As always, a lot is happening at the UMKC School of Pharmacy! Here are a few highlights to catch you up on recent activities at the school.
Outstanding Student Pharmacists! Once again, our chapter of the American Pharmacists Association- Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) continued to shine and bring national attention to UMKC! At the 2017 annual meeting of the APhA, our student chapter was recognized as the Division AA first runner up placing them in the top seven APhA-ASP chapters in the nation! Also at the APhA meeting, Elizabeth Rodman was recognized as the recipient of the nationally acclaimed Boyle Family Scholarship from the APhA Foundation, and Sara Massey was selected to serve on the APhA-ASP National Communications Standing Committee. Most recently, we had two participants in the competitive American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Walmart Scholars Program: Sara Massey and Janna Brown. Many congratulations to all of our students who continue to do so well, and bring recognition to their school!
Outstanding Faculty! It is no wonder to me why our student pharmacists have been so successful. The answer is simple, they are led by outstanding faculty. In recent faculty news, we are proud that our own Dr. Jeremy Hampton was sworn in as the new President of the Missouri Society of Health Systems Pharmacists. Also in health system pharmacy, Dr. Andy Smith was named the Pharmacist of the Year by the Greater Kansas City Society of Health Systems Pharmacists. Dr. Lisa Cillessen and her colleagues at Jordan Valley Community Health Center received recognition from the American Diabetes Association for their Diabetes Education Program. We have another nationally recognized diabetes educator, and that is Dr. Andrew Bzowyckyj who was featured as a Member Highlight on the American Association of Diabetes Educator website. Also recognized on a nationally was the work that our own Dr. Kelly Cochran who in collaboration with her team from Mizzou and Lincoln University were recognized in the U.S. National Food and Agriculture 2016 Annual Report for their work to minimize health risks and avoid re-injury related to prescription medications for disabled farmers! In basic science research, Dr. Simon Friedman was awarded the 2017 UMKC Trustees Faculty Fellow Award as well as the UMKC NT Veatch Award for Distinguished Research and Creativity. And, Dr. Ashim Mitra was awarded the 2017 Dr. Roger Vogel Award for Pharmaceutical Research from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. Congratulations to all of these faculty successes!
Dr. Beth Winans. The School of Pharmacy greatly misses our dear friend and colleague, Dr. Beth Winans who passed away after a long and courageous battle with cancer in December of 2016. Beth joined UMKC in 2007. Her practice was mostly at Truman Medical Centers’ Behavior Health Department, where she taught student pharmacists and medical teams. She was recognized nationally by the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists with the Innovative Practice Award, signifying her hard work, dedication and creativity in behavioral health.
Faculty Changes. Bitter sweet is how we describe our feelings for the upcoming retirement of Dr. Peggy Kuehl. Dr. Kuehl served the school for many years as the director of our community pharmacy residence program among many other teaching responsibilities in the school. We will greatly miss her, but we also wish Peggy well in her new adventures after retirement in the fall. The school is eagerly awaiting the start of new faculty joining the school. Dr. Diana Tamer will join us in the fall. Her expertise is oncology and her practice site will be at Shawnee Mission Health. We are grateful to our partners there who helped us recruit Diana and will welcome her into their practice. Also joining us in the fall is Dr. Melissa Palmer who has expertise in psychiatric pharmacotherapy. Her practice site will be at North Kansas City hospital. And, Dr. Sarah Oprinovich was recruited to serve as our new director of the community pharmacy residency program in collaboration with Balls Food Stores. Welcome aboard to Drs. Tamer, Palmer, and Oprinovich.
Student Changes. As always, the accomplishment that we are most proud of at UMKC is our graduates. May 2017 marked the celebration of 123 Pharm.D. graduates and five Ph.D. graduates. We continue to monitor the success of our graduates, and while we do not have all of the employment data for 2017 Pharm.D. graduates yet, it is clear that at least 113 of the 123 graduates had decided on positions as either full-time pharmacists or entry into residency programs prior to graduation! Our Ph.D. graduates continue to succeed as well going on to excellent research positions with a variety drug companies and post-doctoral fellowships at other universities. Student success is our number one and primary goal, and while we will miss having all of our graduates around the school, we certainly celebrate their successes and wish them well in their future endeavors. We are also eager to welcome in our new class of students in the fall. Like last year, we will admit up to 95 Pharm.D. students in Kansas City, and up to 30 each in Columbia and Springfield.
As always, you are all welcome to visit the school anytime at our sites in Kansas City, Columbia, and/or Springfield. We also appreciate your assistance in identifying any students who might be interested in pursuing pharmacy careers. Just let us know, we love to talk to anyone about our great profession! Best wishes to everyone in MSHP!!
Russell B. Melchert,Ph.D.,R.Ph
Dean of the School of Pharmacy and Professor, Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology