Rodriguez Memorial Scholarship Fund


he Daniel Rodriguez Foundation was started to remember Daniel Rodriguez, pharmd ’07, and exemplify his compassion for helping others. In 2004, Dan travelled, with fellow pharmacy classmates, on a humanitarian trip to Peru. The annual healthcare trip, entitled Casa De Salud, was started by Kerrylyn Rodriguez, rph, to meet a few of the major needs of a third-world jungle community located in Iquitos, Peru. Over the years, projects have included mass diabetes screenings, health clinics, school projects, an AIDS support center, dental care, and many other

community-based activities. While on his trip, Dan and his classmates screened over 3,200 Peruvians for diabetes, and the experience changed Dan and his fellow classmates. In 2008, Dan unexpectedly passed away, and a number of his classmates sought to honor him in a meaningful way. With a current balance of $17,000, the Daniel Rodriguez Memorial Scholarship is close to its $25,000 goal of establishing an endowed fund honoring Dan Rodriguez’s passions for community service, humanitarian causes, and academics.

“Dan was such an amazing person who really touched our lives. He was generous, kind, thoughtful, and supportive. He was one of those guys with an aura that attracted people, made people laugh, and made everyone feel happy. When he tragically passed away, we were emotionally affected and it changed our perceptions of life significantly. This project was our way to honor Dan.” Jay Tran, pharmd ’07, and Kyle Shick, pharmd ’07

Young Alumni Council—Mary Radzialowski, Jay Tran, Daniel Wojenski, Colleen Murray, Scott Wirth, Samara Zeina, and Kyle Shick.


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2013–14 Annual Fund Facts 494 gifts under $100 totaling



members of the Mortar & Pestle Society (Dean’s Circle) – $1,000–2,499

$116,913.16 raised

7.5% of our 9,181 alumni donated to the annual fund last year



A Tipping Point Obamacare may be a game-changer for the pharmacy profession BY DANIEL P. SMITH


t’s been four years since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed, and yet many questions still linger about the legislation and its provisions. That’s leaving some Americans feeling apprehensive, if not fearful, about the impact of the act on their families, businesses, and medical care. In many pharmacy circles, however, the ACA is sparking a vastly different sentiment: optimism. Many pharmacists hope that the legislation’s emphasis on team-based care and cost-effective results will generate new opportunities in their industry. “The ACA could be an opportunity to expand the number of pharmacists in healthcare dramatically,” says Scott Meyers, ’76, executive vice president with the Illinois Council of HealthSystem Pharmacists. Faculty at the UIC College of Pharmacy agree. In Nov. 2011, colleagues JoAnn Stubbings, Sandra Durley, Edith Nutescu, and Dean Jerry Bauman outlined some of the benefits of the ACA in the article “Payment for Clinical Pharmacy Services Revisited” (Pharmocotherapy). The article explained that payment models for clinical pharmacy services are slow moving, despite mounting evidence that such services provide “This is the opportunity for a positive return on investment and improve pharmacists to step up to the patient outcomes. However, plate and provide services the ACA has potential to change that. It recognizes across the spectrum of care.” pharmacists’ medication — JoAnn Stubbings, management services as a Clinical Associate Professor key element of healthcare reform.


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“Pharmacy is at a tipping point right now [because of] the Affordable Care Act,” confirms Stubbings, a clinical associate professor in UIC’s

Departments of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmacy Systems, Outcomes, and Policy. Reason for optimism The landmark legislation, popularly known as Obamacare, focuses on three areas: improved access to healthcare, heightened quality and outcomes, and reduced costs. To the excitement of many in the pharmacy profession, the ACA embraces pharmacists as part of the healthcare solution and recognizes them as providers of medication therapy management (MTM) services. In the legislation—which features more than 150 mentions of pharmacy, pharmacists, pharmaceuticals, or medications and establishes community health teams—pharmacists are positioned as cost savers, particularly because medication remains one of the most successful and accessible treatment options for patients. The act also allows pharmacists to identify new opportunities for delivering clinical pharmacy services, thereby capitalizing on the growing need for medication management in healthcare. The ACA also grants payment to providers for achieving positive outcomes—which is good news for pharmacists, who have long provided medication management services but not been compensated for it. In other words, pharmacists can

“try to get their piece of the pie” by demonstrating “their value to accountable care organizations and medical homes [by] keeping costs down and improving outcomes,” Meyers says. Finally, the ACA seeks coordination and collaboration across the healthcare landscape, unlike the “old model” of healthcare, Stubbings says, comparing it to buying a car in parts and making consumers assemble it themselves. To that end, various healthcare groups have received innovation grants to test new models of teambased care and, in a break from the norm, many of these models include pharmacists. “Pharmacy doesn’t have to be something that just happens behind the counter at the drug store,” Stubbings says. “These models are being tested to see which ideas work and have the best potential for dissemination.” Many believe that the ACA’s recognition of pharmacists may elevate how patients and healthcare providers value pharmacy services, thereby boosting the industry and improving compensation models for pharmacists. And these developments align nicely with the instruction provided by UIC, where students spend more time learning medication management than drug distribution and work side-by-side with other healthcare providers.

An eye on Medicare Years ago, optometrists landed a spot on Medicare’s provider list. Now, pharmacists are hoping to do the same To secure a spot on the Medicare Part B provider list, pharmacists will need U.S. Congress to amend the Social Security Act. While that might seem a monumental task, a precedent does exist. For much of the twentieth century, optometrists only received payment through the sale of eyeglasses. However, as optometry offerings broadened to include diagnostic and therapeutic services, Medicare embraced the profession as a services provider and offered reimbursement for care beyond the supply of eyeglasses. If Medicare offered the same to pharmacists, patients could “visit their pharmacist for medication management services the same way they visit their optometrist for eye-care services,” wrote UIC colleagues in their article, “Payment for Clinical Pharmacy Services Revisited” (Pharmocotherapy, Nov. 2011). In other words, Medicare and private insurers would recognize pharmacists as freestanding providers of medication management services. Yet, it may not be easy for pharmacists to follow optometrists’ lead. “There’s a sense that the government is only looking for budget-neutral initiatives, and adding a provider costs money,” says Stubbings. “That’s a hurdle we’ll have to overcome” by proving the value of their services.


OBAMACARE allow revenue to flow to pharmacists for care beyond the drug product,” Bauman says. “Once we are able to get the federal and state governments to pay, it will drive a lot of other healthcare payers to follow suit.” Currently, the American Pharmacists Association, American College of Clinical Pharmacy, and other organizations are lobbying to secure reimbursement for pharmacy services and inclusion the Medicare Part B provider list. In early March, a bill introduced in the U.S. House (H.R. 4190) sought to amend the Social Security Act and provide coverage of pharmacists’ patient care services.

These shifts are long overdue, UIC faculty say. “For years, pharmacists have functioned as part of teams, and now is the time to be compensated for that,” says Durley, a clinical assistant professor in the UIC Department of Pharmacy Practice. “Pharmacists are underutilized,” adds Bauman. “They have strong capabilities to provide high-quality, cost-effective care.” No promises, no guarantees For as much potential as the ACA has to impact the pharmacy profession, a number of impediments remain in its way. Bauman calls reimbursement “one of the biggest issues in the pharmacy profession,” as securing payment for clinical services remains difficult for many pharmacists. One contributing factor is that Medicare Part B does not designate pharmacists as providers, which makes it harder for them to receive payment for their services. By and large, pharmacists’ payment remains tied to distributing pharmaceuticals—save a few


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“Getting a spot on that Medicare Part B provider list would be the federal government’s stamp of approval and allow revenue to flow to pharmacists for care beyond the drug product.” — Jerry Bauman, Dean

exceptions, such as administering flu shots and conducting outpatient diabetes training. There are also scattered examples of private insurers, state Medicaid agencies, employers, and others who pay pharmacists for clinical services, such as smoking cessation, asthma management, and lipid control. “Getting a spot on that Medicare Part B provider list would be the federal government’s stamp of approval and

But designating pharmacists as Medicare providers who earn reimbursement for clinical pharmacy services would likely encounter staunch opposition, primarily from doctors who might view it as an erosion of their empire, Bauman says. Moreover, there are questions about the value and cost savings pharmacists actually deliver. With the ACA exploring medication management as part of an integrated system, there is concern among pharmacists— and certainly other medical stakeholders—that those duties might be handed to physician assistants or nurses in the name of cost savings. “The pharmacist must become the goto person for medication management,” Stubbings says. “This is the opportunity for pharmacists to step up to the plate and provide services across the spectrum of care.” Adds Durley, “All we can do is keep making the case for the value pharmacists bring to the table and why we need to be listed as a provider.”

Seizing opportunities To make the case for reimbursement and seize ACA opportunities, pharmacists need to address a pair of enduring issues: unbundling services and credentials. Industry insiders contend that unbundling services (meaning pharmacists’ services are billed separately from drug distribution) would help ensure objectivity of care while capitalizing on the expanding capabilities of pharmacists. It would also dispel the belief that clinical services are tossed into the cost of drug distribution. According to UIC faculty, the time for unbundling is now, as the ACA has mandated an investigation into whether pharmacists’ medication management services create potential for conflict of interest. Moreover, separating clinical pharmacy services from prescription dispensing will help secure payment for services and allow pharmacists to demonstrate their true value as medical providers.

“The further we can move from the product dispensing component and into decision-making care, the better.” — Scott Meyers, ’76, Executive Vice President with the Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists

“The further we can move from the product dispensing component and into decision-making care, the better,” Meyers says. “The pharmacist can then be that

extension of the physician to make sure medication is managed efficiently and smoothly.” Meanwhile, a specialtycredentialing strategy could spur payment for clinical services provided by pharmacists. While there’s widespread consensus that some credentialing should be in place—a rather familiar practice in the medical world— what that process should be remains under debate. “Sometimes the profession shoots itself in the foot and misses the overall picture,” Bauman says. While securing Medicare’s stamp of approval will continue to be a long-term goal, the ACA offers potential for pharmacists to earn payment for their work on interdisciplinary healthcare teams. In the mind of Stubbings and many others, that gives pharmacists the opportunity to show their value and gain traction for the provider push. “We’ve gone all these years without [the Medicare status] …and at least the increased focus on teams will help create reimbursement opportunities,” Stubbings says. “There’s a chance here to open the healthcare industry’s eyes to our profession’s value.

Photo by Christopher Dilts for Obama for America



The New Independents After years of declining numbers, independent pharmacies have stabilized and, some believe, are poised for a renaissance BY DANIEL P. SMITH


fter three years as a CVS pharmacist in Chicago, Renny Kurup, pharmd ’04, grew tired of the corporate environment. He wanted more than a new job. He wanted a career that felt more fulfilling. Kurup gave long-term pharmacy care a shot; then, home infusion. Neither captured his heart. “I wanted to utilize my degree rather than being a short-order cook,” Kurup says.

Then, friend and former UIC classmate Amit Dhingra, pharmd ’04, invited Kurup to work a few shifts in his independent pharmacy. For Kurup, the proposition turned into a life-altering experience. “I was hooked by the idea of being my own boss,” Kurup says. “I decided that’s what I wanted.” In July 2010, Kurup snubbed warnings of independent pharmacy’s decline. With help from one technician, Kurup opened Halsted Pharmacy on the southern edge of Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Three years later, Halsted Pharmacy has become a neighborhood staple. Kurup now employs a staff of 17, including two full-time pharmacists. He says owning his own pharmacy has given him incentive to be innovative and responsive while energizing his daily work. “It hasn’t necessarily been easy, but it’s definitely been rewarding,” says Kurup. “As the CEO of this company, I care about every prescription that goes out the door.” Once considered a fast-fading industry—given the acceleration of


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big-box pharmacies, challenges from third-party payers, and aggressive auditing agencies—independent pharmacy appears poised for an upswing. After years of decline, the number of independent pharmacies in business have stabilized. Moreover, a shifting employment landscape is likely to lead more young pharmacists away from traditional careers while luring entrepreneurial-minded folks, like Kurup, toward the independent path. “I don’t have knowledge of independent pharmacy’s glory days—and that’s probably a good thing,” the 33-year-old Kurup says. “Rather than focusing on what was, I look at what can be.” Movement in the marketplace Certainly, pharmacy chains have claimed a swelling stake in the marketplace. Yet, in recent years, the number of independent pharmacies has held steady—giving many industry veterans hope that young, motivated pharmacists will enter the field. The outlook hasn’t always been so rosy, however. In the 1980s and 1990s, the rise of large chains and mail-order pharmacies weakened independent pharmacy’s marketplace position, says John Norton, a spokesperson for the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA). Nationally, the number of independent pharmacies dropped from 40,000 to around 20,000. In recent years, however, the number of independent pharmacies has stabilized around 23,000 nationally and 700 in Illinois, even as pharmacy chains continue to grow. In 2003, about 58 percent of all

pharmacies in the United States were independent. By 2012, the number of independent pharmacies had dipped to 52 percent. In Illinois, chains have already captured the market’s majority. In 2007, nearly 47 percent of the state’s pharmacies were independent; by 2012, only 40 percent were independent. Ken Bertini, bs ’71, owner of Segreti Pharmacy in west suburban Oak Park, says the competitive environment has “grown exponentially over the last 20 to 30 years,” making it harder for independents to survive. Like many other independents in the Chicago area, Bertini’s suburban store is surrounded by competitors—from 24-hour stores like Walgreens and CVS to pharmacy outlets in Dominick’s, Jewel-Osco, Target, Walmart, Costco, and Sam’s Club—all of which have extensive resources for marketing and other amenities. “The chains are well equipped and well resourced with more hours, more parking, and more items in their stores,” says Bertini, who worked at Segreti as a teen before purchasing the store in 1985. “We’re all fighting for a piece of the market.” The competition can be just as heated in rural areas. Luke Vander Bleek, bs ’86, has run Fitzgerald Pharmacy in Morrison, Ill., since 1992. While Fitzgerald is the lone pharmacy in the 4,200-resident town, residents can drive 15 minutes west to Clinton, Iowa, or 15 minutes east Sterling, Ill., to visit any number of the retail pharmacy conglomerates. “You could poll the next 100 people in my store and virtually every one of them

Beating the odds One independent pharmacist explains the formula behind his successful shop Starting a business is never easy. And it’s even harder when that business is an independent pharmacy. But Renny Kurup, pharmd ’04, has managed to do both—and with great success. As a starting point, Kurup secured capital using a variety of resources. Pharmaceutical distributor McKesson provided an interest-free loan for $100,000 of drug inventory and also linked Kurup to dozens of private insurance plans. Meanwhile, UIC professor Nicholas Popovich helped guide Kurup through the process, even suggesting that he minimize labor costs by taking fourth-year pharmacy students on rotation. “This worked beautifully,” Kurup says. “I got an extra set of hands and they learned.” Thereafter, Kurup worked on marketplace positioning, digging into his experience at CVS to identify areas in which corporate pharmacy fell short. He began offering free delivery and refill reminders and providing one-onone consultations with customers in a private room.

could direct you to these stores with precision,” Vander Bleek says. Craig Kueltzo, bs ’68, owner of Lombard Pharmacy in Chicago’s western suburbs since 1974, says insurance companies have also played a large role in community pharmacy’s decline by asserting control over distribution and defining payment policies.

“What was once an all-cash business has become an all-payer business and the chains were quicker than the independents to adapt,” Kueltzo says. “It simply became too much for the maand-pa pharmacies and many closed or sold to a chain.”

Most importantly, Kurup acted quickly and decisively. He invested $250,000 in a robot that counts, fills, and labels his shop’s top 200 drugs. He purchased other machines that make compounding creams and compounding capsules. And he went above-and-beyond to deliver exceptional customer service, going so far as to open his shop in the midnight hours and handdeliver prescriptions to customers’ homes. “We’ve accentuated our differences,” says Kurup, “to create marketplace strengths and loyal relationships.”

Many independent pharmacists say third-party payers,


INDEPENDENT PHARMACIST The New Independents (continued) including the government’s healthcare programs, have gained control of the system and now affect what pharmacists can provide patients and when. “It’s their way or the highway,” Kueltzo says. Then, there’s the challenge and responsibility of running one’s own business. At independent shops, pharmacy owners serve as the store’s CEO as well as its chief marketing officer, chief financial officer, HR director, and so on. That multilayered reality overwhelmed some independents and hurried them out of the business, while also turning some independent prospects to other professional possibilities. “When you’re an independent pharmacist, you need a lot of self determination,” Bertini says. An independent pharmacy rebirth? Some say that independent pharmacies have stabilized and a new generation is ready to lead its revival. Illinois Pharmacists Association executive director Garth Reynolds sees a new generation of pharmacists eschewing mainstream pharmacy in favor of more entrepreneurial endeavors, including community pharmacy. “I see a lot of young pharmacists who don’t want to be tied to the traditional model and who are eager to find new avenues for their work,” Reynolds says. With a total of seven pharmacy colleges in Illinois, supply is overshooting demand when it comes to pharmacy jobs. As a result, many predict that younger pharmacists will embrace the entrepreneurial life of community pharmacy. “Independent pharmacy is poised for a renaissance,” Kurup says. “There’s


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going to be people who roll the dice and say, ‘If I make it, then I can really make it.’” Certainly, the gamble has paid off for Kueltzo and Bertini. They speak of independent pharmacy as a profession, not a job, and celebrate the selfsatisfaction they get from their daily work. Indeed, direct patient interaction remains the hallmark of community pharmacy and what pulls—and keeps— many in the field; in contrast, many industry insiders charge, the chains too often prioritize filling bottles over patient care. In a 2013 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, David Dore of Brown University’s School of Public Health described the corporate retail pharmacist’s typical day as “being understaffed and overworked.” Dore also charged that large corporate pharmacies “limit staff in favor of profit and promise convenience instead of health care.” Kueltzo says he receives at least four letters each month from a corporate pharmacy offering to purchase his shop. Those inquiries inevitably find the trash can. “I enjoy what I do too much to give it up that easily. This is my life’s work, and I feel like I’m fighting the good fight here,” Kueltzo says. Preparing for an uncertain future To lead a revival, independent pharmacies will need to arm themselves with the right knowledge and resources. Developing a business acumen and understanding of marketplace conditions will help mitigate downward pressure from third parties. And, Vander Bleek says, independents need to “look 360 degrees to see where we can participate in healthcare, and then think

about how we can do it faster than the chains.” Leveraging mobile communications, social media and other technological tools will help independent pharmacists connect with the next generation of customers. Independent pharmacies can also differentiate themselves by offering specialized services such as compounding. “We can’t just live on antibiotics and hide behind the glass wall. We need to show people the service we can give,” says Kueltzo, who directs his staff to greet any customer within seven seconds of his or her arrival in the store. Kurup, too, has developed a loyal customer base because of the level of service he provides. “Our customers know they’re going to get the right prescription and that they’re going to be able to connect with us easily should they have any questions,” he says. Many say that offering personalized service that goes above-and-beyond the call of duty is key to the viability of community pharmacy. That means recognizing and providing patients with services such as financial assistance, explaning medications’ side effects, or offering step-by-step directions on medication usage. “It’s the pharmacist-patient relationship that’s at the heart of community pharmacy,” Reynolds says. “That’s what really gives hope to the future of independent pharmacy.”

Rural and independent Interest in community pharmacy is growing among UIC students With as many as 400 rural pharmacists across Illinois at or near retirement age, independent pharmacy in rural communities across the state appears ripe with opportunities, a reality not lost on students in UIC’s rural-focused RPHARM program at the College of Pharmacy’s Rockford campus. Allison Schriever, head of the RPHARM program and director of experiential education at Rockford, has noted rising student interest in independent pharmacy and anticipates many RPHARM graduates—the first of whom earned their degrees this spring— will explore community pharmacy as a professional endeavor. “The more our students interact with patients, the less they seem to be interested in filling prescriptions,” Schriever says. In response to the swelling interest in community pharmacy, Schriever and her Rockford colleagues have created leadership and management programs for students and coordinated regular interaction with independent pharmacy owners and representatives from companies such as McKesson and Cardinal, both of which actively help independent pharmacies launch. RPHARM students, in particular, take an immersion field trip to an independent pharmacy in Martinsville, Ill., during their first year and earn some introductory hours in the community pharmacy setting as well. This year, RPHARM’s first six students will also perform their six-week community practice at independent pharmacies located in rural towns across Illinois. Schriever hopes the in-school programs and experiential opportunities help students understand the totality of community pharmacy and provide the motivation necessary to succeed as an independent pharmacist. “We certainly hope students see community pharmacy as a potential career path, and we’re trying to help them understand just what it means,” Schriever says. “Community pharmacy is not just about the medication, but also payroll, insurance, inventory management, marketing, and making yourself an asset as the healthcare professional in town.”



A Hazy Outlook Medical marijuana becomes legal in Illinois next year; what that means for the state’s pharmacists is still unclear BY DANIEL P. SMITH


edical marijuana is on its way to the Land of Lincoln.

In signing the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act on Aug. 1, Governor Pat Quinn made Illinois the 20th state to legalize marijuana as a treatment for “debilitating medical conditions,” such as cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s. The legislation creates a four-year test run of medical marijuana in Illinois beginning on Jan. 1, 2014, and includes the establishment of up to 22 cannabis cultivation centers and 60 dispensing centers across the state. Qualified patients are eligible to receive up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana over a 14-day period by their current medical caregiver. No prescriptions will be

written, presented, or filed; rather, qualified individuals will carry an identification card issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Illinois Pharmacists Association (IPhA) executive director Garth Reynolds says pharmacists’ reaction to the new legislation, which was long in the state’s legislative pipeline, has been mixed. “There have been some pharmacists for it and some against it,” Reynolds says, noting that nearly all pharmacists remain concerned about proper drug reviews involving marijuana. The Cannabis Pilot Program Act has been touted as a measure that will ease patient suffering, generate tax dollars, and spark the creation of new business opportunities. It may also expand practice opportunities for pharmacists, which some say are best positioned to serve as the gatekeepers of medical marijuana’s distribution. However, it’s unclear who—pharmacists or otherwise—will be responsible for dispensing the medications, since the rules of the legislation will not be finalized until early 2014. The Illinois law does not specifically reference pharmacists, but many suspect that pharmacies will be eligible to apply for a license as one of the state’s 60 dispensaries. For pharmacy owners, that prospect is intriguing, yet it carries inherent risk. Currently, cannabis is classified as a C-I substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and pharmacists are not permitted to dispense it. Therefore, depending on


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the legislative rules, involvement in the distribution of medical marijuana could jeopardize a pharmacist’s DEA license and authority to dispense controlled substances. “Having one’s DEA license scrutinized should be a real concern for any pharmacy owner looking to get involved in the medical marijuana market,” Reynolds says. Another inherent risk, says J. Michael Patton, IPhA director of government affairs, is that insurance companies covering pharmacies could invalidate the insurance and deny claims of any pharmacy growing or dispensing a C-I substance. “It’s a far out reality, but a reality nonetheless,” Patton says. In addition, any pharmacy looking to become a cultivation center or dispensing organization is likely to face significant competition and costs. Rumors have swirled of application fees approaching $50,000, while many anticipate a licensing process littered with politics and who-you-know positioning. “Since the law does not go into effect until Jan. 1, so much remains in limbo,” Patton says. “It will likely be spring before the state begins implementing rules and granting licenses for dispensing organizations.” Despite medical marijuana’s growing acceptance in states across the country, Christina Godwin, who supervises

Top shop at UIC’s Outpatient Care Center Pharmacy, does not foresee many Illinois pharmacists rushing to enter the medical marijuana game until the issue gets clarified at the federal level. “Since marijuana is still illegal in the federal government’s eyes, I just don’t see many pharmacists willing to take the risk [of distributing medical marijuana] regardless of what the individual states say,” she says.

Committed to running a “squeaky clean operation,” Joseph Friedman hopes to open a medical marijuana dispensery in Illinois Last year, as the legalization of medical marijuana navigated Illinois’s legislative pipeline, Joseph Friedman, bs ’78, grew increasingly intrigued.

Yet, Godwin adds, pharmacists across Illinois will now need to consider marijuana’s presence when reviewing a patient’s medication list and disease states.

Long interested in the use of medical marijuana for patients with chronic ailments, Friedman—who pairs years of pharmacy practice with an MBA and corporate experience—saw an opportunity to create a new company that merged his business skills, entrepreneurial spirit, and understanding of pharmaceutical dispenseries.

“[Pharmacists will] certainly need to know if a patient is using marijuana to prevent harmful drug or disease interactions,” Godwin says.

“Pursuing a dispensing center was an opportunity I wanted to seriously explore,” says Friedman, a resident of Chicago’s northern suburbs.

At UIC’s Medication Therapy Management Clinic (MTM), clinical pharmacists see about 150 medically fragile patients on a monthly basis. Most of these individuals suffer from chronic diseases and take an average of 15 medications per day. MTM clinical pharmacist Anna Markel Vaysman expects several of the clinic’s patients to qualify for medical marijuana, including some who might pursue it as an addition to their routine medication.

As Friedman researched medical marijuana dispensaries across the country and scoured industry data, he noticed a trend: hundreds of dispensaries had closed after questionable business practices prompted raids by federal and local law enforcement. Many of those missteps stemmed from a lack of dispensary expertise, specifically in the areas of inventory management, patient credentialing, and patient education.

This new reality, Vaysman acknowledges, will require pharmacists at MTM and across Illinois to do two things. First, learn to address marijuana like any other medication—a somewhat tricky proposition, given that there’s little clinical data on how medical marijuana interacts with other medications. Second, discard any biases they have about the once-illicit drug. “We’ll have to overcome our own feelings about [medical marijuana] and treat it as any other drug that can help patients,” Vaysman says.

Friedman wanted to alter that trend. Today, Friedman and his two business partners—a specialty pharmacy owner and a CPA/attorney—are developing a comprehensive business plan that they hope will earn them one of the 60 dispensing center licenses granted by Illinois’s Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act.

To that end, Friedman has studied Illinois’s 92-page legislation and reviewed the application process in other states permitting medical marijuana. He has also connected with politicians and city managers throughout Lake County, the northern Illinois region where he’s looking to open a dispensary. Recognizing that medical marijuana remains a polarizing issue, Friedman calls community acceptance “a must.” “At this stage of the game, education, information, connections, and networking are key,” he says. Despite marijuana’s C-I classification by the DEA, Friedman isn’t concerned that opening a medical marijuana dispensary will cause problems with his existing pharmacy license. With regulatory adherence, strict inventory controls, and patient education platforms, he believes he will secure the confidence—not the ire—of government agencies. “I love the idea of setting up a dispensary that will be the envy of other Illinois-based dispensaries … [and] that’s our goal as we create our business plan,” Friedman says. Once Illinois releases dispensary applications in early 2014, Friedman anticipates intense competition for the permits. Yet, he stands confident that his team’s experience and commitment to running a “squeaky clean operation” elevates its chances. “You have to prove yourself before you can prove yourself,” Friedman says. “We’re still very early in the process and there’s a lot of work ahead of us, but we feel we have a good shot.”



Reunion 2013 REUNITED AND IT FEELS SO GOOD: Held on October 26 at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Oak Park, the UIC College of Pharmacy Reunion 2013 convened nearly 200 alumni, students, faculty, and staff. Graduates and current students raised glasses to celebrate the college’s history, honor its recent achievements and toast its bright future.


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Photography by Joshua Clark



Honoring excellence Each year, the College of Pharmacy Alumni Association recognizes outstanding graduates during Reunion. Here, we meet the all-stars of 2013 RENNY KURUP, pharmd ’04 Winner, 2013 Rising Star Award EARLY RISER: Kurup started his career at CVS as an overnight pharmacist. Later, he was promoted to pharmacy manager at the store, which was named the region’s best in customer service under his leadership. Kurup also aided victims of Hurricane Katrina and was featured in national CVS commercials. THINKING BIG: In late 2007, Kurup left CVS to broaden his work experience. He took a job with a long-term-care pharmacy, served as director of a homeinfusion pharmacy, and picked up shifts at an independent pharmacy. These moves were strategic. Kurup wanted to explore different environments so he could determine what type of pharmacy he wanted to establish on his own. MAKING HIS MART: In July 2010, Kurup opened Halsted Health Mart Pharmacy, an independent pharmacy

located in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Since then, the pharmacy has expanded from a staff of two to 20, growth that Kurup attributes to developing working relationships with neighboring physicians. He and his staff pride themselves on welcoming every person who enters the pharmacy. GIVING BACK: Since 2010, Kurup has served as a preceptor for UIC fourth-year pharmacy students and employs many first-, second-, and third-year students. Kurup says he believes in merging the “pharmatopia” of pharmacy school with real-life experience at his store. Many UIC students have played an active role in the growth of the pharmacy, implementing changes such as administering immunizations with flu and travel clinics, building a prescription compounding laboratory to provide custom medications, and implementing a pharmacy automation system. Kurup says he enjoys teaching pharmacy students and showing them that independent pharmacy is poised to make a comeback. WHAT’S NEXT: Kurup hopes to expand his business and run three independent pharmacies in Chicago.

LINDA GRIDER, bs ’75, mba 2013 Alumnus of the Year A STORIED CAREER: Grider, who has worked in the pharmacy profession for nearly 40 years, has held a wide range of positions—including pharmacist, manager, administrator, and clinical faculty member. She currently serves as a clinical assistant professor for the College of Pharmacy. WINNING BIG: Grider was honored with the UIC Alumni Association Leadership Award when she was a P4 student. She also received the UIC Award of Merit, Administrative Leadership Award, and WOW Award. WEARING MANY HATS: As an administrator, Grider focused on creating a healthy work environment, improving morale, and mitigating conflicts. As a professor, Grider focuses on engaging her students by injecting humor and pop culture into her lectures. She says that she especially enjoys working with students and precepting residents. A PERSONAL NOTE: Grider is married to Bruce Grider, bs ’74. They have three children—son Brian and twin daughters Katie and Kristin—all of whom have followed in Grider’s footsteps by serving as special education teachers/administrators. The Griders live in Oswego on a horse farm, where they care for retired and injured horses along with mares and their babies.



Congratulations, graduates! Commencement recognizes 276 graduates from the Class of 2014 A ROUND OF APPLAUSE for the 276 students who graduated from the College of Pharmacy on May 9, 2014. This year’s Commencement ceremony featured a keynote address by Ron Weinert, bs ’83, vice president for accountable care services at Walgreens. Former alumni board president, Ed Cohen, bs ’75, led the graduates in reciting the “Oath of a Pharmacist,” per tradition.

DEGREES AWARDED 192 Doctor of Pharmacy 20 Doctor of Philosophy 7 Biopharmaceutical Sciences 6 Medicinal Chemistry 6 Pharmacognosy 1 Pharmacy Systems, Outcomes, and Policy 15 Master of Science 0 Biopharmaceutical Sciences 19 Forensic Science 2 Medicinal Chemistry 2 Pharmacognosy 6 Pharmacy Systems, Outcomes, and Policy


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The Oath of a Pharmacist I promise to devote myself to a lifetime of service to others through the profession of pharmacy. In fulfilling this vow: • I will consider the welfare of humanity and relief of suffering my primary concerns. • I will apply my knowledge, experience and skills to the best of my ability to ensure optimal outcomes for my patients. • I will respect and protect all personal and health information entrusted to me. • I will accept the lifelong obligation to improve my professional knowledge and competence. • I will hold myself and my colleagues to the highest principles of our profession’s moral, ethical and legal conduct. • I will embrace and advocate changes that improve patient care. • I will utilize my knowledge, skills, experiences and values to prepare the next generation of pharmacists. I take these vows voluntarily with the full realization of the responsibility with which I am entrusted by the public.



Class Notes 1969 Dale R Metcalfe, bs, of Bristol, is a retired pharmacist and ordained Roman Catholic deacon. Along with participating in Deacon Travel Ministries, he runs a funeral officiant services company with his wife, Arlene.

1980 Dan Salemi, bs, of Draper, Utah, was recently named president of pharmacy for New Albertson’s Inc. In this role, Salemi will oversee all aspects of the pharmacy operation of the Albertsons, Jewel/Osco, Shaw’s, and Acme chains.

1972 William T. Lee, bs, of Radford, Virginia, is the pharmacy system director for Carilion Clinic, the largest healthcare system in southwest Virginia. Carilion Clinic is composed of eight hospitals with more than 150 clinics.

1982 Stan Reents, res, of Cave Creek, Ariz., is president and CEO of AthleteInMe .com, an online resource for information on exercise and fitness, fitness gear, and sports nutrition. His company’s Exercise Calorie Converter app was recognized as one of 2013’s top digital health resources by Web Health Awards.

1975 Linda Grider, bs, of Oswego, completed the 2013 Chicago Marathon in October for the second time. She was joined by her daughters, Kristein and Katie. Grider was also named UIC College of Pharmacy Alumnus of the Year at the college’s reunion celebration in October. She is married to Bruce Grider, bs ’74. Read more about Grider on page 45. 1977 Claire M. Thom, bs, pharmd ’82, of Northbrook, was named senior vice president of global oncology development at Astellas Pharma Global Development, Inc., a subsidiary of Astellas Pharma Inc. in Tokyo, Japan. Thom has more than 24 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. She has worked across a wide range of functional areas, including drug development, new product planning, and marketing. Most recently, she served as senior vice president of portfolio management, drug development management, and strategic business operations at Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company. 1979 Anna Nowobilski Vasilios, bs, of Chicago, is principal at Anovation, Inc. She coedited the 5th edition of Extended Stability for Parenteral Drugs with Caryn M. Bing. The reference covers alternate site infusion for preparing sterile compounds. Vasilios is also the recipient of the 2012 PAPA Member of the Year award. 40

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1986 Cynthia Collins, bs, of Tinley Park, was appointed president and CEO of the biopharmaceutical company GenVec, Inc., in May 2012. She previously served as group vice president of cellular analysis business at Beckman Coulter from 2007 to 2011. Collins also served as CEO of Sequoia Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a private biotechnology company that develops antiviral drugs. As president of Clinical Micro Sensors, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Motorola, she directed the development and commercialization of molecular diagnostic microarray products and led the eventual strategic divestiture of the division. During her 17-year career with Baxter Healthcare, Collins was appointed to several executive roles, including president of global oncology and vice president of strategy and portfolio management of BioScience. 1989 Mickie (Timlin) Brunner, pharmd, of Mokena, is the incoming president of the IPhA. She was among several alumni honored at the UIC College of Pharmacy Alumni Reception at IPhA on Sept. 27. 1993 Musadik Malik, ms, phd ’95, mba ’97, of Boston, Mass., is head of Middle East operations at Boston Innovation Partners, a global strategy and management consulting firm. In this role, he

has developed industrial, labor reform and education strategies for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. He also established the Bahrain Stock Exchange and an alternate dispute resolution system. He recently advised the Omani government on health, education, and energy issues, including renewable energy. Previously, Malik worked for Arthur D. Little Consulting for more than a decade. 1994 Clara Morris Clark, pharmd, of Frisco, Texas, retired from John J. Pershing VA Medical Center in January 2013. 1994 Despina Kotis, pharmd, of Chicago, is a pharmacy director at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. She was also named a 2013 fellow of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. According to the ASHP Practitioner Recognition Program, pharmacists chosen for the fellowship have “made significant contributions to health-system pharmacy practice, extensively contributed to the professional literature, given many presentations at professional meetings, and demonstrated consistent involvement in professional activities.” 1999 Mark Bachleda, pharmd, of Weddington, N.C., and wife, Joy, welcomed their son, Gabriel Józef, on Oct. 16. Gabriel weighed in at 8 lbs, 10 oz. Gabriel joins siblings Olivia and Jakob. Bachleda is executive director of regional sales at Amgen, Inc. 2002 Donny Chavez, pharmd, and his wife Annette (Pellegrino) Chavez, pharmd ’04, of Chicago, welcomed their second child, Olivia Rose, in October. Olivia weighed in at 8 lbs, 1 oz. They have another daughter, Ellie (2 years old). Annette is currently a manager of medical information and review at Takeda Pharmaceuticals International in Deerfield. Donny is a pharmacy manager at Walgreens in Chicago.

1995 2003 Erin Elizabeth Derks, pharmd, of Chicago, is a pharmacy manager at Walgreens. She married Dick Derks on Jan. 18, 2008, and gave birth to daughter Anabelle Rose Derks on Oct. 23, 2010. 2003 Huzefa Master, pharmd, of Elmhurst, is a faculty member at Midwestern University College of Pharmacy. His daughter, Umme Salama Huzefa Master, was born on Aug. 13. 2004 Suzanne Rabi Soliman, pharmd, of Norwood, N.J., and her husband Will Soliman welcomed their second child, Sarah Marie, to their family on Oct. 1. Sarah weighed in at 6 lbs, 8 oz. Soliman is assistant dean of academic affairs and clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice at the UIC College of Pharmacy. Their first child, Jude, is two years old. 2007 Eva Morrison, pharmd, of Loves Park, is a pharmacy manager at Walgreens. She and her husband, Matt Morrison, pharmd ’06, who also works as a Walgreens pharmacy manager, welcomed their son, Evan Bradley, in 2011. 2007 Robert Wittenberg, pharmd, of Highland Park, is associate director of regulatory affairs, advertising, and promotion at Baxter International in Deerfield. He has two boys, Max (5 years old) and Alexander (2.5 years old), with his wife, Jamie. 2008 Janet Renee Kueker, pharmd, bs ’04 UIUC, of South Beloit, is a staff pharmacist with Walgreens. She and her husband, Joshua Kueker, welcomed their first child, Justin Clark Kueker, on June 25, 2012. 2008 Hee Jung Sung (Kang), pharmd, of Chicago, received her BCPS certifica-

tion in 2012. Sung and her husband, Joon, have two children, Alan (7 years old) and Allison (4 years old). 2009 Kelly Valla, pharmd, of Atlanta, Ga., is a clinical pharmacy specialist in hematology/oncology at Emory Healthcare. She was the 2010–11 recipient of the inaugural ACCP Hematology/ Oncology PRN PGY2 Oncology Resident of the Year award. Valla became a board-certified oncology pharmacist through the Board of Pharmacy Specialties. 2010 Leah M. Steinke, res, of Birmingham, Mich., is a clinical pharmacist specialist in pediatric infectious diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan at the Detroit Medical Center. In September, Steinke was awarded the New Investigator Research Grant from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Research and Education Foundation. Steinke will use the $20,000 grant to conduct the study “Impact of Pharmacist-Led Pediatric Antimicrobial Stewardship Rounds” with senior investigator Michael J. Rybak. Steinke is one of only two pharmacist investigators in the nation to receive a New Investigator Research Grant in 2013. 2011 Pat Fleming, pharmd, bs ’07 LAS, of Chicago, and his wife, Liz, welcomed their daughter, Colette Elizabeth, on June 24. Fleming is a clinical staff pharmacist in oncology at UIC. 2011 Sofia Gavas, pharmd, of Arlington Heights, was awarded the 2013 CVS Pharmacy Paragon Award for her district and region (District 3 and Region 57). Selection for the Paragon Award is based on individuals’ ability to deliver outstanding business results, lead their teams to excellence, and make substantial contributions to

Miriam Mobley-Smith, pharmd, of South Holland, was named Pharmacist of the Year at IPhA on Sept. 27. The Pharmacist of the Year award was first presented in 1950 and goes to an Illinois pharmacist who has made outstanding contributions to pharmacy practice, the profession, and the IPhA. After earning her PharmD, MobleySmith remained on as faculty for nearly 13 years with titles such as clinical assistant professor, academic programs coordinator, and director of experiential education. She began working for Chicago State University College of Pharmacy in 2007, where she is currently a tenured professor and dean. Mobley-Smith has received numerous awards, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Primary Healthcare Pharmacy Fellow and the Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists Pharmacist of the Year award. She also earned the 2006 Illinois Area Agencies on Aging Sid Granet Aging Network Achievement Award and was appointed an AACP Academic Leadership Fellow. In 2010, she was appointed to the Illinois State Board of Pharmacy where she serves as member of the Pharmacy Workforce Center, Technical Advisory Panel, and Professional Examination Services Board of Directors. Mobley-Smith then was awarded the National Pharmaceutical Associations Chauncey I. Cooper Award in recognition of her sustained and distinguished service in the field of pharmacy and was recently appointed vice chair of the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education. She was also named a 2013 fellow of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Mobley-Smith is an active member of the American Pharmacists Association, Chicago Pharmacists Association, Illinois Pharmacists Association, and Rho Chi. She has made more than 100 local, regional, and national presentations and completed a multitude of research projects, publications, and aging-related programming.

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CLASS NOTES Class Notes (continued from page 37) their communities. Gavas accepted the honor at an awards ceremony on Sept. 12. 2011 Michael Mearis, pharmd, of Park Ridge, and his wife, Kelly Kozak Mearis, welcomed their daughter, Theodora, to their family on Feb. 26, 2013. Theodora weighed in at 8 lbs, 10 oz. Michael serves as a clinical pharmacist in emergency medicine at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville. 2012 Nicole Avant, of Oklahoma City, Okla., gave birth to Dakarai Asanti Fletcher last summer. Avant is currently

working on a PGY2 residency in Oklahoma City. 2013 Catherine Palladino, pharmd, of Chicago, is a PGY1 resident at Lexington VA Medical Center in Lexington, Ky. Upon completion, she will remain on at Lexington VA to pursue her PGY2 ambulatory care pharmacy residency. 2014 Jessica Wills, pharmd candidate, of Chicago, recently gave birth to her daughter, Emily. Wills is the daughter of Norm Katz, UIC professor of pharmacology.

2014 Joseph Barone, res, of Piscataway, N.J., was named dean of the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University. He has served as acting dean of the school since October 2011. With his leadership, the school has risen in ranking based on NIH funding from 16th place nationally in 2011 to 11th place in 2012. In his 30 years at Rutgers, Barone has received the Levine Teacher of the Year Award four times and was recognized as Educator of the Year by the Research & Development Council of New Jersey.

Breaking tradition A pharmacist by training, Mary Bennett found professional satisfaction in a nontraditional career


fter graduating from pharmacy school, Mary Bennett, bs ’79, was “restless,” she says.

“I jumped from one position to another,” Bennett notes, recalling jobs at community, hospital, home-health, and nursing facilities. Each role left her feeling like she “needed something different.”

compliance and ethics program as part of their government-imposed Integrity Agreement. Bennett joined a boutique consulting group, Ethical Leadership Group, as its first employee in 1999.

Bennett found her fit in the pharmaceutical industry, where she landed positions at two high-profile healthcare companies: Baxter and Caremark.

“I was challenged with creating and delivering training on the Caremark CIA for all 28,000 employees worldwide within three months,” remembers Bennett. “About 300 employees were outside the U.S., and needless to say, I needed help.

The pharmaceutical industry “offers a pharmacist many options,” says Bennett. Pharmacists who, like Bennett, think outside the box often find most opportunities in the business environment, she adds. That mindset became particularly valuable to Bennett in securing her position as vice president of Caremark’s compliance and integrity office. There, she was tasked with developing Caremark’s

“I engaged the president and solo practitioner of ELG, Steve Priest, to do all of the offshore work,” she continues. “Luckily, I met him at an industry conference that I attended the first week on the job. Subsequently, we worked together on several more Caremark projects, and four years later, he offered me a job. It has certainly been a fun ride ever since! Lots of learning and challenges.”


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Today, Bennett is a vice president in the organization—which is now part of Navex Global, a provider of governance, regulatory, and compliance products and services. At Navex Global, Mary works across all industries, creating and facilitating award-winning training programs, conducting large- and small-scale program assessments, developing compliance training and communications, and helping clients develop best-practice programs. Bennett says her nontraditional career has helped her discover how pharmacy and healthcare interface with business. She encourages other pharmacists to think broadly when exploring their career options. “If you feel that there is something different out there for you [besides] a traditional pharmacy career, then there probably is,” she says. “There are so many exciting paths that you can pursue with your training and education.”

Service leader Through his military, clinical, and humanitarian service, George Havens has saved lives—and changed even more


etired captain George J. Havens, bs ’85, has always valued a global mindset. After high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and became an aircrewman and frequency analyst, tracking Soviet submarines. Havens then began his studies at UIC, intent on taking his military career to the next level as a naval aviator. As it turned out, pharmacy school led him on a different trajectory. After graduating from UIC, Havens joined the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) and was assigned to the Indian Health Service (IHS). The clinical position, which took him to Arizona, Montana, and Washington, “was intensely rewarding,” recalls Havens. “We were utilizing cutting-edge patient care in the ’80s. Pharmacists [were able] to view the patient’s entire medical record.” Fate intervened when a fellow PHS pharmacist sought out a relief pharmacist to serve for 30 days as a foreign disaster specialist in Washington, D.C. Havens took the role. But instead of concluding after a month, the position led to the creation of a new role for Havens: disaster pharmacist for the U.S. Agency for International Development. At USAID, Havens found himself in a decidedly less clinical and more humanitarian role. He spent the next six years focusing on logistics and overseeing disaster preparedness and

response in Africa, the Middle East, southern Asia, and Europe. Responding to natural and man-made disasters in Iran, Iraq, Czech Republic, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, India, Sierra Leone, Eritrea, and Kosovo, he developed his skills as a young emergency health officer. Havens and his teams provided humanitarian aid and delivered lifesaving supplies while working to improve public health. This eye-opening post exposed Havens to public health on an even broader scale, an experience that proved valuable during his next assignment as a medical field operations unit leader with the National Disaster Medical System (which, at that time, was part of the Department of Homeland Security). In this capacity, Havens was deployed domestically to sites such as Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina and Texas following Hurricane Rita. In New Orleans, Havens oversaw operations for 14 days at Louis Armstrong International Airport, where a triage and medical treatment station was set up for patients and pets. Thousands of stabilized patients were evacuated from the site by air to hospitals throughout the nation. Before retiring, Havens accepted leadership positions with the National Disaster Medical System, Department of Health and Human Services, and

the U.S. Department of Defense’s U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) Interagency Coordination Directorate. In his final posting with NORTHCOM, Havens was deployed to U.S. Southern Command in Miami to assist victims from the earthquake in Haiti. His role was to coordinate efforts between the U.S. military and other responding parties, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the United Nations, and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. “If you really want to practice cuttingedge pharmacy, the Public Health Service, particularly the IHS, is a great way to go,” advises Havens. “If you are open to opportunities, consider

volunteering for the NDMS, and get out of your niche to see the larger public health picture.” To learn more or to volunteer for the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS), please visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services site at: q8vzus3.



Frederick P. Siegel 1927–2013 courtesy of UIC COP

Siegel, 85, died Dec. 15 in Glenview after being in failing health for many years. He formerly resided in Lincolnwood. He was born Dec. 30, 1927, in Norwalk, Conn. “He was a fun but effective lecturer who had a dry sense of humor,” says Bauman of his former professor. Bauman said Siegel never used notes to teach, but was “completely organized.” Siegel said he felt restricted by notes, and if something came into his head, he felt it was more important to immediately discuss it. A textbook or course outline would not allow him to do so.


rederick P. Siegel never had a dull moment in his 34 years as a College of Pharmacy professor.

While some of the material Siegel taught in his medical dietetics or dermatologics courses could be less than exciting, he always injected some humor and relevance into the subject matter, said Jerry Bauman, the current dean who was a former student of Siegel’s in the 1970s.


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Siegel was so revered by his students that two of them, Bruce and Linda Grider, helped establish the Frederick P. Siegel PhD Scholarship. The $2,300 scholarship is presented annually to a student that has experienced a hardship in his or her life, as “Dr. Siegel was always there to help someone in need,” Bruce Grider says. During his UIC career, Siegel was voted Teacher of the Year in the College of Pharmacy 15 times—eight times by the senior class, five times by the juniors

and twice by the freshmen. He also received nine Golden Apple Awards, which designates the college’s best teachers. In 1990, Siegel received the campus-wide UIC Award for Excellence in Teaching. In a UIC News story announcing his retirement, Siegel said one of his greatest joys was to have a student come up to him and say, “I appreciate having you as a teacher and love having you in the classroom. To me, that was the greatest gratification anyone could bestow.” Following his retirement from UIC, Siegel became director of product development for GenDerm, a Lincolnshire dermatological firm, where he was charged with bringing concepts to final dosage form. He was also a consultant for numerous companies, including the former Armour Dial Inc., Champion Papers, Abbott Laboratories, Pillsbury, and Revlon Inc. Siegel received his PhD from UIC in 1955 after obtaining a bachelor of science degree in pharmacy from the University of Connecticut in 1949 and master of science from the Ohio State University in 1951. He began his teaching career at UIC in 1958. Upon his retirement, the college declared May 18, 1992, Frederick P. Siegel Day. Siegel is survived by his wife, Anita, and daughters Heidi, Karen, and Linda.

In Memoriam 1933 Milton Laskov, phg, of Tamarac, Fla., July 17, 2002. 1935 Sam Chadd, bs, of Port Angeles, Wash., July 7, 2013. Born in Rezischev, Ukraine, Chadd and his mother immigrated to the United States when he was a child. After pharmacy school, he became a Walgreens manager and married Evelyn Matloff, also now deceased. That same year, 1940, he quit his job to take over the family business after his father became injured. He eventually acquired his own store, and the Liberty Collateral Company thrived until 1968 when he closed the business due to insurance issues. After a hiatus, Chadd reentered the practice of pharmacy, working as an apprentice for a year until he was able to pass the state licensing exam. In 1985, Chadd retired, and he and his wife moved to Port Angeles, Wash., where their daughter lived with her family. The Chadds enjoyed their new community, and Sam put his love of driving to use by volunteering to deliver Meals on Wheels. An avid stock market enthusiast, Sam took an investment class and joined an investment club, actively pursuing his pastime until his death. 1942 Mary M. Wieczorek, bs, md ’48, Nov. 28, 2012. 1950 Paul Neumann, bs, of Lake Mills, Wis., Feb. 4, 2013. An Aurora native, Neumann was a member of the U.S. Army Medical Corps from 1950 to 1957, retiring with the rank of major. He owned and operated Staudt and Neumann Pharmacy and was past president of

the Aurora Area Pharmacy Association and Exchange Club of Aurora. Neumann was also a member of the Aurora American Legion Band. A licensed pilot, he owned his own plane, named “Blue Love.” After retiring from Aurora Pharmacy, Neumann moved to Lake Mills, Wis., where he was a member of the Rotary Club and the Lake Mills Band; he also served as past president of the Rock Lake Sanctuary District and was a deacon at First Congregational Church.

McLean was one of only a handful of women in her graduating class at UIC. She married her husband, Earl, in 1954 and had a lifelong career in pharmacy. A breast cancer survivor, McLean was an active member of Omaha’s Bosom Buddies and was a member and volunteer at St. Wenceslaus parish. 1955

Irvin Tchon, bs, of Chicago, Nov. 24, 2012. During his career, Tchon worked as a state pharmacy inspector, controlled substance and drug investigator, and Florida retail and hospital consulting pharmacist. A decorated veteran of World War II, he served with the 14th Air Force Flying Tigers. Tchon was a member of Hump Pilots Association C.B.I., AMVETS, DAV, Polish American Veterans, PNA, PRCU, and the Polish American Pharmacist Association. He was a candidate for the 12th Congressional District and the acting Republican committeeman for the 30th Ward; he also worked on election campaigns for presidents, senators, state representatives, and city officials. Tchon was president of the Northwest Chicago Senior Citizens Legislative Council and led a campaign to establish the Copernicus Senior Center.

John L. “Jack” Ingold, bs, of Bloomington, Nov. 15, 2012. Ingold was a member of the U.S. Army from 1956 to 1958, serving in the Rodriquez Army Hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico. After his discharge from the service, he joined Biasi’s Drug Store, a Bloomingtonbased pharmacy that he merged with another local pharmacy in 1976. Ingold retired in 1997 but remained active as a volunteer pharmacist in the Community Health Clinic. In 2007, he was named the United Way Community Health Care Clinic Volunteer of the Year. Ingold was active in his community; he served on various boards and committees at Wesley United Methodist Church, MARC Center, the Children’s Foundation, Beyond the Books Foundation, and the Westminster Foundation. In 1990, he received the Those Who Excel—Award of Merit from the Illinois State Board of Education. He was also president of the Friends of the Arts and the McLean County Art Center and was active with the Community Players in Bloomington.



Robert Deck, bs, of Girard, March 14, 2013. Deck was coowner of Decks Drug Store in his hometown of Girard.

Glenn S. Kraiss, bs, of Fountain Hills, Ariz., Jan. 18, 2013. A former executive vice president of store operations for Walgreens, Kraiss spent 50 years with the company—beginning with a job in high school, when he worked the soda fountain at a Chicago store. Kraiss continued to work for the company throughout


Kenneth Hood, bs, of Kansas City, Miss., Feb. 17, 2013. Joan Aloysius McLean, bs, of Omaha, Neb., Nov. 10, 2012. A Chicago native,

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OBITUARIES Obituaries (continued from page 41) college, moving up the ranks until his retirement in 1999. In 1998, Kraiss received the University of Illinois Alumni Association’s Alumni Achievement Award, the organization’s most prestigious honor. Each year, the UIC College of Pharmacy bequeaths the Glenn S. Kraiss Pharmacy Leadership scholarship to a P4 student in Kraiss’s honor. 1957 Warren F. Linke, bs, of Wilmington, May 14, 2011. Gerald K. Masover, bs, ms ’70 LAS, of Oakland, Calif., Nov. 29, 2012. Masover enjoyed a successful career as a pharmacist in Chicago before moving to California with his family in 1970 to earn a doctorate in medical microbiology at Stanford University. He then switched careers to become a research scientist, eventually retiring from Genentech in 2004. 1959 Edwin James Choate, bs, of LeClaire, Iowa, Dec. 13, 2013. Choate was president of Mays Drug Inc. A U.S. Navy serviceman, Choate met his wife of more than 57 years, Lois Rose Pin, when he was stationed in Cuba. Choate’s interests included hunting, fishing, and, in later years, volunteering his pharmacist services on medical missionary trips to Haiti and Peru. He and his wife were members of the Our Lady of the River Catholic Church in LeClaire. 1962 Robert R. Kovera, bs, of Naples, Fla., Nov. 16, 2012. Kovera married his wife, Arlene, in 1963. Their family moved to Naples in 1972, where they owned Naples 5th Avenue Pharmacy. 1963 Beverly Talluto, bs, pharmd ’94, of Frankfort, July 6, 2013. Talluto owned Frankfort Square Pharmacy in Frankfort and Wolf


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Road Pharmacy in Mokena. She previously was associate dean of pharmacy at Texas A&M University. 1965 Norman L. Schwabacher, bs, of Peoria, Feb. 17, 2013. Schwabacher was the owner of B and L Pharmacy for 20 years. He was a member of Congration Agudas Achim, where he served as its longtime financial officer, and was a past president of the Central Illinois Pharmaceutical Association. 1966 Donald Buckert, bs, of Elvaston, April 6, 2013. Buckert married his wife in his hometown of Elvaston on Jan. 1, 1965. He began his career in pharmacy at Keasling’s Pharmacy in Keokuk, then became pharmacy director at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Keokuk before joining Keokuk Area Hospital as director of pharmacy and materials management. In 1976, Buckert became director of pharmacy at Sacred Heart Hospital in Fort Madison, now Fort Madison Community Hospital. He retired in 2010 but continued to work part-time at the hospital, where he was honored in 2011 for 35 years of service. Buckert also worked at Glash Drug in Bushnell for 34 years. At UIC, he was a member of Delta Omega Nut, president of the student chapter of the American Pharmaceutical Association (1965–66), and member of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Buckert was an active member of the Elvaston Community Church, where he served as an elder, taught Sunday school, sang in the choir, and served as treasurer for 32 years. He also served on the Elvaston town board from 1967 to 2003. An avid sports fan and former little league coach, he and his wife were honored as Sports Boosters of the Year in 2005. He enjoyed travel, spending time with family, duck hunting, and planting trees. In 1979, Buckert established DoBry Apiaries, a beekeeping and honey-producing business, as a 4-H project with his son.

A trombone player, he was a longtime member of McNamara’s Band, and the Hamilton Community Band, and often played in various local community orchestras. Donald Talkowsky, bs, of Morton Grove, June 11, 2012. 1968 Dennis M. Jacobson, bs, of Des Plaines, Jan. 3, 2013. 1972 Kenneth J. Irle, of Hagerman, Ind., March 13, 2013. After earning his pharmacy degree, Irle and his wife, Linda, moved to St. Joseph, where they owned and operated two drug stores for 20 years. Upon selling the businesses, the couple moved to Indianapolis, Ind., where they both worked for Cub Foods Pharmacy. They then moved to Idaho, where Irle worked as a pharmacist for Ridley’s Family Market in Buhl before retiring in 2011. 1974 Craig R. Haring, of Woodridge, June 17, 2012. 1975 Thomas Kobler, bs, of Eden Prarie, Minn., Nov. 9, 2010. 1978 Donald Albrecht, bs, pharmd ’94, of Bourbonnais, April 20, 2013. A Chicago native, Albrecht married Adrienne Wakat on Aug. 5, 1978, shortly after earning his pharmacy degree. During his career, Albrecht established a clinical pharmacy program at Riverside Medical Center and taught pharmacology to nursing students at Olivet Nazarene University. He enjoyed training young pharmacists and served as a preceptor at local hospitals. In his leisure time, Albrecht enjoyed music and spending time with his family, dogs, and African Gray Parrots.


Support the Dean Henri R. Manasse, Jr., Scholarship

If you’re a College of Pharmacy alumnus or ASHP member, chances are, you’ve heard of Henri R. Manasse, Jr., PhD, ScD. As a strong visionary and inspirational leader, former dean Manasse helped to move the college and profession forward having set an audacious goal of Doctor of Pharmacy for every graduate of the UIC College of Pharmacy. This was an early first step for a man who would go on to spend his career working to serve, represent, and rightfully elevate pharmacists who practice in hospitals and health systems across the country. Educated as a pharmacist at the University of Illinois in 1968, Dr. Manasse went on to earn a master of arts in educational psychology from Loyola University Chicago and a PhD in pharmacy administration from the University of Minnesota. Through his education, training, and life experiences, Dr. Manasse developed a unique set of skills, perspective, and philosophy regarding his chosen professional. He would go on to serve a number of leadership positions, including dean and professor of pharmacy administration at the college, vice chancellor for health sciences at the University of Illinois Medical Center, vice president for health sciences at the University of Iowa, and chairman of the Board of the University of Iowa Health System before serving as the executive vice president and chief executive officer of the American Society of Health‐System Pharmacists. Throughout his long and accomplished career, he was always focusing on opening new doors and redefining care models for pharmacists to use their extensive clinical knowledge to contribute at the forefront of patient care. Given his extensive and impactful career, the college hopes to ensure Dr. Manasse’s legacy of leadership with the creation of a $25,000 endowed scholarship in his name.

We need your help. Please consider a $250 gift to the Dean Henri R. Manasse, Jr., Scholarship Fund. Your gift, combined with those of other alumni, will honor a visionary leader who has impacted the lives of our alumni as well as the professional for many years to come.

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For the full calendar of events, visit the College of Pharmacy Office of Advancement and Alumni Affairs online at Questions? Contact Deb Fox at (312) 996-0160 or

Upcoming College of Pharmacy Events August 21 WHITE COAT CEREMONIES UIC College of Pharmacy, Chicago and Rockford campuses Contact: Deb Fox:

LET’S MEET UP! Keep an eye on for college reception details at these upcoming professional organization meetings:

August 29 THE ANNUAL GARDEN WALK AND LESNIEWICZ LECTURE Tours of the Atkins Medicinal Plant Garden and guest lecturer Contact: Deb Fox:

September 11–13 ICHP ANNUAL MEETING Drury Lane Theatre & Conference Center 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace

September 12 NORMAN R. FARNSWORTH LECTURE FEATURING KEYNOTE SPEAKER MICHAEL TEMPESTA, PHD Title: “From University Lab to Market, the Discovery and Development of SP-303 (Crofelemer/ Fulyzaq), a Novel Polyphenol Isolated from Croton lechleri.” Contact: Deb Fox:

September 25–28 IPHA ANNUAL MEETING St. Louis, Missouri October 12-15 ACCP ANNUAL MEETING Austin, Texas

October 11 CARDINAL HEALTH WOMEN IN PHARMACY – PHARMACY OWNERSHIP “BOOT CAMP” CONTINUING EDUCATION PROGRAM 833 South Wood Street, Room 32 9:00 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Contact: Deb Fox: November 8 ANNUAL ALUMNI REUNION Harry Carey’s, Lombard, IL Contact: Deb Fox:

Photo: Dorthy Bradley Atkins Medicinal Plant Garden

Summer 2014 UIC Pharmacist  

This issue celebrates the historic occasion of the 1st graduating class of our Rockford campus.

Summer 2014 UIC Pharmacist  

This issue celebrates the historic occasion of the 1st graduating class of our Rockford campus.