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  • October 26, 2022 7:09 PM | Sarah Leonard (Administrator)

    I can’t believe it’s already November! The second half of this year has just flown by. We only have one more general CE meeting in 2022!

    A big “Thank You” to Autumn Neff, PharmD, MBA, for presenting last month’s CE “Osteoporosis”. Dr. Neff did a fantastic job covering all the necessary information regarding an osteoporosis diagnosis and treatment that pharmacists should be aware of, and how we can best care for this patient population. Our November CE presentation will take place on November 3rd. Abigail Geyer, PharmD, PGY2 Infectious Diseases Pharmacy Resident at Trinity Health Saint Mary’s will be delivering “Treatment of Drug-Resistant Gram-Negative Infections: IDSA 2022 Guidance Documents”. I hope you all can make it! Registration can be found here.

    Thank you to everyone interested in running for a board position for the upcoming term starting in January.  Please read the candidate bios located on the WMSHP website, and check your email for a link to vote. Ballots are due at 5pm on November 3rd.  Those chosen for an upcoming term will be announced at our November meeting. 

    The annual WMSHP/FSU Residency Showcase was held virtually on October 6th. A huge thank you to all of the students and residency programs that made this a successful event again this year. If you have any suggestions for next year’s showcase, please pass those along to me or another board member.

    Attention students! Are you planning to travel to ASHP Midyear in Las Vegas this December? WMSHP is pleased to announce that we will be giving away three $370 scholarships to P4 students who want to attend the Midyear meeting! This will cover student ASHP member registration fees for the conference. To be eligible for one of these scholarships, students must have an expected graduation date in 2023, be in good standing with their College of Pharmacy, and be a current or native resident of West Michigan. To apply for this scholarship, students must submit their CV along with a cover letter outlining their interest in attending the Midyear Clinical Meeting and future career goals. All submissions and/or any questions can be directed to me at sarah.hoerner@spectrumhealth.org. Applications must be submitted by November 1st.

    Did you know that all of our CE programming is approved for both pharmacist and technician live CE credits? We would love to have you join us at our monthly meetings for CE, food, and networking. WMSHP is still offering FREE one year membership to pharmacy technicians who join by December 31st, 2022. Registration can be found here.


    I hope you all stay safe and healthy as we gear up for this holiday season. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please let me know!

  • October 26, 2022 4:11 PM | Brad Miller (Administrator)

    President-elect

    Benjamin Pontefract graduated from the University of Toledo with his PharmD in 2016. The following year, he completed a PGY1 ambulatory care residency at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. He finished his post-graduate training by completing a 2-year antimicrobial stewardship fellowship at the Boise VA Medical Center in Boise Idaho. After completing his post-graduate training, he accepted a position as an assistant professor at Ferris State University where he currently teaches calculations and infectious diseases topics. Through this, he also works at Spectrum Health Blodgett Medical center as an internal medicine pharmacist. This allows him to precept P4 students on internal medicine APPE rotations. Ben is also an active member of WMSHP, where he has served as an e-board member for the past year.

    Treasurer

    Brad Miller is an Informatics Pharmacist at Corewell Health in Grand Rapids. He graduated from Ferris State University many years ago.  After practicing Emergency Medicine Pharmacy for several years at then-Spectrum Health Butterworth, he transitioned to the pharmacy informatics team.  Brad has served as the secretary for WMSHP since 2004.

    Board Members

    Amy Bower is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in Internal Medicine at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo MI. She was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie Ontario, Canada and completed part of her undergraduate training at Lake Superior State University. She received her Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from Ferris State University in 2008. She has been an active member of WMSHP for many years and would love the opportunity to serve on the board to further her involvement. Her current areas of interest include oncology, infectious disease, diabetes, and neurology.

    Ashley Blanchette earned her PharmD from Wayne State University’s Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences during which time she served as an active member of the Michigan Pharmacists Association, board member on the Oakland County chapter, and in her final year became president of the Macomb/St. Clair/Lapeer chapter. Her biggest accomplishments during this time were organizing the Student Pharmacists Diversity council, drafting and presenting multiple resolutions at the MPA House of Delegates sessions, and contributing to two publications as second-author. She served as the WMSHP resident member-at-large during her PGY-1 residency at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital and went on to complete a PGY-2 Ambulatory Care residency with the Spectrum Health Medical Group. After graduation, Ashley accepted the position of Supervisor of the Spectrum Health West Michigan medication history team. Special interests are population health, precepting, transitions of care, research, and corny jokes! Ashley looks forward to the opportunity to promote the professional interests of pharmacists in West Michigan by serving as  a WMSHP board member.

    Jessie Prociv PharmD BCACP graduated from Ferris State University with her PharmD and worked in retail pharmacy for two years before completing an ambulatory care focused PGY1 at the Battle Creek Veterans Affairs Medical Center. She started the ambulatory care pharmacy clinic at Ascension Borgess and expanded the footprint to 4 primary care offices. Jessie then transitioned to Bronson and is now one of the lead pharmacists for the ambulatory care pharmacy team. 

    Kristina Stoncius graduated from Purdue University College of Pharmacy in 2021. After graduating, she pursued a PGY1 Residency position at Ascension Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo, Michigan. During her residency she served as the Resident Board Member of WMSHP and assisted in planning events with the Community and Membership Committee. Currently she holds an inpatient pharmacist position at Ascension Borgess Hospital where she spends a majority of her practice in the intensive care units, emergency department, and co-managing sterile compounding activities. Kristina hopes to serve on the board to continue her involvement in events such as Mock Interviews for Students and Spring Seminar while encouraging participation from students and residents!

  • October 05, 2022 3:05 PM | Sarah Leonard (Administrator)

    It is officially autumn, WMSHP! If you are like me, this is your favorite time of the year. I love the drop in temperature, the change in colors, and all things cinnamon. Even if it isn’t your favorite season, I hope you find something to enjoy as we shift away from the hot summer months.

    Our fall continuing education programming started out with a bang in September with WMSHP’s first in-person general meeting since March 2020! The group heard a great and engaging presentation on “Outpatient COVID-19 Treatment Updates” given by our very own board member, Benjamin Pontefract, PharmD, BCPS. This month’s presentation will be given virtually on October 13th. Dr. Autumn Neff, PharmD, MBA will be presenting “Osteoporosis”. Registration for the meeting can be found here.

    On Thursday evening, October 6th, WMSHP is hosting its annual Residency Showcase with Ferris State University. After such positive feedback from the last couple years, the event will be hosted virtually over Zoom again this year. The program will begin at 17:00 with a Panel Discussion given by pharmacy leaders. More information about the event can be found here.

    Annual WMSHP Board Member Elections will take place at the end of this month. If you are interested in joining the board, or would like to nominate a colleague for a board member position, please contact me or any other member of the Board. Please include a brief bio about the person being nominated. The positions up for election for 2023 are President-Elect, Secretary, and Board member (four pharmacist board member positions). The deadline for nominations is Friday October 21st

    The MSHP Annual Meeting takes place on October 28th in Novi, and you don't want to miss it! Registration and more information about the event can be found on their website, here.

    Attention students! Are you planning to travel to ASHP Midyear in Las Vegas this December? WMSHP is pleased to announce that we will be giving away three $370 scholarships to P4 students who want to attend the Midyear meeting! This will cover student ASHP member registration fees for the conference. To be eligible for one of these scholarships, students must have an expected graduation date in 2023, be in good standing with their College of Pharmacy, and be a current or native resident of West Michigan. To apply for this scholarship, students must submit their CV along with a cover letter outlining their interest in attending the Midyear Clinical Meeting and future career goals. All submissions and/or any questions can be directed to me at sarah.hoerner@spectrumhealth.org. Applications must be submitted by November 1st.

    Did you know that all of our CE programming is approved for both pharmacist and technician live CE credits? We would love to have you join us at our monthly meetings for CE, food, and networking. WMSHP is still offering FREE one year membership to pharmacy technicians who join by December 31st, 2022. Registration can be found here

    I hope you all have a chance to enjoy some cider and donuts this fall! I look forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming events.


  • August 24, 2022 1:09 PM | Sarah Leonard (Administrator)

    Greetings, WMSHP. Can you believe that August is almost over?! I hope you all had an enjoyable summer, and experienced the beautiful outdoors of Michigan. As the schoolyear gets underway for many of you, we are excited to kick off the 2022 – 2023 series of WMSHP continuing education.  

    Mark your calendars! The first meeting of the season will take place on Thursday, September 22nd at Luna in downtown Grand Rapids. We look forward to eating some great Mexican food while listening to an “Outpatient COVID-19 Treatment Update (Summer 2022)” presented by Dr. Benjamin Pontefract. If there are topics that you’d like to learn more about, or know of a speaker to present at a WMSHP event, please send me an email at sarah.hoerner@spectrumhealth.org.

    Thursday, October 6th, WMSHP will be hosting our annual Residency Showcase with Ferris State University. This year’s event will be held virtually. More details and registration will be available on the WMSHP website in the coming weeks.

    Attention Pharmacy Technicians! Did you know that all of our CE programming is approved for both pharmacist and technician live CE credits? We would love to have you join us at our monthly meetings for CE, food, and networking. WMSHP is still offering FREE one year membership to pharmacy technicians who join by December 31st, 2022. Registration can be found here.

    A final reminder that tomorrow (Thursday August 25th) is our summer outing at the Whitecaps baseball game. There are still a few tickets available for the game and barbecue. Registration can be found here. I hope to see you there!

  • April 26, 2022 10:57 AM | Sarah Leonard (Administrator)

    Thank you, WMSHP, for once again remaining flexible this year! As many of you are aware, we planned to have our April meeting in person but decided last minute to host it virtually in consideration of safety concerns. Thanks for your cooperation and patience as those decisions were made and communicated to the membership. An especially big thank you to our presenters, pharmacy residents Abby French and Kristina Stoncius, who did an excellent job presenting their research projects!

    Can you believe that it is already time for our 53rd Annual WMSHP Spring Seminar? Please join us in person at the Prince Conference Center at Calvin College on Tuesday, May 10th for this day-long event. This year the CE topics include pharmacy law, C. diff guideline updates, COPD, pain management, and renal function. We also look forward to our vendor engagement. A full agenda of the day’s events and registration can be found at 53rd Annual WMSHP Spring Seminar . Please register by May 1st to receive the best pricing. (On-site registration will be available for an additional cost).

    The board will hold our annual summer planning meeting on June 9th. If you have any comments, questions, or concerns you would like us to review at the meeting, please do not hesitate to email me or anyone on the board.  Stay tuned for more information about our summer outing at the West Michigan White Caps. We look forward to gathering this summer at LMCU Ballpark to enjoy a game and BBQ!

    As a reminder, any technician that would like to join WMSHP can do so for free through the end of June. The membership will be good for one year, starting from the date of joining. Find the link to join WMSHP here.

    We can’t wait to see you all in person on May 10th!


  • March 23, 2022 4:40 PM | Sarah Leonard (Administrator)

    Spring has sprung! I hope you all have been able to enjoy the warmer and sunny days that we have had so far this year On March 3rd, WMSHP enjoyed a virtual presentation that focused on “Pharmacogenomics in the Primary Care Setting” given by Amanda J. Place, PharmD, BCACP. The following week, a group of members had a great time chatting at our virtual WMSHP Happy Hour on Zoom. A big “thank you!” to Tara McAlpine who hosted that event for us. Our next continuing education presentation will take place on Thursday April 14th, and I am very pleased to announce that this will take place in person at Luna Taqueria in downtown Grand Rapids! Our presenters are Abigail French, PharmD, PGY1 Pharmacy Resident at Bronson Methodist Hospital and Kristina Stoncius, PharmD, PGY1 Pharmacy Resident at Ascension Borgess Hospital (and WMSHP resident-at-large board member). They will be presenting their yearlong residency research projects focused on weight loss with GLP-1 and SGLT-2s and pharmacist-guided stress ulcer prophylaxis, respectively. Yay for gathering again as a group and enjoying delicious food together! Registration for the meeting can be found here.

    Please join us for our 53rd Annual WMSHP Spring Seminar! This will take place on Tuesday May 10th in person at the Prince Conference Center at Calvin College. The seminar will include informative programming including five live CE credits for both technicians and pharmacists. Registration and more specific programming details can be found here.

    Reminder for current P3 students: The application is still open for this year’s WMSHP Scholarship. This year, WMSHP will award one $1,000 scholarship and two $500 scholarships to deserving students. Completed applications must be received by April 1st, 2022. The winners will be notified by May 2nd, 2022 and announced at the WMSHP Annual Spring Seminar on May 10th, 2022. Please complete your application here.


  • February 21, 2022 4:32 PM | Sarah Leonard (Administrator)

    WMSHP kicked off the month of February with a comprehensive presentation delivered by Lacy Worden, PharmD, PGY2 Infectious Diseases Pharmacy Resident at Mercy Health St. Mary’s. Dr. Worden covered so much helpful information about sexually transmitted infections (STI) treatment guidelines, updates in STI treatment recommendations, and indications to receive pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for patients at risk for HIV. Our next continuing education presentation will take place on March 3rd, and will focus on “Pharmacogenomics in the Primary Care Setting”. The presenter will be Amanda J. Place, PharmD, BCACP who is an Ambulatory Care Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at Ascension St Vincent Joshua Max Simon Primary Care Center in Indianapolis. Registration for the meeting can be found here.

    Please join us for a virtual WMSHP Happy Hour on Thursday, March 10th at 6:30-7:30pm. Bring your favorite beverage and hang out with fellow WMSHP members on Zoom. It’s been quite a while since we have been able to enjoy each other’s company in person, but hopefully we will be able to do that soon. Registration for the event can be found here. I hope to see you there!

    Reminder: there is still time to register for the Michigan Pharmacist Association Annual Convention and Exposition (MPA ACE) that is taking place on February 25th- 27th with both virtual and in person offerings at the Detroit Marriott, Renaissance Center. Three members of WMSHP will be representing our organization at the House of Delegates taking place on Sunday of the MPA ACE.

  • January 26, 2022 3:27 PM | Sarah Leonard (Administrator)

    Thank you to Chad Hutson, PharmD, BCPS for delivering our first continuing education presentation of 2022, entitled “Key Changes with Proposed USP General Chapter <797>”. On February 3rd, we will hold our next virtual CE opportunity, “STI Treatment Updates and HIV PrEP Recommendations”. This will be presented by Lacy Worden, PharmD, PGY2 Infectious Diseases Pharmacy Resident at Mercy Health St. Mary’s Campus. Registration for the meeting can be found here.

    The Michigan Pharmacists Association (MPA) is hosting their Annual Convention & Exposition (ACE) at the end of this month. ACE is scheduled as an in-person event taking place February 25-27th at the Detroit Marriott, Renaissance Center. Virtual offerings will be available for those not able to attend in person. Register here before January 31st to receive early bird pricing!

    I’m sure many of you saw the news that Mark Cuban (billionaire investor and Dallas Mavericks owner) launched an online pharmacy earlier this week. The pharmacy, called Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company, will negotiate drug prices directly with manufacturers to provide affordable generic drugs for patients. They will not accept insurance, but state that prices will still be lower than what is typically paid at a pharmacy. The pharmacy’s prices reflect actual cost plus a flat 15% margin and pharmacist fee. It will be interesting to see how this changes the pharmaceutical industry!

    As a reminder, WMSHP will be offering FREE one year membership to pharmacy technicians.  This will be offered for any pharmacy technician that signs up before June 30, 2022.  Please share this offer with any technicians you know. Registration may be found here.

    Reminder to Pharmacy Residents: Research abstracts are due to Shelby Kelsh (shelby.kelsh@spectrumhealth.org) by February 7th for an opportunity to present your research project to our membership.  Each year WMSHP selects two residents to share their research at our April meeting.  This is a great opportunity to practice your presentation before the Great Lakes conference!

  • December 21, 2021 8:21 PM | Sarah Leonard (Administrator)

    Happy New Year, WMSHP! As 2022 begins, it is hard for me to believe that we are entering the third calendar year affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  I know many of us are weary of the challenges that we face on a daily basis, but our work does not go unnoticed by patients or other members of the medical team. Thank you so much for everything you do to give our patients the best and safest care possible during this difficult time.

    Our first CE presentation of the year will take place on January 6th. We had hoped to begin meeting in person, but in light of the Omicron Variant and the high number of COVID cases affecting West Michigan, WMSHP will be meeting virtually in January. We hope you join us online to hear Chad Hutson, PharmD, BCSCP present “Key Changes with Proposed USP General Chapter <797>”. You can register for this virtual-only presentation here.

    In case you haven't heard, WMSHP will be offering FREE one year membership to pharmacy technicians!  This will be offered for any pharmacy technician that signs up between December 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022.  This is a great opportunity to expand the involvement of pharmacy technicians in our organization, and I encourage everyone to share this offer with any technicians you know.  Registration can be found here.

    As we enter the new year, I want to thank you all for the opportunity to serve as your President. I have learned so much from Julie and Kyle, and hope to follow their excellent examples. I am looking forward to what this year has in store for us as an organization! 

    I hope you all have a safe and joyful holiday season, and hope to see you soon!

  • November 24, 2021 1:31 PM | Julie Schmidt (Administrator)

    Our November continuing education programming was presented by Kumar Ramakrishnan, Pharm.D.  Dr. Ramakrishnan delivered an up-to-date presentation on “Going with the flow: An overview of Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy”.  Our next continuing education presentation will be on January 6th, 2022.  Chad Hutson, Pharm.D., BCSCP, will discuss “Key Changes with Proposed USP General Chapter <797>”.  At our November Board meeting, the Board voted to resume in-person restaurant meetings, which will include our January and April 2022 meetings.  This decision is subject to change, especially in light of the current COVID-19 surge in Michigan and our local areas.  As long as technology allows, we plan to provide both an in-person and virtual option.  The in-person option on January 6th will be at Martell’s in Kalamazoo.  We will certainly provide you with any updates in the coming weeks.

    Our Board elections for terms starting in 2022 were also conducted in November.  Congratulations to President-Elect Shelby Kelsh, Treasurer Andrea Borst, and pharmacist Board members Chad Hutson, Nathan Kanous II, Tara McAlpine, and Benjamin Pontefract.  I am excited to see what is in store for WMSHP with your leadership!

    As a recruitment/retention effort, WMSHP will be offering FREE one year membership to pharmacy technicians.  This will be offered for any pharmacy technician that signs up between December 1 and June 30, 2022.  This is a great opportunity to expand the involvement of pharmacy technicians in our organization and I encourage everyone to share this offer with any technicians you know!  Registration may be found here.

    This is my last President’s Corner!  My how time flies.  I would like to thank you all for allowing me to lead WMSHP this year.  While it has looked different than how I originally planned, it has still been a great honor and leadership opportunity.  I look forward to serving as your immediate Past-President in 2022.  As always if you have any questions, comments, or concerns about WMSHP or your membership, please do not hesitate to contact myself or any Board member.

    Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a safe and healthy Happy Holidays.

    Julie

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