Pharmacy Perspectives - Graduation 2019 - 2




ongratulations to the 2019 graduates of the University of Colorado Skaggs
School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences!
There are 159 of you receiving PharmD degrees this year - 133 from our
on-campus PharmD program and 26 from our post-baccalaureate online PharmD
programs - and seven of you receiving PhD degrees. We applaud you for the commitment, sacrifices and hard work that brought each of you to these milestones in your
lives and careers. This issue of Pharmacy Perspectives highlights and celebrates some
of your journeys.
I am excited to see the directions your careers will take. The practice of pharmacy is
changing markedly and we have done our best to prepare you for those changes. You
are the pioneers of the next generation of pharmacists. For hundreds of years, the first
generation of pharmacists consisted of hands-on makers of the botanical and chemical
compounds they dispensed. The second generation, from the mid-20th century to recent
times, for the most part dispensed products developed and produced by the pharmaceutical industry and counseled clients on their use. This generation also saw the rise of
clinical pharmacy that has brought us to today's contemporary pharmacy practice.
You, the third generation of pharmacists, are witnessing and will continue to witness
a dramatic evolution - a revolution perhaps - in healthcare and pharmacy practice.
Pharmacogenomics. Personalized medicine. Technology advances. Informatics. Data
analytics. Artificial intelligence. Integral members of team-based healthcare and
value-based payment models. These all are coming to bear, more and more, on the
practice of pharmacy.
We cannot predict the changes ahead, but please know that CU Pharmacy will
continue to ensure that the education and training we provide, for degree candidates
and practicing pharmacists, will be there to help you hone the skills that pharmacists of
the future will need.
For our PhD graduates, your research in the years ahead will lead the way to the future of healthcare - from new medicines and devices to new systems for financing and
valuing healthcare resources and delivery. Technology will be a part of your future as
well, accelerating the way you conduct your research and how healthcare is delivered.
We wish you all the best in the evolving and exciting careers ahead of you.

Ralph J. Altiere, PhD
Dean, University of Colorado
Skaggs School of Pharmacy and
Pharmaceutical Sciences


CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


herry Osceola went to pharmacy school to help
people with their health. She was able to do so
in dramatic fashion in a consultation with a pain
patient in early 2018.
Osceola, who will graduate from the
University of Colorado Skaggs School of
Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in May, was in her advanced introductory pharmacy practice experience (aIPPE) at
Good Samaritan Medical Center in Lafayette. One of her first
independent consultations was with a middle-aged man who
had extreme pain from necrotizing fasciitis, commonly known as
flesh-eating disease.
Although he ranked his pain as a 9 on a 1-to-10 scale, the
middle-aged man turned down fast-acting, intravenous opioids
that were warranted for his condition. He said he already felt
falsely stigmatized as an "addict" because he used methadone
for chronic pain.
"I talked to him about his needs," Osceola recalls. "I wanted to
know where he was coming from. He didn't feel heard by other
professionals about his pain."
In a 45-minute conversation, Osceola was able to empathize
with the man and assure him that IV pain medication was absolutely appropriate for his pain. "He gave a huge sigh of relief,"
she recalls. She also found he was not receiving the full dose
of methadone he used at home for pain relief and asked her
supervisor to rectify that.
Osceola checked back with the man several times over the
course of his hospitalization. He did use IV opioids and his pain
rating dropped to 6 or 7, closer to his goal of 5.
"This was the first time I made a major difference in a person's care,"
Osceola says. "It was a rewarding experience that I will never forget."
The patient nominated Osceola for the hospital's Good as
Gold Award for excellence in customer service, says her preceptor, James Rapacchietta, PharmD. Dr. Rapacchietta serves as a
preceptor to 24 students yearly. In the 15 years he has volunteered
as a preceptor, only one other student has been nominated by a
patient for an award.
"Sherry stands out," Dr. Rapacchietta says. "She did a great
job. She really loved to interact with patients. It reaffirmed for
me why I do this."
Osceola chose to attend CU Pharmacy, in part, for its extensive experiential learning opportunities. After graduation,
Osceola hopes to find a job in her home state of Florida. Osceola
loves hospital-based pharmacy work and hopes to specialize as
an oncology pharmacist.


Pharmacy Perspectives - Graduation 2019

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