PharmD Clerkship Students

PHARMD P4 CLERKSHIP ROTATIONS

2015-2016
2013-2014
2012-2013
2011-2012
2010-2011
2009-2010
2008-2009
2007-2008
2006-2007
2005-2006
2004-2005
2003-2004
2002-2003
2001-2002

Henry Appiah

Appiah photo2Henry Appiah will graduate in May 2016 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Albany College of pharmacy and Health Sciences. During pharmacy school Henry was a member of American Pharmacist Association (APhA) and served as a chapter-president of National Community of Pharmacist Association (NCPA) pharmacy organizations. Henry served as Resident Assistant for 3 years helping fellow students and underclass men balance college life and school work. Henry achieved the dean’s list for 3 conservative years for his outstanding GPA. Outside of school, Henry would often spend some time doing community service with Ronald MacDonald House and also participating in bone health screenings. He worked as an intern in the community pharmacy for about 4 years of pharmacy school. He explains that the best aspect of community pharmacy is the one on one interactions with patients about their medications and recommending appropriate over the counter medications. He is a recipient of Hudson Valley Men Athletic Conference All-Academic Team for his exceptional academic performance as a student soccer player in his 4 years of pharmacy school. After completing pharmacy school Henry plans to practice in a community pharmacy setting where he will use his skills and knowledge to provide quality patient education to his patients. Other career interests include the pharmaceutical industry where he will be involved in drug information and consumer awareness.

“My rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) was a humbling and a unique experience.  This experience has exposed me to a much different aspect of pharmacy. I had the opportunity to experience firsthand how to inject Lovenox injection as part of direct patient care. I was given the opportunity to contribute to projects such as CHIC website redesign, developing patient safety interventions for American Pharmaceutical Association, clinical research and innovative consumer awareness work in a cooperative environment. This rotation is one of my best because you learn and experience real life situations that is usually not taught in pharmacy school. I have learned that the key to a successful practice is understanding families and their needs. For instance in a community pharmacy, families need more than just picking up their prescriptions. We need to go out of our way to help them look for medical devices or home care supplies. This is just one of the ways we can help patients. I had the chance to learn hands-on what is required at home care level. This experience along with pharmacy school has taught me that being able to adapt and open to new learning opportunities will go a long way in making me utilize the knowledge and skills learned in my professional career as a community pharmacist.”


 Amy Hoang

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Amy Hoang is currently a student pharmacist at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. She will graduate in May 2016 with a Doctorate in Pharmacy (Pharm.D). She earned her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry at the Virginia Commonwealth University in 2009. She was the founder of National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) student chapter and was served as the president from 2012-2013. She is a recipient of many awards and publication including NCPA 2013 Outstanding Student Member of the year Award and published 2014 Public Health Outreach to provide Osteoporosis Risk Assessment and Education. Amy’s long-term goal is to practice in a medical center and provide pharmaceutical care in Women’s Health and Osteoporosis. She eagerly and actively participate in community outreach efforts. She have been actively involved in organizing Women’s Health Day through the National Community Pharmacy Association (NCPA) at ACPHS. In her work, she have been an effective and proactive leader; This is in part, due to the fact that her experiences have taught her the following key skills: how to develop a strategy and achievable goals, engage her team, identify milestones and recognize individual and group success.

“I came to Consumer Health Information Corporation with an open mind and an eagerness to learn. I didn’t know what to expect and was prepared to surpass in whatever task my preceptor presented my way. As a fourth year pharmacy student I thought I knew a good amount about drug information based on the rigorous coursework from pharmacy school. Dr. Smith quickly opened my eyes and made me realize I still had so much to learn. I was assigned to patient adherence information task through website building and understanding. Most of all, I became aware of myself and that my passion is caring for patients. I realized that when working in the pharmacy, patients need our help the most. As a healthcare professional and devoted pharmacist, I will offer my knowledge and skills as much as I can.

It was so gratifying to find out that caring for patients and seeing improvements in their health is the most self-rewarding for me. I learned this during my rotation here at Consumers Health.  I learned so much about how to do proper literature searches. I had the opportunity to do a phone meeting with 2 pharmacists in community and outpatient pharmacy, Kaiser Permanente. The conversation  was deeply motivating and encouraging and will make a huge impact in my career.  Dr. Smith is the thought leader of patient adherence and safety. I am so glad I had the opportunity to grow and learn from someone as knowledgeable and skilled as she is. The lessons in multi-tasking, networking, as well as editing and publishing were a different kind of skill set that I will be able to carry forward into my career."

 


Vivian Ugboh

 Ugboh photo2Vivian Ugboh is currently a student pharmacist at the University of Charleston, School of Pharmacy and will graduate in May 2016 with a Doctorate in Pharmacy (Pharm.D). She earned her Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Community Health at the University of Maryland College Park, MD in 2011. Vivian immigrated to the United State of America in 2001 from Nigeria, Africa. She is currently employed by CVS Health and has worked for the company 4 years to date. In addition to working as an intern at CVS, Vivian volunteers her free time by engaging in community events through various student organizations. She is an active member of the American Pharmacist Association (APhA), American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP), American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS), National Community Pharmacist Association and University of Charleston Student Government Association. Vivian has participated in several local and national competition. She was a member of the team that represented the UCSOP at the Pharmacy Practice Model Initiation Competition (PPMI). The PPMI competition is a national initiative for student pharmacist who are members of the American Systems of Hospital Pharmacist (ASHP-SSHP) to showcase, educate and advocate for the future

"My rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) was challenging and rewarding.  During my rotation I understood the importance of effective communication and providing drug information to consumers in a language they understand. The most rewarding experience during my clerkship rotation was helping a consumer who could not afford her medication because it was not covered by the insurance. I contacted the drug manufacturer and they provided me with a free trial offer coupon for the consumer. I have learned that going the extra mile for a patient makes a world of difference. This clerkship rotation provided me with the opportunity to work on individual and group projects. I have been involved in a number of projects: developing patient safety interventions for American Pharmaceutical Association, CHIC web redesign, clerical work, research on ICERx and writing an article on the accuracy of home blood pressure monitor.   All projects completed during my rotation were challenging, but the skills gathered during completion of tasks are invaluable. Knowledge learned during my clerkship rotation at CHIC will be utilized in my professional career as a community pharmacist."


Minh Do

Do, Minh - Photo Minh Do is will be graduating with the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) degree from University of Charleston, WV in May 2015. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in chemical science. He has worked for CVS/Pharmacy for the past seven years in the Northern Virginia and Charleston, WV area as a lead technician before becoming an intern. As a student pharmacist, he was actively involved in various student organizations (APhA, SNPhA, and ASHP) and has served as a treasurer, historian and president of his class. In his community, Minh actively participates in fund raisers that help bring foods and clothing to the less fortunate every semester. Upon graduation Minh hopes to practice in the Northern Virginia area and then transition to a rural setting in the near future. He express a strong interest in the area of community pharmacy and hope his drive for community awareness will bring better patient care to the field of pharmacy.

“A rotation like Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) can bring invaluable teaching experiences to the typical pharmacy school curriculum. It is here where I’ve learned how to be critical in my work and think from a patient-centric type of view. While patient adherence and advocacy is some of the ideas that CHIC accentuate, the company also stresses the importance of evidence-based thinking and providing information in an effective and reliable manner. I’ve also learned how to deliver pharmacy and health-based information, from a recent article, in an appropriate reading level. Another project that I have been working on, revamping the CHIC website, was another opportunity where I saw the importance of how pharmacy information can be dissected, allocated, and formed for patients, industry leaders, and companies that share the same views or mission statements of CHIC. In the end, this rotation is not your typical in-and-out sort of deal, but rather, a rotation where you can learn and experience the other side of the pharmacy spectrum that is usually not taught in schools. ”


Rod Bastani

Bastani photo Rod Bastani is completing his final year at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy and will graduate with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in May 2015. He is an active member of International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF) and American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP). He was involved as HIV/AIDS Awareness Co-coordinator for IPSF and expanded the role of this position to include community outreach and education. He also was involved in other service projects, including taking part in an interprofessional quality review of “Pandemic Flu” and participating in blood pressure screenings at the El Rio Health and Safety Fair in Tucson, Arizona. Rod worked at the Medication Management Center where he spoke with Medicare Part D patients and built upon his patient education and adherence skills. He presented an infectious disease control study at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Midyear Conference in December 2014. Rod was involved in numerous volunteer opportunities throughout his college career. He also tutored students in general and organic chemistry as well as students with learning disabilities at the University of Arizona. Upon graduation, Rod intends to pursue a clinical or ambulatory care pharmacy residency program and ultimately work as a clinical pharmacist and in academia. “I aspire to pursue a residency so that I can gain more knowledge and experience, provide the best patient care possible, and focus on ensuring positive patient outcomes.”

“My rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation was a rewarding experience. I learned how to communicate effectively and think creatively in the field of pharmacy. Most of all, I learned how patient education and adherence is vital and important in health care. On this rotation, Dr. Dorothy Smith provided me valuable opportunities to advance my knowledge and experience during my rotation. With her assistance, I wrote a newspaper article about antibiotic use in the food industry and how that impacts treatment of infections in humans. My favorite part of this rotation was working with social media sites such as Twitter to connect with other patients, health care professionals, and clients. Consumer Health is on the forefront of patient education and adherence and I am really grateful to have had this experience.”


Meghan Hackerson

Hackerson photo Meghan Hackerson is currently a pharmacy student at the University of Cincinnati James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy and will graduate in May of 2016 with her PharmD. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio in November 2011. Meghan is currently an active member of the American Pharmacist Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP), Christian Pharmacist Fellowship International (CPFI), Beta Phi Chapter of Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity, and Alpha Omicron Chapter of Phi Lambda Sigma the pharmaceutical leadership society. Meghan was the recipient of the 2015 United States Public Health Service Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Practice Award, a 2015 APhA-ASP Student Leadership Award recipient, and 2014 non-profit organization Melanoma Know More (MKM) Volunteer of the Year. She has devoted her student career to leading other students to volunteer and collaborate in the Cincinnati community through heading her chapters APhA-ASP operation self-care and operation immunization initiatives as well as leading efforts in skin cancer awareness partnering with medical students and MKM. In 2014 she stepped up as APhA-ASP Patient Care Project Vice President at her chapter and has also been community outreach coordinator for the college’s CPFI chapter. Upon graduation she hopes to work in an ambulatory or community setting with the opportunity to interact with patients and use her leadership experience and clinical knowledge to impact her community and improve patients’ lives.

“My rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation was both a challenging and rewarding experience. I’ve learned a lot about behind the scenes aspects of running a business and I participated in a variety of projects during my rotation. My time was spent using twitter to help educate patients and the public as well as researching different topics including dehydration of patients taking medications in clinical trials, personalized patient education and diabetes adherence programs. I was also involved in formatting a whitepaper from aspects of editing, and press releases to looking into the importance of graphic design and use of images. I had some very unique opportunities during my month here. I was able to spend time at the PharmedOUT conference learning about patient safety and public health. I had some great networking opportunities at the professional conference as well as a Drug Information Association reception I attended with Dr. Smith. During this rotation I learned about the value of patient friendly education and the true difficulty of conveying information to patients in a way they can understand. I learned how to evaluate the reading level of print materials and the importance of keeping the patient’s perspective the focus of drug information materials and patient education. I feel strongly that this experience will help me in my future career as a pharmacist and my ability to communicate effectively with patients. ”


Omolola Soyombo

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Omolola “Lolah” Soyombo will be graduating with a Doctor  of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree  from Notre Dame of Maryland University School of Pharmacy in May 2013. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Science from the University of Maryland Baltimore County in May, 2009. Lolah is currently an active member of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) , Maryland Pharmacists Association (MPhA), and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). She was also the Website Designer/ Historian for APhA 2010- 2011.

During Pharmacy school, she has participated in several Advocaring projects. These are projects whereby students are paired with various communities to provide services such as flu clinics, disease prevention, medication adherence, hand washing techniques and several other services for health promotion. She  volunteered at the Esperanza Center in Baltimore. Esperanza center provided services to new immigrants in the Baltimore Metropolitan Area.  Lolah  and her team held sessions for proper hand washing techniques, medication adherence , designed medication cards and provided patient educational both in Spanish and English to the patients.

Upon graduation, she hopes to pursue a Pharmacy Practice Residency Program. She is currently interested in Critical care and Internal Medicine. She believes a residency will provide  her with the necessary clinical knowledge to further make positive impacts in the


Stephanie McDonald 

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Stephanie McDonald is currently a pharmacy student at University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, located in Charleston, WV. She will be graduating with her Doctorate of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) in May of 2013. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry at Georgetown College in Georgetown, KY in 2005. Stephanie is an active member of the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists (ASHP) and American Pharmacists Association (APhA). She served as the Vice President of her pharmacy school’s ASHP chapter from 2011-2012, Historian of the Pharmacy Student Government Association from 2010-2011, Treasurer of her class from 2009-2010, and a Pharmacy Delegate from 2009-2012. She was also involved in many community outreach activities, either participating and/or planning, such as Pharmacy Legislative Day, health fairs, flu clinics, and poster presentations. Her major pharmacy area of interest involves hospital, where she intends to be both active within the pharmacy division and with other healthcare practitioners, and may include specializing within an area of pharmacy further into her career.

"My time with Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) helped me to realize just how much more we need to go in patient education. It isn’t about what we want them to do, but what they want out of it. It was eye-opening. This rotation has helped me to better understand the perspective of the patient."


Stefanie Wiegand

Stefanie-WiegandStefanie Wiegand is currently completing a dual degree Pharm.D./J.D. program at the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (UBSoPPS). She graduated in 2013 from the law school and began pharmacy rotations this summer starting with a six-week rotation with Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC).   Before embarking on a career in pharmacy she  graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology and German.  Her interest in pharmacy was encouraged during an undergraduate research internship with Bayer in Leverkusen, Germany.  Fascinated by the regulation of the pharmaceutical industry she applied to the University at Buffalo, which offered the opportunity to take courses at both the law and pharmacy schools. Throughout her academic career she was active in professional associations and was president of the pharmacy student association for two years. In addition, she has worked in the pharmacy department at a local hospital for the past four years. Recently she was a member of the winning University at Buffalo team at the 2013 Medisca Student Pharmacist Compounding Competition (SPCC). The regulatory portion of the competition was her favorite as it challenged her to understand the issues from multiple perspectives.  She hopes to continue her professional growth through a fellowship in regulatory affairs. Long term she would love to see the international experience she had at Bayer come full circle and plans to pursue a career in global regulatory affairs.

“During my pharmacy clerkship with Consumer Health Information Corporation (Consumer Health) I learned the importance of having a patient-centric mindset. Almost every task in pharmacy can be broken down to the fundamental duty of helping patients. When I applied this philosophy to adherence it redefined how I saw the problem. Whether it was reviewing educational material for student pharmacists, reading written medication information, or testing out medication packaging I learned to think like a patient first. In the classroom, our professors gave us assignments to put us in the patient’s shoes – whether it was eating daily Skittles or documenting readings from a peak flow meter. But at Consumer Health you learn to apply this technique to fix real world problems.  When I reviewed patient package inserts it was both challenging and rewarding to improve these instructions. I was also involved in a project that investigated how patients weigh the risks and benefits before taking a prescription medication. The lessons I learned from this project have already impacted how I counsel patients.  I think my time at Consumer Health has laid a strong foundation in how I can improve patient education and adherence. Last but not least, I can see more opportunities in pharmacy now than before this clerkship. While I was here I had the chance to meet pharmacists at American Pharmacists Association headquarters and the Food and Drug Law Institute.  Patient advocacy happens in multiple settings and I was able to see this first-hand through various meetings and conference calls.”          


Sweta Khatri

khatri photoSweta Khatri will graduate with her Doctor of Pharmacy Degree in May 2014 from the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy (UCSOP).  She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 2008.  Sweta is an active member of the American Pharmacist Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP), American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), American Society of Consultant Pharmacist (ASCP), and Phi Lambda Sigma (PLS).  As  an active member of UCSOP’s Pharmacy Student Governance Association (PSGA) she co-chaired the Script Your Future Challenge, aiding  the university in being a recipient of the National Challenge Award.  She actively contributed to the community of Charleston, West Virginia by volunteering at the 2013 National Boy Scout Jamboree – Technology Quest, organizing and participating in health fairs and screenings, and assisting the local health department create immunization packets for all individuals in grades K-12.  Upon graduation, Sweta hopes to continue her education by pursuing a pharmacy residency.    

"Being a member of the Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) team for the past five weeks has been remarkable.  The Pharm.D. Clerkship rotation is  invaluable, both challenging and gratifying. Through the rotation, I have learned to utilize my skills and knowledge that I have gained thus far and formulate a patient education method that is more patient centered. Furthermore, I have learned to see healthcare from a patient’s perspective, such as the types of information a patient would prefer or how overwhelming medical and pharmaceutical information can be. I also had the opportunities to review a chapter of a widely used pharmacy textbook, discuss pharmaceutical issues affecting both healthcare professionals and patients at a national level, focus on method to increase patient adherence, and learn about the thinking process of how patients weigh the risks against benefits.  Last but not least, I was very fortunate to be able to meet with members of the American Pharmacist Association and Federal Drug Law Institute to gain insight regarding pharmacy in the regional, national, and global levels.  The skills and experiences I have acquired from my time at CHIC will be irreplaceable and I will use this knowledge in my career as a pharmacist daily. "


Joey Fama

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Joey Fama will be graduating from West Virginia University School of Pharmacy in May of 2015. Before attending pharmacy school Joey received a Bachelor’s of Science and completed his Master's Degree in Education from Concord University, located in Athens West Virginia.  He has worked as the Director of Sports Information at his alma mater Concord University where he was involved in sports writing and had close contact with many sports personalities. Joey is a two time recipient of the Harold M. Johnson School of Pharmacy Scholarship which he received for academic achievement. He also been awarded the  Justice-Lindstrom Compounding Award for a recent essay on pharmacy compounding and has been recognized for community involvement for his work with a local hospital and elementary for which he received the Bronze President's Volunteer Service Award.  He has covered a wide range of research topics including: “Unseen Costs of Pediatric Influenza”, “What are Pharmacy Students’ Perception on the Frequency of the Ethical Decisions in their Practice: A Mixed Method Study from a Fifth Year Classroom” and “University 100 Teachers and Teaching Assistants Opinions on the Course.”  Joey’s main pharmacy emphases are patient education and patient adherence and upon graduation he plans to continuing work in these fields and helping to improve his community.  During his free time, Joey enjoys screenwriting and was a finalist in Fall 2013 Writer’s Place Screenplay competition for a short comedy screenplay he wrote. 

“My rotation at the Consumer Health Information Corporation was extremely enriching. I found working on research and materials for patient adherence and education to be extremely rewarding.  I worked closely with the Consumer Health Information team on a project on patient’s beliefs on side effects. This helped me realize how truly important it is for the pharmacy community to not only counsel patients on the many different side effects associated with medications but also the importance of having an open dialogue with their patients, so they feel they are taking an active role in their healthcare.  This approach will lead to better patient adherence and improved health outcomes. Throughout the rotation I sharpened my technical writing skills through article writing, editing research papers, and working on patient information. By working on patient education materials  I learned the importance of  writing health information on a level that patients are able to understand. This way they will better understand their medications and feel engaged in the health process. Overall, I have greatly expanded my knowledge on a wide variety of pharmacy topics throughmy rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation. I  look forward to working with them in my future pharmacy career.”


Wing Yip

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Wing Yip is a fourth year student pharmacist at University of Charleston School of Pharmacy (UCSOP) that will be graduating with the Doctor of Pharmacy degree in May 2014. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology at George Mason University in 2010. She is an active member of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), American Health Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), Phi Lambda Sigma, and is the current president of the Rho Chi Society at the local chapter. While in pharmacy school, she stays actively involved and has volunteered at various health screenings and advocacy events. At 2013 National Scout Jamboree, she educated hundreds of scouts on pathophysiology of asthma and how medication adherence can prevent asthma exacerbations. Additionally, as the co-chair of 2012 – 2013 Script Your Future Committee at UCSOP, she organized multiple promotional events and health screenings. The committee utilized face-to-face interactions and social media to educate the general public on the importance of medication adherence. Their hard work has led her committee to be a national award winner in the 2013 Medication Adherence Team Challenge. Through the challenge, Wing became very passionate about educating patients on medication adherence. She strongly believes it is the key to prevent avoidable adverse events and poor health outcome. Currently, Wing is pursuing a clinical residency to further her education upon graduation and hopes to become a proficient clinical pharmacist to serve her community, especially in an ambulatory setting.

“The Pharm.D. Clerkship rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) is extraordinary. The past five weeks were more than everything I have imagined. I wanted to gain experience and skills in patient education and drug information. Being a part of the CHIC team, I have the opportunities to work on formulating patient instructions for an innovative drug product, creating patient education materials, and drafting a proposal of patient education program to increase patient adherence. Moreover, I had the opportunities to communicate with healthcare professionals and companies to discuss pharmaceutical issues, and to see different aspects of managing a business. Through this clerkship rotation, I have learned to think from a patient’s perspective and have understood the barriers that patients may encounter in healthcare setting. Furthermore, I was able to utilize my skills and knowledge that I have gained thus far and use existing literature to formulate evidence-based methods to help patients overcome those barriers and increase patient adherence. The opportunities, skills, and experiences that I have acquired from my five weeks at CHIC will be invaluable. This clerkship rotation has definitely taken me closer to becoming a great pharmacist and I will utilized the knowledge daily in my future practice."


Mina Pham

Mina Pham will graduate in May 2014 with a Doctor in Pharmacy (Pharm. D.) from the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy in West Virginia. She received a Bachelor of Science in Biology at the University of Houston in 2007. She is an active member of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP-SSHP), and the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA). She has demonstrated a strong commitment to her community by participating in disease state awareness programs, health fairs, clothing drives, and fundraising programs. As an advocate for the profession, Mina dedicated her time during Pharmacists’ Legislative Day at the state capitol to meet with delegates in modernizing West Virginia’s pharmacy law through the passage of the Larry Border Pharmacy Practice Act. Mina has experience in retail pharmacy at Walmart and Rite Aid, as well as in a hospital setting at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Due to her past experience of working with chemotherapeutic agents at MD Anderson Cancer Center, she plans to pursue a Postgraduate Year One Pharmacy residency (PGY1) and to go on with a PGY2 residency specializing in oncology.

Through my rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation, I have learned the importance of patient education, progress, and adherence. I have learned the skills needed to translate medical language into a way that patients can understand in real life and actual practice. Understanding the way patients think and trying to encourage them to realize the importance of taking their medications as prescribed is harder than I thought. By working with Dr. Smith to disperse this information via Twitter and LinkedIn, it was a rewarding experience knowing I worked on something to help make a difference in patients’ lives. Through these projects, it has helped me overall to use and improve my writing, organizational, and business skills to become a more well rounded pharmacist one day. These experiences have greatly supplemented the education I received at the University of Charleston and will help in counseling oncology patients in the future.


Adam Lesinski

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Adam Lesinski will in graduate May 2014 with a Doctorate of Pharmacy degree from the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy in Charleston, West Virginia.. He graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. While attending the University of Charleston, Adam served as chapter vice president of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA) and also served as the pharmacy student representative on a Vision Committee for both the University of Charleston and the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy. The goal of the committee was to develop a plan to make the University nationally known . He has been a student intern in a community pharmacy since 2012. He is certified to administer immunizations and perform medication therapy management (MTM). Upon graduation and licensure, he plans to continue working in the community setting, where he feels he is able to have the most patient contact and is able to provide the most direct assistance. “Without the patient there would be no need for the profession of pharmacy. It’s critical that the patient’s best interest is always the main concern in any healthcare decision. More importantly, the patient should be the one making the decision, with assistance from the pharmacist or any other healthcare provider. It is most important to respect the needs and wellbeing of the patient.”

“The Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) Clerkship opened my eyes to a completely different side of patient care that I had hardly considered before. I knew that the content of patient information was important, but I wasn’t aware of how important the grammar is and how difficult it is to write the information in a way that the patient will understand. The clerkship also improved my problem-solving skills. It required me to look at a problem and come up with as much information possible in order to make a properly informed decision. It allowed me to polish my research skills and to experiment in other media that I had not previously used, including LinkedIn. Finally, my month at CHIC reinforced the importance of patient-centered care. Without the patient there is no pharmacy, and it is the job of the pharmacy that patient is educated and taken care of properly.”


Cassandra Anderson

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Cassandra Anderson is currently a pharmacy student at Midwestern University College of Pharmacy – Glendale and will graduate in May 2014 with a Doctorate in Pharmacy (PharmD). She earned her Bachelor of Science in Science Education and Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from the University of Arizona in 2011. Cassandra is an active member of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), the Arizona Pharmacy Association (AzPA), and Midwestern University’s Health Outreach through Medical Education (H.O.M.E.) program. With H.O.M.E., Cassandra provides education and clinical care at homeless shelters in Phoenix, Arizona, and she initiated a partnership between H.O.M.E. and a state-funded women’s health campaign. She has a passion for mental health care, working with uninsured and underinsured patients, as well as a commitment to give back to those in the military who serve our country. Upon graduation, she hopes to earn a residency that will ultimately allow her to pursue specialized training in psychiatric pharmacy and a career with the Veterans Affairs Administration.

“My rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation has been eye-opening. Before my time here, I never realized how little attention is paid to patient adherence or the quality of patient education. I have spent a great deal of my time researching how adherence is measured, methods to increase adherence, and the quality and impact of education for patients, especially in clinical trials. Dr. Dorothy Smith is an expert in the art of interpreting clinical trials for what they do not say about their design and how that impacts results. I have also looked into the limited data on how patients’ perceptions of their own progress affect their adherence level. I’ve investigated and helped build a tracking tool to empower patients to see their progress and take ownership of their migraines. Specifically, Dr. Smith helped me understand the unique issues that must be considered when building a tool for a patient, as opposed to a health care provider, to use. I also worked on clarifying patient labeling to promote safe use of a transdermal narcotic product. The alternate perspective, the patient’s, that I’ve rediscovered here will help me provide relatable, understanding care to my future patients.”


Allison Baker

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Allison Baker will graduate with her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Florida College of Pharmacy in May 2014. She also completed her undergraduate pre-pharmacy coursework at the University of Florida. Allison is a member of American College of Clinical Pharmacists (ACCP), American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), and the Rho Chi Society. During her pharmacy school career she has participated in several community outreach events through these organizations and others with a special interest in helping the underserved. She volunteered with Homevan for the Homeless, a weekly service providing over-the-counter medications and basic medical needs along with food and clothing to the homeless population of Gainesville. Allison also volunteered at the pharmacy of a local free clinic and  was accepted to participate with a week long interdisciplinary global health outreach trip to Mexico. During the summer between pharmacy school terms, she held an internship at a county health clinic for uninsured  patients. In the future she would like to complete a residency and work as a clinical pharmacist, while continuing to incorporate her passion for community outreach.

“During this rotation I developed more fully a mindset centered on the patient’s perspective and experience. Regardless of where the profession of pharmacy takes me I will always take the extra 10 seconds to consider the patient’s point of view. It was wonderful to be able to focus on this aspect for a four week rotation with CHIC. Being a part of the patient education projects here was a unique opportunity, I recommend all Pharm.D. students find a way to fit it in their schedule!”


Jacqureline Gil

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Jacqueline Gil is currently attending Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine School of Pharmacy in Bradenton, FL. She will graduate in June 2013 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. While attending LECOM, she was actively involved with the American Pharmacist Association, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Florida Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and Kappa Epsilon Pharmaceutical Fraternity Beta Iota Chapter.

Jacqueline is passionate about learning and exploring the many different opportunities that a pharmacy career has to offer. Jacqueline has demonstrated her interest in learning by expanding her experiences through various challenging and competitive rotations during her fourth year of pharmacy school. Upon graduation, she plans to pursue a Postgraduate Year 1 (PGY1) Residency Program. After many years of clinical experience, working within the United States Public Health Sector is her long term goal.

“My rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation was a very unique experience. During my time at CHIC, I was involved with a variety of projects, conducted extensive research on current literature, investigated consumer websites, and learned about patient education and patient adherence. My major focus was medication non-adherence, which remains a huge barrier when treating patients. I realized how difficult it is to explain medical information in a patient-friendly manner. I learned that no matter how much knowledge I have, if I cannot communicate effectively with my patients, that information is useless. Also, I realized the importance of translating literature for consumers. As more effective ways of communicating and educating are found, pharmacists will play a larger role in empowering patients to take more control of their health. Overall, I believe that the things I have learned during this rotation will better prepare me for my career as pharmacist.” 


Abdurahman Issa

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Abdurahman Issa will be graduating in June 2012 from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine-School of Pharmacy. He is a treasurer of Student National Pharmaceutical Association where he is involved in different community activities in Erie, PA. He is also a member of American Pharmacists Association- Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) and Student Society of Health-systems Pharmacy (SSHP). Currently, he is working as a pharmacy intern in Erie VA Medical Center. His goal as a future pharmacist is to join the practice either in the Hospital setting or Retail Industry where he can make a difference in people’s lives through pharmaceutical care and patient education.

“My experience at Consumer Health Information Corporation has taught me a great deal about the importance of patient education.  Throughout my rotation, I was assigned to a variety of projects that enhanced my skills on patient education, communication, and literature search. Through direct supervision of Dr Smith, I was able to understand and appreciate the importance of translating medically complex information into patient-friendly education materials. I not only have understood the impact of patient medication non-adherence on patients’ lives and health care costs, but also learned the ways and methods of improving patient medication adherence. In addition to gaining invaluable experience on patient education and drug information, I was able to learn how to communicate effectively with other health care professionals.”


Angela Walsh

Walsh Photo Angela Walsh will be graduating from the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy with her Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree in May 2015. She presently holds Bachelor of Science degrees from Arizona State University (ASU) in Life Sciences (2011 summa cum laude) and Psychology (2011 summa cum laude), where she also completed an honors thesis in organic medicinal chemistry. At ASU, Angela was part of the Rodel Community Scholars program where she helped create P.A.R.E.N.T. handbooks in English and Spanish in colorful, easy-to-read booklets targeted to parents of high school students to improve their “school literacy.” Angela has worked at the University of Arizona Medication Management Center, a medication therapy management facility that serves patients across the country. She is a former intern of the VALOR (Veterans Affairs Learning Opportunity Residency) Program, where she worked alongside pharmacy residents to gain a greater understanding of health-system residencies. Angela is highly involved in service and outreach activities as a Patient Education Council Co-Chair, primarily through organization of health fairs and medication reviews that her College sponsors and organizes for the underserved Tucson community. With the Sigma Chapter of Kappa Epsilon, Angela has served a number of officer and chairperson positions, including PharmCORP (Pharmacy Career Opportunity Recruitment Project) Coordinator, Alumni Liaison, Secretary, Rush Coordinator, Pledge Educator, and Breast Cancer Awareness Chair. As PharmCORP Coordinator, Angela arranged several visits to local Tucson high schools to give presentations about the profession of pharmacy, reaching over 500 students. Angela has held leadership positions in APhA-ASP, ASHP-SSHP, and Phi Lambda Sigma, and currently holds memberships in these organizations plus a few others, including AACP, ACCP, AzPA. (add positions) Most recently, she was the recipient of Arizona Pharmacy Foundation Scholarship. Angela is very interested in working with healthcare professionals to help develop programs that will help patients learn how to manage their medications so they receive the most benefit. “I am hoping to be able to utilize what I have learned from my Bachelor of Science degrees in Life Sciences and Psychology and my future Doctor of Pharmacy degree. I realize I need more clinical experience and believe that the first step to beginning this career path is to complete a PGY-1 residency program that has both ambulatory care and acute care components.”


Amy Oseghae

Oseghae PhotoAmy Oseghae is currently a pharmacy student at Texas Southern University College of Pharmacy and will graduate in May 2015 with a Doctorate in Pharmacy. While at Texas Southern University Amy was a student leader in the American Pharmacists Association acting as Secretary and Vice President her second and third year respectively, and was actively involved in several organizations including Phi Lambda Sigma Leadership Society, Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, College Professionalism and Relations Committee, and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Amy has completed an internship with the City of Houston Environmental Health Department and through the Texas Southern University Department of Pharmaceutical Science researching the Development of Nanoparticle Formulation of Resveratrol that she presented at the 2013 ASHP Midyear Clinical Conference and the Texas Southern University Research Program Closing Ceremony. Amy has shown a strong dedication and commitment to helping and educating her community by participating in several health fairs, food drives, workshops/seminars and fundraising events. Amy is a recipient of the Lester Scurlock Memorial Scholarship Award, first runner-up for the Wal-Mart Health & Wellness Business Plan Competition, Rep. Al Green Congressional Recognition Award for Public Service, and Methodist Hospital Blue Bird Auxiliary Excellence Award. After graduation Amy plans on pursuing a career in drug information, managed care, and pharmacoeconomics using the knowledge and skills gained on her rotation to improve patient safety, education and adherence.

"I came to Consumer Health Information Corporation with an open mind and an eagerness to learn. I didn’t know what to expect and was prepared to excel in whatever task my preceptor presented my way. As a fourth year pharmacy student I thought I knew a good amount about drug information based on the rigorous coursework from pharmacy school. Dr. Smith quickly opened my eyes and made me realize I still had so much to learn. I was assigned patient drug review projects where I had to evaluate in detail the patients’ multiple disease states, medication administration and titration, compare drug-drug interactions, food-drug interaction, and disease-drug interactions. At the end of my report I would give my recommendation for the patient. It was so gratifying to find out that the patients actually followed my recommendations and saw improvements in their health. I also had a chance to write a pediatric medication administration article. I learned so much during the writing process from how to write so consumers understand the information, how to do proper literature searches, analyze journal articles, and what is considered effective pediatric dosing. Dr. Smith is the thought leader of patient adherence and safety. I am so glad I had the opportunity to grow and learn from someone as knowledgeable and skilled as she is. ”


Kim Hoang

hoang photo2 Kim Hoang is currently a pharmacy student at Texas Southern University, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and will graduate in May 2015 with a Doctorate in Pharmacy (Pharm.D). In 2011, she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Science degree at Baylor University. While attending pharmacy school, Kim has made the Dean’s List each semester. She has received scholarships from the Houston Live Stock Show and Rodeo and Baylor’s Student Foundation. In 2013, she received second place in the Wal-Mart Health & Wellness MTM Business Plan Competition. Kim has maintained general membership in many professional organizations including American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP), American Pharmacist Association (APhA), and Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA). She has participated in community service events, health fairs and has volunteered at Texas Southern University’s on campus student clinic. Kim has completed the Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery Program through APhA and Sterile IV Compounding Certification through Houston Community College (HCC). She is bilingual, speaking English and Vietnamese. She is interested in reaching out to the Vietnamese community in hopes of reducing their specific health disparities. Kim’s main focus is on the patient and she believes that patient education and understanding is key when it comes to successful health outcomes. She looks forward to graduating in May and finding a job opportunity where she can provide individualized patient care and develop relationships with her patients.

My six week drug information rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation has equipped me with the knowledge and understanding needed to become a patient conscious pharmacist. The consumer’s perspective is the most important aspect of medication adherence because it is the consumer who makes the final decision. In order for patient’s make an informed decision, healthcare providers need to supply them with accurate, understandable, and complete medication information. Before this rotation, I did not realize the importance of patient understandability. I have learned that information should be conveyed in a patient friendly manner because it is meaningless unless the patient is able to gain a good grasp on the subject matter. At CHIC, I had the opportunity to learn how to write patient information that is geared towards different age groups. This will help me in trying to provide individualized patient care to my future patients. I experience both personal and professional growth through the many new and unfamiliar aspects of drug information I have been exposed to at Consumer Health. I feel like I understand how to meet the needs of the patient and I will be able to apply this knowledge I have acquired to my daily practice as a pharmacist.


Elizabeth Randall

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"My experience at Consumer Health Information Corporation gave me insight to a different side of pharmacy. While I had already experienced communicating with patients face-to-face, I learned how difficult it can be to convey a message to the mass public. I worked on social media, a newspaper article, research projects, and helped to develop a website. All medias had one common goal of getting patient-friendly information to the consumers. I learned to express health information at a 6-8th grade reading level. I was then further challenged to transform effective patient education to a pediatric level when we worked to write a children’s book. I was also able to experience pharmacy from a more business-driven perspective. The lessons in multi-tasking, networking, as well as editing and publishing were a different kind of skill set that I will be able to carry forward into my career."


Robyn Holman

pic_clerk_holman Robyn Holman is currently a pharmacy student at East Tennessee State University’s Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy and will graduate in May 2013 with a Doctorate in Pharmacy (Pharm.D). She earned her Bachelor of Science in Biopsychology at Simmons College in Boston, MA in 2005. Robyn is currently an active member of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), and Phi Delta Chi fraternity. In addition, Robyn earned an Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program award beginning July 2010. She is currently serving as Second Lieutenant in the Air Force Reserve’s Medical Service Corps. Upon graduation she will serve a three-year active duty term at an Air Force Medical Center.

“I will always look back on my Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) clerkship experience with happiness as it was both a rewarding and challenging experience. While here, I learned so much about the world of pharmacy that I never knew existed. I was able to write a newspaper article for my hometown newspaper about the OpenNotes study. I think this study has the potential to change healthcare for the better, and I am really glad I had the oportunity to expand my knowledge on the subject. I worked with several social media sites including Twitter and bit.ly to send daily health tips. While at CHIC, I was able to attend a conference held in Washington, DC, where I had the oportunity to gain insight into more effective ways to use social media for health advocacy groups. Learning about the power social media has for a company and an individual was really rewarding to me. In my time at CHIC, I experienced first-hand how to maximize the potential of social media, which really gave me the inspiration to become a life-long patient advocate. I also participated in the collection of data and literature reviews for several projects in the office. The exposure to many aspects of pharmacy that I gained here will enhance my career as a pharmacist and as a patient advocate in the future. I hope to carry this knowledge with me into my career as an Air Force pharmacist and utilize it to its fullest potential. ”

"Does Your Doctor Show You Your Medical Record"


Arpita Patel

pic_clerk_Patel Arpita Patel will be graduating with the Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Notre Dame of Maryland University, Baltimore in May 2013. Previously, she has worked for CVS pharmacy for seven years. Currently, she is working with Johns Hopkins Hospital System in a critical care pharmacy satellite. At Johns Hopkins she was involved in creating “IV reconstitution chart”, and “Lean design data collection project” of six sigma project for new hospital building. Arpita is also a member of the American Pharmacists Association and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Association. During pharmacy school, she volunteered and participated in various “Advocaring” ( community reach out) projects for Our Daily Bread, Christopher Place Academy and Holden Hall community as part of the Catholic Charity. In fall 2011, Arpita and three other colleagues were involved in creating a flu clinic for ~400 underprivileged Our Daily Bread Cliental that will take place in Spring 2013. After graduation, Arpita plans to pursue her career in the public health sector helping the underserved population as a pharmacist.

“Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) Clerkship Rotation was a rewarding experience. This rotation was everything I imagined. Before I graduate in May 2013, I wanted to gain experience in marketing and drug information skills. At CHIC I learned the importance of the social media for marketing. Everyday I was able to reach out to the health care communities including insurance companies, drug companies, government organizations etc. via social media to market the corporation’s skills in drug information. In addition to social media, I had an opportunity to perform a review of a new publication from a well known organization. The work was challenging and required intense literature review. This was a charity work for non-profit organization, and it was satisfying to know that some how I helped educating patients. I also worked on a result of the survey that was performed by previous students. This activity helped me review my clinical research skills and different types of studies. These were some of the things I did at CHIC, but most of all I that you can help patient with out interacting with patient. This organization’s goal is patient education and advocate for patients, and being part of it was a rewarding experience.”


Annie Phung

pic_clerk_Phung Annie Phung is currently a student pharmacist at Notre Dame of Maryland University, School of Pharmacy and will graduate in May 2012 with a Doctorate in Pharmacy (Pharm.D). She earned her Bachelor of Science in Microbiology at the University of Maryland, College Park in 2008. She is currently an active member of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA ), Maryland Pharmacists Association (MPhA), and is a candidate for the Rho Chi Honor Society. She has also managed the AdvoCaring Project team for 4 years, which is a public health initiative at her school of pharmacy. The AdvoCaring Project takes an underserved population and pairs it with a team of student pharmacists and they work at improving the live of those individuals, promote disease prevention, and health promotion. The organization that her team is paired with is My Sister’s Place Woman Center. The population is homeless women who have very little access to healthcare, shelter, and other necessities. She worked at organizing the team and designing patient educational material to present to the homeless population. Upon gradation, she hopes to obtain a position where she will be able to use her clinical knowledge and improve the health of the community. 

“My rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation in McLean, VA was rewarding and challenging. I was exposed to different types of projects and different aspects of how to run a business. I learned things from how to manage inventory to how to work with organizations to help create more patient-friendly literature. I was able to develop evidenced-based health tips for social media, which nowadays is very important in expanding a company. I worked on Twitter, bitly, and Klout to help promote patient adherence and expanding the knowledge base for consumers. I also had a chance to write a newspaper article to be published in a local hometown newspaper discussing the switch of prescription medications to over-the-counter (OTC) status. The article informs patients of the importance of being able to manage prescription drugs if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) chooses to switch them to OTC status. I really learned a lot from this rotation. I believe the experiences I had here will make me a better pharmacist in the future.”


Amanda Meyer

pic_clerk_Meyer Amanda Meyer will graduate with a Doctorate in Pharmacy (PharmD) in May, 2013 from Ohio Northern University’s (ONU) Raabe College of Pharmacy in Ada, Ohio. As a student pharmacist, she was actively involved in the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP). She was also very involved in this organization’s patient care project entitled Heartburn Awareness Challenge. This community outreach program and her involvement in the ONU Pharmacy and Wellness Review journal as a writer and editor started her interest in patient education and community outreach. She was also involved in Kappa Epsilon pharmacy fraternity, Mortar Board, and Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Society. She is certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and in immunization administration. She has experience mainly in compounding pharmacy and community pharmacy. Due to the extensive options available to new pharmacy graduates, Amanda is unsure of the practice area she wants to pursue but is interested in ambulatory care pharmacy, community pharmacy and medication therapy management. She believes that current changes in healthcare can provide a unique opportunity for pharmacists to expand their roles in patient care and is excited to apply her training to improve the lives of patients through education and individualized care.

“Through my rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation, I have learned the importance of adherence education, organization and communication. I have been involved with writing a newspaper article for my hometown newspaper, reviewing a cancer organization’s publication for patients, researching reasons for patient noncompliance due to side effects, and using social media to educate patients. These projects have allowed me to use and improve my writing and organization skills to benefit patients. Though medicine and the role of the pharmacist in health care is constantly growing and changing, we must always remember to keep the patient as the central focus of our profession.”


Aimee Gollner

pic_clerk_Gollner Aimee A. Gollner is a sixth year pharmacy student studying at Ohio Northern University Raabe College of Pharmacy graduating in May 2013. While attending school, Aimee achieved the highest class honors every quarter and participated in many student organizations. Aimee maintained a general membership with The American Pharmacists Association’s Academy of Student Pharmacists throughout school. She joined the professional pharmacy organization Kappa Epsilon in 2008 and maintained the corresponding secretary position from 2009 to 2012. She was involved in an independent study project entitled “Ecivon” where different level pharmacy students as well as professors would work together to create longitudinal case studies and patient education materials. Since 2011 she has also been a member of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and The Rho Chi Society. Aimee has worked as a pharmacy intern at Wegmans Food Markets since 2009. She plans to pursue a career as a community pharmacist developing and participating in outreach events focused on helping patients better understand their medications and diseases.

“My time spent at Consumer Health Information Corporation allowed me to gain an immense amount of knowledge and skills I will no doubt apply every day throughout my career. Over the course of a month, I had the chance to observe how a pharmaceutical business is managed. I also had the opportunity to research current events and evidence-based literature. This rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation has greatly broadened my communication and researched skills. From community pharmacy to research papers, every pharmacist must understand how to convey their knowledge clearly and concisely. I had the opportunity to test my patient-friendly writing skills while maintaining two separate health related Twitter accounts. The best part about this month was learning how to write complicated pharmaceutical information at a level a patient can understand.”


Amy Pavlak

pic_clerk_pavlak Amy Pavlak will graduate with her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Purdue University College of Pharmacy in May 2013. Amy received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Notre Dame in 2007 before working in Market Research Analytics at Takeda Pharmaceuticals for two years. During pharmacy school, Amy had the opportunity to serve on the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) Pharmacy Student Forum as a member of the Policy and Legislative Affairs Advisory Group. She is also a member of Phi Lambda Sigma and Rho Chi Honor Society. Amy has worked as a pharmacy intern for the past three years at Marsh, a grocery store chain in Indiana. Upon graduation, she hopes to pursue ambulatory care pharmacy or possibly work at the FDA.

“During my time at Consumer Health I learned that running a company means wearing many hats. I learned about logistics and planning and how to work collaboratively on a team while planning an office move. My favorite experience was exploring how the company was using social media to promote knowledge of patient advocacy and adherence. My time at Consumer Health Information has forced me to grow in ways that I did not expect, and the lessons I have learned here will help me wherever I go in the future.”


Brandee Efkovicr

pic_clerk_pavlak Brandee Efkovics will graduate in June 2013 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from LECOM School of Pharmacy in Bradenton, Florida. She is a member of FSHP, APhA, and Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, and also serves as a student ambassador for her school. During the 2011-2012 year, she was appointed as a member of the Student Council at the state chapter of FSHP. She entered into pharmacy due to the constant interaction with patients and hopes to be able to help patients reach a better understanding of their medications and health. Brandee has experience in retail and hospital pharmacy, and upon graduation hopes to play an integral part of a clinical health care team.

“My rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation taught me many important lessons about communicating with patients. One of the most important things we can do as health care providers is share our knowledge with patients to help them understand and take control of their health. It challenged me to be creative and think of things from all different perspectives. With all of the projects you complete while on this rotation, the main goal is to increase patient understanding. Dr. Smith taught us how to use our knowledge, compassion and different communication techniques to make this all possible. I believe the things I have learned will not only be beneficial now, but will help make me a better pharmacist and health care team member in the future.”


Erica Schoenberger

pic_clerk_Schoenberger Erica Schoenberger is currently attending Ohio Northern University and will graduate in May 2013 with a Doctorate of Pharmacy degree. She is a member of the American Pharmacist Association (APhA), American Society of Health-System Pharmacies (ASHP), and the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP). She was a lead writer for the Pharmacy and Wellness (PAW) Review, a student-run publication. Erica also serves on the executive board of Northern Without Borders, an interdisciplinary international service organization that provides medical care and health-based education in remote villages. She has held numerous leadership positions within ONU’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is a also a member of Rho Chi, Omicron Delta Kappa, Mortar Board, Phi Kappa Phi, and Kappa Epsilon. While attending school, Erica enjoyed working as a pharmacy intern at a community hospital. Erica is currently planning to continue her education through a clinical or ambulatory care residency program.“A residency will enable me to provide the best care possible for patients and have a positive impact on their health outcomes, which is my ultimate career goal as a pharmacist.”

“Prior to this rotation, I understood the importance of educating patients about their medications. However, while at Consumer Health, I realized how difficult it can be to explain medical information in a patient-friendly manner. I also learned that the layout and design of patient educational materials are as important, if not more so, than the actual content. It must be simple yet visually appealing in order to effectively convey a message patients can comprehend. During this rotation, I also had many unique experiences I will most likely not encounter on other rotations. For example, I was able to meet the CEO of RxAnte, a company with a cutting edge approach to increase patient medication adherence. I was also able to review two articles submitted for publication in a national pharmacy journal. These experiences, in addition to my projects, have greatly supplemented the education I received at ONU. The skills I have acquired at Consumer Health will be utilized throughout the rest of my pharmacy career to provide quality education to my patients.”


Richard Tanner

pic_clerk_tanner Richard Tanner will graduate in May 2013 with a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Florida College of Pharmacy. He earned a Bachelors of Science in Chemistry with a concentration in Biochemistry at Haverford College in 2004. He also received a Masters in Public Health degree in Global Communicable Diseases from the University of South Florida in 2007. Since 2007 Richard has worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator for Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute in Tampa, Florida, being involved the design, implementation, and data analysis of clinical research trials focusing in prostate, ovarian, and breast cancer, as well as patient education, outreach, and health disparities. Richard has also worked as a research assistant for the Veteran’s Hospital and the Florida Department of Health, where he conducted research in patient safety and laboratory research in arboviruses, respectively. Richard has also served as an organizer and volunteer for several non-profit organizations and charitable events throughout the Tampa Bay area, many of which he also has served as a Spanish translator. While in pharmacy school, he has been an active member of APhA-ASP, FSHP, and SNPhA.Upon graduation, Richard would like to integrate his newly gained clinical skills as a pharmacist with his background in clinical research, public health, and patient education in order to make an impact in patient care at a larger scale. He hopes to pursue a career in Industry.

"The month I spent at Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) was one of the most rewarding clerkships I have had to date. The rotation provided me with a unique perspective into the inner workings of drug information industry. While on clerkship I participated in the evaluation and implementation of patient education materials in a variety of capacities. In the analysis of consumer-targeted literature and multimedia, I was able to appreciate the necessity of translating literature to the consumer as a tool to empower the patient to make appropriate decisions about their health and to promote medication adherence. From a nonpatient perspective I was involved in the critical appraisal of manuscripts for peer-reviewed journal submission and conducted research on current literature for towards the development of an e- book. The insight and skills I have gained while at CHIC have been invaluable towards my development as a well rounded pharmacist. Whether you are interested in a career in retail, clinical setting, industry, academia, or anything in between, I strongly recommend pursing this rotation to anyone with an interest in making an impact on patient care."

Tracie Tran

pic_clerk_Tran_000 Tracie Tran is currently attending West Virginia University School of Pharmacy and is graduating in May 2012. While in school, she held a leadership position in Lamda Kappa Sigma Professional Fraternity where she had opportunities to do volunteer work for the community. She was also actively involved in the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and a member of the Rho Chi Honor Society. Tracie has worked as a pharmacy technician/intern at a major chain retail pharmacy for the past nine years. Upon graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in community pharmacy where she can provide direct patient care and serve her community.

"My rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) gave me the opportunity to gain invaluable knowledge that I would apply and carry with me throughout my career as a pharmacist. I was able to see many different aspects of the industry from a business point of view. I realized that passion and detail orientation are necessary in order to be successful. Communication is the key, not only for the pharmaceutical industry but for any other industries out there. Easy-to-access drug information is very crucial in order to improve patient compliance. My knowledge and interest in drug information have been enhanced through my involvement in writing tips for the new e-book, from collecting data to writing final drafts. I have learned how to write 6-8th grade level drug information and how to use reliable sources for data. I had opportunities to explore on how to publish an e-book, as well as pros and cons of different publishers. I also helped developing policy and procedures for different projects. The skills that I have gained from this rotation have prepared me to be a better educator as part of my pharmacist career."


Jennifer Wang

pic_clerk_Wang Jennifer Wang will graduate in May 2012 with a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Cell Biology at the University of California, San Diego in 2008. During pharmacy school, she spent a year developing a medication education program in an unemployment office that focused on improving access to primary care services and medication reconciliation. She also spent a month abroad in Singapore as a pharmacy exchange student for the International Pharmaceutical Student Federation (IPSF), where she had the opportunity to see their ambulatory care clinics. She has held a leadership role in the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) as co-chair of Operation Immunization and has also been involved in Phi Delta Chi. Upon graduation, she plans on working in the ambulatory care setting where she can provide direct patient care.

“My PharmD clerkship with Consumer Health Information Corporation has been an invaluable experience. This clerkship experience allowed me to see and participate in a new area of patient care that I did not know about before. I had the opportunity to work on projects that will improve my ability to communicate with patients, both in-person and through new avenues of social media. I also learned that patient adherence is crucial not only in the real world, but also in clinical trials. This clerkship taught me the appropriate techniques to improve patient adherence, which will resonate in any area of pharmacy I choose to pursue.”


Michael Nguyen

pic_clerk_Nguyen Michael Nguyen is currently attending Loma Linda University, School of Pharmacy and will be graduating with a Doctorate of Pharmacy degree in May of 2012. He earned a Bachelors of Science at La Sierra University in the area of Health Science with an emphasis in Community Health. Throughout pharmacy school, Michael has held leadership positions within his class as well as organizations such as the Student National Pharmacist Association and Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International. He has also been actively participating in local and international outreach projects. These projects range from establishing a functioning inpatient pharmacy in “post-quake” Haiti, to operating a medical clinic in rural Brazil. Michael has had three years of inpatient experience working at a community hospital located in San Bernardino, CA. Upon graduation, he will be starting his first year residency at Yuma Regional Medical Center, Az. He plans to continue his training by doing a second year residency in the area of emergency medicine. Ultimately, Michael hopes to return to the mission field and open a rural pharmacy clinic in an underserved community.

"At Consumer Health Information Corporation, I was immersed in a unique area of patient care that I had never previously been exposed to. While on this rotation, I worked extensively on publicizing an article about patient compliance in clinical studies and the implications it has on the general public. This made me aware of the incredible importance of educating patients in all settings. My knowledge and interest in information technology was also greatly broadened as I was involved in researching the process of publishing an e-book, redesigning a website, and conducting an electronic survey to evaluate current practices in patient education and how informed patients are of side effects. My involvement in these multiple projects has taught me many invaluable lessons: two of which are the importance of teamwork and attention to detail. I also realized the that using evidence based material is essential when communicating with other members of the healthcare team. My experience at CHIC has prepared me to become a better pharmacist. I feel much more confident when conversing with the other practitioners, and I am more adept in communicating with patients in a manner they’ll understand. ”


Anastacia Chetty

pic_clerk_Chetty Anastacia Chetty will graduate with her Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from Loma Linda University, School of Pharmacy in May, 2012. Preceding pharmacy school, Anastacia obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Washington. She received a graduate degree from Washington State University in Environmental Science – where her concentration was in Hazardous Waste Engineering. While in pharmacy school, she has worked at 3 major retail pharmacies and worked in Korea for a summer teaching Science and English. Coupled with her passion to serve, Anastacia has had the opportunity to participate in many local community services and international medical mission trips during her time in pharmacy school. She had the privilege to provide medical and pharmaceutical care to villages along the Amazon in Brazil as well as in Romania. She was also president elect of Student National Pharmacy Association (SNPhA) in which she initiated and was involved with the organization of establishing a pharmacy in Malawi. Upon graduation, Anastacia intends to pursue a pharmacy residency so that she can gain additional knowledge and experience to become a proficient healthcare provider in a clinical setting. She hopes that her experiences will help her contribute and be a resource to an integrated team to provide quality patient care.

"My rotation at consumer health information corporation was a unique experience that allowed me to be exposed to the business aspect of pharmacy. I worked on a diverse range of projects that included editing and publishing of a press release, extensive research to develop material for an e-book’s content and design, as well as planning and designing a website. I was also involved in researching the value and impact of social networking in the business field and had the opportunity to incorporate these tools into the marketing of Consumer Health Information Corporation. The skills that I have gained during this rotation are practical and will definitely be vital as my pursue my future endeavors.”


Mallory Jones

pic_clerk_jones Mallory will graduate with her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Hampton University School of Pharmacy in May 2012. While in pharmacy school, Mallory held leadership positions in the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA). She was also actively involved in the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and a member of the Rho Chi Honor Society. Mallory has worked as a pharmacy intern at a major chain retail pharmacy for the past five years. She is also certified through APhA to give immunizations. In the community, Mallory has volunteered at various health fairs, participated in blood pressure and glucose screenings, and educated residents of an assisted living home on how to maintain a health heart with a proper diet. Upon graduation, she hopes to obtain a position in a pharmacy practice residency and ultimately work as a clinical pharmacist and in academia. Her areas of interest include ambulatory care and internal medicine.

"During my rotation at CHIC I have had the opportunity to learn invaluable life long lessons. I have learned how important it is to pay attention to detail, stay organized in my work and how to be a team player. All of my responsibilities whether administrative or clinical have helped to reinforce basic work ethic principles and have helped me to develop as a person. This rotation provided me with a one of a kind experience. Dr. Smith has been very instrumental in my development as a student and I will be able to take the lessons learned at CHIC and transfer them from being a student to a professional. I believe that my time at CHIC has really helped to prepare me for the real world.”


Shiva Shahabadi

pic_clerk_Shahabadi Shiva Shahabadi received her Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs from The George Washington University in 2004. She travelled to Spain for a few months to learn Spanish. She is currently attending VCU School of Pharmacy and is graduating in May 2012. While in school, she joined Phi Delta Chi Pharmaceutical Fraternity and had the opportunity to perform blood pressure screening and counseling patients on importance of diet and exercise in order to lower blood pressure. While in school she also joined American Pharmacist Association (APhA) and became immunization certified. Upon graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in community pharmacy where she can provide direct patient care and serve her community.

"Consumer Health Information Corporation gives students the opportunity to learn about the importance of ensuring patients understood their disease states, how to properly take their medications and how to manage side effects. This was a unique rotation where students look at everything from the patient’s perspective. Pharmacists’ job will not be valuable unless patients understand what the pharmacists are saying and are able to follow their instructions accurately. This rotation is highly recommended to all pharmacy students who are actively involved in patient care. Effective communication is one of the most important aspects of becoming a good pharmacist. This rotation has improved my communication skills greatly. Thank you CHIC!”


Farisa Ali

pic_clerk_ali Farisa F Ali will graduate in May 2012 with a Doctorate in Pharmacy (Pharm. D) from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. As a student pharmacist, she has been actively involved in volunteering at many patient-centered health promoting events like health fairs that have involved counseling patients on their medications, brown bag events, blood pressure and blood glucose monitoring. Farisa has also volunteered for many community health clinics and organizations like the American Red Cross. She is immunization certified and has pharmacy experience in the community pharmacy. After graduating, Farisa plans to work at a ambulatory care setting.

"Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) is an experience all health care professionals must have. It is not only important to educate patients about their health, diseases and medications, it is also very important to make sure they understand them. The biggest misconception that most health care professionals have is that patients completely understand them. CHIC is a unique rotation because it provides a unique perspective understanding health care as a patient. This is the only rotation that made me realize that I was not an effective communicator with my patients. I am now equipped with all the tools necessary to be an effective in counseling my patients about their medications. I recommend this rotation not only to other fellow pharmacy students but also to other health care professionals like nurses and M.D’s if they can."


Dane Fredericksen

pic_clerk_fredericksen Dane Fredericksen has received an Associate’s Degree in Chemistry from Fullerton College, a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences from University of California, Irvine and will receive a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from University of Southern California in May 2012. Dane is an active member of AMCP, CPhA, APhA, CSHP, ASHP, IPSF, and SAM, and is currently employed at Rite-Aid, a community pharmacy in Los Angeles, CA. Due to so many opportunities available to graduating pharmacists, Dane is unsure whether he would like to pursue a career in pharmacoeconomics, ambulatory care, or independent pharmacy. Whatever he decides to do, he intends to work in a setting where more attention will be focused on individualized patient care and improving patient outcomes.

"My rotation experience at Consumer Health Information Corporation exceeded my expectations in every way. Not only did I enhance my skills in drug information literature searches and draft writing, I learned how to effectively manage, organize, and work with a team for ongoing drug information projects. Dr. Dorothy Smith immersed me in all levels of drug information ranging from collecting survey data about patient preferences and side effect information to editing and providing feedback for articles that will be published in journals. A couple of projects I worked on involved researching and analyzing alternative therapies for disease states ranging from UTIs to cancer and identifying potential collaborators for Consumer Health Information to work with in the future. Much credit must also go to Beverly Dunham who taught me essential business management skills like how to electronically and manually file documents and use programs such as ACT, Outlook, and Citrix. I would highly recommend this rotation to anyone who has an interest drug information, patient advocacy, health literacy, patient adherence, or research."


Alfred J Custer II

Custer_Alfred_bordered Alfred J Custer II began his undergraduate studies at the Honors College of the University of South Carolina and decided to stay on the campus at the South Carolina College of Pharmacy (SCCP) for his doctoral degree. Through SCCP, he has completed the Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery and Diabetes Management certificate programs by the American Pharmacists Association. He plans to graduate in May 2012 and pursue a residency in infectious diseases. In his last year of pharmacy school, Alfred opted to work with his professors and other pharmacists in the field of infectious diseases to bring a meta-analysis paper he wrote on osteomyelitis to manuscript with the intention of submitting it for publication in a major journal. He has been a member of the Student Society of Health Systems Pharmacist and the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists. During his collegiate years, he has enjoyed volunteering at a local children’s home and events held by the organization “Friends with HIV.” Alfred plans to use the communication and presentation skills developed during this rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation as he pursues a role in political pharmacy advocacy in addition to his future career.

"During my rotation with Consumer Health Information Corporation, I had the chance to participate in several innovative and in-depth projects that expanded my view of a pharmacist’s role as a resource for the public. Whether I was helping to design a health app or researching disease states that have not been extensively studied, I learned to translate clinical data into a format that was clear and practical for non-health professionals. The tasks I performed developed my skills in nvestigation, organization, and presentation. I know that whether I work in a clinical, retail, or academic setting the lessons I take from this rotation will enhance my ability to communicate health information effectively."


Courtney Creary

Creary_Courtney_bordered Courtney Creary will graduate with her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University Of Iowa College Of Pharmacy in May 2012. While in pharmacy school, Courtney was actively involved in American Pharmacists Association (APhA) where she served as a coordinator of Operation Diabetes, Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity, Rho Chi Honors Society, College Admissions Committee, and Phi Lambda Sigma Leadership Fraternity acting as Vice President her third year. Outside of pharmacy school, Courtney mentored a freshman student in Women and Science and Engineering (WISE), and also volunteered at various health fairs, Ronald McDonald House dinners, and University of Iowa events. After graduation, Courtney is not yet sure what practice setting she will find herself in but is excited to explore the many options available to a pharmacist and begin a career centered in patient care and advancing the field of pharmacy.

"My experience at Consumer Health Information Corporation was one that I could not get with any other rotation. Being able to work directly with Dr. Smith was a great opportunity and educational experience. It was also interesting and fun working with students from other colleges of pharmacy across the nation and being able to collaborate on projects. This rotation allowed me the chance to work in aspects of patient care I previously had no background in such as developing health care smart phone applications, researching under represented health topics, and formatting material that is appropriate for the level of patient understanding. This rotation also provided me with a first hand look at the importance of networking in the pharmacy field and how to properly manage contacts. I know that after my time spent here I have greatly improved my literature searching abilities, my familiarity with patient adherence materials, as well as leadership, communication, and team working skills. I have no doubt I will be able to apply things I learned from this rotation to my future pharmacy career and am grateful to have had this opportunity."


Hillary Fletcher

Fletcher_Hillary_bordered Hillary Fletcher is a Pharm D. candidate at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Albany, NY. She will be receiving her Doctor of Pharmacy in May 2012. While in pharmacy school Hillary was a member of American Pharmacist Association (APhA-ASP), Colleges Against Cancer, and The American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. She has also received certification to immunize. Hillary has worked in a community pharmacy since 2008. There she has participated in and developed many patient-centered programs. Within the community setting Hillary has worked in numerous sites across New York and Massachusetts, allowing her to interact with a wide array of health professionals and patients. Hillary has also worked in the administration and marketing sectors of the community pharmacy. Upon graduation Hillary hopes to find a career in the community providing medication therapy management (MTM) and practicing as a patient advocate. Hillary is eager to apply the knowledge she gained at the Consumer Health Information Corporation to her future career.

"This clerkship at Consumer Health Information Corporation allowed me to extend my pharmacy knowledge to a new direction. My experiences here were diverse, ranging from researching literature for a journal article to creating a health screening smartphone app. I was able to interact with many healthcare professionals across the country to learn about the important issues in healthcare today. After this rotation I have a more thorough knowledge of how to effectively communicate to patients. Not only to communicate to patients as a whole, but how different ages, genders, and cultures can have a huge impact on communication and understanding. This rotation has inspired me to create new goals for myself within my pharmacy career. I have always believed that as a pharmacist your main focus is being a patient advocate. Now I have the right tools to do just that. I am eager to take all I learned at Consumer Health Information Corporation and apply it to my future pharmacy endeavors."


Sola Adekoya

Adekoya_Sola_bordered Sola Adekoya will graduate in May 2012 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Harding University College of Pharmacy in Searcy, Arkansas. At her school of pharmacy, she was involved in various health fairs organized by White County where she volunteered performing blood pressure checks, blood glucose monitoring, and interpretation of the results for the patients. Sola was also active in diabetes awareness presenting educational materials and explaining the complications of the disease to the public. She is a member of the American Society of Health System- Pharmacists (ASHP) and is immunization certified. Sola has a background in community pharmacy and after graduation would like to work in a long term setting with primary focus on consulting.

"My rotation at Consumer Health Information Cooperation was very unique and informative. Throughout my four weeks I learned about the different aspect of patient care. The rotation gave me good insight into the operation of pharmaceutical industries as well as patient compliance and education. I was given the opportunity to contribute to projects that could impact patient care, especially in the area of medication dosage and adherence. I will take away from this experience knowledge in patient counseling and the importance of developing patient friendly reading materials. Collaborative work and sharing of creative ideas with other students from different colleges of pharmacy provided me with an environment I really enjoyed. I hope to implement the knowledge I gained to my future career as a pharmacist."


Shabana Alam

Alam_Shabana_bordered Shabana M. Alam will graduate in May 2012 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy at Shenandoah University. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida in 2007. While at Shenandoah University, Shabana held leadership positions in American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP). She actively contributed to the community of Winchester, Virginia by volunteering for influenza vaccination clinics. Through her school of pharmacy, she was the recipient of the “Take Better Care of Yourself Diabetes Education Award” for her creation of an educational video. She has a background in community pharmacy and has also worked for the Poison Information Center of Miami. After graduation she intends to work in a community pharmacy to be to apply the skills learned during pharmacy school and her clerkship rotations to provide the best possible care to patients.

"My clerkship rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation proved to be a wonderful experience. This site taught me how important the role of the patient is. It is obvious that healthcare professionals, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, and the government are the big players in the healthcare field. However, the power of patients is often underestimated. Patients ultimately determine whether or not to take a drug that is prescribed for them. During my 5 weeks at CHIC, I learned the importance of patient education and its impact on patient adherence. I helped develop a survey to gather consumer feedback concerning the role of side effects on a patient’s drug choice. I also researched ways to increase patient compliance, including text messaging and smart apps. I even had an amazing opportunity to tour the American Pharmacists Association building in Washington DC. This rotation will be useful in my career in retail pharmacy because I will now be able to provide my patients with easily understood drug information."


Janet Joseph

Logo_cropped Janet Joseph received her bachelors degree in Biology from Nova Southeastern University. She is currently a student at Touro College of Pharmacy in New York and will be receiving her Doctorate of Pharmacy in May 2012. Her exposure to healthcare includes interning at American Heart Association, Harlem United, Visiting Nurses Services of Greater New York, as well as in various hospital and retail pharmacy settings. Upon graduation she hope to contribute towards enhancing patient information on healthcare as well as advancing the practice of pharmacy.

"My experience at Consumer Health Information Corporation has been an eye opener to the needs of patients. I had to privilege to work with wonderful pharmacy students from various pharmacy schools as well as Dr. Smith. I was made aware of the importance of voice of pharmacist and consumers in the decision making process of the Food and Drug Administration. I learned strategies to expand my literature searches as well as became aware of useful databases I can access. I had the opportunity to attend a guided tour of the American Pharmacists Association Foundation and meet pharmacy students that are in various stages of student life. I feel that this rotation gave me the opportunity to view healthcare from a consumers point of view."


Andrew Wellman

Wellman_Andrew_bordered Andrew Wellman will graduate in May 2012 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy in Charleston, West Virginia. He earned a BA in Chemistry from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio in 2007. He has served as a UCSOP Honor Council member, Class of 2012 Historian and President, and PSGA Wellness Committee Chair. His professional affiliations include APhA-ASP and ASHP (local chapter Historian), as well as Phi Lambda Sigma. He has worked at Fruth Pharmacy since 2006, a small-chain community pharmacy. Upon graduation, Andrew is looking forward to helping inform patients how to better understand the medications they are taking through advancing his education with a residency.

"My time at Consumer Health Information Corporation will certainly prove to be invaluable when I begin counseling patients on their medications. I’ve learned that you can know all the information about a drug but if that knowledge is not translated into language that patients can understand, it is useless. Pharmacists must get to know their patients so they can break down the barriers to medication nonadherence that so many patients struggle with."


Nicole Piette

Piette_Nicole_bordered Nicole Piette will graduate in May 2012 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Wegmans School of Pharmacy at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Niagara University in Niagara Falls, NY in 2009. She has held leadership positions in Pharmacy Student Government and Phi Delta Chi Pharmaceutical Fraternity, worked as a teaching assistant in her school’s pharmaceutics lab, and has also been an active member of her school chapters of American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). She has contributed to the Rochester community by volunteering at Gilda’s Club of Rochester, presenting information about STDs and illegal substances to local students, and assistant coaching boys’ volleyball for one of the area high schools. She also has a background in community pharmacy. Upon graduation, she hopes to obtain a position in a pharmacy practice residency and ultimately work as a clinical pharmacist. Her areas of interest include infectious disease and ambulatory care.

"My rotation at Consumer Health has been a truly unique experience. I was able to be a key member in many projects aimed at improving healthcare for the general public. I helped create a survey about side effects concerning the information that patients want to receive about their medication, as well as how and when they want to receive it and who they want to receive it from. I also helped finalize an article about patient adherence in clinical trials which will soon be submitted for publication. Throughout all of my work at Consumer Health, I learned to envision healthcare from the patient’s point of view, in order to best tailor our projects to their interests and concerns. I also learned how to translate medical terminology into language that patients can understand, which proved to be a more difficult task than I had originally thought. The immense dedication to providing consumers with education that will help them better understand their healthcare is what sets this site apart from all the others. They definitely have a special passion for patient advocacy, and it really shows in all aspects of their work. It was a rewarding experience to spend my last 6 weeks here, and I look forward to taking the lessons I have learned with me into my practice after I graduate." 

Shelley Calvert

Calvert_Shelley_borderedShelley Calvert is currently a fourth year pharmacy student at West Virginia University School of Pharmacy in Morgantown, WV and will be receiving her Doctor of Pharmacy degree in May 2011. Before entering pharmacy school, she received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Accounting with a minor in Art History from the same institution. While she worked as an accountant for a few years, she took the prerequisite classes for pharmacy school. After pharmacy school began, she worked for an independently owned pharmacy, Waterfront Family Pharmacy, throughout her studies. Upon graduation, she plans to pursue a career in a community pharmacy setting.
 
"At CHIC, I have sharpened my research skills. I did research on multiple projects including, health information technology, Smartphone health applications, and various drug interactions. All of these projects have helped me improve the way I search for various topics. In addition, I have learned the importance of communicating with patients at a 6th grade level. I found it surprisingly difficult to be able to write patient information that is easy to understand."

Alexi Kanago

Kanago_Alexi_borderedAlexi Kanago is from Columbia, Missouri and attends pharmacy school through the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy. Alexi will graduate in May 2011 with her PharmD. Throughout pharmacy school Alexi has been a leader in several organizations including the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP), the Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists (SSHP), Rho Chi, and Phi Lambda Sigma. While in pharmacy school, Alexi has worked part time as an intern in the retail setting. Alexi has also taken the opportunity to volunteer at a student-operated medical clinic providing free primary healthcare to local residents without insurance. After graduation, Alexi plans to complete a residency at Bay Pines Health VA Healthcare System and work as a clinical pharmacist.
 
"In my time at the Consumer Health Information Corporation I have done in-depth research on specific medications, investigated consumer websites, and examined various aspects of health literacy. I learned that health literacy is more than just words. It’s about comprehension and readability as well. Consumers’ understanding of information applies to several outlets. Whether information is presented in an article, on a website, or through a pharmacist, the bottom line is that patients have to understand what they are being told. I will use the techniques I learned at CHIC for educating consumers and apply them to my future practice."

Iliana Cheng

iliana_chengwebIliana Cheng received her BS degree in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Miami in Florida. She also obtained her Master’s degree in Public Health with a focus in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. She has developed community-based programs to help reduce health disparities by addressing chronic diseases targeting therapeutic and lifestyle changes. She is currently a student at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy and will be receiving her Doctorate of Pharmacy in May 2011. As a student, she was a founding member of the DC-Metro Student Pharmacists Association (DSPA) and served as secretary. She is also on the advisory board of iForumRx.org, a Modern Online Journal Club that targets ambulatory care pharmacy. She brings a broad range of pharmacy experience including pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, hospice, mail-order, and hospital pharmacy specializing in mental health. She has also received her certifications to immunize and conduct medication therapy management (MTM). Upon graduation, she hopes to obtain a position within industry or the FDA.
 
"My rotation at Consumer Health Information has educated me on the current issues at the forefront of our nation. I learned about the Health Care Reform Act and Plain Writing Act and how this new legislation will impact the way we disseminate health information to consumers. Health Literacy is a vital component of healthcare and I experienced this first hand by creating materials that patients can understand. Additionally, I was introduced to healthcare information technology and consumer health informatics which combines technology with health education. This is relevant to pharmacy as more people seek health information electronically on the web and on mobile devices than ever before. During my 5 weeks, I was exposed to pharmacy related issues, marketing and business management. I feel that this rotation has contributed in making me a well-rounded future pharmacist."

Deanna Tran

TranPhotowebDeanna Tran will be graduating in 2011 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. She currently serves as secretary of the Maryland Public Health Association. Deanna also served as the President of the Student Section of the Maryland Public Health Association, secretary of the Student Government Association, as well as secretary of the Class of 2011 in her first year of professional school. Deanna’s professional affiliations include American Pharmacist Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP), American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity (KΨ), Phi Lambda Sigma (PLS). She has worked in the community setting at Kaiser Permanente for two years, and she hopes to obtain an ambulatory care residency position in Maryland. She hopes to utilize the knowledge gained from her experience with Consumer Health Information Corporation to better help patients understand their medication regimen and improve compliance.
 
"My rotation at Consumer Health Information (CHIC) was a unique opportunity to learn various methods on how to do drug information. I learned that how I use keywords and where I looked for the information are important aspects to drug information. Dr. Smith’s unique approach as well as strong focus on patient education taught me to re-evaluate how patients are counseled. I learned the importance of content and design on patient education pamphlets, as well as how to write at a level the patient can understand. I hope to take what I learned from this rotation and apply it to my future practice site. This rotation also gave me the opportunity to meet other students, learn from each other’s experiences, and grow my professional network."

Choua Vang

VangPhotowebChoua Vang will graduate in May 2011 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Harry F. Byrd School of Business at Shenandoah University. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Chapel Hill, NC in 2006. While in pharmacy school, Choua held leadership positions in her school chapters of American Pharmacists Association (APhA), Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity Inc., and Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP). She was also an active member of Phi Lamda Sigma (PLS) and the Student Investment Club. She actively contributed to the community of Winchester, Virginia by volunteering for free diabetes, heartburn awareness, and blood pressure clinics. At her school of pharmacy, she helped a professor organize a Medicare Part D Open Enrollment Day which was attended by over 100 enrollees. She has a background in community pharmacy including independent pharmacy. After graduation, she intends to work in community or long-term care pharmacy and hopes to pursue administrative or entrepreneurial work.
 
"I am fortunate to have been able to complete my Pharm.D./MBA rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation. This was a site that provided me with many opportunities to practice business skills in a healthcare-related setting. I was able to help draft a proposal for a patient education program for a major pharmaceutical company. I was given the chance to develop a marketing plan about health literacy to market to health plans. I also led the research on a project about smartphone health apps, developed a survey that went out to multiple universities/businesses, and published the results into a press release. There were also many opportunities for me to contact and network with various healthcare organizations for business purposes. Furthermore, I was given the opportunity to help orient new students to this rotation site. Throughout all of this, Dr. Smith gave me plenty of room for independence and creativity.There were many aspects about this rotation that I enjoyed and believe will benefit me in my future career. One aspect that I really enjoyed was the opportunity to meet and work with students from other schools of pharmacy. Networking and learning how to work with others will help my professional development. Another aspect I enjoyed was learning about patient education and how to produce education materials that are patient friendly. This will help me to become a better pharmacist when it comes to patient counseling. Finally, I enjoyed most the opportunity to develop my leadership skills in a real-world business environment. I would like to thank this site for all these learning opportunities."

Renee Summerson

SummersonPhotowebRenee Summerson is currently a fourth year pharmacy student at the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia, and will be receiving her Doctor of Pharmacy in May of 2011. She also did her undergraduate prerequisites at Shenandoah, where she played soccer and ran track for the school. During undergrad, she was president of the Pre-Pharmacy Society and was an active member of the Citizen-Scholars club. While in pharmacy school, Renee has been involved in the American Pharmacist Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP), American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), Phi Delta Chi Pharmaceutical Fraternity, and Rho Chi Honor Society. Throughout pharmacy school, Renee has worked as a technician and intern in various retail pharmacy settings. In the next year, she hopes to obtain a position in a PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Residency Program, and she ultimately plans to pursue a career as a clinical specialist.
 
"My clerkship rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation was a very worthwhile experience. This rotation is unique compared to most rotations that pharmacy students complete during their clinical year. Throughout my 5 weeks at CHIC, I worked on a variety of projects that helped to strengthen my skills in patient education and communication. I helped review a textbook that is used in many schools of pharmacy, which taught me some important techniques of how to get a message across. I also helped evaluate a few tools that the National Consumers League has provided for practitioners to better understand the problem of patient compliance. The most valuable project I worked on included evaluating the patient education materials that were included in the starter kit of an injectable medication. This project taught me that patient education materials must be explicitly designed assuming that most patients only understand language written at a middle school level. After completing this rotation, I have a much better understanding of appropriate dialogue that should be used in every encounter with a patient. The skills that I have learned here will benefit me for the rest of my career as a pharmacist."

Kristina Vucic

VucicPhotowebIn May 2011, Kristina Vucic will graduate with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Ohio Northern University in Ada, OH. She is from Cleveland, OH with an extensive background in community pharmacy with certification in Ohio as well as Arizona. During her six years of pharmacy school Kristina was active in many organizations including Kappa Epsilon, Academy of Student Pharmacists, Student Society of Health Systems Pharmacists, Phi Lambda Sigma, Circle K, and Zeta Tau Alpha. She has a passion for counseling and reasoning ways to increase patient education, advance safety, and ensure effective healthcare. After graduation she will work in a community pharmacy and looks forward to adapt in the changing future of the profession.
 
"The four weeks I spent at Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) were an invaluable experience. Working with Dr. Smith allowed me to realize how even just one individual can make such lasting contributions to the profession of pharmacy. Students are taught in class the importance of patient education, but here it is emphasized and practiced. This let me realize and remember that no matter how relevant any health information is, it can only be helpful if the patient can understand it. The role of the pharmacist and any healthcare professional is vital here to communicate properly with each other and ultimately with the patient. One of my favorite experiences was working everyday with students from different universities and backgrounds. I am thankful for the people I met and the skills I learned here to help me be a better pharmacist."

Abisoye Abisogun

Abisoye2webAbisoye “Abi” Abisogun will graduate in May 2011 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy. She is currently the president of the Class of 2011. During her pharmacy career at the school, Abi served as both Vice President and Secretary of Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA). She was an active member in other national organizations including American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP), Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists (SSHP), Christian Pharmacist Fellowship International (CPFI), various committees in the school and served as a mentor to incoming first-year pharmacy students. Through her involvement she demonstrated a strong commitment to her community by executing outreach events, disease state awareness program, health fairs, clothing drives and fundraising programs. She coordinated screening events such as the University of Charleston first ever Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) with the National Kidney Foundation. She initiated SNPhA’s pre-pharmacy mentorship program with University of Charleston undergraduate students. Always an advocate for the profession, Abi dedicated her time during Pharmacists Legislative Day at the state capitol. She is currently employed by Walgreens Pharmacy where she serves as a pharmacy intern. After graduation, Abi plans to pursue a community pharmacy residency to increase her knowledge base and practice implementing disease state management and medication therapy management services as well as wellness screenings.
 
"Consumer Health Information Corporation is one of those rotation sites I feel every pharmacy student should opportune themselves to. It gave me a unique experience in the world of patient education. In my five weeks here I had the chance to hone my writing skills in a way that can be comprehended by patients. It also exposed me to a wide variety of things ranging from the geriatric population, patient health education to using social media for pet health as well as publications to pharmacists, student pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. I mean how many fourth-year students can say they reviewed a chapter in a textbook that pharmacists and prospective students will read?!During the rotation, I saw first hand the difficulty and inability of patients to understand drug information that companies spend so much money marketing and distributing. I also refined my drug information literature searches and became an expert in using the correct keywords to get the right article.I am honored in working with an influential person such as Dr. Smith and learning the different ways to ensure patient’s comprehension on counseling, handouts and presentations. Her dedication to the patient population is remarkable and she tries to instill the importance of being the voice of our patients to her students. Service has always been a passion of mine and I hope to utilize what I have learned here and dedicate myself in ensuring my patients understand all the materials given to them, educating them and playing an instrumental role in their health."

Gretchen Kendall

headshotwebGretchen Kendall is currently a student at Duquesne University and will be graduating in May 2011 as a Doctor of Pharmacy with a concentration in management. Throughout pharmacy school Gretchen has held many leadership positions including treasurer and fundraising chair for Kappa Epsilon, as well as heartburn chair for the American Pharmacists Association’s Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP). Gretchen was also an active member of Helping to Educate and Rehabilitate Together (HEART) and the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacy (ASHP) service organizations. During her time at Duquesne, Gretchen made time to volunteer and helped raise money by participating in a range of events from bake sales to benefit walks. After graduation, Gretchen plans on working in an ambulatory care setting and hopes to help her patients fully understand their medications and trust their pharmacist. Gretchen’s primary goal as a future pharmacist is to be a helpful, knowledgeable, and trusted health care professional by exceeding her patient’s expectations.
 
"Throughout my rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) I had the opportunity to learn a variety of information. I was given many unique opportunities like editing textbooks as well as some very hands on projects. Dr. Smith gave me and my fellow students the appropriate guidance and allowed us to learn and grow individually. Dr. Smith takes a unique patient focused perspective and really emphasizes the patient when working on all tasks. Being able to work with other pharmacy students around the country allowed for teamwork to be used which resulted in very diverse and complete projects. I can honestly say that the time spent at CHIC was very different from my other rotations and the knowledge that I acquired I feel confident that I will use no matter what practice setting I choose.”

Corinda Pippins

Corinda-Pippins-WebCorinda Pippins received a dual Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Biology from the Univeristy of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA. She is currently a student at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Albany, NY, and will be receiving her Doctor of Pharmacy in May of 2011. While in pharmacy school, Corinda’s professional affiliations inculded Rho Chi Honor Society, American Pharmacist Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP), and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). She has served as trip coordinator for her APhA-ASP chapter to regional and national meetings. Corinda was a teacher’s assistant and tutor for several pharmacy skills labs, helping professors and working with other students individually and in groups. Outside of pharmacy school, Corinda is very community oriented and is involved with her religious organization, planning multiple activities for 100+ people of all ages and teaching Sunday school. She plans on pursuing a job in hospital pharmacy after graduation and ultimately wants to become a hospital pharmacy administrator.
 
"I have gained much fromher students to write a brochure for patients was wonderful! I learned so much about even small but important things like the appropriate language to use for patient education, how long each line of text should be so patients don’t get overwhelmed when reading, and what colors are best to convey different messages.In addition to improving my patient education skills, I was able to tour the National Community Pharmacists Association headquarters. It was a great opportunity to learn what the association was about and to network with association representatives. Dr. Smith also let me help her with some of the administrative side of her business, something I have a strong interest in learning more about. I really appreciated how Dr. Smith was flexible in my assignments so I was able to work on and learn about things I was most interested in.I had a great time at CHIC and kno my rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation. Dr. Smith is inspiring in her dedication to helping patients better understand not just their medicines but their health in general. It’s easy to see that the products she and her team have developed over the years have made a true difference in patients’ lives. Being able to collaborate with her and otw that the skills I have gained during my 6 weeks here will be used throughout my career."

Eunyoung Park

Eunyoung-Park-WebEunyoung Park will be graduating with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy at Shenandoah University in May 2011. She received her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with Biochemistry concentration from George Washington University. During pharmacy school, she was a member of American Pharmacist Association (APhA-ASP) and has recently received her immunization certification. She has an extensive background in community pharmacy and has worked for various major chain pharmacies for the past five years in DC and Virginia. Upon graduation, she plans to pursue a career in a community pharmacy in Northern Virginia and will strive to provide optimal patient counseling.
 
“This rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation has opened my eyes and gave me a chance to re-focus on true patient care and what is really best for the patients. I was involved in projects such as increasing awareness of knowing side effects before patients fill prescriptions and the importance of delivering such information to patients effectively. In school, we are trained to communicate mostly with healthcare professionals that I did not realize it was so hard to put medical terms into words that patients can easily understand. Additionally, CHIC gave me an opportunity to be aware of various organizations such as National Health Council (NHC) and National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and showed me how these organizations work together for better healthcare. I was also able to work with students from various schools and share our different experiences of pharmacy education. Such experiences at CHIC will help me tremendously in my pharmacy career.”

Laura Bisher

Laura-Bisher-WebLaura Bisher will graduate in May 2011 with a specialization certificate in geriatrics along with her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from West Virginia University’s School of Pharmacy. Laura was born and raised in West Virginia. She attended Shepherd University located in Shepherdstown, WV, where she worked towards her Bachelors degree in Chemistry and her Bachelors degree in Business Administration. During pharmacy school Laura was a member of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA-ASP), American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, American Geriatrics Society, American Chemical Society, and Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity. Over the past 10 years she has worked in community and hospital pharmacy settings. Since 2004 she has worked at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center pharmacy in Martinsburg, WV. After graduation, Laura plans to continue her career with the Department of Veterans Affairs first as a post-graduate resident and then as a clinical pharmacist specializing in long term care and palliative care. Laura has always been passionate about and an advocate for providing the best health care to America’s veterans. Her interests include geriatrics, pet therapy, and patient education.
 
“My experience at Consumer Health Information Corporation provided me with experiences and opportunities. Dr. Smith and her staff created a unique and comfortable working environment which facilitated my learning in areas of pharmacy that cannot be obtained from other practice sites or from the classroom. One of the most important skills that I obtained during my rotation was learning how to create and produce healthcare information and materials that patients can easily understand. We as pharmacists need to recognize the need for and ensure that our patients receive this type of information. I was able to recognize this need and truly comprehend the impact that pharmacists can have on patient self-care of disease states due to my participation in medicine reviews for patients.I was also allowed the opportunity to use my business background to create a social media strategy for the company. The younger generations have created the need for new more technologically advanced methods of receiving their health care information and to meet this need pharmacy, as well as other healthcare fields, need to adapt and change to satisfy this need. Many pharmacy organizations have already initiated such strategies and have received very positive feedback.Consumer Health Information Corporation is located in McLean, VA. The national headquarters for many national pharmacy and healthcare organizations as well as the FDA are located within a very short distance. Dr. Smith creates the opportunity for students to tour and learn more about these organizations. I was given the opportunity to visit the National Community Pharmacists Association as well as attend an FDA hearing. This rotation was extremely valuable to me and I recommend it to every PharmD student, no matter what field of practice they decide to persue.”

Kelly Considine

Kelly-Considine-WebKelly Considine is a PharmD Candidate at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. She will graduate in May 2011. She earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology from the University of Iowa. During pharmacy school, Kelly worked as a pharmacy intern at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. She was also a member of the American Pharmacists Association, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and Rho Chi. While in pharmacy school, Kelly had the opportunity to volunteer at a student-run, free clinic for underserved patients called the Phillips Neighborhood Clinic. After graduation, Kelly would like to do a pharmacy practice residency in order to eventually work as a clinical pharmacist. Her areas of interest include critical care and infectious disease.
 
“Consumer Health Information Corporation afforded me opportunities that I would not be able to obtain elsewhere. During my 5 week rotation, I was able to attend a workshop regarding the alteration of patient medication information and network with representatives from ASHP, FDA, NCPA, AARP, and many other national organizations in order to create a plan on how best to deliver medicine information to patients and what information needs to be conveyed to patients. It was an eye-opening experience. Throughout this clerkship, I was able to hone my research and writing skills in order to create patient-friendly communication. I also had the opportunity to work with students from many schools of pharmacy which is something I have not been able to do at other rotation sites. It was a wonderful experience getting to know other students and learning from them.”

Sophia Vainrub

Sophia-Vainrub-WebSophia Vainrub will graduate from the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy in May 2011 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Prior to and during pharmacy school, Sophia has worked as a technician and intern in various retail pharmacy settings. While in pharmacy school, she founded an initiative to educate women of childbearing age from underserved communities on their medications, reproductive health, and sexually transmitted infections. She has traveled to Mexico to provide health screenings in rural areas and has provided blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol screenings at community health fairs. Sophia is passionate about educating the public on the medications and introducing undergraduate students to the role that pharmacists play on the interprofessional health care team. She is an active member of the Minnesota Pharmacy Student Alliance (MPSA), the American Pharmacist Association (AphA-ASP), and the Multicultural Pharmacy Student Organization (MPSO). After graduation, Sophia plans to pursue a hospital residency and work as a clinical pharmacist.
 
“My rotation at CHIC was a truly unique experience that no other training site could have provided. Dr. Smith gives much personal care and attention to each of her interns. In the process of designing a patient-friendly pamphlet that fits health literacy standards, I not only learned how to write in an easy to understand yet medically accurate manner, but also got to be creative. I helped to design both the content and the layout of the pamphlet and thus had to put extensive thought into what graphics would best convey our message and be understood by people from diverse backgrounds. I greatly enjoyed collaborating closely with other Pharm.D. Candidates from all over the country on group projects that resulted in helpful patient publications.Because of its proximity to Washington, DC, my rotation at CHIC afforded me the chance to participate in a public hearing on Patient Medication Information. I learned about the different parties involved in developing the information that consumers receive about medicine, such as the FDA, pharmaceutical manufacturers, consumer groups, and drug information publishers. I now have a better understanding of how to increase patient adherence to medications.”

Ruth Kim

Ruth-Kim-WebRuth Kim is a doctorate of pharmacy candidate interning at Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC). Ruth will graduate from Howard University School of Pharmacy, Washington, DC on May 2011. She is a founding member and national representative of the College of Psychiatric and Neurological Pharmacists’ (CPNP) pilot collegiate chapter at Howard University. CPNP is a body of psychiatric and neurological pharmacists providing advice and support to enhance its practice. The collegiate student chapter aims to promote, advocate, educate, and train students in psychiatric/neurologic pharmacy. Ruth held the vice president position for the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP) and Rho Chi Beta Sigma Chapter. In addition, her passion lies in research. Ruth spearheaded an epidemiological research evaluating cholinergic medicines in the elderly population. She is currently working on two psychiatric research projects, first assessing perception of psychiatric medications and depression in African American college students, and second, the use of psychiatric medication in special populations. Ruth has presented her work at ASHP Midyear 2008, APhA National Conference 2010, and will be presenting her recent work for the upcoming ASHP Midyear 2010.
 
“My experience at Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) will be permanently ingrained in my memory as one of my favorite rotations. I had the privilege of working with wonderful colleagues as one team, in a plethora of projects. CHIC provided a great opportunity to nurture a strong working environment with my colleagues. I was given the chance to attend an FDA public hearing and a Brookings Workshop to address patient adherence needs. Dr. Dorothy Smith, Mary Harrington and Beverly Dunham took the time, despite their busy schedules, to discuss vital topics and taught us valuable lessons on best methods of implementing patient education/information pamphlets. Dr. Smith taught us the crucial roles each vendor plays in the medication system hierarchy from the role of pharmaceutical industries, government organizations, public relations agencies, and advertising agencies to the patients. It has been an eye opening experience I will always cherish. Thank you CHIC team for investing the time and energy on your future pharmacist! ”"Don’t Put Your Antibiotics at Risk"

Stephanie Holt

StephanieStephanie Holt will graduate in May 2011 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Utah College of Pharmacy. As a student pharmacist, Stephanie was chapter president of American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) and participated in other national organizations such as National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Through her student involvement she had the opportunity to give back and demonstrate to her community what the pharmacy profession has to offer. She coordinated patient education and screening events and helped organize the first charity gala fundraiser for the underserved in her community. She currently works at an independent pharmacy in Salt Lake City. After graduation, Stephanie plans to implement patient care programs to promote medication adherence, prevent complications and increase the quality of care for her patients.
 
“My experience at Consumer Health Information helped me discover new philosophies regarding patient education. I realized, in many instances, healthcare providers ineffectively communicate and leave information or directions ambiguous and hard to follow. I learned positive communication is key in motivating and educating both patients and other healthcare providers. I learned to expand my literature search strategies and became familiar with databases I did not previously use. I will leave with an open mind towards patient education and communication as I continue to progress in the pharmacy profession.”
"Can Your Diabetes Be Keeping You Up At Night?"

Lindsay Shay

LindsayLindsay Shay will graduate from WVU School of Pharmacy with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in May 2011. In December 2008, Lindsay completed a Bachelors of Science degree in Animal and Nutritional Science. As a pharmacy student, she also completed the curriculum for the WVU School of Pharmacy - Geriatrics Area of Emphasis Program, to further specialize in geriatric care. Throughout her pharmacy education, Lindsay has been an active participant in various committees within the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP), including Operation Diabetes, Heartburn Awareness, and Operation Immunization. She is also a member of the leadership organization Phi Lambda Sigma (PLS), Lambda Kappa Sigma (LKS), National Community Pharmacists’ Association (NCPA), and Christian Pharmacists Fellowship (CPF). As a pharmacy intern, Lindsay has worked for CVS Pharmacy in Morgantown, WV. Following graduation, Lindsay aims to use her extensive educational and experiential background to provide quality pharmaceutical care to the patients and community she serves.
 
“My rotation experience at Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) was captivating! It has been a true honor to experience first-hand the operations of such an outstanding company. After working with the brilliantly creative, charming personality and admirable leadership qualities of CHIC’s master-mind, Dr. Smith, it is clear to see how the company has become so reputable and highly respected.I remain awestruck at the incredible devotion and achievements CHIC has made to patient care service provision. From FDA hearings to national committee campaign efforts, CHIC has offered countless opportunities to participate in unique public endeavors. Also, recognized internationally for its award-winning patient and consumer education materials, CHIC has exemplified how drug information skills can be integrated into quality patient education. Being able to actively participate in the intricate developments of “consumer-friendly” materials was especially thrilling.This rotation has enlightened me with many wonderful opportunities and strengthened me both personally and professionally. The knowledge I gained and the experiences I encountered will forever be cherished. Similar to the primary goals of CHIC, I find no greater satisfaction than that of making a difference to better someone’s life. I look forward to utilizing the invaluable skills CHIC has taught me during my 5-week rotation, throughout the rest of my pharmacy career. Thank you CHIC for providing me with the tools to improve the lives of my patients!”

Jennifer Weimer

JenniferJennifer Weimer will graduate in 2011 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the South Carolina College of Pharmacy – Columbia campus. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina. After completing her undergraduate degree, she pursued her interest in pharmacy. While in pharmacy school, she was a member of the American Pharmacists Association -- Academy of Student Pharmacists. She is currently interested in critical care. After graduating she hopes to work in a clinical setting.
 
“My experience at Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) gave me the opportunity to work with a variety of people from different backgrounds. It gave me a platform in which to build on my existing interpersonal skills. My experience here has not only helped me to build on my communication skills with my peers, but also with the patient. As pharmacists, I feel that we sometimes take for granted the things we learn in school, and we do not realize that other people do not always understand everything we try to relay to them. Comprehension is an important step toward adherence. I will use my experience here to strengthen my counseling abilities, which will hopefully lead to better outcomes for my patients.”"Gluten is only in Foods - Right?"

Ann Nichols

AnnAnn Nichols is completing her final year at the South Carolina College of Pharmacy—Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) campus and will graduate in May 2011 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. While in pharmacy school, Ann was an active member of American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP). Ann has worked as a pharmacy intern at a local independent pharmacy in Charleston, SC for the past five years. She is also certified through APhA to give immunizations. After graduation, Ann hopes to pursue a community pharmacy residency with emphasis in diabetes education.
 
“My experience at Consumer Health Information Corporation has provided me with a new understanding of patients and their behaviors relating to their medications. It has helped me to appreciate the patient’s point of view. I was not aware of how difficult it is to make patients adherent to their medications. Writing the newspaper article at a 6th grade level has taught me the importance of speaking to patients on a level they can understand. It is our professional duty, as pharmacists, to counsel and educate patients regarding medications. I will use the tools I have learned during this rotation to be more aware of the knowledge a patient needs to have about their own medications.”"Do You Know the Name of Your Pharmacist?"

Jasmeet Kalsi

JasmeetJasmeet Kalsi will be graduating in May 2011 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy at Shenandoah University. She did her undergraduate pre-requisites for pharmacy school at the University of Maryland, College Park. At Shenandoah, she was an active member of Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity Inc. and the American Pharmacists Association and has worked on many volunteer projects through the two organizations. After graduation, Jasmeet is considering joining the Public Health Service at the Food and Drug Administration. Another option that Jasmeet is thinking of is a fellowship with the Food and Drug Administration to gain more experience with the industry, regulatory and academic side of pharmacy.
 
“My time here at Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) has taught me to truly analyze different factors that go into patient adherence with medications. I learned about many educational tools that have been implemented to help low literacy patients understand their medications better. This rotation has prepared me to better counsel patients in the pharmacy and to make sure they thoroughly understand the importance of taking their medications correctly. I had the opportunity to attend an FDA public hearing on changing the current patient package inserts. This hearing opened my eyes to many different ideas on how to get the patient to become more knowledgeable on their medications through the use of printed materials. My experience at CHIC has definitely been interesting and I hope to take what I learned on patient counseling and apply it as a future pharmacist.”"Has Your Child Been Screened for High Cholesterol?"

Heli Patel

Heli_PatelHeli Patel will graduate in May 2011 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy at Shenandoah University. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida in 2005. While in pharmacy school, Heli held leadership positions in American Pharmacists Association (APhA), Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity Inc., and Phi Lambda Sigma Leadership Fraternity (PLS). She was also an active member of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) during pharmacy school. She contributed to the community of Winchester, Virginia by volunteering for free diabetes and healthy heart clinics, as well as health fairs. Community, hospital, and long-term care pharmacy are areas she has worked in. After graduation she intends to apply to either a managed care or clinical pharmacy residency program. Heli looks forward to utilizing the skills she has learned during pharmacy school and her clerkship rotations to work with other health care professionals to better serve her patients and community.
 
“My experience at Consumer Health Information Corporation will help me in the future when I become a pharmacist. It is important to be able to communicate to patients in a language they can understand. This drug information rotation clerkship has taught me how to do so effectively. Learning the importance of the pharmacist’s role in patient adherence to therapy, as well as their understanding of the medication is something else I gained from this rotation. I hope to use what I have learned to help people when I am a pharmacist.”"Walking Under the Influence of Drugs"

Huong Le

HuongHuong Le will graduate in May 2011 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy at Shenandoah University. Recently, she has helped develop the Siemens pharmacy and nursing workflow quick guide manuals and helped children learn the art of pharmacy by participating with Med-Camp week at Arlington Hospital in Arlington, Virginia. Huong hopes to obtain a residency position upon graduation and plans to pursue a career in either clinical pharmacy or academics where she can apply her education and skills to improve patient care in the underserved population.
 
“Consumer Health has given me a great opportunity to recognize the importance of patients’ needs when it comes to written information regarding their healthcare. I would not have learned this if I did not have Consumer Health for my pharmacy clerkship. I learned that it takes more than just accurate facts and simple language to make good patient education materials. I was challenged by how I should use this knowledge to help my own patients to improve their quality of life and make better decisions for themselves regarding their healthcare treatment. I had the chance to research various topics, advance my command of various databases and develop strategic keywords in order to develop effective patient-education materials. I am grateful for this opportunity. It will stay with me for years as I strive to become a good patient-caring pharmacist.”"Caution: Some Drugs Might Make You More Sensitive to Heat"

Thomas Kunnen

Thomas_KunnenThomas Kunnen is in his final year of study at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy and will graduate with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in May of 2011. Prior to pharmacy school he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular and Microbiology from the University of Central Florida in 2006. At the University of Charleston, Thomas served for two years as the secretary of the Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International (CPFI) student chapter. He is also a member of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). In the workplace Thomas has gained experience in both community and institutional settings as a pharmacy intern for the Walgreens Corporation and Cabell Huntington Hospital in Huntington, West Virginia. Upon graduation, he is considering blending these experiences and pursing a career as a home-health pharmacist. It is his hope to use the knowledge gained from his experience with the Consumer Health Information Corporation to articulate the importance of proper medication adherence and use to patients who require individual care in the home environment.
 
“Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) provided me with a eye-opening learning experience. My views in relation to patient education and patient adherence have been drastically altered over the course of my clerkship. I have come to realize just how difficult it can be for patients to manage their health in an complex and often inhospitable system. Similarly, I have experienced first hand the challenges to the healthcare professional in operating on the level of the patient. The ways in which improved education and adherence can benefit not only the patient, but also the healthcare system and provider, have also been a valuable lessons. There is no doubt I will use the strategies and tools provided by CHIC in an attempt to make my personal practice one that is patient centered and friendly. For these tools and the aforementioned experience, I am truthfully grateful.”"Prescription Drugs in Your Food and Drinking Water"

Sangeeta Tandon

SangeetaSangeeta Tandon will graduate from the University of Iowa in May 2011 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. While at pharmacy school, she has served as the vice president of the student council and has been a member of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists (ASHP). In addition, much of her time was devoted to being a delegate to ECGPS (Executive Council of Graduate and Professional Students) as liaison for the college of pharmacy and allocation of tens of thousands of dollars to not only the College of Pharmacy but the other graduate and professional schools. In the summers of pharmacy school, she has taken advantage of global health opportunities including interning at the World Health Organization in a NIH-sponsored program in Bratislava, Slovakia. In the Summer of 2009, she interned with Johns Hopkins Hospital where her interest of hospital administration came about.
 
“My experience at Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) was an invaluable experience. It’s been an honor to work with such an innovative group that is entirely devoted to patient education and improving the adherence of medication usage to improve health outcomes. As a student pharmacist, it’s very refreshing to see this proactive approach from such a prominent leader in pharmacy. Working with Dr. Smith has educated me that healthcare is in need of patient-friendly language in order to effectively communicate risks and equally important the benefits to patients. Much admiration goes to a group having such a patient-centered approach. I am confident that I am now using effective search strategies now in my evidence based research to empower my patients to make the most optimal decisions. The skills I’ve gained at CHIC will be beneficial throughout my professional career. Thanks to the entire staff at CHIC for a wonderful experience.”"Driving Under the Influence of Drugs"

Demelash Alambo

demeloshDemelash Alambo will be graduating 2011 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, in West Virginia. Demelash was born and raised in Ethiopia where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Debube University, Dilla College of Teacher Education and Health Science College. While enrolled in pharmacy school, he held a treasurer position in the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA), and he is also an active member of the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP), American Pharmacists Association (APhA-ASP), and American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS). Demelash has been working in community pharmacy for the past three years in Charleston, WV. Upon graduation, he would like to pursue a clinical research Fellowship program.
 
“My rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation provided me with a great level of knowledge about the importance of format, design and content of patient education materials to increase patient adherence. I learned how to write complex medical information at a level the patient can understand. My CHIC rotation has also taught me the importance of patient medication adherence to achieve a better health outcome. It has been a unique experience for me to participate in the process of developing a tool that helps patients increase medication adherence. This rotation was a great experience that will help me in the future to make a difference in the pharmacy and healthcare professions.”“Mistaken Identity: Some OTCs Look Alike but Are Very Different”

Yelena Denisko

YelenaDeniskoWebYelena Denisko will graduate in May 2011 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy at Shenandoah University. While in pharmacy school, Yelena was a member of American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. Since 2006, she has worked in both hospital and community pharmacy settings. After graduation, Yelena plans to pursue a career in which she can apply her education and skills in improving patient care.
 
“My experience at Consumer Health Information taught me the importance of being able to translate complex medical terminology into simple language for patients. Pharmacists have this opportunity to provide patients with comprehensive and clear information about medications. Once patients have a complete and coherent understanding of their medications, they will be empowered to make wise decisions about their health. Throughout my rotation, I learned to recognize and appreciate the patient’s point of view. The experience here will help me in educating patients more effectively.”“Laxatives: Proceed with Caution ”

Kathy Matthews

KathyKathy Matthews will graduate in May 2011 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. She is a member of the inaugural class of students earning their PharmD degrees at the Shady Grove campus located in Rockville, MD. She is a founding member of the DC-Metro Student Pharmacists Association (DSPA), a student organization focused on expanding service opportunities for pharmacy students in the greater DC area, and served as the Vice President during her second professional year. Kathy has also served as a class secretary in the Student Government Association, DSPA liaison/Shady Grove events coordinator for the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP), and is a member of Phi Lambda Sigma (PLS) and Lambda Kappa Sigma (LKS). She is interested in ambulatory care and hopes to obtain a residency position in the Indianapolis area after graduation.
 
“I learned a great deal about the importance of format, design, and content of patient education materials during my time at Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC). Patients need to be able to comprehend, not just recall, information about how to use their medications safely and correctly. To achieve this goal, we as pharmacists must provide patients with information that is both easy to understand and addresses their concerns. Thanks to my experience at CHIC, I will critically evaluate the patient education materials I use in the future and will consider health literacy and the concerns of the patient during my future educational encounters.”“Tips for Taking Tablets ”

Joanna Woten

Joanna_WotenJoanna Woten will be graduating in 2011 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Wingate University School of Pharmacy. Throughout her college career, she has been an active member of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP), North Carolina Association of Pharmacy (NCAP), American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) and American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP). Additionally, she is a member of Phi Delta Chi, a pharmacy professional fraternity, where she was the fundraising chair. She participated in the community with blood pressure screening, glucose screening and raising awareness on many health conditions such as stroke and osteoporosis. She has worked in the community setting at Kroger Pharmacy for 6 years, but she desires to complete a pharmacy practice residency and to pursue a career as a clinical pharmacist in either the hospital or ambulatory settings.
 
“My rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) gave me insight into a different aspect of pharmacy that includes the patient. Although we are told never to use health jargon while counseling a patient, we are never taught exactly what to say or how. From this rotation, I learned how to write at a level the patient can understand while still clinically and medically correct. I also learned the way to expand the pharmacy profession is through increasing patient adherence. The healthcare field is slowly realizing the importance of adherence, but are moving slowly to take action. Through the experience that I have gained at CHIC, I hope I will have an opportunity to make a profound difference in pharmacy and the healthcare field by informing healthcare professionals and the patients the importance of adherence.”“How Can You Avoid Medication Errors? ”

Jacob Cannan

JacobJacob Cannan is working toward a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Raabe College of Pharmacy at Ohio Northern University. Jacob will graduate in May of 2011. While on campus in Ada, Ohio, he was an active member of the National Community Pharmacists Association and the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy. For both organizations, Jacob intends to continue to be an active and participating member through and after graduation. Jacob recognizes the value of placing the patient at the center of health-care. He looks forward to utilizing skills learned at Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) to open lines of communication with the patient as a future health-care professional. Following graduation Jacob intends to transition smoothly into future endeavors as he applies the knowledge and skills developed at CHIC.
 
“Working with Dr. Smith and Consumer Health has been extremely valuable. Throughout pharmacy school, you hear the adage “treat the patient, not the number”. Well, hat could not be truer or better advice that Dr. Smith has taken to heart. Having now trained with Consumer Health I have a much greater appreciation for the patient’ role in pharmaceutical care.”“How to Get the Most Value for Your Prescription Dollar ”

David Tate

David_TateDavid Tate is in his final year of study at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy and will graduate in May of 2011. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from West Virginia University in 2006. During pharmacy school, David has worked as a pharmacy intern for CVS and has been a member of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). After graduation David plans to pursue a career as a community pharmacist where he will educate patients on how to prevent the complications due to disease states through counseling and special events with an emphasis in hyperlipidemia and diabetes.
 
“My time at Consumer Health Information Corporation has taught me that it is difficult to communicate health issues with the everyday person in a language they will understand, but it needs to be done in order for a patient to be compliant and have optimal benefits from their therapy.”“Is Sunscreen Blocking Out More than Just the Sun? ”

Adam Sieg

AdamAdam Sieg is completing his final year at theSouth Carolina College of Pharmacy – Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) campus and will graduate in May 2011 with a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree. Adam has worked as a pharmacy intern at the Children’s Hospital at MUSC during his time in pharmacy school. He has also been involved and served as an officer in the Society of Student Health-System Pharmacists (SSHP) and the American Pharmacy Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) as well as being a member of Rho Chi Honor Society, Phi Lambda Sigma (PLS), and Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International (CPFI). Outside of pharmacy school Adam is the president of the MUSC Cycling Club and a former collegiate golfer for Charleston Southern University. Upon completion of pharmacy school, he would like to pursue a pharmacy practice residency. His areas of interest include cardiology, critical care, infectious disease,and academia.
 
“After completing this rotation I realize how little I knew about patients and why they have so much difficulty taking their medicine. All health care professionals understand that patients, no matter how “good”, will not follow their instructions. Consumer Health Information Corporation has opened my eyes to the difficulties patients have being adherent. Every day I was presented with another barrier that patients have and every day I had to come up with a solution to how to get around it. It was very challenging to take medical information and relay it to the patient. I developed a greater appreciation for the work that goes into developing clinically accurate information that patients will understand. Writing the newspaper article on high blood pressure at the grade 6 level was very challenging. It was a great experience that will help me relate to patients better. I believe that talking in a language that patients understand will help in my professional career. The patients hold the key to their success, but it is our job to convince them to use the key.”“High Blood Pressure: Do You Have a Game Plan? ”

Shalisa Salla

ShalisaShalisa Shalla will graduate in May 2011 with a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy at Shenandoah University. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Florida International University, Miami in 2005. While in pharmacy school, she held an officer position as treasurer in Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity Inc. and has been an active member of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). After graduation she intends to pursue a pharmacy practice residency with an emphasis in ambulatory care. She is looking forward to “serving my community by providing the knowledge gained through this PharmD clerkship to further improve patient care quality”.
 
“My clerkship rotation experience at Consumer Health Information Corporation was an extremely valuable one. I have a new-found appreciation for the translation of complex medical literature into patient friendly language. I admire the patient adherence strategies and patient education programs that Dr. Smith has developed. The patient does “hold the power” in whether or not they want to take their medications. It is our job as pharmacists to facilitate the patient’s understanding and implementation of their healthcare.Thank you so much CHIC for providing me with the tools needed to establish a better counseling relationship with my patients. This has enabled me to grow personally and professionally.”“Genetic Testing: Do You Really Want to Know? ” 

Amanda Flaman

Amanda

Mandy Flaman is originally from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. She is in her final year of study at the University of Saskatchewan pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy degree. Memberships include Golden Key International Honor Society and Greystone Scholars Society. She has been involved in the U of S College of Pharmacy as the chair of the Pre-Pharmacy Club, and in the community as a board member for the Saskatoon Crisis Nursery. Mandy has enjoyed working in community pharmacy for the past two years as an intern, but has chosen to pursue a career in hospital pharmacy. In summer 2010, she will begin a position as a staff pharmacist at the Victoria Hospital in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Her areas of interest include infectious disease and drug policy/formulary decision making.

“At the start of this rotation I was surprised at how difficult it was to write at a grade 6-8 level! Working with Dr. Smith has taught me that patient-centered care requires patient-friendly language. I will leave with a greater appreciation for the complexity of effective patient counseling and patient education materials. As health care professionals, it is imperative that we develop the skills to effectively communicate risks and benefits to patients, which I have learned is invariably easier said than done. I had an enjoyable stay in the Washington area, thank you so much to the staff at CHIC for all of their hospitality.”

“Do You Have Health Information Overload? ”


Kristen Gourlay

Kristin

Kristen Gourlay will graduate in May 2010 with her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy degree from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada. She is originally from Creighton, Saskatchewan where she graduated from Hapnot Collegiate at the top of her class earning the Governor General’s Bronze Medal. Kristen was a student leader on her local Canadian Society of Pharmacy Students and Interns council and the Saskatchewan Pharmacy and Nutrition Students’ Society. She also coordinated the Medicines & You program in which pharmacy students discussed safe medication use with elementary school children.

In 2009, she completed an internship through the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation in Portugal where she learned to overcome communication barriers when talking with patients about their medications. She has also completed internships under the Intensive Care Unit pharmacist in Red Deer, Alberta and a Certified Diabetes Educator in Moosomin, Saskatchewan. Recognition she has received for her accomplishments include the Guy Genest Passion for Pharmacy Award and the Ross Pinder Commitment to Community award. After graduating, Kristen plans to pursue a pediatric hospital residency with a focus on infectious disease where she will draw upon the skills and knowledge gained during her rotation at Consumer Health to help her communicate effectively with her young patients.

“During my experience at Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC), I discovered new ideas and philosophies that will help me begin my career as a leader in pharmacy. I have gained a better understanding of the challenges that face consumers and how as pharmacists we can work with our patients towards better medication use. My future patients will benefit from my literature searching and communication skills which were enhanced during my time at CHIC. I definitely enjoyed the time I was able to spend in the Washington, DC area by participating in this rotation.”

“The Right Way to Spray: Protect Your Family from West Nile ”


Jaris Swidrovich

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Jaris Paul Swidrovich is a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy candidate for June 2010 at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Jaris has remained an active member of the pharmacy profession through such roles as a First-Year and Junior Representative for the Canadian Association of Pharmacy Students and Interns [CAPSI], as well as the National President-Elect of CAPSI. Jaris is also highly involved in his Aboriginal community through various initiatives, such as mentoring future Aboriginal health science students and advocating the profession of pharmacy at the annual National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation’s Blueprint for the Future career fair for Aboriginal high-school students.Upon graduation, Jaris will be working with the Pharmacists’ Association of Saskatchewan to develop and implement a smoking cessation program directed to Aboriginal populations throughout Saskatchewan. Other special projects Jaris has been a part of include an international research trip to Trinidad & Tobago in his first year of pharmacy entitled “Healthy Children – Reducing Obesity Among School-Aged Children in Trinidad & Tobago,” as well as sitting on a committee that established the 10th local chapter of CAPSI at Canada’s newest school of pharmacy at the University of Waterloo.

“My experience at Consumer Health Information Corporation [CHIC] has provided me with a greater level of knowledge of, and a special appreciation for, patient education and patient counseling. For the rest of my career as a pharmacist, I will now always question myself if I am counseling my patients and providing information in the most effective way. My rotation at CHIC has given me insight into the unique needs of patients and the critical importance of providing individualized patient care. Our health care systems are advancing to a chronic care model in which emphasis on patient-centered care is the key. I now am fully able to appreciate that the patient is truly the most important member of the health care team. I learned that we, as pharmacists, must not only provide our patients with excellent education, but we must also do our best to motivate them. In combination, education and motivation is the foundation to successful medication therapy and ultimately better patient outcomes. I look forward to putting the knowledge I have gained at CHIC into action as I begin my career as a pharmacist.”

"Choosing An Omega-3 Supplement: Go Fish ”


Arryn Shelton

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Arryn Shelton will graduate in May 2010 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy at Shenandoah University. While enrolled in pharmacy school, Arryn held an officer position in Phi Delta Chi Pharmaceutical Fraternity and was an active member of Rho Chi Academic Honor Society. She has worked for two different community pharmacies since August of 2003, and gained institutional experience by volunteering or completing rotations at three different hospitals. Upon graduation, Arryn plans to work in a community pharmacy and use the knowledge gained at this clerkship to provide optimal medication counseling to patients.

“My time at Consumer Health Information Corporation has provided me with a very unique rotation experience. It has allowed me to develop my drug literature research skills and foster my ability to critique articles. It has also taught me the importance of comprehensible patient education materials. The patient is the key factor in achieving medication adherence and better outcomes. Healthcare providers must remember to provide patients with information that is free of medical jargon. Patients need to be able to understand both their disease states and medications in order to appreciate the benefit of treatment adherence. This is an important message that I will take with me, upon graduation, as I begin to practice pharmacy in the community.”

“Heartburn: Choose the Right Medicine to Calm the Fire ”


Elyse Fisher

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Elyse Fisher will graduate in May 2010 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy at Shenandoah University. She has worked in a community pharmacy setting for 7 years and has had additional community and hospital experience as an intern. While in pharmacy school, Elyse was a member of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists and Kappa Epsilon Pharmaceutical Fraternity. She was also an active member and past officer of Phi Lambda Sigma Pharmacy Leadership Society. After graduation, Elyse plans to continue practicing in a community pharmacy setting where she can apply the skills and knowledge gained through her experience to enhance patient care and education.

“My experience at Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) was valuable to me both personally and professionally. I gained experience and knowledge in counseling patients that will help me in my future career. Pharmacy students spend years in school learning about medications; however, we learn very little about how to convey this knowledge to patients. CHIC has helped me learn how to communicate effectively to patients so they will benefit from the knowledge we are taught. My experience at CHIC has also taught me the importance of team work.

I feel fortunate to have had this positive experience at CHIC. We all have the power to help change a person’s quality of life, just by making sure he or she understands their medications. CHIC has taught me how to more effectively communicate with patients, and this is a lesson that I can put into practice every day of my pharmacy career.”

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Tyler Graham

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Tyler Graham will graduate from the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy at Shenandoah University in May 2010 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. In May 2005, Tyler graduated from Freed-Hardeman University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biochemistry. He worked in the field of cancer research for 3 years while at Freed-Hardeman. Since 2006 he has worked in both the community and institutional pharmacy settings, and plans to continue to practice in these areas upon graduation.

“I have enjoyed my time at Consumer Health Information Corporation. Advancing my skills in researching drug literature has been very beneficial. I believe the most advantageous aspect I will take with me is how to communicate more effectively to patients. Learning how to take medical terminology and turning it into something the average patient can understand will stay with me throughout my career. The ability to better communicate with my patients will allow me to further the care I can provide.”

“Managing Your Medicines: A Patient's Guide to Saving Time and Avoiding Mistakes ”


Amanda Sowell

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Amanda Sowell will be graduating from the South Carolina College of Pharmacy at the University of South Carolina with her Doctorate of Pharmacy in May 2010. While in pharmacy school, Amanda has served her college as President of the Student Government Association, and has been involved in several professional organizations to include The Student Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists (SSHP), The American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP), and The Kappa Psi Little Sisters Pharmaceutical Fraternity (KYLS). She was also inducted into the Rho Chi Honor Society and the Phi Lambda Sigma Leadership Society. As an intern, Amanda has experience working in both an inpatient hospital setting for 3 years and a community pharmacy setting. Following graduation, Amanda hopes to complete a Pharmacy Practice Residency and explore one of the many endless options her career has to offer.

“My time at the Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) helped me to realize my potential as an up-coming professional. I was able to build confidence in my existing skills while learning new ones to help me in the future. I learned the value of teamwork and the importance of good communication among staff. Regarding the consumer, the importance of verbal counseling by the pharmacist was reinforced. I was taught that written information is also key step the in the patient’s ability to comprehend their medication’s risks and benefits if it is written on a level at which the consumer can understand. Pharmacists are among the most trusted professionals. Through my time at CHIC, I have gained the skills to strengthen that bond and provide high quality information to my future patients.”

“H1N1 Deaths Linked to Pneumonia”


Danielle Tice

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Danielle Tice will graduate in May 2010 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the South Carolina College of Pharmacy at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina. While in pharmacy school she served as president of the school’s chapter of American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP), and has been an active member of Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists (SSHP) and Phi Lambda Sigma (PLS). Outside of pharmacy school, Danielle was a four year captain of the USC Women’s Rugby team. After completing pharmacy school, she would like to pursue a pharmacy practice residency. Her areas of interest include critical care, adult medicine, cardiology, and academia.

“The patient is the most important member of the health care team because they decide if, how and when to take medication. Companies spend millions of dollars on patient education materials; however, these endeavors are wasted unless the information is conveyed in a language that consumers can easily read and understand.

CHIC was a wonderful exposure to writing patient education material. We, as educated health care providers, are well versed in medical comprehension, but can easily be stumped when translating complicated medical information into language that an average consumer can understand. I imagine it is equally or more frustrating for patients to read material that they do not comprehend. CHIC gave me an opportunity to step into the patients’ shoes and reevaluate the way I write and communicate with my patients.

I believe CHIC will prove to be invaluable experience for the rest of my pharmacy career.”

“A Medicine List Every Consumer Needs ”


Joan Westcott

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Joan Westcott will receive her PharmD degree from Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in May 2010. She is a member of Rho Chi Honor Society, the American Pharmacists Association and the American Society of Health System Pharmacists. As a former teacher, she realizes the need for health-related information that is easy to understand for today’s busy consumers. As a pharmacy intern, Joan has worked at a local retail pharmacy in her hometown. Upon graduation, she plans on pursuing a career in hospital pharmacy while continuing to also work in retail pharmacy.

“As pharmacists, we are known as “the drug information experts”. Our expertise is of no benefit to consumers if we cannot share that information in a way they can understand and use. My rotation with the Consumer Health Information Corporation has taught me how to take technical information and put it in use-friendly terms. Knowledge is power, but only if that knowledge can be understood. My goal after this rotation is to share my knowledge, thus empowering consumers to be more active participants in their healthcare.”

“Prescription Medication Savings Plans -- Could They Save You More?”


Linda Nguyen

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Linda Nguyen will graduate in May 2010 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the South Carolina College of Pharmacy at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC. While in pharmacy school, Linda actively participated in several organizations including American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP), Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists (SSHP), Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA), American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP), and Kappa Epsilon professional pharmacy fraternity. She has worked as an intern in community pharmacy for three years. Following graduation, Linda plans to pursue a pharmacy practice residency with emphasis in ambulatory or community care.

“I had a wonderful experience working with CHIC. The rotation has raised my awareness of health literacy issues and has taught me different approaches to improving health literacy. Through my involvement in the current projects of the company, I have become more confident in my ability to communicate important health information in language patients can understand so that they can make the best decisions regarding their health. It has been a pleasure to learn from the CHIC team and I look forward to applying what I have learned to effectively educate patients, prevent medication misuse, and improve health outcomes in my future role as a pharmacist.”

“Get the Most for Your Prescription Dollar”


David O. Falade

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David O. Falade will graduate from Howard University School of Pharmacy in May of 2010, with a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree. In 2006 he graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, with a Bachelors of Science degree in Cell Biology and Genetics. While at Howard University School of Pharmacy, David was a member of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP), National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), American Pharmacists Association (APhA), Phi Lambda Sigma Leadership Society, Kappa Epsilon Pharmaceutical Fraternity, Inc., and a class officer. Among many organized activities and summer internships, David has interned with the faculty at Howard University School of Pharmacy on an HIV project, and also with the FDA on drug use during pregnancy. Upon graduation, David plans to get involved in post-pharmD studies that will enhance his contribution to the pharmaceutical field and health-care society as a whole.

“My time at Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) was quite different from my other rotation experiences as a pharmacy student. I was exposed to an entire area of patient education that emphasized relating more to the patient/consumers and using patient friendly language that they could comprehend. I was also involved in multiple literature searches for different disease states, meetings with other pharmacy interns and helping develop care plans for how patients may adhere more properly to their medication therapy. The experiences and knowledge learned at CHIC, especially about patient counseling, I believe would help enhance my ability to be an excellent contributor to the health care community.”


Justin Hoppes

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Justin Hoppes is an accomplished student whose degrees include a Bachelors of Science in Biology from California State University, Stanislaus with a minor in Chemistry. He worked at a research winery for almost two years developing analytical methods for wine and juice samples utilizing high pressure liquid chromatography. After working briefly at a hazardous materials company, he decided to pursue a lifelong dream of helping people live healthier lives. His uncanny ability to communicate with people, along with his passion for life sciences, made him an ideal candidate for healthcare. Gaining knowledge and experience in the community pharmacy setting prepared Justin for the rewarding career of pharmacy. He will receive his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Shenandoah University in the summer of 2010 and then plans on completing a fellowship or residency. The accumulation of both work experience and the rigorous pharmacy curriculum will give Dr. Hoppes the tools needed to be an asset to the healthcare community.

“My 5-week rotation at CHIC has been an eye opening experience. I have learned first-hand the rigors required to develop health information materials that patients can understand. I am also more aware of the ineffective content contained in some brochures that are handed out to patients with the intent of educating. Bridging this knowledge gap between physicians and patients is the very foundation on which CHIC was founded. We spent many meetings dedicated to brainstorming, interpreting and translating medical terminology into language that was comprehensive and conducive to patient learning. Ultimately, it is a sense of satisfaction knowing that our efforts were rewarded by compliments we received from various associations, colleagues and, most of all, patients.

Dr. Smith’s contagious tenaciousness and leadership are the backbone of this corporation. Her extensive experience in this field facilitates our discussions and stimulates the mind to function from an abstract point of view. In essence, patients will be able to comprehend the intricacy and complexity of the medical information that we translate. If it educates the patient on their medicine or disease state and/or prevents a medication error, then we know that we have succeeded in reaching our ultimate goal, which is patient education and safety.”

“H1N1: Your Plan for Not Planning to Get Sick”


Edward McDonald

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Edward McDonald will graduate from the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy at Shenandoah University in May 2010 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. In May 2005, Edward graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biochemistry. He has worked in the pharmacy department at Kaiser Permanente in Falls Church, Virginia since May 2004. He is a member of the American Pharmacists Association and the American Society of Health System Pharmacists. After graduation, Edward intends to pursue a one-year hospital residency with the ultimate goal of becoming a clinical pharmacist.

“My rotation at CHIC has taught me the importance of patient education when it comes to taking medicine. The general public typically reads at a 6th to 8th grade level and I did not realize how difficult it is to write at that level. CHIC puts a tremendous amount of work into making patient education materials that the patient can understand, which allows patients to comprehend the importance of their health and medicine. As a future pharmacist, the skills I have acquired at CHIC will allow me to counsel patients on a level they can understand leading to healthier patient lives.”

“Not Taking Your Meds? The Ripple Effect ”


Giang Nguyen

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Giang Nguyen will graduate in May 2010 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia School of Pharmacy. She is a member of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists and the American Society of Health System Pharmacists. As an intern, she has worked in a community pharmacy where she learned that there is a need to communicate effectively with patients so that they can get the most benefit from their medications. After graduation, she hopes to work well with her colleagues and patients in order to provide excellent pharmaceutical care wherever she may find herself.

“My rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation was unlike any other clinical experience. I have learned to always ask the question “How will the patient see this?”At school, we are bombarded with medical terminology that, though it is exact and makes perfect sense to us, may as well be an utterly baffling language for patients. I have learned the importance of breaking down medical wording into everyday language. Patient education is an essential part of the treatment plan. If patients cannot understand what we tell them, then what is the point? CHIC provides patients with the tools they need to be an equal partner in their own care. It has been a unique experience for me to participate in the process of developing such tools.”

“H1N1 Flu? Get All the Facts ”


Ashley Stewart

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Ashley Stewart will graduate from the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy at Shenandoah University in May 2010 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. She has worked at a Fredericksburg CVS/pharmacy in the pharmacy department since December 2002. While enrolled in pharmacy school, Ashley was an active member and past president of the National Community Pharmacists Association, Shenandoah University chapter, and active member in the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists and Kappa Epsilon Pharmaceutical Fraternity. After graduation, Ashley plans to work in a community pharmacy where she can provide helpful medication information that consumers can understand so they can manage their conditions.

“My five week rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) has been educational and very insightful. I did not realize how much time and background research went into developing education materials that patients can read and understand. During my time at CHIC, I performed numerous literature searches for the development of up and coming education materials for patients. Although that may seem like a small task, it was rewarding to me knowing that my work will help increase the amount of patients that can better manage their conditions and medication treatments. It has been a pleasure to work with Dr. Smith, a person who is truly passionate about what she does, and is dedicated to helping patients.”

“Safe Medicine Tips for Kids ”


Emily Wong

Emily

Emily Wong will graduate in 2009 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy at Shenandoah University. While in pharmacy school, Emily was a member of the Kappa Psi Pharma- ceutical Fraternity, Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, American Pharmacist Association, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and National Community Pharmacists Association. After graduation, she plans to join the Public Health Service and work at the Food and Drug Administration.

“During my rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation I was involved with different projects that allowed me to play an active part in developing patient education materials. This experience made me realize how important it is to provide patients with information that they can understand so that they can make informed decisions about their healthcare. Presenting patients with information that is accurate and relevant in patient friendly language can play a crucial role in improving patient adherence to treatment. If patients do not understand why they should fill their prescription and continue their treatment then they are less likely to get their medications refilled. Pharmacists are in the perfect position to bridge this gap in information, by translating technical terms and counseling patients on the importance of taking their medications. I look forward to utilizing the knowledge and skills that I have learned at this site to help motivate and educate patients to play an active role in managing their health.”

“Caring for Your Loved Ones: A Tip Sheet on Medication Management ”


Bereket Shimeles

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Bereket Shimeles will graduate in May 2010 with a Doctorate of Pharmacy degree from Virginia Commonwealth University/ Medical College of Virginia (MCV). He graduated in May 1991 from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, with a Bachelors of Science degree in chemistry. While at MCV, he has been an active member of the American Pharmaceutical Association’s student chapter. His future in pharmacy will initially focus on serving patients in a community pharmacy setting. His dream is to open his own pharmacy in Ethiopia, his country of origin.

“My time with Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) has been a very rewarding experience. I can proudly say I have learned the importance of writing and speaking drug information that patients can understand. It is my belief that the individualized drug information we give our patients will help them to be compliant with their medications and improve their overall outcome. I am very certain that my training with CHIC will help me a great deal throughout my pharmacy career.”


Kedar Gurjar

Kedar

Kedar Gurjar will graduate in May 2010 with a Doctorate of Pharmacy degree from the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy at Shenandoah University. Since 2005 he has worked as an intern for a retail pharmacy gaining experience in patient counseling. Upon graduation Kedar plans to continue working in retail and eventually apply to the FDA.

“My rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation has allowed me to understand the importance of patient education. In order to increase patient compliance with health management it is important for patients to understand their conditions and medications. By creating patient friendly tools, CHIC bridges the gap between complex medical jargon used by healthcare professionals and words that patients can understand and relate to. These materials help educate and motivate patients empowering them to take control of their health. Working with Dr. Smith has been a unique and rewarding experience. The skills I have acquired working at CHIC have been life changing and will carry far into my future professional endeavors.”

“Why Isn't My Medicine Working? ”

 

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Meagan Brown

Meagan

Meagan Brown will graduate with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Albany College of Pharmacy in May 2009. During college, Meagan was an active participant of APhA completing projects for both Operation Diabetes and Operation Immunizations. She also participated in ASHP, Rho Chi and Colleges against Cancer. She has worked in both community and hospital pharmacy during college. Her activities throughout college have contributed to her interest in working directly with patients during her career as a pharmacist. After graduation, Meagan plans to participate in health-related volunteer work and to continue working in the community to counsel patients about their medication therapy

“Readability and Comprehension. During my rotation experience at Consumer Health Information Corporation,
I learned that these are two of the most essential components to consider when developing educational material for patients. The material could be very well written and important for the patient’s health but it will be of no use if the patient cannot understand what they are being given. It is crucial that patients understand the handouts they are reading so they will be more likely to take their medications properly to provide them the most benefit while decreasing their risk of side effects. I have learned that in whatever setting a pharmacist chooses to practice, it is important that they take a few minutes to talk
to patients about their medication to be certain the patient knows how and why they are taking their medication. Since pharmacists are the “medication experts”, I have learned that
it is necessary to provide our expertise using both verbal and written communication in a manner that patients can understand.”

“Vitamin D: The 'Sunshine' Vitamin ”


Ann Marie Harper

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Ann Marie Harper will graduate in May of 2009 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy at Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA. She graduated in May of 2005 from St. Mary’s College of Maryland with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology. While in pharmacy school, Ann Marie was an active member of the American Pharmacist Association Academy of Student Pharmacists, serving as Vice President and the chairperson for Operation Diabetes for two years. She was also a member of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Phi Lambda Sigma and Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity, Inc. After graduation, Ann Marie plans to pursue a one-year post-graduate hospital residency with the ultimate goal of working in a Veterans Affairs hospital as a clinical pharmacist.

“My rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation has made me more conscious of how I write information that will be distributed to patients. Most of the information patients receive about their medical condition and medications is written in language they may not completely understand. This is a problem because if patients do not fully understand how to properly take their medications, their condition may not improve or it may actually worsen. Knowing that patients may not fully comprehend the information they receive with their prescription medications will help me be more effective at patient counseling throughout my pharmacy career.”

“What Every Asthma Patient Needs to Know About the New HFA Inhalers”


Stephanie Chiu

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Stephanie Chiu will graduate in May 2009 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia. She has earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Pharmacological Chemistry from the University of California, San Diego in 2004. During pharmacy school, Stephanie has participated in Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity Inc. as Treasurer, American Pharmacist Association, and National Community Pharmacists Association. Stephanie has worked as a pharmacy intern for 4 years at CVS. After graduation, Stephanie plans to practice in a community pharmacy setting where she can utilize the knowledge and skills obtained during her experience to further patient care and education.

“My experience at Consumer Health Information Corporation has taught me that patient education goes beyond the instructions on a bottle or the package inserts you place in prescription bags. Many patients go home and think they understand what to do, but it often goes misinterpreted. Patient education involves writing and explaining information to patients at a level they can easily read and easily understand to ensure that they are able to take their medication correctly in order to prevent further complications. I plan to utilize the information I have learned here towards my future career in the pharmacy industry. I now know that education goes well beyond “Take one tablet daily” and that an extra 5 minutes towards consultations goes a long way.”

“FDA Cautions Patients about Antibiotics that Could Damage Tendons”


Jay Joshi

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Jay Joshi will graduate in May of 2009 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia. While attending pharmacy school, Jay was a member of APHA, NCPA, and Kappa Psi pharmaceutical fraternity. He participated in charitable walks for diabetes and heart disease. Jay has served as both a pharmacy technician and an intern at two community pharmacies since 2001. Upon graduation Jay wants to work
as a community pharmacy manager and also attend culinary school. He hopes to combine the two sciences and develop flavorsome recipes for meals with pharmaceutical properties.

“My clerkship with Consumer Health Information Corporation has been a virtuous experience. Patient education is a concept that has become increasingly important over the past few decades. CHIC challenged me to write materials in a patient literate language. Conference calls and discussion with healthcare providers and consumer health experts illustrated the diverse perspective each specialty possesses regarding patient education. I learned that the common denominator between each health specialty was the agreement that successful patient education is profoundly necessary. In these times of healthcare review and reform, patient education is commonly overlooked. My time and research with CHIC has substantiated one thought: Patient education is a cornerstone within all the facets of modern healthcare. I believe that the understanding I have attained at Consumer Health Information Corporation will help me to develop into a better healthcare provider.”

“Statins: The "Magic Bullet," Is It the Medicine or You?”


Sheetal Pasrija

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Sheetal Pasrija will graduate in May 2009 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy at Shenandoah University. Sheetal participated in many activities at school including Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity Inc. She was the Social Chair for 2 years and planned many activities for the professional fraternity. Sheetal has also been active in American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and American Pharmacist Association (APhA). She plans to do a residency in ambulatory care pharmacy after graduation.

“My clerkship at Consumer Health Information Corporation has assisted me in gaining a better appreciation for drug information. I have learned the importance and the appropriate method of conveying drug information in a way that patients will understand. We are taught information that is too technical for the average consumer and it is important that we are able to translate this to patients so they can be educated in managing their health wisely. I will be able to apply what I have learned in the future when researching and assisting patients with their therapy.”

Cutting Pills to Cut Costs?Things to Consider Before You Split Tablets


Alina Eisen

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Alina Eisen will graduate in 2009 from the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. During pharmacy school, Alina was an active member of student government where she served as Vice President of her class. Alina was also communications officer for Pharmacist Society of the State of New York (PSSNY), and an active member of American Pharmacist Association (APhA). Throughout pharmacy school, Alina has worked as an intern at a local hospital and for a chain community pharmacy. During the summer, Alina was an intern at the United States Pharmacopeia in the Drug Quality and Information department. Alina plans to continue her studies in a regulatory pharmaceutical fellowship affiliated with Purdue University, Johnson and Johnson, Eli Lilly and Company, and the Food and Drug Administration.

“ My rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation has been both educational and rewarding. I have learned the intricacies involved in developing creative, patient-friendly material that patients are able to understand and trust. I was an active part of a multi-faceted team and helped develop medication patient package inserts, press releases and a variety of useful patient education material that will help increase patient adherence and improve health outcomes. The unique and challenging drug information training gained at the CHIC will be valuable to my future career paths ”

“New Genetic Tests Help Doctors Prescribe the Right Medicine for You”


Eva Christian

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Eva J. Christian will graduate in May of 2009 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Bernard J Dunn School of Pharmacy at Shenandoah University. During pharmacy school, Eva participated in several organizations such as American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, National Community Pharmacists Association, American Pharmacist Association, and Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity. After graduation, she plans to pursue a hospital residency.

“My rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation has helped me to gain insight into a very important aspect of pharmacy practice. I have learned the importance of research and being able to communicate information to patients in a manner they can understand and follow. During my time here, I have had the opportunity to work on patient education materials and write a newspaper article. The five weeks that I have spent at CHIC has provided me with valuable skills that will help me throughout my pharmacy career.”

“Holiday Heartburn: Don't Play with Fire”


Derek Honda

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Derek will graduate in May 2009 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Shenandoah University Bernard J Dunn School of Pharamcy. As a pharmacy student, Derek was active in Kappa Psi Pharmaceutial Fraternity Inc. where he served as Social Co-Chair; American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists where he served as International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation-Liasion, and member of American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists. After graduating, he plans to pursue a residency in either or ambulatory or acute care setting as a clinical pharmacist. One of his goals as a pharmacist is to become board-certified in nutrition support.

“Consumer Health Information Corporation is a great rotation site for learning how to translate medication information into words that consumers can comprehend. I have learned that it takes many rough drafts and evaluations of peers to get the most accurate, current, and effective information across to drug consumers. I plan on applying what I have learned at this site to future drug information encounters that I will face every day as a pharmacist.”

“Statins in The News: The New Miracle Drugs?”


Timothy Nelson

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Timothy earned a BS in Evolutionary Biology from the Ohio State University in 2003. In 2005 he was accepted to the pharmacy program at Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA. He will graduate in May of 2009 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Shenandoah University Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy. While in pharmacy school Timothy served as a class officer and officer in Phi Delta Chi pharmaceutical fraternity. He was an active member of several organizations including American Pharmacists Association (APhA), the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) and National Community Pharmacy Association (NCPA). Timothy has worked as an intern in the community pharmacy setting for the past 3 years. Timothy's interests include biological drugs, disease state management and ambulatory care pharmacy. He plans on completing a residency after graduation and pursuing a career in specialty pharmacy.

“My experience at Consumer Health Information Corporation has left with a profound sense of appreciation for health literacy. The opportunity here to participate in the drafting of useful patient educational materials in language that is understandable to the consumer can is an invaluable educational experience to any pharmacy student. I feel that my time here has given me a much clearer picture of how to convey and communicate to consumers necessary information that is important and beneficial to their healthcare. Working with Dr. Smith and her staff on various projects here has instilled in me a host of new skills to carry with me through my career.”

“Biological Drugs: Drugs of the Future”


Stephanie Antonazzo

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Stephanie Antonazzo will graduate from Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy at Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA in May of 2009 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. She earned a Bachelors of Science degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh in 2005. During pharmacy school, Stephanie was a member of American Pharmacists Association (APhA), American Health Systems Pharmacy (ASHP), and National Community Pharmacy Association (NCPA). She volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club and the Daniel Morgan Middle School in Winchester, VA. She assisted with faculty in evaluating incoming applicants to the School of Pharmacy. She enjoyed participating in Dog Walks for Cancer, sponsored by the American Cancer Society. During breaks from school, she was a student intern at BiLo Pharmacy, a local grocery store pharmacy in her home town of Johnstown, PA. After completing pharmacy school, Stephanie would like to pursue a one year post-graduation residency. It is her hope that she uses all of her years of education and training in a fulfilling career in pharmacy that will help the wellbeing of the entire community.

“My 5 weeks at Consumer Health Information Corp. has brought to my attention the need for patient information that is not only easy to read by the patient, but is also easy to understand. Motivating patients with quality information that is easy to understand is key to improving outcome in disease management in healthcare. I will apply all that I learned here at CHIC as I go forward with my pharmacy career. It has shown me the importance of personalizing patient information in order to help your patients the most.”

“Scrimping on Prescription Drugs Now May Cost You in the Long-run”


Stan Myaskovsky

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Stan Myaskovsky will graduate in May of 2009 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Bernard J Dunn School of Pharmacy at Shenandoah University in Winchester Virginia. He earned two Bachelors of Science degrees in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Psychology from the Ohio State University in Columbus Ohio. In college, Stan was a member of the National Community Pharmacy Association. Upon graduating he plans on practicing in a pharmacy setting where he can work with patients to improve their quality of life.

“My experience at CHIC has taught me about how poor the current patient information is and that it needs to be written at a level that patients can easily understand. I am better able to communicate with patients and relate to their concerns thanks to my time here.”


Kimberly Andrews

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Kimberly will graduate in 2009 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Medical University of South Carolina and a Masters of Business Administration degree from The Citadel. She is very active in several pharmacy organizations at her school serving as president of the school’s chapter of APhA-ASP and social chair of SNPhA. She is also a member of Rho Chi, Phi Lambda Sigma, SSHP, and the Multicultural Student Advisory Board. Kim also served on the South Carolina Pharmacy Association Membership Committee and as the MUSC-ASP Chairperson. She is a contributor to the association’s magazine, The Palmetto Pharmacist. While in pharmacy school, she worked as an intern in the community and hospital setting. After graduation, Kim plans to pursue a career in ambulatory care with the Public Health Service.

“During my rotation at CHIC, I realized the importance of health literacy. Many patients experience bad outcomes from medication use simply because they cannot understand the medical language in the information that they are given. I learned that health information directed at patients should be written at a 5th or 6th grade level so that it is easily understandable. As a part of my experience, I was able to work on projects that included developing patient education materials, writing a newspaper article, and creating a newsletter that all included patient friendly language. This opportunity has helped me to develop skills and techniques that I can apply to patient care to make it easier for patients to take their medicines properly and improve outcomes.”

"Market Withdrawal: Are Our Drugs Really Safe?"


Nicolas Delfin

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Nicolas Delfin will graduate in May of 2009 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Bernard J Dunn School of Pharmacy at Shenandoah University in Winchester University. In college, Nicolas was a student member of American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, American Pharmacists Association, National Community Pharmacists Association, Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity, and Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International. Upon graduation he plans on practicing in a pharmacy setting where he can work with elderly patients and help them adjust to home healthcare after hospitalization.

“My experience at Consumer Health Information Corporation has helped me understand the value and importance of patient readable information. This rotation will help me in whatever field of pharmacy I choose because it has helped me view healthcare from a patient perspective. I now understand better the difference between package inserts and patient package inserts, as well as the role of MedGuides. By being involved in projects that created patient readable material, I understand better how to communicate health information to patients. Consumer Health Information Corporation will help me have better communication with patients, ultimately improving patient care.”

Caregivers: Tips on Meeting the Challenges


Neil Dhillon

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Neil will graduate in May 2009 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Shenandoah University Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy. Over the last five years Neil has acquired extensive experience working in the community setting and is currently exploring other aspects of the pharmacy profession. Upon graduation he plans to participate in diabetes or cardiovascular management either in the community (MTMS) or ambulatory care setting.

“Consumer Health Information Corporation is a must-have rotation site for any future pharmacist that aspires to better themselves in counseling and educating patients on pharmaceutical and OTC drugs. The experience gained here is critical in strengthening the foundation of one’s pharmacy career and can be immediately applied in any pharmacy setting.”

Are You Taking Medications That Can Mask Your Symptoms?


Diana Jason

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Diana will graduate in 2009 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She has been actively involved with APhA-ASP serving as her chapter’s president and SPIN coordinator. She is currently serving on the 2008-2009 national communications committee. Diana has written articles for the “The Student Pharmacist” and is on the APhA editorial advisory board. She is active in many pharmacy organizations including the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), the American Society of Clinical Pharmacists (ASCP) and Rho Chi. During the 2007-2008 Academic year, she placed in the top 10 in the ASHP Clinical Skills Competition and was third runner-up in the national APhA-ASP patient counseling competition. Also an avid runner, she has completed 17 marathons. After completing pharmacy school, she would like to pursuit a pharmacy practice residency. Her areas of interest include critical care, ambulatory care, drug information and academia.

“This clerkship has enhanced my knowledge of health literacy and communication with patients. In pharmacy school, we learn so much about drugs and disease states, but what good is the information if we can’t convey it to patients? That’s why it’s essential to provide information in a way that patients can understand and apply. Through this clerkship, I had the opportunity to work directly with drug companies and participate in many exciting projects. I hope to incorporate the skills I’ve gained here into my future career as a pharmacist.”

"A Real Eye Opener "


James Pham

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James will graduate in May 2009 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA. During his four years of pharmacy school, he worked as an intern in the retail pharmacy setting. His interests include clinical pharmacy, pharmaceutical care and drug education. Upon graduation, James plans to pursue a hospital residency.

“My five-week rotation experience at Consumer Health Information Corporation was very interesting. During my rotation I helped to develop easy-to-understand, yet scientifically accurate patient education materials. This rotation taught me how to communicate effectively to patients. The skills I have learned will help me tremendously when I am practicing as a pharmacist.”

7 Quick Tips to 'Take Your Medicine As Directed'

 

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Emma Hews

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Emma L. Hews received a BS in Biology from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2002. Following graduation, she worked at the Vermont Cancer Center as part of the DNA sequencing team. After 2 years at this position, Emma moved on to a pharmacy program at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia. She will graduate in May 2008 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. During pharmacy school Emma served as the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacy student chapter president. While in her second year of the program, she was elected into the Phi Lambda Sigma Leadership fraternity, and also received the American Pharmacists Association member of the year award. Emma is interested in oncology and critical care pharmacy, and plans to pursue residency training after graduation.

“My experience at Consumer Health Information Corporation was one that I’ll never forget. From my first day at CHIC, I knew this rotation would be unique. I was exposed to all different areas of pharmacy, including writing a patient package insert for a major drug company. I was also given the opportunity to write an article for my hometown newspaper, which is going to be published! While the work was interesting, the highlight of the clerkship was getting to work with Dr. Smith. She is an inspiration to all those who strive to make positive changes to the field of pharmacy. ”

"Omega-3: Is This the Right Supplement for Me?"

Heidi L. Banko

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Heidi L. Banko will graduate in May 2008 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and a Master of Business Administration degree from Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA. During pharmacy school, she has been a member of American Pharmacists Association (APhA), Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Society, served as student chapter Vice-President of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP), and student chapter Historian of the Rho Chi Honor Society. Before pharmacy school, Heidi received her B.S. in Biochemistry from Virginia Tech and went to work at a pharmaceutical company. While in pharmacy school, she has been an intern in a community pharmacy. Her future plans involve areas that incorporate her MBA degree with pharmacy practice.

“During my four-week rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC), my eyes have been opened. I see the need for quality patient education that consumers can understand. Knowing the importance of educating patients will help me communicate with patients during my career as a pharmacist. CHIC is also a place where I could be creative. I worked on a project that incorporated drug information and writing a children’s book. My time spent here has been a unique experience that has been well rounded in that I was exposed to the inner workings of a business while learning the importance of drug information in the community.”

"FDA to Decide if Cough & Cold Medicines are Safe for Children"

Carla S. Cabanilla

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Carla S. Cabanilla will graduate in May 2008 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Maryland in Baltimore, MD. She graduated with a BA in biology from Carleton College then moved to Fairfax, VA where she worked for Covance Laboratories as a Toxicologist before attending the school of pharmacy. While at pharmacy school, she was a member of American Pharmacist Association (APhA), American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP), Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity and Phi Lambda Sigma (PLS). She has been the President of the Class of 2008 for four years. Her interests include compounding, pharmaceutical care and patient education. Upon graduation, Carla plans to practice in a community pharmacy setting where she will use her skills to provide quality pharmaceutical services to her patients.

“The four weeks that I spent at Consumer Health Information (CHIC) were the most memorable of my fourth year rotations. Dr. Smith is an inspiring leader in the field of pharmacy and patient advocacy. She taught me how to convey important medical information to patients in a language that they can understand. Although, this important concept is emphasized in pharmacy school, it was an invaluable experience to put it into practice. While at CHIC I was able write portions of a children’s book and work on a package insert for a major pharmaceutical company. I also learned about various aspects of business administration and the challenges associated with running your own company. Overall my experience at CHIC was great. I am very thankful for the opportunity to gain invaluable skills that will help me be a better pharmacist.”

"Keep Your Asthma Under Control: New Federal Asthma Guidelines"

Cornelius Brown

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Cornelius Brown will graduate in May 2008 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Shenandoah University Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy. During school, he participated in student organizations such as the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists. He is a student member of both the American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists and Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity. After graduating, his goal is to complete a pharmacy practice residency and pursue a career in hospital pharmacy practice. His interests are in critical care medicine and infectious diseases.

“My experiential rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) taught me to recognize that information consumers receive about medications can often be difficult to understand and can serve as a barrier to positive health outcomes. Patients often take their medications incorrectly or not at all, leaving them at risk for serious health consequences. Working with Dr. Smith and her team has provided me with key skills in patient compliance that I intend to use when counseling patients in any pharmacy setting. That way, I can ensure that patients are achieving the most benefit from their medications and be more effective in helping patients get better!”

"Seniors: Is Your Heart Failing You?"

Felicia Glenn

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Felicia will graduate in May 2008 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Hampton University School of Pharmacy in Hampton, Virginia. During pharmacy school Felicia was a member of American Pharmacist Association (APhA) and American Society of Health Systems Pharmacist (ASHP) pharmacy organizations. Outside of school, Felicia would often spend some time doing community service with the American Cancer Society and participating in health screenings. She worked as an intern in the community pharmacy for about 2½ years of pharmacy school. She explains that the best aspect of community pharmacy is the one on one interactions with patients about their medications and recommending appropriate over the counter medications. After completing pharmacy school Felicia plans to pursue a pharmacy practice residency. Following residency training, her goal is to become a clinical pharmacist with emphasis in oncology. Other career interests include the pharmaceutical industry.

“I really appreciated my experience at Consumer Health Information Corportion (CHIC). This experience has exposed me to a much different aspect of pharmacy. On this rotation I had the special opportunity to experience first hand the extensive process in developing clinically accurate, informative, useful patient educational phamplets/programs in language that the consumer can comprehend. This experience along with pharmacy school has taught me that effective communication plays a major role in educating patients about their medications.”

"Why is It Important to Refill My Prescription Medicines?"

Mona Jamaldinian

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Mona Jamaldinian will graduate in May 2008 with a Doctor of Pharmacy from Shenandoah University. As a pharmacy student she has been a member of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and the pharmaceutical fraternity Kappa Psi. After graduation, she plans to use the skills and knowledge she has acquired through her experiences to serve patients in a community setting.

“My experience at consumer health information has given me the opportunity to work in this growing field and gain experience in the many different facets of pharmacy. I have learned the importance of educating patients and using the appropriate language to communicate. I have learned how medical language can be misinterpreted and how medication errors can be avoided. In the growing pharmacy industry, this rotation is a valuable tool to help any upcoming pharmacist educate their patients. Dr. Dorothy Smith has educated the community on the importance of patient prescribing information. Her work has broadened the public’s understanding of the role of pharmacists. I enjoyed my rotation and the experience gained here is immeasurable.”

"Can a Drug Coupon Put You at Risk?"

Leanne Lawrence

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Leanne will be graduating in May 2008 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Shenandoah University Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy, located in Winchester Virginia. Leanne is currently a member of American Pharmacist Association (APhA), Phi Lambda Sigma, and Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity. She has been employed as a pharmacy intern at Martin's pharmacy for the past 3 years. Leanne intends to continue practicing in a Michigan-based community pharmacy after graduation. Her goal is to improve patient care by helping establish pharmaceutical care ambulatory clinics.

“My rotation with Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) was a challenging and rewarding experience. I will never look at a patient package inserts, tear sheets, booklets, or patient-oriented materials the same way again. My understanding of how these tools are created will only strengthen my ability to effectively counsel patients. I have learned that if patients do not understand their medications, they are less likely to take them correctly or will not fill their prescriptions at all. Improving one’s quality of life can be achieved through proper education on medication compliance in combination with healthy lifestyle changes. I feel that pharmacist directed ambulatory care clinics benefit society through education on medications and disease states. Having patient friendly materials that are exciting to read and informative is key to improving patient compliance. I will leave CHIC with a new found respect for and an understanding of the hard work many people put into creating tools that will help patients take their medications correctly.”

"If Only Pets Could Talk?"

Noeil Luther

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Noeil Luther will graduate May 2008 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA. Upon graduation, Noeil plans to practice in a community pharmacy setting where he will use his skills to provide quality pharmaceutical services to his patients.

“My rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) has taught me how to prepare and present information to the general public. It has made me realize that I have to consider alternative methods to explain and provide patient information regarding medication use and treatment options. This will not only help me with my career but will also help me communicate with patients at any pharmacy setting.”

"High Blood Pressure: Are You Putting Yourself at Risk?"

Michael Schneider

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Michael Schneider is a Pharm.D. candidate and a member of the 2009 inaugural graduating class at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy. During pharmacy school, he has been an active member of APhA-ASP serving as Membership Vice-President and professionalism committee chair. He is also a member of ASCP and SNPhA. Michael’s interests include infectious disease, drug information, ambulatory care, and patient counseling. He hopes to incorporate all of these aspects in his pharmacy practice.

“Doing this 5 week rotation has been both a rewarding and challenging experience. I have had the opportunity to enhance my drug information research skills as well as convey that complex data into readable and understandable patient health information. In addition, the clerkship has also given me invaluable marketing and business experience I know I will be able to utilize in my future pharmacy career. A clerkship at the Consumer Health Information Corporation is an excellent way to explore these types of nontraditional pharmacy roles and apply them to universal pharmaceutical care.”

"Waiting in the Pharmacy: When Patients Don't Have Patience "

Safiya Abouzaid

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Safiya Abouzaid will graduate a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from The Ohio State University in June 2008. Her involvement with student organizations includes APhA-ASP, ASHP, and AMCP. During pharmacy school, Safiya has worked as an intern in the retail and managed care settings. Safiya is interested in patient education, patient safety, and pharmacovigilance. She plans to pursue post-graduate training upon completion of the pharmacy program.

“I have known that I wanted to do a rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation since second year in pharmacy school. I am glad to say that my experience has not only met, but exceeded my expectations. During my five weeks here, I have had the opportunity to work closely with Dr. Smith on several projects. From developing a patient package insert for a major pharmaceutical company, to creating marketing materials, to writing an educational children’s book, my writing assignments have been diverse and rewarding. Dr. Smith has been a great mentor and role model. She is an inspiration to all those who want to use their skills and knowledge to really make a difference.”

"Alert: Are Your Shots Up to Date Before You Retire?"

Shelly Park

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Shelly Park will graduate in May 2008 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia. During pharmacy school, she has been an active member of Kappa Psi and the Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International (CPFI) in which she served as an officer for two years. She has been serving patients in the community pharmacy setting for over four years and plans to pursue a career in either community or hospital pharmacy.

"My four weeks at Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) has taught me the importance of communicating with patients effectively. Before this experience, I did not realize that the language I use was hard for patients to understand. It is crucial for patients to understand their medications because the lack of knowledge can cause them to abandon their therapy regimens. This rotation experience also exposed me to an area of pharmacy that I never knew existed. I now truly understand that a pharmacy degree does not limit you to just a few areas of practice. I will take everything I learned here and use it to help more patients understand their medications and health issues better.”

"Are You Taking Antibiotics Without Knowing It?"

Zara M. Risoldi

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Zara Risoldi will graduate in May 2008 with a PharmD from Shenandoah University’s Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy. While in school, she gained hospital pharmacy experience through her employment with the Western Maryland Health System, and avidly participated in pharmacogenomic research with her professors. Her leadership experience includes positions in Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity and several campus-wide organizations, such as her role as president of the Shenandoah University Campus Activities Network. She was twice awarded the Virginia Press Association Award of Excellence in Critical Writing for the SUN student newspaper.

While in her third year at BJD, Zara conceived of and organized the Pharmacy Career Guest Lecture Series, which opened students’ eyes to the many diverse fields of pharmacy. Her interests lie in public health and drug information, and she hopes to find a career that incorporates her love of writing and program development upon graduation.

"CHIC is the marriage of drug information and patient advocacy. Every step is taken with the consumer in mind. This corporation has such a far-reaching impact on patients’ lives, and I was a part of that while on rotations. During my short time here, I contacted the American Red Cross, American Geriatric Society, and National Association of Chain Drug Stores - making changes to the patient information and policies at these nationwide organizations."

"CHIC is a truly unique site that incorporates a student’s clinical training, communication skills, and creativity. It would make an excellent addition to any student’s clerkship rotation schedule.”

"Getting Your Medicine When Disaster Strikes"

Ryan Weller

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Ryan Weller will graduate in May 2008 with a Doctor’s of Pharmacy degree from Shenandoah University School of Pharmacy. Ryan has been a member of American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and was a class officer. He has enjoyed working in a community pharmacy for the past four years. The business aspects of pharmacy as well as the personal interaction with patients are what he finds most interesting about the profession of pharmacy. He plans to work in a community setting with future plans of opening up his own pharmacy.

“My rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) has taught me how to write information that is easily understood by the patient. This will not only help me with my career but will also help me communicate with patients while I am on my other rotations. Non-adherence with medication is a major problem of our society. Millions of dollars are used each year because of the consequences of not taking medications properly. CHIC sets out to help all patients have a better understanding of their medicine ”

"Exciting New Ways to Take Your Medicines"

 

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April Abdoo

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April D. Abdoo will graduate in May 2007 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia. During pharmacy school, she has been a member of American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and Kappa Epsilon. She has been helping patients in the community pharmacy setting for several years and is looking forward to expanding this role as a pharmacist. She has interests in pharmacy-based programs such as cholesterol screening and immunizations.

“My four week experience at Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) has helped me to see the difficulty that consumers face when trying to understand medical information. Being able to understand this information helps patients become more effective at communicating with their health care providers, adhering to medication regimens, and managing their own disease states. I will take what I have learned here at CHIC and apply it to my own practice setting in hopes of providing patients with information that is not only useful but easy to understand.”

"The Right Prescription for Lowering Cholesterol"

Heidi Ault

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Heidi Ault will graduate in May 2007 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and a minor in Sociology from the Mylan School of Pharmacy, Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. After graduation, Heidi intends to pursue a career in Long Term Care Consultant pharmacy.

“The experience at CHIC has provided an insight into the complex world of health literacy. Every aspect of preparing, researching, writing, and designing is important to conveying the message to the consumer about health information. The role of CHIC in health literacy is to act as a mediator between the professional and the patient with the opinion of the patient taking priority. After completing this rotation, health literacy information will never again be just another ad in the physician’s office, but rather an act of patient advocacy and understanding.”

"A Warning About Prescription Drug Warning Labels"

"Do You Know What These Common Warning Labels Mean?"

Valerie Azzopardi

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Valerie Azzopardi will graduate in May of 2007 with a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. During her four years in pharmacy school, she was a member of many student organizations, including the Academy of Student Pharmacists of the American Pharmacists’ Association (ASP-AphA), and Lambda Kappa Sigma. She has been working as an intern at Kroger Pharmacy since her first year of pharmacy school. After graduation, Valerie will be completing a pharmacy practice residency with an emphasis in primary care. Following residency, she hopes to practice in a setting that will allow her to utilize her clinical skills in ambulatory adults.

“I had never realized how challenging it is to write health information for consumers until I came to CHIC. During my 6 weeks here, I got the opportunity to experience the business and corporate side of pharmacy, as well as work on projects for consumers and physicians and the CHIC newsletter. The skills that I learned at CHIC will really help me communicate effectively with my patients and ensure the safe use of their medications.”

"Over the Counter, and Into the Medicine Cabinet"

Lauren T. Cahill

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Lauren T. Cahill will graduate May 2007 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and a Masters in Business Administration from Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA. After graduation, Lauren plans work in an independent pharmacy focusing on patient care and education in specialty niches such as infertility. Her career goal is open independent pharmacy’s that focus on clinical care and patient education.

“CHIC was a wonderful exposure to writing patient education material. I never put much thought into the background work and endless drafting that created such a user-friendly and useful information packet for consumers that I see throughout the healthcare community. After working on patient information packets at CHIC, I can see the passion and care that is in each handout. Draft number one is never final, draft 15 is somewhat usable, and draft 30 is perfect! CHIC helped to develop a word bank of consumer friendly terms that I can retire when counseling patients on their disease state and medication. I can confidently walk away from the patient knowing I was speaking in their terms.”

"Unexpected Side Effects"

Bonnie East

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Bonnie East will graduate in May 2007 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA. While at pharmacy school, she was a member of American Pharmacist Association (APhA), American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP). Her pharmacy leadership roles included President of the National Community Pharmacist Association (NCPA), Vice President of Phi Lambda Sigma (PLS) and Secretary of Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity. During Bonnie’s four years of school, she worked as an intern in the retail pharmacy setting. Her interests include compounding, pharmaceutical care and drug education. Upon graduation, Bonnie plans to practice in a community pharmacy setting where she will use her skills to provide quality pharmaceutical services to her patients.

“My four week rotation experience at Consumer Health Information Corporation was unlike any others. At this rotation I helped to develop patient education materials that were written in consumer-friendly language, yet still medically accurate. I also wrote a newspaper article for the public informing them on how to develop a better relationship between patients and doctors. This rotation taught me that effective communication is important when speaking to patients. I would have never imagined myself incorporating my clinical pharmacy knowledge with marketing, product design and development. The skills I have learned will help me tremendously when I am practicing as a pharmacist in the community setting.”

"Better Communication: The Right Prescription"

George Ofosu

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George Ofosu will graduate in May 2007 with a Doctor of Pharmacy from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy. As a pharmacy student he has been a member of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), and the American Society of System Pharmacists (ASHP) and Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA). After graduation, he plans to use his acquired knowledge and skills in a tertiary hospital pharmacy to provide pharmaceutical care.

"My five weeks at Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) have been an eye-opener for me with respect to patient education. Prior to entering this rotation, little did I appreciate how daunting it could be to translate scientific research findings into simple and usable information to the consumer. At CHIC, I learned the skill of providing patient information in the simplest of forms for patients and consumers. The patient communication skills that I learned at this rotation will undoubtedly be an invaluable asset for me as I enter this challenging but very critical profession of pharmacy in the healthcare delivery system."

"Dietary Supplements: What You Need to Know"

Erica Long

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Erica Long will graduate in May 2007 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy. While in pharmacy school, she has served as Vice President of her class, blood drive coordinator for APhA-ASP, on the founding committee for The University of Iowa Christian Pharmacy Fellowship and as part of the leadership team for The University of Iowa Dance Marathon, which generates emotional and financial support for pediatric cancer patients and their families. She has also been involved in the Rho Chi Society, ASHP, Iowa Pharmacy Association, the Academic Performance Committee and various volunteer activities. She has worked in community pharmacy for 3 years and plans to take her education and understanding of patient education into the retail setting or possibly a residency.

“My experience at Consumer Health Information Corporation was very unique. It invited me to not only use my pharmacy education, but also my creativity. I was given the opportunity to create pamphlets and brochures for patient education by putting scientific material into wording that will help patients better understand the information. This experience opened my eyes to the vital role that pharmacists play in patient education. It is of extreme importance that patients understand their medications in order to take them properly, as well as have the knowledge and the self-motivation to stay compliant. As pharmacists, we need to step-up and help our patients understand by improving our counseling. Knowledge can bring about a healthier and happier life and improve patient outcomes.”

"Make Your Toothbrush a Weapon Against Heart Disease!"

Quan Luu

Quan Luu is currently completing her final year in the Pharm D. program at the University of Maryland – School of Pharmacy in Baltimore. While at UMB, she has been the Vice President of SMdPHA (Student Section of Maryland Public Health Association), Secretary of Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity, and active member of American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA), American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP), and A Bridge to Academic Excellence (ABAE) tutoring program. Quan has an immense interest in public health and patient education. With a Pharm D. degree, she hopes to help bridge the gap of healthcare disparity amongst those less privileged, especially through proper patient counseling and mentoring programs.

“I thoroughly enjoyed this truly unique rotation. When first learned of CHIC, I knew right away that I’d be thrilled to be part of this company’s routine and mission, even for just a day! I didn’t know what to expect except that this would be a very different experiential learning opportunity. At the end of my four weeks at CHIC, I have been exposed to so many things and understood so many concepts that I know cannot be achieved anywhere else. This has been a once-in-a-lifetime occasion to truly experience what patient education is all about, and how vital it is to my role as a pharmacist. I sincerely applaud Dr. Dorothy Smith, who has not only created an excellent service for patients, but also a refreshing opportunity for students to explore their impact as healthcare providers.”

Vincci Ma

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Vincci Ma will graduate in May 2007 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of North Carolina School of Pharmacy in Chapel Hill. Vincci’s involvement in pharmacy organizations include American Pharmacists Association (APhA), American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), North Carolina Association of Pharmacists (NCAP), and Rho-Chi Honor Society. During pharmacy school, she worked as an intern in community pharmacy. Vincci has interests in pediatric pharmacy and diabetes care.

“My four weeks at Consumer Health Information Corporation opened my eyes to an area of pharmacy that I have not experienced before. I was able to participate in writing patient education materials such as brochure, newspaper article, and tips on medication use. I never realize that creativity in presenting patient education materials is so crucial in communicating to the patient. During this rotation, I learned how to effectively communicate in a way that captivates a patient’s interest as well as help the patient understand the material. I will definitely carry these skills in providing pharmaceutical care for my patients in the future.”

"Figuring Out Medicare Part D"

Annie Rick

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Annie Rick will graduate in June 2007 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Ohio State University College of Pharmacy. During pharmacy school, she has been a part of APhA and SSHP. She has worked as an intern in a retail pharmacy setting for 4 years. Following graduation, she will be practicing in a community pharmacy.

“During my 4 weeks at Consumer Health Information Corporation, I had the opportunity to strengthen my writing skills. My work included a book review and a potential newspaper article. I had ample time to review a few fundamentals of community pharmacy practice by writing patient counseling tips. I had an opportunity to participate in the development of a patient education brochure and tearsheet and learned how extremely tedious it is to write patient information.”

"A Quick Lesson on Prior Authorization"

Amanda Bernardi

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Amanda Bernardi will graduate in May 2006 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy. Her involvement in organizations during pharmacy school include APhA-ASP, American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, and Lambda Kappa Sigma Pharmacy Fraternity. During pharmacy school, she has worked as an intern in a retail pharmacy setting. Following graduation, she will be practicing in a community pharmacy and plans to become certified as a diabetes educator and consultant pharmacist.

"During my rotation at Consumer Health, I realized how important it is to provide our patients with drug information that they can easily understand. I have learned ways to present information in an uncomplicated fashion, which will help me immensely as a community pharmacist. I now believe that I am able to help my future patients more effectively due to skills that I have learned during this rotation. Four weeks here made me realize that the way we present drug facts may determine whether or not our patients choose to take their medicines correctly and continue their drug therapies. I wan't to do everything I can to help them make good choices about their health."


Erin E. DeLauder

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Erin E. DeLauder will graduate in May 2006 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and a Master’s in Business Administration from Shenandoah University in Winchester , VA. During pharmacy school, she has been a member of American Pharmacists Association (APhA), Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP), and Kappa Psi. She has worked in the community pharmacy setting for 3 years. She has interests in public health pharmacy and pediatric pharmacy.

“My four week experience at Consumer Health Information Corporation has opened my eyes to many of the problems consumers face on a day-to-day basis. The inability to read or understand medical information can have wide reaching effects on a patient’s adherence, trust, and overall feelings about the health care system. Being able to communicate in a patient friendly way is of utmost importance in trying to educate patients about their health or medication. My experience at Consumer Health Information Corporation has better enabled me to communicate with patients both in person and on paper.”


Kyung-Jin Kim

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Kyung-Jin Kim will graduate in May 2006 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy or Shenandoah University in Winchester . Kyung-Jin is a member of the American Pharmacists Association. During her 4 years of school, she worked as an intern in the retail pharmacy setting. After graduation, Kyung-Jin plans to practice in a community pharmacy. Her goal is to give high quality pharmaceutical services to patients to promote safe, appropriate and effective medication use.

“My four weeks at CHIC have taught me the importance of communication with patients in both speaking and writing. I made a brochure and a bulletin board for patients before in school and at other clerkship, but I never thought about translating medical terminology into language that patients could understand as much as I did at CHIC. I will always remember to communicate the information with patients accurately and completely so they can fully understand. I have been involved in a number of projects: evaluating the quality of health information content on medications and on brochures, developing a patient package insert that will later be submitted to FDA for approval and writing a newspaper article. All tasks were challenging but the skills that I developed during 4 weeks are invaluable. Those skills will help me to communicate with patients effectively and to provide high quality care in the future.”

"Zinc: Combats the Common Cold?"


Mary Yeow

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Mary Yeow will graduate in May 2006 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. As a pharmacy student, she has been a member of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Upon graduation, she plans to pursue a career in community pharmacy, where she can use the skills she has learned to provide pharmaceutical care to her patients.

“My four weeks at Consumer Health Information Corporation have taught me how to translate scientific findings into language consumers can understand. Informational materials that cannot be understood by consumers are useless. It’s not easy to write from a consumer’s perspective. This rotation has me taught how important it is that patients receive materials written in everyday language, without the confusion of scientific jargon. When consumers receive materials they can understand, they are empowered to be proactive in their own health care.”

"Heart Disease: The #1 Killer of Women"


Misti Clark

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Misti Clark will graduate in May 2006 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Mercer University Southern School of Pharmacy. Her involvement with student organizations include ASP, SNPhA, AMCP, and Phi Delta Chi fraternity. During her 4 years of school, she worked as an intern in the retail pharmacy setting. After graduation, she plans to practice in community pharmacy. She is also interested in obtaining certification in diabetes education/management.

“My five weeks experience at CHIC has taught me the importance of patient education and communication. It is important that we communicate with patients/consumers in language they can comprehend. Effective communication plays a vital role in preventing medication errors and other mishaps. This rotation has equipped me with knowledge that will enable me to be an effective patient counselor/educator.”

"Prevention of Heart Disease, Stroke and Cancer- What Can Women Rely On?"


Hye Kim

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Hye Kim will graduate with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy, Shenandoah University, in May 2006. She is a member of the American Pharmacist Association and Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy. She has been working in retail pharmacy for the last 4 years. She is most likely to work in community pharmacy after graduation.

“My 4 weeks at Consumer Health have been very rewarding. I work in retail pharmacy and we have to counsel many patients on their medications or recommend products for their needs. I am most fortunate to have gained so much knowledge through CHIC and be able to use that knowledge to help my patients at the pharmacy. I learned many things through my projects. I had the opportunity to read and learn about new drugs and research studies. I also learned that it is very important for health care professionals to acknowledge the comprehension level of the patients. Something that may be simple and understandable for us may not be so for our patients. I am looking forward to utilizing my knowledge learned at Consumer Health in my professional career after graduation.”

"Could Cholesterol Medicines Be the New Weapon Against Cancer?"


Katherine Kim

Katherine Kim graduated in May 2006 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in Baltimore, Maryland.

"The Medicare Maze: Why Consumers Don't Know Which Way to Turn"


Ngoc-Diep Nguyen

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Quan Luu is currently completing her final year in the Pharm D. program at the University of Maryland – School of Pharmacy in Baltimore. While at UMB, she has been the Vice President of SMdPHA (Student Section of Maryland Public Health Association), Secretary of Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity, and active member of American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA), American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP), and A Bridge to Academic Excellence (ABAE) tutoring program. Quan has an immense interest in public health and patient education. With a Pharm D. degree, she hopes to help bridge the gap of healthcare disparity amongst those less privileged, especially through proper patient counseling and mentoring programs.

“My five weeks rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) was a unique experience. At CHIC, I was challenged with the task of translating complicated medical terminology into language that an average consumer can understand. The projects at CHIC are fun and educational. Not only do they allow me to apply my knowledge, they allowed me to do it in a creative way. This rotation has opened my eyes to the non-traditional way of practicing pharmacy.”


Bryan Saville

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Bryan Saville will graduate in 2006 from Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy or Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA. He is a member of the American Pharmacists Association and the Phi Delta Chi Professional Pharmacy Fraternity. Bryan is interested in hospital pharmacy, technology, and their integration.

“My four week rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation has really opened me up to a side of pharmacy that I didn’t really know existed. I wanted to use my clerkship rotations to experience what else there is for a pharmacist to do. I have worked in a hospital pharmacy for over 10 years, so patient counseling is like a different language. I believe the opportunity to be at CHIC will prove to be invaluable on my upcoming clerkships and after graduation. As frustrating as it was to write about a medication and keep the reading level below a certain point, I imagine it is equally or more frustrating for patients and customers to try to read something that they do not completely understand. It really drove the point home for me how important it is to accurately and completely convey the information to patients in a way that they will understand.”

Amena Ali

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Amena Ali will graduate in May 2005 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia's School of Pharmacy. During pharmacy school, she has been a member of ASHP, APhA-ASP, and worked in the Investigational Drug Pharmacy at MCV Hospital. Following graduation, she will be pursuing a post-doctoral fellowship in Clinical Research at Novartis in East Hanover, NJ.

"This was a unique experience because I learned how to prepare patient information in a format that people would enjoy reading. I learned how easy it is for consumers to skip over important health information because it was too complicated or scientific for them to understand. I learned how to write in a patient-friendly format. After years of being immersed in scientific language, writing for a non-scientific audience was a lot harder than I thought. This was also a great experience because it gave me the opportunity to see how a pharmacist took the topics of patient education and medication compliance, and created a successful, internationally respected company for herself.”

"Taking Part In A Clinical Trial"


Jennifer Kazemka

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Jennifer Kazemka is from Mahanoy Plane, Pennsylvania and will graduate in May 2005 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Wilkes University Nesbitt School of Pharmacy in WilkesBarre, PA. Jennifer is involved in her school's chapters of Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity, APhA-ASP and Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association. She has also been a peer tutor at her university's Writing Center for 4 years. She has worked in the retail pharmacy setting as an intern and plans to continue her practice in community pharmacy after graduation.

"I chose to do a rotation at Consumer Health because I wanted to experience a nontraditional pharmacy occupation. I have always been interested in the importance of educating patients and this rotation strengthened that belief of mine. I have learned to appreciate all the research and revisions that goes into even the smallest brochure. I enjoyed contributing to the various projects that were going on during my six weeks here and hope to continue contributing to patient education throughout my career."

"Could Foods Be Causing Your Child's Ear Infections?"

Published in Times Leader, Northeastern Pennsylvania


Maggie Murphy

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Maggie Murphy will graduate in May 2005 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy at Wilkes University. Maggie is a member of Rho Chi national pharmacy honor society and was president of her school's chapter for the 2003-2004 school year. With this organization, she participated in a local free clinic to provide free, non-emergency medical care the uninsured, under-insured or those who simply could not afford basic health care. She is also a member of Kappa Psi professional pharmaceutical fraternity and American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA). She has worked in the retail setting for four years and is interested in diabetes management and education. In the future, she plans to either complete a pharmacy residency or practice pharmacy in the community setting.

"My six week rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation was a unique experience that helped me to further develop my writing skills. I gained a great deal of knowledge about translating technical medical terminology into information the consumer can easily understand. I was also able to witness the rigorous FDA scrutiny to which all consumer drug information is subjected. The projects I was able to work on during my time at CHIC make me proud because my hard work is going to have a direct effect on patients' drug therapy and health outcomes. On top of that, D.C. is a great area with much to do! I am certain that no other rotation I complete this year will be quite the same as my time here at CHIC."

"Celebrating the Holidays with Diabetes"

Published in Times Leader, Northeastern Pennsylvania

Yen-Anh Bui

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Yen-Anh Bui will graduate in May 2004 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia's School of Pharmacy. During pharmacy school, she has been a member of ASHP, APhA-ASP, and Kappa Epsilon. She has also worked in the retail pharmacy setting for 4 years where she enjoys direct contact with patients. Following graduation, she plans on practicing in community pharmacy and hopes to expand the role of the pharmacist by implementing an immunization clinic. Her goal is to give the best care to her patients one person at a time!

"My four weeks at CHIC has given me an opportunity to view drug information from the consumer's perspective. It has made me realize the importance of patient comprehension in patient care. Information will not be useful to patients if they cannot understand the materials. This rotation has taught me how to use my medical knowledge and convert them into patient-friendly language. This valuable skill will enable me to effectively communicate with patients in the future. I have also learned to appreciate the enormous amount of research that goes into each project here at CHIC. This experience has helped me build drug information knowledge and self-confidence that will allow me to succeed in pharmacy practice."

"Cutting Down Medical Gibberish: FDA Concerns"


Samantha Davis

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Samantha Davis will graduate in May 2004 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia's School of Pharmacy. During pharmacy school, she has been a member of Kappa Epsilon, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and APhA-ASP. She has been involved in infectious disease research with her school of pharmacy and hopes to continue pursuing this interest in the future.

"My four weeks at Consumer Health Information Corporation has allowed me to apply the scientific knowledge and research skills that I learned as a pharmacy student. This rotation has given me an appreciation for the enormous effort involved in integrating complex medical information into consumer friendly materials. This rotation has made me realize that the safety of my patients depends upon my ability to give them information about their medications in a way that they can understand."

"Safe Medicine Use at Home"


Jane Langan

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Jane Langan will graduate in May 2004 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Shenandoah University School of Pharmacy. During pharmacy school, she has been a student member of APhA-ASP and ASHP. She is also a member of the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, the American Medical Writer’s Association and Kappa Psi Professional Fraternity. Following graduation, she plans on practicing in community pharmacy, as well as medical writing on a freelance basis.

"During my four week rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation, I worked on writing patient education materials. Learning pharmacy is exciting, but being able to communicate what you have learned to a varied audience is truly rewarding. To be able to take information and put it in terms that everyone can relate to is key to our ability to improve patient outcomes. While at Consumer Health, I did research on various disease states and how drugs work to help alleviate symptoms. Searching different sources of information gave me respect for the volume of information that people have available to them, and the necessity for being able to sort through that information and determine what is reliable. I will always remember Consumer Health as being a great venue to learn a valuable component of my pharmacy education."

"With Ephedra Gone, Are Other Diet Aids Safe?"


Mai Phan

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Mai Phan is a 2004 Pharm. D. candidate at Duquesne University Mylan School of Pharmacy in Pittsburgh, PA. She enjoys actively interacting with the Pittsburgh community. Her community services include fundraising and volunteering at such events as Big Brother Big Sister, Jingle Bell Run for the Arthritis Foundation, canning for Make-A-Wish Foundation, and many other events. She has extensive experience working in the community setting, especially working at an Oncology Clinic. This May, she is anticipating graduating with her Pharm. D. with Honors College Distinction. With her knowledge about medicines and continual interest in her community, she hopes to improve patient awareness about their medications and ensuring drug appropriateness for her patients.

"I chose Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC) as one of my sites for a clerkship and it has proven to be a unique experience. From school and from working in a community setting there is great emphasis on pharmacist’s interventions and patient counseling to ensure 100% patient compliance and that patients understand their drug regimen. CHIC incorporates the pharmacist’s role, as a pharmaceutical caregiver, and the patient’s role, as an active participant in their treatment, to improve and advance what schools and the community coin as the goal of the pharmacy profession, 'pharmaceutical care.' My clerkship experience here has shown me that CHIC is the other side of pharmacy, whereby they continually work to improve patient education programs that are patient-friendly yet still medically correct and work towards awareness of the need for patient compliance. Again I am glad I chose this clerkship and would not trade this experience for anything."

"Stretching Your Prescription Dollars"

Published in Erie Times - News, Erie, Pennsylvania


Mavis A. Serwaah

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Mavis A. Serwaah will graduate in May 2004 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia's School of Pharmacy. She is an active member of ASHP, APhA, and SNPha. Throughout pharmacy school, she has worked in both community and hospital pharmacy and has enjoyed both pharmacy practice settings. At this point she wants to expose herself to different pharmacy practice settings as much as possible and channel all these experiences in helping her future patients. Her goal is to provide the best pharmaceutical services to her patients and other healthcare professionals.

"My four-week rotation at CHIC was a perfect finish to my other eight rotations. At CHIC I learned the importance of effective communication with my future patients. I had the chance to learn the most efficient way to search for primary articles and how to properly use keywords to perform a literature search. This rotation has furthered my knowledge in drug information and patient education programs, which is imperative in the practice of pharmacy. This rotation taught me the enormous amount of research that goes into developing patient education literature. It is quite a unique experience because you learn how to communicate all the drug and medical knowledge you’ve learned in the most comprehensible way. Good communication skills are a must in any type of pharmacy practice."


Torill Yamarik

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Tori Yamarik will graduate in May 2004 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia's School of Pharmacy. During pharmacy school, she has been an active member of VASP and was a member and secretary of the Rho Chi Honor Society, Lambda chapter. Following graduation, she plans to pursue a residency in either veterinary pharmacy or in the ambulatory care setting.

"My four weeks at Consumer Health Information Corporation have emphasized how important it will be for me to communicate effectively with my future patients. This has been an exceptional experience because I now understand the hard work, passion and dedication that goes into all the materials produced here. While at Consumer Health, I learned about programs used to assess the readability and comprehension of a document, which is critical to patients understanding health information. I feel the writing and communication skills I have gained here will continue to have a positive impact on the relationships I develop with patients, as well as other health care professionals."

"Do You Have Trouble Understanding Your Prescriptions?"


Sonya Lugowy

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Sonya Lugowy is from Hamilton, Ontario, and will graduate in May, 2004 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Albany College of Pharmacy in Albany, New York. During pharmacy school, she has been an active member of Kappa Epsilon and APhA-ASP, and has participated in many activities with these organizations. During her clinical rotations she has experienced some of the many different ways to practice pharmacy, and has enjoyed all of them. She is interested in both nuclear and clinical pharmacy, and plans to pursue a residency after graduation.

"My five weeks at Consumer Health Information Corporation have given me a new appreciation for the importance of effective communication in pharmacy. I have found that providing information to patients in such a way that they will fully understand is not easy, and is a skill that must be developed with practice. This rotation has also taught me a lot about effective research techniques, new up-and-coming medications, and the process behind FDA approval of drug information publications. I definitely have a better understanding and appreciation of the work that goes into producing patient package inserts! I have enjoyed this rotation very much, and I am taking skills with me that I know will be valuable in any pharmacy practice setting.

"Counterfeit Drugs: Do You Have the Real Medicine in Your Pills?"


Michelle M. Noonan

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Michelle Marie Noonan, born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has worked as a pharmacy technician for 10+ years before entering the Doctor of Pharmacy Program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Her work experience includes retail, mail order, home health, and hospital pharmacy. She is graduating in spring 2004 and continuing with a one year Pharmacy Practice Residency. Extracurricular activities while in pharmacy school include: Volunteer tutor at Southeast High School in Kansas City; Challenged Students with Special Needs Organization President; Kappa Epsilon, which involved volunteering at the Jackson Count Free Health Clinic to register patients with various Patient Assistance Programs; APhA-ASP Treasurer; Class Officer--Treasurer and Fundraiser extraordinaire. Class members went on a cruise to the Bahamas for a fundraiser! She is looking forward to a position within the Indian Health Service, a part of the Public Health Service, the 7th branch of the U.S. Military. She plans to volunteer for disaster relief, as well as mission programs within The Church of the Nazarene.

"Learning to speak the language of the patient is critical. Not necessarily learning Spanish, or French, but to use words a patient can literally understand. Now that we've gotten the degree, how are we going to share it with our most important client, our patient? We need to give the patient information that is written in a patient-friendly language. Consumer Health Information Corporation has reinforced this need. Looking back to my first week at Consumer Health Information Corporation I can see how much I've learned and how much my writing and literature research has improved."

"Your Dietary Supplement: Does It Contain What It 'Says' It Does?"

Janelle Gustinucci

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Janelle Gustinucci will graduate in April 2003 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. During pharmacy school, she has been a student member of APhA-ASP and the student chapter of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Among many volunteer activities, Janelle has been a mentor for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Western Pennsylvania. Following graduation, she will be completing a pharmacy practice residency and plans on practicing in a clinical or ambulatory care setting in a hospital.

"My four week rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation has been a unique experience. I primarily worked on patient education materials and used extensive literature searches to obtain my information. I spent most of my time researching specific topics that would eventually be made into patient education materials. Since I am interested in practicing ambulatory care it was very beneficial for me to learn how to communicate on a patient level. It was interesting to take the knowledge I have gained over the past few years and translate it so it would be consumer-friendly. I hope to leave Consumer Health with a new appreciation for my patients and hope that now I can communicate better to increase their understanding of their medications."

"The Truth About Osteoporosis and Hormones"


Theodros Negash

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Theodros will be graduating in May 2003 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Virginia Commonwealth University/ Medical College of Virginia. While at MCV, he has been an active member of the American Pharmaceutical Association Student Chapter, Rho Chi honor society, and Kappa Psi Professional Fraternity. During his clerkships, he was fortunate enough to be exposed to the various possibilities that pharmacy offers. His future trip in the field of pharmacy begins with gaining more experience in a community setting. Knowing all the diverse potentials of pharmacy, he looks forward to encountering as much as he possibly can.

"I had the privilege of working at Consumer Health Information Corporation for a period of four weeks. I worked in different areas of pharmacy before I came here. This was a unique and educational experience for me. I learned here to provide patients and consumers information about their medications in language they can understand. Most of all I gained the ability to communicate with my future patients in a more effective manner. During my time here, I learned how hard it is to condense all the available drug information down to the least minimum and still keep it informational and interesting to the reader. I was exposed to marketing and also revisited some regulations that I learned in school."

"Are You a Victim of Your Lifestyle?"


Erica Russell

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Erica Russell will graduate in April 2003 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. During her pharmacy school career, Erica has been an active member of APhA-ASP and was elected community chair. Through this position she organized her school's Patient Counseling Competition. She is also a member of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and Rho Chi. In the future, Erica plans to practice in the community setting where she hopes to expand her role as a community pharmacist by implementing diabetes education and smoking cessation programs.

"During my four weeks at Consumer Health Information Corporation I was able to experience a unique area of pharmacy practice. When writing for consumers you realize all the knowledge you take for granted. I was forced to really process drug information into readable informative materials. I've learned that when educating patients you must be aware of your word choice and tone if you want to have a positive effect. Good communication skills are important in any field of pharmacy practice."

"Preventing Medicine Mishaps!"


Jacqueline Weisen

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Jacqueline will graduate on May 17, 2003 with a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia School of Pharmacy. During pharmacy school, she has been an active member of APhA-ASP, becoming an elected officer and serving and chairing several committees, a member of Kappa Epsilon, ASCP, ASPL, along with participating in many other volunteer services and activities. In the future, Jacqueline plans on working with the pharmaceutical industry, where she hopes to make an impact in our healthcare system.

"The past four weeks here at Consumer Health Information Corporation has opened my eyes to another area of pharmacy practice. It has been an experience unlike any other. In the time I have spent here I have been working on several projects that will help educate patients on their medications and diseases in terms that patients can truly understand. I have been evaluating, comparing, and compiling information together in order to develop patient material focusing on the importance of medication compliance as well as other areas of interest. Before I came here, I never realized the impact that patient materials (pamphlets, videos, patient package inserts, etc) can have on our patients and I now realize the importance of developing appropriate, understandable information for the public. This information can really influence patients and Consumer Health Information Corporation works on implementing new and informative materials for these patients. Overall, this is an experience apart from any other I have had."

"I've Survived Cancer - But Not Airport Security"


Sherrill Brown

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Sherrill Brown will graduate in May 2003 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy. She is active in her school chapters of APhA-ASP, Kappa Epsilon, the Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists and Phi Lambda Sigma. Sherrill volunteers with other Kappa Epsilon members to run the Patient Assistance Program at the Jackson County Free Health Clinic. She is interested in doing a Drug Information Residency and being a medical writer.

"During my time at the Consumer Health Information Corporation, I have worked on a variety of projects for physicians and patients. This has taught me how to tailor my writing to the intended audience. I have also become proficient in literature and Internet searches to answer a variety of questions. I have enjoyed this non-traditional drug information experience. The opportunity to work with students from other schools was a big plus for me as well."

"Avoid the Pitfalls of Internet Pet Pharmacies"


Kerri DeNucci

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Kerri DeNucci will graduate in May 2003 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Ohio Northern University Raabe College of Pharmacy. She is the past president of the college's Academy of Students of Pharmacy and Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists chapters. Kerri also founded a professional mentoring program for third year pharmacy students and co-chaired a committee that brought health screenings to a local mall. Her dedication to the school and its community earned her the Catherine Freed Leadership and Service Award in 2002. She is interested in ambulatory care and plans to pursue a residency following graduation.

"A clerkship at Consumer Health Information Corporation is unique and rewarding. The variety of projects enables you to strengthen the skills needed to succeed in patient education and communication. I have a much better understanding of how crucial appropriate dialogue is to the pharmacist-patient interaction. The lessons learned here will benefit me for years to come."

"Heart Healthy Fat Helps Lower Cholesterol"


Janet Gaito

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Janet L. Gaito will graduate in May 2003 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy at Wilkes University. Janet is a member of the Pennsylvania Pharmacist Association (PPA). She is also a member of Lambda Kappa Sigma, an international pharmacy fraternity. She was president-elect during the Fall of 2000 and Spring of 2001 semesters and president during the Fall of 2001 and Spring of 2002 semesters. Through these positions, Janet encouraged other members to pursue leadership positions throughout their pharmacy school career, as well as led them in voluntary activities and other pharmacy programs. Janet has worked in the retail pharmacy setting for 4 years. Her future interests are in any aspect that requires direct contact with patients and application of patient education.

"My six week experience at Consumer Health Information Corporation was helpful in many ways. I received valuable knowledge in conveying important health information to patients in words that they can understand. I also received first hand experience in the development of patient documents for clinical trials. More importantly, I learned that the amount of time and hard work a person puts into a project is directly related to the accomplishment they feel when it is complete. This clerkship was as educational as it was intense. I am walking away with information that I would probably not get from any other drug information clerkship."

"Are You Missing Pieces to Your Puzzle of Medicines?"


Michelle Macumber

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Michelle Macumber will graduate in May 2003 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Nesbitt School of Pharmacy at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, PA. She has been involved in Kappa Psi, American Pharmaceutical Association, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and Rho Chi. Her interests include psychiatry and ambulatory care. In the future, she plans to practice in an ambulatory setting.

"My six week clerkship at Consumer Health Information Corporation has allowed me to see the intricacies of developing a clinical trial. The process requires a great deal of time and effort. I also completed brief research regarding aspects of pharmacy law and drug information questions. It is a completely unique experience from what I have previously witnessed in a retail or hospital setting. I know that this experience has increased my ability to communicate with patients more effectively."

"Should You Be 'Chicken' About Taking 'Horse' Pills?"


Shenier Marks

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Shenier Marks will graduate in 2003 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado. He has volunteered in numerous community programs including Meals on Wheels and teaching grade-level students about proper nutrition. After receiving his B.S. degree in Molecular Biology, he has also been involved in doctoral-level training in biochemistry and drug development. Shenier's future pursuits include completing his Ph.D. in biochemistry or possibly completing a fellowship in pharmacology.

"My rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation has allowed me the opportunity to experience an exciting and interesting aspect of pharmacy practice. Patient education is a critical component of pharmaceutical care. I have acquired a vast amount of clinical knowledge from this rotation, including the stringent requirements by federal authorities in the dissemination of medical information to consumers. To my admittance, I have been somewhat intimidated with patient education. That was one of my main reasons for choosing this rotation. After my six weeks rotation here, I have become more confident in patient education and consumer information. This experience will be beneficial in any field of pharmacy practice."

"Common Facts You Should Know About Heartburn"

Helene Bichel

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Helene Bichel will graduate in May 2002 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia. During her pharmacy school career she has been a student member of American Pharmaceutical Association, American Society of Health-SyPharmacists, and a founding member of the Alpha Chi Chapter of Kappa Epsilon Professional Fraternity. Helene's interests include compounding, pharmaceutical care, drug information and education. She hopes to incorporate all of these interests into her pharmacy practice.

"Working at Consumer Health Information Corporation gave me a whole new appreciation for drug information, patient education and pharmaceutical marketing. I spent much of my time there researching health and pharmacy related topics that were current in the news, and putting that information into terms that were patient and consumer friendly. Translating technical and difficult material into print that can be understood by the majority of the public is much more challenging then I thought it would be. In addition, I was exposed to marketing products from the perspective of both industry and regulatory concerns. This has been good experience to supplement my pharmacy education."

"Getting the Most from Your Statin Medicine"


Julie Bullock

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Julie Bullock is in her final year as a Pharm.D. student at Drake University, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Des Moines, IA (May 2002). She is has been active as a Peer Mentor for entering freshman, and as a student senator. She was also active in scientific research within the college of pharmacy. Julie's future interests include pursing a fellowship in clinical research and pharmacology.

"My four week clerkship at Consumer Health Information Corporation has allowed me to be an active part in providing patient education programs. Prior to this clerkship I had only had experiences in retail pharmacy and research. I never knew how hard developing patient education programs could be. This clerkship will help me communicate better with my patients and teach them in an appropriate way so that they will understand their diseases and medications."

"Ways to Safely Cut Your Medicine Costs"


Janel Mann

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Janel Mann will graduate in May 2002 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy. She is an active student member of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the American Pharmaceutical Association. She also volunteered for community programs such as Katy’s Kids, which involves teaching elementary students how to safely use medicine, and Brown Bag Days, which involves helping senior citizens learn more about their medicines and how to manage them. While in school, Janel worked as a pharmacy technician at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Following graduation, Janel would like to complete a Pharmacy Practice Residency and obtain a clinical position in a hospital.

"My rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation has been a unique experience. During my didactic years, I had the opportunity to learn comprehensive medical information about disease states and treatments. I was taught the importance of informing consumers about their medicines, side effects, precautions, etc. During my rotation, I realized how important it is to communicate this information to consumers in a way they might understand, something that is not necessarily taught to you as a student. While working on patient education projects and my newspaper article, I became more aware of the wording and dialogue that can be used to more effectively communicate with consumers. I also found that researching specific reasons behind treatments and different disease states is the first step in the process of forming accurate and complete consumer information. It will be very helpful to have these patient counseling skills as I move forward with my pharmacy career."

"Know Your 'Drug Facts' Before You Self-Treat"


Sara Brodersen

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Sara Brodersen is in her final year as a Pharm D. student at Drake University, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Des Moines, IA (May 2002). Throughout her college career, she has been involved in the Academy of Students of Pharmacy, Dean's Student Advisory Council, Pharmacy Day Committees, and a Peer Mentor for entering freshman pharmacy students. Sara's future interests include providing pharmaceutical care by preventing and resolving drug related problems in patients in an ambulatory setting.

"Throughout my four-week clerkship at Consumer Health Information Corporation, I have spent a majority of my time working on projects that teach patients how to prevent and manage the side effects of their medications. Previous to this clerkship, I have worked in a retail pharmacy for three years where I have dealt directly with patients on a daily basis. However, it was Consumer Health that enabled me not only to better understand the importance of counseling in a language patients can understand, but how to teach patients about managing side effects to ensure patient compliance."

"Side Effects Don't Have to Mean Risky Business"


Leticia Dieleman

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Leticia Dieleman will graduate with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from The University of Iowa College of Pharmacy in May 2002. She is active as a student member of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, the American Pharmaceutical Association, Kappa Psi, Rho Chi, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Phi Lambda Sigma. Her many community activities have included developing tools to teach children about medicine safety and volunteering at the Free Medical Clinic. In the future, Leticia will pursue a pharmacy practice residency.

"My practice experience at Consumer Health Information Corporation provided me with unique insights into the process of patient education. It challenged me to apply my drug information skills and to develop effective patient education materials. I enjoyed working with students from other disciplines, including graphic design and nursing, and learning about the business and legal aspects of the company. A PharmD clerkship at Consumer Health Information Corporation is a great opportunity to explore a nontraditional career in pharmacy and to improve patient interactions in any area of pharmacy practice."

"Is Cutting Your Pills a Safe Way to Save Money?"


Caroline Suh

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Caroline Suh is currently a Drug Information Practice Resident at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. She graduated with the Doctor of Pharmacy degree and the Bachelor of Science degree from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia College of Pharmacy in May 2001. Throughout her college career, Caroline was a member of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the American Pharmaceutical Association. During her clerkship rotations, she has provided patient education on a variety of levels in both the hospital and community settings. In her residency program, she provides drug information to patients as well as healthcare practitioners. Caroline’s interests lie in teaching and writing and she hopes to be able to do both in her future pharmacy practice career.

"During my six week rotation at Consumer Health Information Corporation, I worked extensively on patient education projects, writing a newspaper article for publishing, and research that gave me the opportunity to practice how to translate complex medical information into language a consumer can understand and apply. I think that this is a valuable tool for a pharmacist or any healthcare practitioner to learn because patient communication is a basic and fundamental aspect of providing pharmaceutical care."

"Nuclear Attack! – Is Potassium Iodide the Answer?"


Christine Truong

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Christine Truong will graduate with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia in May of 2002. Throughout her college career, she has been involved in American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, American Pharmaceutical Association, Washington Metropolitan Society of Hospital Pharmacists, Virginia Health-System Pharmacists, and Phi Delta Chi Professional Fraternity. She would like to pursue a pharmacy practice residency.

"I enjoyed working on the projects and researching drug information. This clerkship provided a good overall look at how a business is run and all the details that goes into running a business. This clerkship provided skills in turning medical information into layman's terms. I felt that this was one of the most important skils I learned from this clerkship because it makes you reconsider about whether healthcare providers are really getting the message through when they talk to their patients. And what an important role communication plays into patient care. I also learned a lot about marketing and design of health literature."

"What You Should Know About Cipro"