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New Practitioner eXperience News Fall 2018

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OPA New Practitioner Experience (NPX) Launchpad

December 2018

Welcome to the NPX Launchpad

Welcome to the NPX Launchpad, the quarterly newsletter intended to help you, new practitioners, excel personally and professionally! 

Check out our featured articles:

  • Practitioner Profile featuring Emily Eddy
  • Professional Pearls by Jangus Whitner
  • Rx Impact by Ana Simonyan
  • Money Matters by Eric Croak
  • A Taste of Our Kitchen: A Protein Crepe Recipe from the Kitchen of Lauren Castle
  • Ohio Days: West Chester, Ohio
  • Upcoming OPA Events
  • Committee Liaison Reports: updates 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,

Chair: Jen Sabatino, PharmD, BCACP
Vice-ChairDana (Bachmann) Wilkerson, PharmD, MS
Member-at-Large: Emily Eddy, R.Ph., PharmD
Member-at-Large: Lindsay Tsai, R.Ph., PharmD
Member-at-Large: Marilee Clemons, R.Ph., PharmD
Launchpad Coordinator: Lauren Castle, R.Ph., PharmD

Practitioner Profile

Emily Eddy, R.Ph., PharmD 

Emily Eddy

What’s your current position?
Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Ohio Northern University

What year and from where did you graduate?
The University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy in 2016

Tell us a little bit about your practice site. 
I practice as an ambulatory care pharmacist through Ohio Northern’s Healthwise Mobile Clinic. We provide healthcare access to patients in rural Ohio in a mobile health clinic.

How long have you been an OPA member? What’s been your best experience so far?
I have been an OPA member since moving to Ohio in 2016. I think the best experience has been attending the OPA Annual Conferences. I have been able to connect with so many pharmacists and learn so much.

What’s been your favorite moment of your career so far?

 [Continue Reading...]

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Professional Pearls

Three tips to those pursuing Pharmacy Residencies - A response to a new study (Mar 2018) that suggests high rates of depression among pharmacy residents

By JanJangus Whitnergus Whitner, R.Ph., PharmD
(Original article published on LinkedIn Sunday, March 4, 2018)

As I am nearing the end of my second post-graduate year (PGY2) residency in Ambulatory Care, I frequently take time to reflect on the ups and downs of my time as a resident. There is much to learn from reflecting on the journey as a new practitioner navigating one's way through the demands of residency while attempting to maintain a steady (and hopefully healthy) work-life balance.

Yesterday, an article came through my feed that caught my attention: Rates of depressive symptoms among pharmacy residents, published by Williams and colleagues in the March 2018 issue of the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy (AJHP). The results are unsettling and come just days before "rank list" submissions are due for those students in their final year of pharmacy school (APPE students) and those PGY1 pharmacy residents who are pursuing a residency for the following year.

"In a nationwide survey, pharmacy residents self-reported levels of depressive symptoms higher than those reported among medical residents and likely indicating a rate of depression higher than rates reported in the U.S. general population."

The results also suggest that the rate of severe depressive symptoms increased as the residency year progressed. I am not happy this is our reality as pharmacy residents, and I feel it is my duty to take advantage of the timing of this study's release to reach as many candidates as I can before the official rank list due date.

I am aware all candidate interviews are completed and many of you have your rank lists solidified already. Regardless, I genuinely urge you to briefly revisit your list to reflect on and consider intangible factors in your decisions. If you haven't already, give these three factors weight when ranking your programs: 

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Rx Impact

Pharmacist Intervention in the Ambulatory Clinic Setting

By Ana Simonyan, R.Ph., PharmD

Ana Simonyan

Pharmacists are in a unique position because they possess the necessary knowledge and skills to ensure the safest and most effective medication practices for patients. As a student, and now as a pharmacist, it has been a humbling and joyful experience to build relationships and meet the unmet medication needs of the patients we serve. Situations such as the one I experienced in our anti-coagulation clinic reinforce the idea that a pharmacist can synthesize compassion with medication expertise to provide individualized and comprehensive care.

A sweet elderly woman was running late to her appointment in our anti-coagulation clinic one afternoon. She was one of our regular patients, and my preceptor and I began to worry when we didn’t see her name on the check-in schedule. I noticed over the last several weeks the patient would alternate between “no-show” appointments and out of range INRs, attributing it to moving into a new home and frequent visits from her family. We conducted the visit as normal; the patient told stories about her grandchildren and their adventures around Cleveland. I asked how her husband was doing, since he frequently attended her appointments with her. Before she had the chance to respond, the INR machine beeped: the patient’s number was the highest it had been in weeks.

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Money Matters

Using Insurance to Bolster Your Financial Plan

By Eric Croak, CFP

Insurance tends to be the elephant in your financial room. Do we need it? Do we want it? We usually all know we need it, but it’s hard to justify paying for something that you hopefully won’t use. On top of that, it can be confusing to understand, and you might have parents, friends, or other pharmacists in your ear about what works best and what doesn’t.

Let’s simplify. A new pharmacist will want to grab two new insurance policies: Life Insurance and Disability Income Insurance. My rule of thumb is you should be spending somewhere between 2-3% of your total income per year on these products combined. If you’re spending more or less, you might want to reassess what you have.

Admittedly, there’s no one size fits all approach to your financial well-being. Some people need more coverage, some less. You can think about it like fire insurance – is your house made out of wood, metal or brick? The answer, obviously, changes your need for that type of insurance. Personal situations can be a huge determining factor on what you might need.

One thing, however, is clear: While Insurance should bolster your financial plan, it shouldn’t be your financial plan.

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A Taste of Our Kitchen

Crepe Recipe

2 Ingredient Protein Crepes

From the Kitchen of Lauren Castle, R.Ph., PharmD

Yields 2-3 crepes


  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1 scoop (30 grams) vanilla protein powder


  1. Place a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. In a bowl combine egg whites and protein powder and whisk until protein powder is dissolved. Scoop about 1/2 of the mixture (if using an 8-inch pan) or 1/3 of the mix if using a smaller pan, into the pan and rotate pan around so the batter spreads thin. Cook until the bottom is lightly browned and flip it over to cook through.
  2. **Note – I used EAS Lean 15 Protein Powder, Vanilla Cream (100 calories a servings)

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Ohio Days

West Chester, Ohio: A Top 50 Place to Live!

By Lauren Castle, R.Ph., PharmD

Nestled between Dayton and Cincinnati, many might think that West Chester, Ohio is just another city to pass through on I-75. Although it is known to most people as the home of IKEA, and more recently as the home of Topgolf too, this growing township has actually been ranked as one of the 2018 Best Places to Live according to TIME: “Communications buffs can visit West Chester's National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting to learn more about the history of radio technology and broadcast development. West Chester is also home to the EnterTRAINment Junction — a family-friendly attraction which displays over 90 model trains riding on over two miles of track.” Nearby Fairfield is also a frequently visited location for anyone wanting to make a trip to Jungle Jim’s. And summer wouldn’t be complete without a stop in Mason, OH which boasts Kings Island amusement park and The Beach waterpark. Don’t forget to swing by the Cincinnati Premium Outlets in Monroe, OH for lots of shopping. Next time you are looking for a day trip full of things to do, keep West Chester on your list!

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News & Upcoming Events

NPX Finance & Leadership Event - February 9

This event will address areas of concern for NPX members: school loan repayment, investing for the future, conflict management in pharmacy practice, and how to network within the pharmacy profession. Join us for a Saturday afternoon followed by a social. Mark your calendar now and watch the OPA website and newsline for more details and to register.

APhA's MTM Certificate Training - February 13

Due to demand, OPA has scheduled another session of APhA’s Delivering Medication Therapy Management Services certificate training program (4th Edition), which presents a systematic approach for developing, implementing, delivering, and sustaining MTM services. It includes an overview of the marketplace for delivering MTM services, guidance for implementing MTM services in pharmacy practice, a review of the essential skills and knowledge needed for performing MTM successfully, and an organized process for identifying medication-related problems. The purpose of this certificate training program is to prepare pharmacists to improve medication use through the delivery of MTM services in a variety of practice settings.

Click here for more information and to register.

APhA's Diabetes Care Certificate Training - March 6

APhA’s The Pharmacist & Patient-Centered Diabetes Care certificate training program is an educational experience designed to equip pharmacists with the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to provide effective, evidence-based diabetes care. The program provides comprehensive instruction in current diabetes concepts and standards of care and incorporates case studies and hands-on skills training focused on the situations most likely to be encountered — as well as the services most needed — in community and ambulatory care practice settings. Participants will gain experience evaluating and adjusting drug therapy regimens for patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, counseling patients about lifestyle interventions, analyzing and interpreting self-monitoring of blood glucose results, and assessing the overall health status of patients to identify needed monitoring and interventions.

Click here for more information and to register.

OPA Annual Conference- Save the Date!

April 12-14, 2019 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center
More details coming soon to the OPA website!

Long-Acting Injectables Training

Are you interested in expanding your practice  to include administration of long-acting injectables such as antipsychotics and naltrexone? OPA offers a live training on implementing administration of antipsychotic medications and naltrexone in pharmacy practice; naltrexone required testing; and sterile preparation and injection technique for administering medications by subcutaneous and intramuscular (deltoid and gluteal) routes. Our first two trainings filled quickly and more will be scheduled for 2019.  If you would like to attend a future training, please complete the online interest form.  Home-study lessons and protocols for medroxyprogesterone acetate, hydroxyprogesterone caproate and cobalamin can also be purchased on the OPA website.

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Mentor Program Seeking Mentors

If you 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 2019. 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. Check out the link below!

Mentor Sign-Up Form

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NPX Committee Liaisons

Fall 2018 Committee Liaison Reports

Resolutions & Bylaws Committee: October 25, 2018
Liaison: Juanita A Draime, R.Ph., PharmD

The Resolutions & Bylaws Committee met on October 25th to discuss the current proposed change in the Bylaws from the Practice Advancement and Innovation Committee to change their description in the OPA Bylaws to better portray their committee.

The Committee also discussed the three proposals that passed at the 2018 OPA House of Delegates in April. Ernie Boyd provided a snapshot of the status of those resolutions.

Start thinking of ideas for resolutions you would like to see considered and submit to by February 20. OPA will be sending out requests to other OPA Committees, local associations, etc. for resolution proposals. Any resolutions submitted will be reviewed by the Resolutions & Bylaws Committee during our next meeting in February 2019.

Member Services Committee: October 4, 2018
Guest Liaison: Taylor Allen, PharmD Candidate 2019

Discussion was also devoted to brainstorming solutions to retain newly licensed pharmacists as members and to also attract new practitioners to join OPA in coordination with NPX. It was proposed and discussed to host an event during February or March for new practitioners, consisting of topics that impact their financial and personal lives. Examples included: having a guidance panel for a question and answer session, discussing loan repayment, conflict management, and retirement/investment advice. Another idea was to focus on personal, well-being. This event could be used as a market scheme for not only new practitioners, but even for pharmacy students in their final year of pharmacy school. 

Legal & Regulatory Committee: July 12, 2018
Liaison: Kristine Mason, R.Ph., PharmD

The Legal and Regulatory Committee held their first meeting going into the 2018-2019 year with a focus on current legislation and advocacy efforts. Some of the legislation discussed included clawbacks and gag orders (HB 479), provider status (SB 265), and Medicaid reimbursements (HB 465). Other topics discussed include medical marijuana, technician registration, Board of Pharmacy Vacancies, and PAC involvement and fundraisers. With all of the legislation currently in the House/Senate, remember the importance of taking time to talk to legislators

Member Services Committee: July 17, 2018
Liaison: Christine Prusa, R.Ph., PharmD

Discussed membership report in detail looking for opportunities to grow membership. Opportunities to grow Pharmacy Student membership leading to second opportunity of growing NPX membership. Many students do not join and/or may not be aware they can join separate to APhA, or that by joining APhA, they also are joining OPA. Want to make concerted effort to get NPX more visible on campuses to drive student membership that will end up also helping NPX membership.

Next opportunity is to increase capture of students into the NPX members after graduation. One idea to grow an NPX event at the Midyear meeting. Have a second track that focuses on NPX needs and include partners (optional). Stay tuned for exciting updates as this plan comes together.

Practice Advancement & Innovation Committee: October 11, 2018
Liaison: Kelsey Schmuhl, R.Ph., PharmD

The Practice Advancement and Innovation Committee met on October 11, 2018 to continue working on the committee’s goals and projects for 2018-2019.  The committee hopes to launch its ‘Payer Toolkit’ within 60 days of the Annual Conference in April 2019.  We also hope to survey OPA members before and after the Annual Conference for feedback on the toolkit.  During this meeting, the committee was divided into 3 large groups to discuss chronic disease state management, education/adherence, and cost containment and how these topics should be addressed in the toolkit.  In addition to the payer toolkit, the committee discussed updating the committee description in OPA’s bylaws to match our new name and JCPP’s new definition of MTM. We also discussed the inclusion of more ambulatory care sessions at the Annual Conference. The next meeting will be January 17, 2019 and will include 3 presentations from committee members about their own innovative practice sites.

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 Newsletter

Help us write the next newsletter!  Articles may be submitted for Practitioner Profile, Professional Pearls, 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! 

Sign up for upcoming articles at our Google Doc:

Articles should be submitted in a Word document to Lauren Castle at  Photographs for articles should be submitted separately for higher quality images. Thank you!

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