Promoting Pharmacy Resident Collaboration Across St. Louis

Published on 07 September 2018

As the role of the pharmacist expands, the importance of postgraduate pharmacy residencies continues to grow. Those taking part in residencies have a unique opportunity to build on their coursework and experiential training and gain invaluable experience working as part of an interprofessional health care team.

With St. Louis College of Pharmacy offering residencies in a variety of health care settings, the College is committed to working cross-collaboratively with area health care professionals to prepare individuals for clinical practice.

This year, in the St. Louis area, 56 pharmacy residents from 18 different schools of pharmacy will be participating in residency training, including 20 alumni from the College. Residents will gain hands-on experience working with diverse patient populations and complex disease states at a variety of sites across the St. Louis region.

Residents from the area also have the opportunity to participate in the Resident Education Academy (REA), a certificate program designed to introduce teaching and learning principles, including abilities-based education. This seminar series is followed by opportunities for the residents to serve as instructors in designated spring semester courses. REA is open to residents from the College and those from other health care organizations across the area.

“The College encourages residents from other health care organizations throughout the St. Louis area to participate in REA because it prepares pharmacy residents for a career in academia and helps them develop the skills necessary to teach in a variety of learning environments,” said Jack Burke, Pharm.D., FASHP, FCCP, BCPS, associate dean for postgraduate education and professor of pharmacy practice at the College. “Practice opportunities within REA include education on preparing teaching materials and having the opportunity to deliver a lecture in an elective course at the College.”

Each year, invitations to REA are extended to all of the College’s current pharmacy residency programs, as well as pharmacy residency programs at Ascension Health, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Christian Hospital, Missouri Baptist Medical Center, SoutheastHEALTH, SSM Health DePaul Hospital, SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital, SSM Health St. Mary’s, and St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

In addition to opportunities with REA, the College unites area pharmacy residents through its Annual Pharmacy Resident Research Symposium. This year marked the ninth annual symposium, which attracted 110 pharmacy residents, faculty members, students and community members from across the St. Louis area who gathered to network, share knowledge and view resident research on a variety of topics.

“Encouraging residents from throughout the region to participate in our professional development and teaching events helps expose residents, preceptors and future academia members to a diverse array of practice experiences,” Burke said.

Four residents in attendance were recognized as finalists for the 2018 Resident Research Award and were selected to present their research at the symposium. Two of the four finalists included the College’s own pharmacy residents. Halley Illcewicz, Pharm.D., PGY1 pharmacy resident at Mercy Hospital St. Louis, presented her project, “Evaluation of the Impact of an Inpatient Hyperglycemia Protocol on Glycemic Control” and Jennifer Voong, Pharm.D. ’17, PGY1 pharmacy resident at Mercy Hospital St. Louis, presented her project, “Evaluation of Vasopressor Discontinuation.”

During the summer, the College hosted the 25th Annual Pharmacy Residency Banquet at Third Degree Glass Factory, where Voong was announced as the recipient of this year’s Resident Research Award.

“I was very excited and honored to receive this year's Resident Research Award,” Voong said. “It was a pleasant surprise and I was happy to be recognized for all the hard work and long hours I put into this research.”

Voong’s research focused on whether the discontinuation order of norepinephrine and vasopressin in septic shock patients affected the incidence of clinically significant hypotension.

“One of the many reasons we encourage residents from across the area to attend and participate in the research symposium and banquet is to share research and knowledge across a wider audience so that we may help advance the profession,” Burke said.

During the banquet, the College also recognized Elizabeth Diller, Pharm.D., PGY1 pharmacy resident at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and Lauren Hoth, Pharm.D., PGY1 pharmacy resident at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, for their contributions to teaching by presenting both with the 2018 Resident Teaching Award.

The College also presented Ryan P. Moenster, Pharm.D., FIDSA, BCPS-AQID, associate professor, PGY2 infectious diseases residency program director and infectious diseases clinical pharmacist at the VA St. Louis Health Care System, with the 2018 Preceptor of the Year Award.

“One key objective outlined in STLCOP 20/20 strategic plan is to help expand pharmacy residency training and improve pharmacy practice development in the region,” said Burke. “By creating opportunities for collaboration among area pharmacy residents through programs and teaching opportunities we are able to help strengthen the profession.”

To learn more about pharmacy residency programs, visit stlcop.edu/residency.

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