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SIUE School of Pharmacy Students Conduct Local Health Fairs

14 April 2015, 2:35 PM

SOP Health FairThe Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA) chapter conducted health fairs March 28 and April 4 at Sam’s Club in Glen Carbon. The SNPhA national initiative involves more than 50 pharmacy schools holding health fairs at Sam’s Clubs across the nation. 

Under the direct supervision of School of Pharmacy faculty members Dr. Lakesha Butler, clinical associate professor and SNPhA faculty advisor, and Dr. Jennifer Rosselli, clinical assistant professor, students provided blood pressure screenings and diabetes risk assessments to more than 100 patients between the two days.

“The students are able to hone their communication skills and physical assessment skills while serving the community,” Butler said. “It is a great opportunity to teach the students the importance of giving back and the act of service.”

Pharmacy students in their first through third years of school volunteered. In addition to blood pressure screenings and diabetes risk assessments, they provided counsel and information to patients on cardiovascular complications, and provided critical interventions for patients with extremely high blood pressure readings.

“By being out in the community, we were able to experience what a patient goes through on a day-to-day basis and learn how to best apply what we are learning in school,” said Daphne Goewey, third year student and SNPhA vice president. “It’s always great to get out in the community and interact with patients. And based on the feedback we received, they enjoyed it as much as we did.” 

Photo: SIUE School of Pharmacy students Chunhua Huang and Sarah Wagner.



SIUE School of Pharmacy Recognized by Honor Society

10 April 2015, 10:55 AM

Miranda WilhelmLast week, 16 Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy students were inducted into the National Pharmacy Honor Society Rho Chi. Additionally, Dr. Miranda Wilhelm, clinical associate professor for the School, received the Rho Chi Faculty Achievement Award from SIUE’s Chapter of Rho Chi, Delta Beta.

The Rho Chi Society seeks to advance pharmacy through intellectual leadership. Membership in the Rho Chi Society is accorded to the few who distinguish themselves by academic and professional achievements, and who aspire to the mission and vision of the Society.

At an April 2 ceremony, Elizabeth Lass, current Rho Chi president, inducted the following students: San Baban, Emily Benvenuto, Danielle Bozzardi, Abigail Buchman, Jerry Chapman, Amber Crouch, Ashlen Dunn, Christian Harrelson, Tracy Knobeloch, Ashley Marchello, Katherine Olson, Zachary Righter, Kelsey Robertson, Kelsey Salmon and Rachel Wiechert. A mini-installation will be held at a later date for Haley Ilcewicz who was unable to be present at the ceremony due to an NCAA Division I tennis tournament.

The Rho Chi Faculty Achievement Award recognizes the unique contributions and accomplishments of outstanding faculty advisors. The award is also intended to serve as a model for other advisors to stimulate chapter activities, diligence and punctuality. One award is presented annually.

In order to be considered for the award, the faculty member must be a faculty member at the School for at least three years, a member of Rho Chi, and display actions and a teaching philosophy that aligns with the ideals expressed in the Rho Chi mission statement. All nominations must be made by a current collegiate member of the Delta Beta Chapter of Rho Chi.

In nominating Wilhelm for this award, one student wrote, “The last two attributes of the Rho Chi mission statement are fostering collaboration and promoting the highest ethical standards. Dr. Wilhelm’s classes enhance every aspect of learning whether it is individual, group, hands-on, a discussion or in-class participation activities.”

“Dr. Wilhelm is devoted to the practice of pharmacy in multiple aspects including community, organizational and educational,” another student wrote of Wilhelm. “She is a true advocate of the profession, and how pharmacy improves patient outcomes and quality of life.”

Photo: Dr. Miranda Wilhelm, clinical associate professor for the SIUE School of Pharmacy.

SIUE School of Pharmacy Student Community Service Recognized Nationally

8 April 2015, 12:25 PM

GenRXawardSouthern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy students received national recognition at the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) conference in San Diego, March 28. The School’s student chapter of APhA Academy of Student Pharmacists (ASP) received an award for “Best Implementation of Generation Rx activities for Region 4.” 

The Generation Rx Initiative is an educational program that increases public awareness of prescription medication abuse and encourages health care providers, community leaders, parents, teens, and college students to actively work to prevent abuse. The APhA challenges its chapters to develop, participate and collaborate with other pharmacists and community organizations to provide education regarding prescription drug abuse in the community. 

Tina Messenger, third-year pharmacy student, is the Generation Rx Committee Chair. “This award means so much to the chapter,” she said. “Our hard work paid off in the community and was nationally recognized for the first time.”

In 2014, the SIUE chapter provided educational outreach to over 4,100 elementary through high school students through presentations created by SOP students. The presentations educated students on the consequences of prescription drug abuse. 

Additionally, through the SIUE Faculty Homecoming Grant, the student chapter developed a Generation Rx Carnival, which was held on campus during homecoming week. The carnival was developed to educate all SIUE students, faculty and alumni on the dangers and consequences of prescription drugs, alcohol and illicit drug abuse and misuse. The chapter collaborated with SIUE Health Services, SIUE Counseling Services and the Madison County States Attorney Office. The carnival reached over 350 individuals. 

The chapter has also participated in Alcohol Awareness Week with SIUE Counseling Services, facilitated an educational presentation to SIUE Health Services and participated in other community events. Upcoming events include presentations at a social work conference at SIUE and to freshmen health education classes at Belleville East High School. 

Photo (L-R): Members of the SIUE APhA/ASP from left to right: Mallory Belcher, Anna Bray, Sarah Joachim, Zach Righter, Jessie Johnson, Ashley Beiser, Sarah Lance, Whitney Maher, Jenny Kasen, Zach Madej, Anna Arthur, Scott Sexton, Tina Messenger, Jordan Sinclair, Austin Lee, Dylan Smith, Alyssa Tomaszewski, Kelsey Elmore, Meghan Beukelman, Taylor Preuitt and Johhny Truong.

SIUE School of Pharmacy Announces Teachers of the Year, Scholarship Awards

31 March 2015, 4:10 PM

Gupchup, Schober, Lynch, Crider.Dr. Gireesh Gupchup, dean of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy, announced winners of the Teachers of the Year and Scholarship Awards at the school’s annual awards ceremony March 18. The recognition comes as a result of votes cast by current students of the School.

“Teaching and scholarship endeavors are truly appreciated as the School of Pharmacy moves to greater heights,” said Gupchup.

Dr. Mike Crider, chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, received the Pharmaceutical Sciences Teaching Award. 

Dr. Chris Lynch, director of clinical programs and professor of pharmacy practice, received the Pharmacy Practice Teaching Award. 

Dr. Joe Schober, associate professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, was recognized for excellence in scholarship.

Crider and Lynch will also be recognized for receiving Teacher of the Year awards at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy meeting in July.

SIUE Pharmacy Students Win ICHP Awards

26 March 2015, 2:20 PM

Megan LeBaronTwo Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy students earned awards at the Spring Meeting of the Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists/Missouri Society of Health-System Pharmacists. More than 200 hospital pharmacists, faculty members, pharmacy technicians and students from Illinois and Missouri gathered at the event in St. Charles, Mo. 

The students created posters as their senior capstone projects. Megan LeBaron’s poster tied for first place as Best Illinois Student Poster. LeBaron’s poster explained discharge protocol from hospital to community pharmacy, which LeBaron created under the mentoring of Krisi Stice, PharmD.

Michael Santini was selected to present his poster as a platform presentation at the meeting and was awarded Best Platform Presentation. Working with Dr. Scott Bergman, associate professor and faculty mentor, Santini presented a poster about Vancomycin use and monitoring. 

Cindy Wuller, clinical professor in SIUE’s School of Pharmacy, coordinates the capstone program. She explained that in total, four School of Pharmacy students presented posters at the meeting.

Lauren Kormelink, whose mentor was Dr. Carrie Vogler, clinical assistant professor, created a retrospective chart review of chronic pain medication management.

Cody Schaefer’s poster explained staffing requirements of PGY1 pharmacy residencies in large hospitals and PGY2 pediatric residencies. Schaefer’s mentor was Jennifer Ellison, PharmD.

Michael Santini“The students and mentors work diligently on their capstone projects,” said Wuller. “Being able to take posters to a state meeting and share with others is a worthwhile accomplishment. To have the SIUE School of Pharmacy win two awards just shows the quality of work that is being done on capstone projects.”


Upper Right - Megan LeBaron (left), with guidance from her capstone mentor, Kristi Stice, PharmD, completed an award-winning poster that explains discharge protocol from hospital to community pharmacy.

Lower Right - Michael Santini (left), with guidance from Dr. Scott Bergman, associate professor, developed a poster about Vancomycin.

SIUE SBDC Salutes O’Fallon Pharmacy Success Story

16 March 2015, 10:45 AM

Melissa EppsWhen a career pharmacist and an MBA think in tandem, it may well produce a successful entrepreneurial venture.

It has with Melissa and David Epps. Retail pharmacist Melissa Epps and her spouse, David Epps, worked hard to achieve Melissa’s goal of owning an independent pharmacy.

Thanks to expertise from the Metro East Small Business Development Center, the Epps’ venture came to fruition in July 2014. Melissa Epps and her business partners – pharmacy technician Deann Rallo and pharmacist Mark Walz, Rph – bought an existing Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy in downtown O’Fallon, Ill.

Although David Epps’ business acumen fueled the couple’s progress for a year or more, when it came to preparing for a traditional loan, they turned to the Metro East SBDC for counseling and expert guidance. Metro East SBDC Small Business Specialist Jo Ann Di Maggio-May stepped in to work with the Epps on the details involved in submitting their financing request to area banks.

 “Jo Ann was extremely helpful to us in assisting me with the financials and other information required to qualify for a loan,” said David Epps. “She returned my call quickly and was extremely professional. Our loan was approved within about five weeks.

“When you submit your loan package to a lender, they’ll tell you whether or not an SBA loan is necessary depending upon the degree of collateral you’re able to provide. We were able to qualify for a non-SBA loan, thanks to counseling we received from Jo Ann and the Metro East SBDC.”

Di Maggio-May said the extensive amount of work that David Epps poured into the couple’s business plan prior to contacting the SBDC enabled her to hit the ground running and meet their targeted acquisition date.

 “With the industry research that I was able to provide, David and Melissa worked hard to create a solid business plan that ensured the financing they were requesting,” Di Maggio-May said.  “In fact, the Epps received many compliments from bankers along the way.” 

Independently owning and operating a local pharmacy has been Melissa’s long-time goal. She believes in being able to spend more time educating patients and answering their questions and concerns fully. A pharmacy that is not part of a large conglomerate enables her to that.

“My job as a pharmacist is to take care of people, answer their questions and try to alleviate their concerns about any potential side effects of medication, whether they’re a customer of our pharmacy or not,” she said. “Opening my own pharmacy has enabled us to give customers the service they deserve and to make sure everything is done thoroughly. Providing patients with the information they need to take their medication correctly is essential, and we’re able to do that.”

The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy is located at 122 West State Street in O’Fallon. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

The Metro East SBDC assists start-up ventures and existing businesses headquartered in the nine-county Metro East region of Calhoun, Jersey, Madison, Bond, Clinton, St. Clair, Washington, Monroe and Randolph. It is a complimentary service to the community that is supported by the SBA.

By aiding entrepreneurs and companies in defining their path to success, the SBDC network positively impacts the Metro East by strengthening the business community, creating and retaining new jobs and encouraging new investment. It enhances the region’s economic interests by providing one-stop assistance to individuals by means of counseling, training, research and advocacy for new ventures and existing small businesses. When appropriate, the SBDC strives to affiliate its ties to the region to support the goals and objectives of both the SIUE School of Business and the University at large.

To learn how the SBDC can help your small business, contact the Metro East SBDC at (618) 650-2929 or

SIUE Schools of Dental Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy Conduct Interdisciplinary Educational Simulation

27 February 2015, 1:11 pm

SOP SDM SON simulation at Pharmacy Medical Error disclosure 02-26-15The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Schools of Dental Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy collaborated to hold a simulation event on Thursday, Feb. 26. The event educated more than 200 students on the topic of medical error disclosure.

The unique interdisciplinary effort was supported by a $7,425 Excellence in Undergraduate Education (EUE) grant through the University. The EUE program funds projects that contribute to excellence and innovation in undergraduate education.

“Very little education is given to any health care discipline students regarding dealing with the issues surrounding reporting a medical error,” said Christine Durbin, associate professor in the SIUE School of Nursing. “It is essential to offer this perspective and approach to health care education to facilitate a team approach to patient care in the respective graduates.”

Students from the SIUE Department of Theater and Dance acted as family members of a patient who suffered a medical error. Teams of students from each professional school were tasked with informing the patient’s family of the situation and dealing with any distraught behavior.

“Each health care team needed to achieve the goals of providing truthful information, continued support for the patient, concern and support for the family member, and re-connection of trust with the care givers,” explained Terri Poirier, professor in the SIUE School of Pharmacy.

“This project supports SIUE’s mission of providing authentic, real world experiences, using a simulation exercise,” added Ann Popkess, assistant professor in the SIUE School of Nursing. “It fosters collaborations and teamwork among our different health professional program,” said Toni Roucka, associate dean of academic affairs in the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine.

The collaborative effort was the first of its kind at the University. Students’ responses and reactions were recorded. All students involved will complete post-tests and write reflections on the experience.

Photo: Students from L to R – Bryant McNeely, pharmacy; Noah Ayika, pharmacy; Kimberly Baptist, dental medicine; Josie Miller, nursing.

School of Pharmacy’s Kerr Has Diabetes Research Featured on

13 February 2015, 11:03 am

SIUE School of Pharmacy’s Jessica Kerr, PharmD, led a survey of American Association of Diabetes Educators members to determine their knowledge of regulations concerning insulin use in commercial driver’s license holders. Writing for, author Amber Cox posted the story Thursday, Feb. 12.  Kerr is assistant chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice and an associate professor.

SIUE School of Pharmacy Receives ACPE Reaccreditation

10 February 2015, 4:11 pm

Gireesh Gupchap, School of PharmacyThe Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy’s Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) professional program has received continued accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). The accreditation is valid for a full eight years until 2023.

“The eight-year ACPE accreditation of the doctor of pharmacy program at SIUE manifests the excellence of this program and our commitment to exceeding national standards in pharmacy through the dedicated work of our faculty and support staff,” said Parviz Ansari, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) is the national agency for the accreditation of professional degree programs in pharmacy and providers of continuing pharmacy education. In November, the ACPE evaluation team, comprised of pharmacy faculty and administrators at schools throughout the country, visited the Edwardsville campus.

“This long-term reaccreditation shows a great amount of well-deserved confidence in the quality of the SIUE School of Pharmacy program,” said Julie Furst-Bowe, SIUE chancellor. Our faculty, staff and students continue to make significant contributions to the health and well-being of the Southwestern Illinois region.”

The SIUE School of Pharmacy values excellence in teaching, pharmacy practice, research/scholarship and service. The PharmD program of study is based on current knowledge and technology from pharmacy and other disciplines, and is delivered through a variety of innovative teaching strategies.

“The reaffirmation of the SIUE School of Pharmacy accreditation for the full eight-year-term is testimony to the continuing hard work of our faculty, staff, students and alumni,” said Gireesh Gupchup, dean of the School. “We are extremely fortunate that both the University and the pharmacy community support the School in maintaining the highest standards of pharmacy education.”

Photo: Gireesh Gupchup, dean of the SIUE School of Pharmacy.

SIUE Pharmacy Professor named Fellow with American Pharmacists Association

9 February 2015, 10:53 am

Fred Gattas IIIDr. Fred Gattas, clinical assistant professor in the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy, has been named a Fellow with the American Pharmacists Association (APhA).

“I am honored that my peers, fellow APhA nuclear pharmacists, thought I would be a good candidate to be recognized as an APhA Fellow,” said Gattas. “To be associated in the same group as so many other pharmacists whom I admire is exciting. Pharmacy is such a small world, and being around others that share that dedication to the profession is infectious.”

Gattas teaches a course on nuclear pharmacy at SIUE. Gireesh Gupchup, dean of the School of Pharmacy, emphasizes Gattas’ influence on the field as a quality practitioner and teacher.

“We are extremely proud that Dr. Gattas has been recognized as a Fellow of the American Pharmacists Association,” said Gupchup. “This is testimony to the impact his contributions have had on the field of nuclear pharmacy nationally.”

“Nuclear pharmacy is often called the best kept secret of pharmacy,” said Gattas. “Not many schools of pharmacy have didactic classes dedicated to nuclear pharmacy. I see this as a great opportunity to help educate SIUE students in a way not all schools of pharmacy can.”

Gattas is a member of the APhA Academy of Pharmacy Practice and Management (APhA-APPM). According to the organization, Fellows must have a minimum of ten years professional experience and demonstrate exemplary professional achievement and service to the profession.

Gattas will be recognized for his achievement, March 27-30 in San Diego at the APhA Annual Meeting and Exposition.

SIUE School of Pharmacy Hosts More Than 200 at Diabetes Patient Education Symposium

9 February 2015, 10:17 am

IMG_0071_diabetesOn Saturday, Jan. 24, more than 200 members of the Metro East community gathered in the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Morris University Center to participate in the 9th annual Diabetes Patient Education Symposium.

The program was hosted by the SIUE School of Pharmacy American Pharmacists Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists. They partnered with Novo Nordisk, American Diabetes Association and Alton Memorial Hospital.

This year’s program offered an expert panel of speakers, one-on-one counseling sessions with health care providers, health screenings, and informational booths featuring 18 businesses and organizations that offer health-related services locally.

Speakers included Cathy Hartmann, RN, MSN, CDE; Cindy Hartmann, RD/LDN, CLT; Melissa Smith, PharmD; Brianna Guilford, PhD; Sara Lindsay, PharmD candidate; and Bonnie Hemann, RN, CDE.

“The success of the event would not have been possible without the faculty, community supporters and more than 30 students who generously volunteered their time at the event,” said Dr. Jennifer Rosselli, SIUE clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice.

The Diabetes Patient Education Symposium was developed and organized by Rosselli and her colleagues Dr. Jessica Kerr, associate professor of pharmacy practice, and Dr. Andrea Wooley, clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice. It is designed to provide participants with knowledge and empowerment to improve their diabetes control, overall health and quality of life.

Photo: Third-year SIUE School of Pharmacy student Noah Ayika performs a foot inspection at the 9th annual Diabetes Patient Education Symposium on the SIUE campus.

SIUE Alumni Association Hosts “Launching Your Career Search” Event

27 January 2015, 8:29 am

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Alumni Association is hosting a professional development event to help jumpstart your career search. “Launching Your Career Search” will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 10 from 6-8 p.m. in Birger Hall at SIUE.

The event will feature accomplished presenters, who are all SIUE alumni, on the topics of writing an effective resume, LinkedIn secrets and tricks and current interviewing strategies.

Participants will also be offered free professional headshots, taken by photographer Colby Craig BS’11. Photos will be taken in the lounge in Birger Hall beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Presenters include Michelle Swanson BA’05, a professional resume writer and job search strategist and owner of Swanson Career Solutions. Notably, Swanson is the only person worldwide to be certified as both a Nationally Certified Resume Writer and a Certified Executive Resume Master.

Brittany K. Anderson MPA’12 will discuss basic interviewing skills and negotiating the job. With a background in the legal sector, the freelance writer is well-versed in recruiting practices and processes.

Following the presentations, Swanson and Anderson will be available for brief resume critiquing. In addition, each presenter will offer discounted services to event participants after February 10.

The event is free of charge for SIUE students and $10 for SIUE Alumni. Register here.

SIUE School of Pharmacy’s Wilhelm Appointed to Journal of the American Pharmacists Association Editorial Advisory Board

6 February 2015, 3:41 pm

Pharmacy Faculty Miranda Wilhelm 7-19-13

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy’s Dr. Miranda Wilhelm was recently appointed to the editorial advisory board of the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association (JAPhA)Her duties will take effect on March 27, beginning at the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) 2015 annual meeting in San Diego.

A clinical associate professor, Wilhelm will serve a three-year term and provide vision for the JAPhA within her areas of expertise, while also conducting peer reviews of manuscripts submitted for publication.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve on the editorial advisory board for the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association,” said Wilhelm. “When I started in academia, I set a professional goal to have an article published in the JAPhA.

“I never imagined that I would have the opportunity to serve on the editorial advisory board. I look forward to serving as a peer-reviewer for manuscripts submitted by colleagues across the country, allowing me to learn about their innovative research and pharmacy practice models. I truly enjoy pharmacy practice and am happy to give back to the profession.”

The JAPhA is the official peer-reviewed journal of the APhA. The journal’s mission is to provide a peer-reviewed forum for original publications that improve patient care. It is used as a tool to link pharmacy practice with science, while also providing information on pharmaceutical care, drug therapy, diseases and other health issues, trends in pharmacy practice and therapeutics, informed opinion, and original research.

“It is wonderful that Dr. Wilhelm’s expertise has been nationally recognized,” said Dr. Gireesh Gupchup, dean of the SIUE School of Pharmacy.

Photo: SIUE School of Pharmacy Clinical Associate Professor Dr. Miranda Wilhelm.

SIUE School of Pharmacy Featured in Illinois Business Journal

6 January 2015, 12:27 pm

The SIUE School of Pharmacy and Dean Gireesh Gupchup are featured prominently in the Illinois Business Journal’s January 2015 issue. Read writer Dennis Grubaugh’s story here.

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