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  • March 20, 2020 12:15 PM | Kyle Schmidt (Administrator)

    Our March meeting, which seems like an eternity ago, was exceptional. Dr Greg Wellman from Ferris State University’s College of Pharmacy delivered a riveting, assumption challenging presentation that undoubtedly vaulted us all to a deeper understanding and appreciation of the challenges facing our nation related to the pricing of prescription products. His attention to detail, focusing on reputable facts and literature, was a breath of fresh air as we prepare to enter into the next presidential race where this will likely be a major issue. Thank you, Dr. Wellman, for sharing and displaying your logic in the pursuit of a greater understanding of the prescription drug pricing problems that so many of our patients routinely face. I feel confident in saying your precise analysis and passion for this topic moved not only myself but many of the attendees to take action.

    We are certainly, now, in different times. As of the writing of this post, Michigan has 334 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 1 confirmed death - numbers that will continue to rise in the coming days. The pandemic engulfing our world has challenged us all personally and professionally and WMSHP has not been spared from these challenges. At our March meeting, and through numerous communications since, the WMSHP Board of Directors has made several difficult decisions to help guide the organization through these troubling times.

    As a result, our April 9th meeting will showcase the works of pharmacy residents Dr. Niki Krancevich and Dr. Yoon Soo Park virtually to do our part in mitigating the spread of the novel coronavirus and preserve appropriate social distancing measures. Continuing education credit will be provided to those who tune into the YouTube livestream. The second difficult decision the Board was tasked with making was to postpone our Spring Seminar, initially scheduled for May. The meeting has been rescheduled to occur September 8th, 2020 at the Prince Conference Center. We are acutely aware of the challenges this may present for some members to secure live CE prior to the licensing renewal deadline of June 30. Some alternative options are available online. There are  free online webinars through ASHP (do NOT need to be a member to access) here. Several online programs are also available through MPA here. Sites such as Pharmacists Letter and FreeCE.com often have an abundance of online webinars that can be utilized to secure the necessary credits as well. Various health institutions, given recent conference cancellations, have taken up the responsibility to provide CE to their professionals. Reach out to your respective institutions to identify other potential opportunities. These decisions were not made lightly, we truly pride ourselves on serving our members. However, the current circumstances dictate we make adjustments in the interest of a greater responsibility to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus.

    On a lighter note, the WMSHP Board would like to congratulate Dr. Katie Axford, a past-president of WMSHP, on her election as Speaker of the MPA House of Delegates at the Annual Convention and Exposition last month! We are confident her leadership will be very much appreciated at the state level!

    Finally, each year, the Western Michigan Society of Health-System Pharmacists (WMSHP) makes available one or more non-renewable scholarships to eligible P3 students who are native or current residents of West Michigan. This year, WMSHP will award one $1,000 scholarship and one $500 scholarship to deserving students. Completed applications must be received by April 3rd, 2020. The winners will be notified by May 1st, 2020 and presented an award at the Spring Seminar on September 8th, 2020. For more information, please visit our website here.

    In closing, I wish you all continued health and safety through these difficult times. We will get through this together. I will spare you all from yet another inspirational quote on overcoming adversity.

    Best Regards,

  • February 24, 2020 3:53 PM | Kyle Schmidt (Administrator)

    I sincerely hope each and every one of you was able to soak in some of the recent sunshine! What a welcome surprise for February in Michigan! It is certainly an exciting time of year being fresh off the MPA Annual Convention and Exposition with all of the exciting discussions about our great profession!

    Last month, we had a great discussion led by Peg DeVoest and Shelby Kelsh, along with PharmD Candidate Trenton Cunningham, on optimizing the delivery of transitions of care services through the use of student pharmacists. Thank you all for your participation and discussion of this innovative and practical solution to a commonly encountered scenario!

    Our next meeting will be held on March 12th at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo.  Dr. Gregory Wellman, PhD, RPh, Professor of Pharmacy Administration at Ferris State University, will be discussing one of the many hot topics in the recent presidential debates, "Why do prescription medications cost so much? It's not for the reason everyone keeps telling you...". What a timely topic, which we are all deeply connected to, for an election year being delivered by a highly respected member of our profession, and many other professions! Be sure to RSVP early to secure your spot at this meeting to ensure the advancement of both your professional and civilian knowledge! I look forward to a great turnout next month and seeing each of you in Kalamazoo. 

    Best Regards,


  • January 27, 2020 1:01 PM | Kyle Schmidt (Administrator)

    We kicked off the year with a thorough and practical review of oral antimicrobial dosing discussion in various infectious diseases, giving thoughtful insight into condition, patient and microbe specific considerations. Thank you to Dr. Shen and all of our member who were able to make it to Martell’s earlier this month for a great educational and networking event.

    Our next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, February 13th, and will feature Ferris State University College of Pharmacy faculty members, Peggy de Voest and Shelby Kelsh, along with a Ferris State University PharmD Candidate, Trenton Cunningham. They will be discussing the role of pharmacy students in transitions of care. This will be a great session to inform higher-level engagement of PharmD candidates, as well as creating opportunities to broaden our clinical impact with students. The meeting will be held in the lower level of the Wege Center (Classroom 1, 2 and 3) at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in Grand Rapids.  We hope to see you all there!

    Many of you may have seen emails and calls for action from various pharmacy organizations on an interesting item that came about in October this year. President Trump signed executive order 13890, “Protecting and Improving Medicare for Our Nation’s Seniors”. A specific component of the executive order included instruction to eliminate specific Medicare regulations that require more stringent supervision than existing state scope of practice laws, or that “limit health professionals from practicing at the top of their license”. In an interview on October 29th, CMS Administrator, Seema Verma, indicated that the agency may grant pharmacists provider status, citing the president’s Medicare executive order. Open comment to CMS regarding potential changes recently closed on January 17th. The timeline for a plan in relation to the executive order is within 1 year, meaning that by October 2020, there could be significant progress toward pharmacists being recognized as providers, at the federal level, potentially paving the way toward the ability to bill Medicare directly for pharmacist services.

    Reminder to Pharmacy Residents: Submit your research abstract for an opportunity to share your residency project with our members at the April WMSHP meeting!­­­ Abstract should be submitted to Shelby Kelsh (shelbykelsh@ferris.edu). Don’t miss out on this chance to practice your presentation before the Great Lakes conference!

  • December 21, 2019 12:51 PM | Kyle Schmidt (Administrator)

    With 2019 set to close soon and 2020 clearly in our sight, I eagerly welcome the opportunity to serve as your next President. This past year we’ve accomplished a lot and had exceptional program offerings providing our membership with relevant, up-to-date information on an abundance of topics. These offerings were capped off with a great review of recent updates from the realm of infectious diseases led by Dr. Juliet Chijioke. We will be looking to continue our excellent programming, as well as expanding opportunities to serve our communities with opportunities led by our Community Outreach Committee.

    We are excited to kick off 2020 with our first meeting in Kalamazoo on Thursday, January 9th at Martell’s.  Dr. James Shen, a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in Antimicrobial Stewardship and Infectious Diseases at Ascension Borgess will be presenting “Oral transition of antibiotics for bloodstream infections: a tough pill to swallow?”. We look forward to seeing each of you there for our first meeting of 2020 and to a great presentation to start off the new decade!

    As each year passes, we also get the opportunity to welcome the next batch of newly-elected WMSHP board members.  The most recent election results for 202 are as follows:

    President-Elect: Julie Schmidt

    Technician: Marie Mitchell

    Treasurer: Jordan Posey

    Board Members:

    ·        Tara McAlpine (incumbent)

    ·        Andrea Borst (incumbent)

    ·        Thomas Beuschel

    ·        Natalie Washburn, PharmD (incumbent)

    Resident-at-Large: Tawnie McGraw (Mercy Health Muskegon PGY1)

    If you would like more information about WMSHP, please visit our website at www.wmshp.net.  We hope everyone has a great holiday season, and we look forward to seeing you in 2020!

  • October 23, 2019 8:19 PM | Stacy Brousseau

    Our annual WMSHP/FSU Residency Showcase was a big success earlier this month, with 23 residency programs and over 75 students attending. Thank you to all those who participated!  We also want to thank Katie Axford, PharmD, BCPS for her entertaining and informative CE session on the social determinants of health.  We all learned a lot and had a great time participating in the active learning component of the presentation!

    We will be back in Grand Rapids for our next monthly meeting on November 14th at Gravity Taphouse.  Munson Medical Center’s PGY2 resident in Infectious Diseases, Juliet Chijioke, PharmD, will be presenting on “Literature Updates in Infectious Diseases: Pneumonia, Asymptomatic Bacteriuria, and MRSA Blood Stream Infections.” We hope you will join us there!

    Board elections are fast approaching, with the polls opening for membership voting on October 24th on the WMSHP website.  Information on each candidate is available at https://wmshp.net/news/8073946.  The voting period will end just prior to our November 14th meeting, so make sure you cast your votes!

    If you have not already done so, please make sure you set up an account online with our CE provider, WMed, prior to attending our monthly meetings. If you need assistance, please consult our website’s Help page at https://wmshp.net/help, or you can view the instructional videos on WMed’s website at https://wmed.cloud-cme.com/default.aspx?P=2000.

    If you would like more information about WMSHP, please visit our website at www.wmshp.net.

  • October 23, 2019 3:33 PM | Brad Miller (Administrator)

    Below are the nominees for this year's annual board member elections.  Please place your vote by November 13th.


    Julie Schmidt graduated from Ferris State University and completed a PGY-1 residency at Bronson Methodist Hospital.  Following residency, she stayed on at Bronson working on the Neurovascular Unit until she transitioned to her current position in cardiology approximately one year ago.  She has been actively involved in WMSHP having served as a board member for the past two years.  During these two years she has enjoyed planning monthly meetings, the annual Whitecaps Summer Outing, and most recently presenting at the September 2019 monthly meeting.  She is excited to lead the organization.  Julie is also the current co-chair for the MPA/MSHP Public Affairs Committee and has been since 2017.  She is also a member of ASHP and enjoys precepting both students and residents on their cardiology rotation.


    Marie Mitchell has been a Certified Pharmacy Technician since 2005, working in community pharmacy, technician education, and most recently in hospital pharmacy.  Marie has worked at Bronson Methodist Hospital for the past 6 years as a decentralized pharmacy technician in the orthopedic surgery and trauma/burn units.  She enjoys performing patient education, aiding the pharmacist in code situations, and she has a special interest in pharmacy process improvement initiatives.  Marie has been a member of WMSHP for the past 2 years, and she would love the opportunity to serve the organization as their technician board member

    Alecia Penning started her pharmacy career in 2008 as a wonderful accident. Fresh out of high school, working as a grocery store cashier and eager to learn something new, she anxiously accepted a position as a retail pharmacy technician. Seven years later, she started working at Ascension Borgess. Today, she works as the Lead Technician for Ascension Borgess in their inpatient pharmacy. As a technician, she has experience in general inpatient and outpatient settings and an OR satellite. Her current employment allows her to really stretch her mind, participating in the pharmacy decentralization team and assisting with the implementation of the new chapters of USP 795, 797 and 800.


    Jordan Posey has been serving as Treasurer for WMSHP since 2017. After completing his residency at Spectrum Health in 2010, Jordan worked as an ED and ICU pharmacist for adult and pediatric patients. In the past few years, he completed his MBA and started working in project and leadership roles. He is the inpatient pharmacy manager for Mercy Health in Muskegon.

    Board Members (2020-2021):

    Thomas Beuschel is a 2016 graduate of Ferris State University's College of Pharmacy. After graduation, he completed his PGY-1 pharmacy residency at Mercy Health Saint Mary's hospital in downtown Grand Rapids. Thomas currently practices at Mercy Health Saint Mary's as a clinical pharmacy specialist and created a clinical pharmacy practice at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation hospital in 2017. His professional interest areas include infectious diseases, the opioid crisis, and harm reduction strategies in substance use. Outside of pharmacy, Thomas enjoys black coffee, Jeopardy, a game of cribbage, and world travel.

    Andrea Borst (Incumbent), born and raised in Denver, Colorado, attended Hope College from 2008-2012 where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry.  From 2012-2016, she attended Ferris State University and earned her Doctor of Pharmacy.  Following pharmacy school, Andrea successfully completed a PGY-1 residency at Spectrum Health and a PGY-2 pediatric residency at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.  Andrea currently works as a clinical pharmacist at Helen DeVos and her primary interest area is General Pediatrics.  In her free time, Andrea enjoys running, reading, and taking care of her 6 month old Labrador puppy.  Andrea has been a member of WMSHP since 2017 and is excited to continue her role on the board.

    Caitlin Durkin is a 2015 graduate of Ferris State University’s College of Pharmacy. Following pharmacy school, she completed a PGY-1 pharmacy residency at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo.  She currently practices at Bronson, often “pinch hitting” on the general surgery, cardiology, neurovascular and adult medical care units. She has enjoyed her time as a member of WMSHP and is excited to further increase her involvement within the organization. Outside of pharmacy, Caitlin is a chips and salsa eating, nap seeking, gardening golfer, who will gladly talk your ear off about her dog, Jerry.

    Tara McAlpine (Incumbent) has been an active member of WMSHP since 2015 and has served on the Board since 2018. Her current role on the Board includes chair of the membership committee, where her duties have included facilitating member spotlights and organizing WMSHP’s first Mock Residency Interview and CV Review Event for pharmacy students, which took place this fall. If reappointed, she looks forward to continuing to serve on the Board in these, and other, capacities. Tara’s pharmacist role is in ambulatory care for Bronson Healthcare Group, with primary care offices in Vicksburg and Portage.

    Natalie Washburn (Incumbent) is a Clinical Pharmacist for the Medical and Neurointerventional Intensive Care Units at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, MI.   She is a graduate of Ferris State University’s College of Pharmacy, and completed a PGY1 and PGY2 Critical Care residency at Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis, IN.  In addition to serving as a current WMSHP Board Member, her other professional appointments include serving as an active committee member for the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology Section Membership and Practice Advancement Committees.  She have served as a member of the board for the last two years, and recently became the co-chairperson for WMSHP’s Community Outreach Committee.  If selected to remain a board member, she hopes to continue bringing in speakers from outside our immediate area to broaden our organization’s networking reach and explore other practice patterns.

  • September 23, 2019 10:41 PM | Stacy Brousseau

    Thank you to those who joined us on September 12th at Uccello’s in Grand Rapids for our first WMSHP meeting this fall.  Julie Schmidt delivered an excellent presentation on the newest data surrounding STEMI treatment through the various transitions of care.

    September has been a busy month for us, as we also co-hosted our first mock residency interview & CV review event on September 18th for interested P3 and P4 students.  We had more than twenty students participate, and it was also great to see the WMSHP membership engaged in the development of our future pharmacists.

    We are looking forward to our annual WMSHP/FSU Pharmacy Residency Showcase on October 3rd at the FSU College of Pharmacy in Grand Rapids.  Our next monthly meeting will be held on October 10th at the Bronson Methodist Hospital Gilmore Center, where Katie Axford, PharmD, BCPS will help us promote the health of our patients with her presentation titled “The Game of Life: Exploring Social Determinants of Health in Pharmacy.” We hope you can join us in Kalamazoo!

    Just a reminder that WMSHP is now using Western Michigan University’s School of Medicine (“WMed”) as our new pharmacy CE provider.  This means that all of our members will be claiming their WMSHP meeting CE through WMed’s CE Attendee Portal.  The WMed CE process is very easy and streamlined once you set up an account on their website.  To set up an account, you can go to https://wmed.cloud-cme.com/default.aspx?P=100 and click “sign in with your email and password.”  You can then choose the “Don’t have an account?” link to create a new account.  If you need assistance, instructional videos detailing how to create an account and claim CE are also located on WMed’s website at https://wmed.cloud-cme.com/default.aspx?P=2000.  Most importantly, make sure your profile information includes your name, birth month/day, NABP e-profile ID, cell phone number, email address, and what type of CE you will be claiming (Continuing Pharmacy Education ACPE).  It is not mandatory that you create an account prior to attending a WMSHP meeting, but it does make the process a lot easier if your account is already set up at the time of attendance.

    It’s almost time again for annual WMSHP Board elections.  If you are interested in becoming more involved in WMSHP by running for a Board position, please contact me or any other member of the Board.  The deadline for nominations, including a brief applicant bio, is Thursday, October 10th.

    If you have any questions or would like more information about WMSHP, please visit our website at www.wmshp.net.

  • August 21, 2019 3:37 PM | Stacy Brousseau

    It’s hard to believe, but summer 2019 will soon be coming to a close.  However, with the end of summer comes another excellent year of WMSHP programming!

    We had a great turnout at our WMSHP Summer Outing in July, where we all got to enjoy the sunshine, some Whitecaps baseball, and of course the all-you-can-eat BBQ.  Thanks to everyone who participated and to those who also brought their friends and family!

    Our minds may still be in summer vacation mode, but we hope you will join us for our first CE event of the fall on Thursday, September 12th.  The meeting will be held in Grand Rapids at Uccello’s Restorante - East Beltline GR.  Our speaker Julie Schmidt, PharmD, BCPS will be discussing “Acute Myocardial Infarction: From Door to Discharge.”  One hour of live CE credit will be offered to pharmacist and pharmacy technician members who attend the meeting.

    Starting with our upcoming September 12th meeting, WMSHP will be using Western Michigan University’s School of Medicine (“WMed”) as our new pharmacy CE provider.  This means that all of our members will be claiming their WMSHP meeting CE through WMed’s CE Attendee Portal.  The WMed CE process is very easy and streamlined once you set up an account on their website.  To set up an account, you can go to https://wmed.cloud-cme.com/default.aspx?P=100 and click “sign in with your email and password.”  You can then choose the “Don’t have an account?” link to create a new account.  If you need assistance, instructional videos detailing how to create an account and claim CE are also located on WMed’s website at https://wmed.cloud-cme.com/default.aspx?P=2000.  Most importantly, make sure your profile information includes your name, birth month/day, NABP e-profile ID, cell phone number, email address, and what type of CE you will be claiming (Continuing Pharmacy Education ACPE).  It is not mandatory that you create an account prior to attending a WMSHP meeting, but it does make the process a lot easier if your account is already set up at the time of attendance.

    If you have any questions or would like more information about WMSHP, please visit our website (which has a snazzy new look!) at www.wmshp.net.

  • May 13, 2019 11:17 AM | Brad Miller (Administrator)

    This year, we're having another summer outing with the West Michigan Whitecaps. WMSHP Members who RSVP will receive a free ticket to the game and an all-you-can-eat BBQ buffet. Friends & family can also attend the game & eat at the buffet for $15/person. In addition, Pepsi products, hot dogs, and beer will all be $2 each.

    Click here to RSVP for the Summer Outing. The RSVP deadline for the program is June 25th. We hope to see you there!

  • April 22, 2019 11:15 AM | Brad Miller (Administrator)

    For our April WMSHP meeting, pharmacy residents Alice Chen and Jessica Hirsch presented their yearlong research projects on fixed-dose 4-factor PCC for warfarin reversal and on the effect of postoperative ketamine on opioid consumption in abdominal surgery patients, respectively. Both residents did a fantastic job addressing innovative alterations to current medication therapy practices.

    Our 50th Annual WMSHP Spring Seminar is also quickly approaching! It will be held on May 14th at the Prince Conference Center in Grand Rapids, with a pre-registration deadline of May 6th. This year we have excellent speakers presenting on a wide range of topics in pain management, infectious diseases, pharmacy law, critical care, and cardiology. Pharmacist and pharmacy technician attendees will be able to obtain up to five live continuing education credits and will be provided with a delicious lunch and a chance to win multiple prizes. If you haven’t registered yet, be sure to head over to wmshp.net/seminar to sign up!

    Mark your calendars for our annual WMSHP Summer Outing on July 25th with West Michigan Whitecaps baseball at Fifth-Third Ballpark! Based on all of the positive feedback from last year’s game, we will again be offering the all-you-can-eat BBQ dinner on the Altogas Patio. The event will be free for WMSHP members, with an additional $15 per person cost for accompanying friends or family. Registration for the event will be available in May!

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