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New Practitioner eXperience News Spring 2018

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OPA New Practitioner eXperience (NPX) Launchpad

April 2018

Welcome to the NPX Launchpad

Welcome to the Spring edition of the NPX Launchpad, the quarterly newsletter intended to help you, new practitioners, excel personally and professionally! The New Practitioner eXperience is an automatic (and free!) Ohio Pharmacists Association (OPA) member benefit for pharmacists who have been in practice for 7 years or less.

Check out our featured articles:

  • Practitioner Profiles: featuring ONU graduate, Kay Bahrey
  • Professional Pearls: sharing how there are different roads to the same career goal, by Logan Yoho
  • Apply to be a part of NPX before April 9: Details below.
  • OPA Annual Conference April 20-22: Events to attend!
  • Rx Impact: demonstrating the importance of personalizing care in the community setting, by Dana Bachmann
  • Money Matters: Should You Invest or Pay Off Student Loans?
  • A Taste of Our Kitchen: with a quick and delectable recipe from Lindsay Tsai
  • Ohio Days: highlighting why Columbus (home to OPA Annual!) is the heart of Ohio

You will also find news on upcoming events within OPA, as well as updates from our various committee liaisons to keep you in tune with the Association.

We hope you enjoy the NPX Launchpad and we invite each of you to take the next step in your professional growth by getting involved with NPX today!

Sincerely, your NPX Advisory Team,

Amanda Singrey, Chair

Jennifer Sabatino, Vice-Chair

Aaron Neidig, Member-at-Large

Patrick Owcarz, Member-at-Large

Shea Swick, Launchpad Coordinator

Scott Uram, Member-at-Large



Practitioner Profile

Key Bahrey, R.Ph., PharmD
Kay Bahrey Ohio Northern University 2017 (minor in Public Health)
PGY1 Community Care Resident at The Ohio State University, practicing at The Charitable Pharmacy of Central Ohio

Tell us a little bit about your practice site.
The Charitable Pharmacy of Central Ohio (CPCO) is a nonprofit pharmacy that provides medications, counseling, and point-of-care testing at no cost to patients. CPCO serves patients living within Franklin County who have incomes at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and are either uninsured or underinsured. The practice model at CPCO includes seeing patients on a first come, first served basis and filling their medications in real time using eleven different inventory sources. Once the medications are prepared, each patient is met for a one-on-one visit with either a pharmacist or student pharmacist in their last year of school, to review and counsel on their medications, address any patient concerns, and complete point-of-care blood pressure and blood glucose testing. Pharmacists and student pharmacists work to identify drug related problems and proceed to contact the doctor on the patient’s behalf, when appropriate, in order to optimize the patient’s medication regimen.

How long have you been an OPA member? What’s been your best experience so far?
I have been an OPA member since around 2014 and my best OPA experience thus far came while I was on an APPE rotation at OPA. Throughout the month I had been working with Antonio Ciaccia who had been contacted about a new freshman legislator who was interested in meeting with him. Having attended several other legislative meetings with Antonio over the years, I was invited to tag along to what ended up being one of the best legislative interactions I’ve had yet.

What is the best career advice you have offered, or been given?
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Professional Pearls

Same Goal, Different Roads
By R. Logan Yoho, R.Ph., PharmD, BCACPLogan YohoSometimes in your pharmacy career you may end up in a position that does not seem in line with your career goals. Maybe you didn’t get a residency in the match, maybe it was the only job in the location you wanted to live. I have been there. I went through the residency process and did not get matched.

I felt defeated at times and thought there was no way to reach my career goals, but I remembered that a pharmacy professor once told me that “There is more than one way to skin a cat.” I took that advice to heart and have never forgotten it. It was a reminder that I could reach my career destination down another road.

I was determined that I would reach my goals (even those I didn’t know I wanted to reach at graduation) regardless of a residency. I decided that the best way to do that was to get as many experiences and as much education as I could. I did certificate programs and special certifications in fields that aligned with my interests. I fell in love with the learning and kept pushing myself to digest more.

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News & Upcoming Events - Call for Applications

NPX Advisory Team - Call for Applications - April 12 Deadline

As NPX continues to grow, we are looking for interested individuals to take an active leadership role on the NPX Advisory Team. There are four position openings: Vice-Chair, two Members-at-Large, and Launchpad Coordinator. 

  • Vice-Chair is a two-year commitment that transitions to the role of Chair in year two. This individual will work closely with the Chair to guide the overall direction of the group.
  • Member-at-Large is a two-year term and this individual is responsible, along with the two other Members-at-Large, for representing the voice of the new practitioner members of the Ohio Pharmacists Association.
  • Launchpad Coordinator, NPX’s quarterly newsletter, is also a two-year commitment. Responsibilities include obtaining and coordinating article submissions, completing final edits before web publishing, and ensuring that important news is relayed to the new practitioner membership. 

Applicants for these positions must have graduated within the last seven years. Expectations include participation in monthly calls and contributing to NPX efforts. Attendance at the OPA Annual Conference is strongly encouraged.

Interested individuals should submit a 1-page letter of interest to Lisa Berman at by April 12, 2018 outlining your professional experiences to date, why you are interested in the position and what you will bring to the team.  Please specify in the letter which position(s) you are interested in.  Want to learn more about the group, time commitment and roles/responsibilities of the positions?  Please contact current Chair, Amanda Singrey or OPA Staff Liaison, Lisa Berman.

If you are not able to apply for these positions, but still want a way to be involved, we are also recruiting new liaisons for each of the committees. See below for more information.

140th OPA Annual Conference & Trade Show

April 20-22, 2018
Greater Columbus Convention Center

Don’t miss the biggest opportunity of the year to learn, network, and enjoy the hospitality that only Downtown Columbus can deliver. The OPA Annual Conference is one of the most attended and recognized pharmacy events in the country. With more than 30 cutting-edge CPE sessions, engaging exhibits, an exceptional array of expert speakers, Ohio Research Podium presentations and poster displays, student competition in the Innovative Pharmacy Business Plan Competition, the OTC and Self-Care Challenge, and the Pharmacy Olympics social event. Pharmacy excellence around the state will be recognized at the annual Awards Luncheon.

>>Register Today<<

*NPX-Hosted Events at the Annual Conference*

The New Practitioner eXperience is hosting several events at the OPA Annual Conference. Be sure to bring your fellow student pharmacists and new practitioners to network and learn about topics designed to help you make connections and excel in your career.


Friday April 20, 8:15 am

Moderator:  Amanda Singrey, PharmD, R.Ph., BCACP, Clinical Pharmacist at PrimaryOne Health; and Chair of NPX Advisory Board

Come talk to pharmacy leaders, new practitioners, and students from around the state about taking the next step in your pharmacy career! Discuss interview and CV preparation, pursuing residency, board certification, and much more! Practitioners from practice areas including hospital, administration, community, ambulatory care, and education will be available for any questions you may have. 


Friday April 20, 1:00 pm

Moderator: Jennifer Sabatino, PharmD, R.Ph., BCACP, Clinical Pharmacist at OSU General Internal Medicine; and Vice-Chair of NPX Committee

A panel of pharmacists will share their experiences being called to leadership positions as new practitioners early in their careers. They will share the challenges they are facing as young leaders in the profession and how they are working to overcome these challenges. Panelists will offer advice on how to prepare for one’s call to leadership, as well as resources to utilize along the way.


Saturday April 21, 5:00 pm
Barley’s Brewing Company

Join your fellow new practitioners and student pharmacists for an evening social event following the formal conference sessions that day. The address for Barley’s is 467 North High Street- directly across from the Convention Center. 

OPA / NPX Mentorship Program

If you are looking for a mentor within your profession, or perhaps are interested in becoming a mentor for new pharmacy practitioners and students, we want your involvement!  Join the Ohio Pharmacists Association and New Practitioner eXperience as we work towards offering mentoring opportunities in 2018.  Mentees can learn from mentors’ experiences, both personal and professional, related to career paths, leadership roles, skill development, and much more.  It takes just a few minutes to fill out the online application HERE.

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Rx Impact

Customizing Care in the Community

By Mitch Howard, R.Ph., PharmD

Community pharmacy can be a busy and hectic atmosphere, but it is important to take the time to focus and individualize each patient’s health and experience. Recently, I assisted a patient who received a prescription from her doctor for ezetimibe for her cholesterol. The patient had never been on a statin. The patient was a single mother, small business owner and did not carry her own health insurance resulting in a costly copay for this medication, which also is not the first line medication for cholesterol. She had previously filled at another pharmacy and was cutting her tablets in half to extend the life of the prescription. I began to have a conversation about her medical history and her family history, which included significant heart disease. I conducted a cholesterol screening for her and calculated her 10-year ASCVD risk score. Afterward, I elected to call the doctor, explain the screening results, the cost of the prescribed drug, and less expensive alternatives that would be more effective. The physician agreed and changed the prescription. I counseled the patient on the new medication as well as lifestyle modifications she could make with informational handouts and saved her close to $300.  I followed up with her a few weeks later to see how she had been tolerating the medication and she let me know that everything had been going well. She was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude for the time and care I gave her. She emailed my district manager about her experience and concluded the email with “I have the utmost confidence in Mitch. Impressive customer service to say the least… and in a day and age where often people are treated as a number and moved along as quickly as possible, this was an incredible experience.” I feel that I not only made an impact on a patient’s life, but she has left an impact on me to remember each and every day to be the pharmacist I was trained to be.

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Money Matters

Should You Invest or Pay Off Student Loans?

By Eric Croak, AWMA

What would you do to eliminate your student loans? While taking out student loans might not be your biggest regret from the college days, it still hurts every time you see that monthly payment get taken from your hard-earned bank account.

With that being said, it’s time to conquer the age-old question of what to do with your excess income. Should you pay off loans or invest it? We take a deeper look at the pros and cons of each of these options, so you can make the decision that fits you best.

Let’s start with an example: A 25-year old pharmacist who has $100,000 in loans at a 6% interest rate will pay around $715/month. We can assume excess income above and beyond the minimum payment of $1,000. They can choose to pay the minimum and invest the remainder, or they can put all $1,715 towards loans and invest the entire amount once their loans are paid off. Which would you choose?

The chart below shows how your numbers might look:

 [Read More...]

A Taste of Our Kitchen


Soy & Honey Glazed Salmon


From the kitchen of Lindsay Tsai, R.Ph., PharmD-  MTM Committee Liaison


12 oz salmon, cut in 2 pieces
1 tbsp olive oil

Soy and Honey Marinade
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ginger, minced
½ tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup less sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup honey


Place salmon in a sealable bag.
In a small bowl, mix marinade ingredients.
Pour half of the marinade in the bag with the salmon. Save the other half for later. Let the salmon marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. In a medium pan, heat oil on medium heat. Add salmon to the pan and discard the used marinade. Cook salmon on one side for about 5-6 minutes, then flip over and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the salmon from pan. Pour the remaining marinade in the pan and reduce to a glaze. Serve the salmon with sauce and a side of veggies. I like to use broccoli or green beans!

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 Soy & Honey Glazed Salmo

Ohio Days

Extend Your Trip to Columbus, Ohio

By Aaron Neidig, R.Ph., PharmDColumbus

The Ohio Pharmacists Association’s Annual Conference and Trade Show is approaching quickly. The conference is packed with continuing education, speakers, presentations, social events, and much more. If you find yourself with some time before or after the conference, then plan an activity or two in Columbus. There are a number of things to see and do!

Columbus offers a variety of performing arts and art exhibits. The Columbus Museum of Art showcases collections of various centuries of art as well as works from local artists. Another art center to be sure to visit is the Wexner Center for the Arts. Here you will find contemporary works of art in addition to performance and film events.

Ohio weather permitting, you can spend your time outdoors in Columbus. Scioto Mile is 253 acres of parkland that stretches through the city. It offers recreational trails for walking or biking. At the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, you can explore their extensive gardens with hundreds of plant species. Again, if the weather is nice, you can head over to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Not only will you see a variety of animals, but you can feed giraffes and walk through the kangaroos’ habitat.

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NPX Committee Liaisons - Involvement Opportunity

NPX is recruiting new liaisons for the 2018-2019 committee year! NPX liaison responsibilities include:

  1. Be present at your committee meeting and represent/share the new practitioner perspective.
  2. After your committee meeting, send a meeting recap (at least one paragraph) to be published in the NPX quarterly newsletter.
  3. Participate in other NPX activities by attending events and encouraging other new practitioners to join OPA NPX activities.

The complete OPA Committee listing can be found here. If you are interested in serving on one of the OPA committees as an NPX liaison, please email NPX Chair Amanda Singrey or OPA Staff Liaison Lisa Berman with which committee(s) you’d be interested in serving on.

Winter 2018 Committee Liaison Reports

Pharmacy Economics (February 6)
Liaison: Andrew Faiella, R.Ph., PharmD

The February Pharmacy Economics Committee Meeting focused mainly on the declining reimbursement levels from the pharmacy benefits managers (PBM) that oversee pharmacy benefits for most patients in the Ohio Medicaid program. Legislation has been introduced (HB 465) into the Ohio House to help resolve this issue. OPA is urging everyone to contact their state representatives and ask them to support HB 465. The recent issues of the Ohio Pharmacy Newsline are a good place to learn more about this important issue.
Other topics of discussion included an update on the rule changes that have taken effect in the Medicaid Behavioral Health Program. These rule changes have made it harder for pharmacists to secure reimbursement through this program. Workers Compensation is also considering using pharmacists to help decrease opiate utilization. Direct and Indirect Remuneration (DIR) legislation was also discussed as there has been a bill introduced at the state level (HB 479) that would help address DIR fees and remove clauses from PBM contracts that prevent pharmacists from talking to patients about ways to lower the patients’ medication costs.

Resolutions & Bylaws (February 8)
Liaison: Shea Swick, R.Ph., PharmD

The start of this meeting was devoted to bylaws revision considerations, the first of which was approving the name change of the MTM Committee to the Practice Advancement and Innovation Committee. The goal of this is to be more inclusive of various practice settings. The deadline for resolution submissions was also discussed. As of now, resolutions can be newly introduced at OPA Annual but this could be changed in the future to ensure time for further review prior to the conference.  
There were a few proposed resolutions discussed. It was decided that the “tech-check-tech” scenario would be opposed by the Association, considering a pharmacist would not be present to give advice and answer patient questions and technicians could have limited knowledge of medications when performing verification. It was also resolved that OPA would uphold the pharmacist’s role in fighting the opiate epidemic by working with local and state initiatives to include pharmacists as team members and encouraging pharmacists to educate and counsel their communities and individual patients. Lastly, a resolution of general appreciation was presented to express gratitude towards retiring President Cathy Kuhn; OPA officers, committee members, staff, and Executive Director, Ernie Boyd; and all contributors and sponsors for the 140th Annual Conference.

Member Services & Development (March 8)
Liaison: Christine Prusa, R.Ph., PharmD

At this quarter’s meeting, we discussed the success of the Fall Membership Campaign and Member-Get-A-Member Program.  We reviewed student membership and ways to show the value of OPA membership to students to help translate into members as they become new practitioners.  Finally, the committee reviewed and selected the Media Awards to be given at OPA Annual 2018.

All meetings are held at the OPA office, 2674 Federated Blvd, Columbus 43235 at 10:00 am unless otherwise noted. Please visit the OPA committee webpage for more information.

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Get Involved with the Launchpad

Help us write the next newsletter! Articles may be submitted for Practitioner Profile, Rx Impact, Ohio Days or A Taste of Our Kitchen. Have an idea for another article relevant to new practitioners? You can submit that as well! Articles should be submitted in a Word document to Shea Swick at Photographs for articles should be submitted separately for higher quality images. Thank you!

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