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Message from the Head

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Message from the Head, Department of Pharmacy Practice

Janet P. Engle, PharmD, PhD (Hon), FAPhA, FCCP, FNAP

 The UIC Department of Pharmacy Practice completed another productive and successful year. During 2016, the department completed all of the objectives and action plans outlined in the 2011-2016 strategic plan. Concurrently, the department embarked on a new strategic planning process that took most of the year. The planning process culminated with the approval of a new department strategic plan for 2017-2022. A new mission and vision for the department was developed. Currently, action plans are being developed to operationalize the new strategic plan and move the department forward. A preview of the department’s new strategic goals and directions include:

  • reevaluating all residency and fellowship programs;
  • expanding research programs with a focus on translational research;
  • continuing to refine and update departmental mentoring and faculty development program;
  • maintain efforts to diversify funding streams to the department via entrepreneurial projects, ambulatory pharmacies, and clinical services;
  • and continue fundraising efforts.

During 2016, efforts continued to engage and promote the department, faculty, and the department’s many activities via social media. The Department of Pharmacy Practice continues its presence on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube. Follow along at:

Additionally, the department routinely updates its website, which can be found at https://pharmacy.uic.edu/departments/pharmacy-practice. The department’s website is as another way to keep abreast of department news and events.  

The Department of Pharmacy Practice continues to grow and mature. In 2016, the department recruited for several faculty positions in both Chicago and Rockford. Clinical faculty were hired in the specialty areas of solid organ transplant, drug information, and ambulatory care including antithrombosis, general medicine, family medicine, and women’s health clinics. The department also added two new researchers to department tenure track faculty. Recruiting continues for three additional tenure track positions. In 2016, Jeremy Johnson was promoted to associate professor with tenure and Melissa Badowski, clinical pharmacist in HIV and telemedicine, was promoted to clinical associate professor. All promoted clinical faculty now receive multi-year contracts dependent upon rank.

The residency and fellowship program had another strong year. Four new residency positions were added in 2016: PGY2 Health-Systems Pharmacy Administration, PGY2 Ambulatory Care (third position), PGY3 in HIV, and PGY1 Community with emphasis in Specialty Pharmacy. The Resident Teaching Certificate Program was offered to all residents at UIC as well as approximately 51 other residents in the Chicago area. Supplementing the residents’ noon report was a leadership curriculum conducted by Department Head Jan Engle and topics related to pharmacy administration as well as University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System (UI Health) provided by Director of Pharmacy Andy Donnelly. The Residency Advisory Committee met on a regular basis and oversaw the operations of the residency program. In addition, the department hosts an annual residency retreat to discuss and further improve the department’s program.

The Department Advisory Committee, an elected committee consisting of faculty and administration, met on a monthly basis during 2016. The Advisory Committee worked with the Ad-hoc Promotion and Tenure Committee to review and update departmental promotion and tenure guidelines as well as the promotion norms for tenure and clinical track faculty. The committee approved new guidelines for implementation during the 2017-2018 promotion cycle. The Advisory Committee completed and finalized the new strategic plan. In addition, the Advisory Committee approved the Department of Pharmacy Practice Academic Integrity Policy developed by the Departmental Curriculum Committee.

Faculty continue to engage in cutting-edge research. Several faculty members received large grants to support their research. Department faculty are world-renowned and contributing to new knowledge through their research programs. The department is pleased that several new researchers have joined or will join efforts to carry out the department’s research mission. Competitive research funding continues to increase as faculty continue to receive funding in a competitive environment. More information on faculty research projects can be found later in this report.

The Department of Pharmacy Practice along with the Department of Pharmacy Systems, Outcomes and Policy established the Center for Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomic Research (CPR) several years ago. The center is an interdisciplinary research unit of the College of Pharmacy. The department collaborates with CPR to provide research assistance for clinical faculty.

As in the past, the Department of Pharmacy Practice continues to be active in international pharmacy. In 2016, faculty members presented invited lectures at international meetings in Abu Dhabi, China, Israel, Hong Kong, Japan, Malta, Peru, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. Faculty also continue to give lectures and recitations to pharmacy students in Hong Kong and Malta. The department also hosted many international pharmacists from partner schools for short-term visits to learn more about clinical pharmacy. Andy Donnelly helped coordinate two visits for directors of hospital pharmacy from China to learn about clinical pharmacy services and education program development in the United States. Christina Mactal Haaf and Jennifer Pham continued their positions as the coordinators for the collaborative degree programs the College of Pharmacy has established with University of Hong Kong and University of Malta. Several faculty members earned adjunct faculty status at University of Malta to recognize their contributions to the program. Nancy Shapiro continued as the program coordinator for the department’s international summer program, Contemporary Pharmacy Practice and Education, for students and pharmacists from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other areas of Southeast Asia that took place for one month during the summer. To give students the opportunity to experience pharmacy practice in another country, the department partners with Siriraj Hospital and Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand to offer an elective APPE rotation.

The mentoring and faculty development programs continued to grow in the department. Currently, 57 faculty members are formally assigned a mentor. Since the mentoring and faculty development programs’ debut in 2008, 18 clinical faculty have successfully achieved promotion to clinical associate or clinical professor. In addition, 10 tenure track faculty have successfully pursued promotion to associate professor or professor since the program’s inception.  Faculty development programs this year focused on bringing in outside experts in various areas to not only speak, but also to meet with the faculty in their area of expertise to provide more focused assistance to faculty.  The annual preceptor’s conference organized by the department featured three external, highly regarded speakers. The mid-career faculty development program continued in 2016 for the mid-level and senior clinical faculty in order to increase opportunities for scholarship in the department. One aspect of the program allows promoted or close to promoted faculty the ability to request to be taken off of service for four to 12 weeks to pursue or complete a scholarly activity, such as a research project or writing a paper. Several faculty took advantage of this option and were able to complete manuscripts and/or research projects during their time off of service. 

In addition to faculty development seminars and workshops, the department also held a faculty networking event that recognized department faculty who received significant awards. The awardees honored included:

  • Melissa Badowski: SIDP Gita Patel Best Practice Recognition Award
  • Rodrigo Burgos: Fall P2 Teacher of the Semester Award
  • Isaac Cha: Raymond B. Allen Golden Apple Award
  • Marlowe Djuric Kachlic: Class of 2016 Preceptor of the Year Award & P2 Teacher of the Year
  • Mike Gabay: American College of Clinical Pharmacy Outstanding DI Practitioner Award
  • Linda Grider: Spring P2 Teacher of the Semester
  • Frank Paloucek: American Academy of Clinical Toxicology Fellow & American College of Clinical Pharmacy Emergency Medicine Mentor Award
  • Mia Schmiedeskamp-Rahe: Class of 2016 & PGY1 Residents Preceptor of the Year
  • Allison Schreiver & Annette Hays: 2016 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Walmart Scholarship
  • Nancy Shapiro: Regent, Board of Regents, American College of Clinical Pharmacy
  • Renata Smith & Sarah Michienzi: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Foundation Pharmacy Resident Practice-Based Research Grant
  • Eljim Tesoro: 2016 Presidential Citation, Neurocritical Care Society
  • Scott Wirth: P3 Teacher of the Year

Not only did faculty have the opportunity to network with each other, they also celebrated faculty successes. In addition to the award event, the department also organized a summer networking barbeque and a winter networking event for faculty.

The department also continued the networking functions for faculty, preceptors, donors, and alums called the Partners in Practice events. These functions celebrate partnerships with preceptors who support department educational programs and give the gift of their knowledge, time, and energy with students; generous donors who make many department activities and scholarships possible; and alums who continually give back to the department in numerous ways. Over the years, preceptors have donated approximately $100,000 to the college and for that the college is very grateful. A list of preceptors can be found later in this report. The department also held events at the American Pharmacists Association Annual Meeting in Baltimore and at the summer Crosstown Classic where the Chicago White Sox take on the Chicago Cubs at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. Both celebrated great attendance and the department plans to continue hosting these functions. 

The department has a commitment to ensure that faculty provide the best teaching possible. Under the leadership of Kristen Goliak, the Department of Pharmacy Practice Educational Policy Committee continues to meet on a regular basis. In 2016, the committee worked to finalize a department policy related to academic dishonesty, and continued to discuss uniform exam administration policies. As in previous years, the EPC tracked scores on all faculty members’ teaching evaluations and peer evaluations. Faculty members also receive their individual feedback and evaluations. The EPC also tracks teaching assignments to assist the department with teaching loads and determining who is in need of teaching opportunities. The committee also reviews any concerns that arise as part of the fall and spring course coordinator meetings and addresses the issues as appropriate. 

Providing the highest level of pharmaceutical care to the patients that seek care from the department’s seven ambulatory pharmacies continues to be an important focus. Three clinical faculty members who have completed community pharmacy residencies and have expertise in community pharmacy continue to enhance clinical services provided at the Wood Street Pharmacy. Two of these faculty members also provide care to underserved patients at Community Health, a free clinic on the west side of Chicago run completely by volunteers. The department continues various marketing strategies for pharmacies, including publishing a blog on a variety of topics supported by the Drug Information Group, maintaining a social media presence on Facebook and Twitter, and developing new marketing pieces for department pharmacies. The Specialty Pharmacy service obtained new office space for its prior approval staff.  

Departmental hospital pharmacy faculty continue to expand the services provided to UI Health. The Pharmacy Value Analysis Committee has identified approximately $3 million in medication expenditure savings since its inception. The process for credentialing and privileging of clinical pharmacists has begun. Faculty developed an opioid public service announcement video for UI Health called Improving Opioid Safety. Pharmacy protocols continue to be developed that allow pharmacists to initiate and/or modify therapy. Likewise, new medication-related clinical guidelines were developed and implemented in 2016. Several successful Zero Harm Program initiatives were initiated related to increasing the use of the drug library on IV pumps and ensuring the appropriate use of opioid therapy. In addition, pharmacy faculty led a Failure Mode and Effects Analysis to improve safety of opioid therapy throughout the medication use process. Further, the dispensing of oral liquid prescription medications was standardized to prevent patient/parent drug administration errors.

Department ambulatory pharmacies as well as faculty continue to be very active in providing flu shots to the university community via department pharmacies as well as through the partnership with the State of Illinois. As in the past, department faculty, residents, and P4 students worked together to administer flu vaccine to as many eligible state employees and retirees as possible. As part of this program, approximately 1,100 vaccinations were administered during the 2016 flu fall season. 

Numerous department faculty are active in the American College of Clinical Pharmacy.  In 2016, several faculty held leadership positions within the organizaiton. These include:

  • Melissa Badowski: Certification Affairs Committee
  • Maya Campara: 2017 Program Committee
  • Juliana Chan: Credentials – Fellowship (FCCP) Committee
  • Jan Engle: Research Affairs
  • Megan Fleischman: Clinical Practice Affairs
  • Alan Gross: Member Relations Committee
  • James Lee: Publications
  • Frank Paloucek: Resident Advisory Committee Faculty Liaison
  • Nancy Shapiro: Public and Professional Relations Committee Secretary
  • Paul Stranges: Research Affairs Vice-Chair

To summarize, it has been a busy and productive year for the department. While not all department accomplishments could be featured in this report, these highlights are just a few of the contributions the Department of Pharmacy Practice has made to the college, university, and the profession of pharmacy both locally and worldwide. Many thanks to the faculty, staff, residents, and fellows for their hard work in achieving the goals in the department’s strategic plan as well as bringing the department’s mission to life. 

Below is a glimpse of some of the activities of the department in 2016:  

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