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SIUE pharmacy program takes health care to local businesses; White Coats, awards presented

SIUE School of Pharmacy students are making noise these days, through honors and community service.

Here is what’s been going on lately.

School of Pharmacy to host Blood Pressure Blitz for area businesses

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy and the city of Edwardsville will host Blood Pressure Blitz 2017, a citywide wellness event, during the afternoon of Friday, Oct. 27.

Sixteen teams of third and fourth-year pharmacy students, paired with a faculty pharmacist, will travel to local businesses to perform blood pressure screenings for employees at no cost.

Businesses wishing to participate should contact the SOP’s Jennifer Koehne at (618) 650-5164 or by Friday, Oct. 6.

“Hypertension is extremely prevalent, with nearly 90 percent of Americans suffering from the disease at some point in their life,” said Chris Lynch, PharmD, professor and director of clinical programs in the SOP. “Since it typically has no symptoms, many working-age adults may unknowingly have the disease.”
In previous years, SOP students have measured more than 420 blood pressures during the event. They have also provided valuable patient education and discovered several cases of undiagnosed blood hypertension.

“This is a reverse health fair event, with providers going to the participants to quickly and accurately measure employees’ blood pressures,” Lynch added. “We invite area businesses to join our efforts to root out undiagnosed or undertreated high blood pressure by allowing us to offer checks for their employees during Blood Pressure Blitz 2017.”

pharmacybloodblitzPHOTO: SIUE School of Pharmacy alumnus Emily Mahill performs blood pressure screenings at Eaker’s Barber Shop while participating in a previousBlood Pressure Blitz.







SIUE School of Pharmacy presents White Coats to Class of 2021

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy presented 84 students comprising its class of 2021, with their professional white coats during the 12th White Coat Ceremony held Friday, Sept. 15, in the Morris University Center’s Meridian Ballroom.

The official garment acknowledges the students’ important entrance into the Doctor of Pharmacy degree program. During the ceremony, the students expressed their commitment to the service-focused profession by reciting the Pledge of Professionalism.

“The coats you wear today are a symbol, or outward manifestation, of professionalism,” said Gireesh Gupchup, PhD, dean of the SOP. “It’s what’s inside the white coat that truly matters.

“The essence of professionalism is in your heart and mind, and in the acknowledgement of responsibility that you accept each day when you provide accurate, caring service to your patients. I believe that you will find that providing service is the highest calling of our profession.”

The white coats symbolically represent the class of 2021’s transition from students to student pharmacists.

The evening’s keynote speaker was Cynthia Boyle, PharmD, professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. The presenting sponsor was Shop ‘n Save Pharmacy.

siuepharmacywhitecoatsPHOTO: The class of 2021.

Illinois Pharmacists Association honors multiple faculty and alumni

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy faculty and alumni received multiple accolades during the Illinois Pharmacists Association conference held Sept. 7-10 in St. Louis.

Jessica Kerr, PharmD, assistant chair and professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, was honored with the Cardinal Health Generation Rx Champions Award and the NCPA Leadership Plaque. She was also sworn in as president of the IPhA.

Miranda Wilhelm, PharmD, clinical associate professor, achieved the Educator of the Year award. Alumnus Harry Zollars, PharmD ’13, was named Distinguished Young Pharmacist, and preceptor Starlin Haydon-Greatting, MS, BSPharm, was honored for Excellence in Innovation.

“The awards and recognition bestowed upon SIUE School of Pharmacy faculty and alumni are clear evidence that we are at the forefront of the effort to move the profession of pharmacy to new heights in the state,” said SOP Dean Gireesh Gupchup, PhD. “I congratulate all those who have received awards and recognitions.”

“It was an honor to gather with friends and colleagues, with whom I share the common idea of wanting what is best for patients and the pharmacy profession,” Kerr said. “During the conference, you could see the fire in young pharmacist attendees’ eyes as they now join us in our dedication to the profession.”

Kerr credits the efforts of the American Pharmacists Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists Organization (APhA-ASP) student chapter for supporting her receipt of the Cardinal Health Illinois Generation Rx Pharmacist Award. The award includes $500 to be donated to a nonprofit organization.

Wilhelm, who specializes in self-care and immunizations, expressed her appreciation for the opportunity to teach at SIUE and her passion for using real-world examples in her teaching.

“I love sharing stories and real-world examples with students/pharmacists to help them remember course content and make a difficult topic easier to understand,” Wilhelm said. “In both required and elective self-care courses, I have incorporated standardized patient counseling simulations. Application of course content, where students have to apply what has been taught, helps to make the concepts more concrete.”

siuepharmacyhonorsPhoto from left, Dr. Miranda Wilhelm, Dr. Harry Zollars and Dr. Jessica Kerr.


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