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

    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

    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

    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

    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.


  • October 28, 2021 12:59 PM | Julie Schmidt

    Thank you to Autumn Neff, PharmD, MBA, for delivering our October CE “The Fundamentals of Dementia Care.”  Dr. Neff did a great job explaining the current pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatment options for dementia and how pharmacists can help in the care of these patients.  Our November CE presentation will take place on November 11th.  Kumar Ramakrishnan, PharmD, will discuss the different types of CRRT and how to dose medications correctly in his presentation “Going with the flow: An overview of Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy”.  You can register here!

    The annual WMSHP/FSU Residency Showcase was held virtually on October 7th.  Thank you to all of the students and residency programs that made this a successful event this year.  Speaking of resident recruitment, WMSHP is offering five Midyear student scholarships this year for current P4 students attending the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting.  Interested P4 students should reside in West Michigan and submit application materials to me at schmidtj@bronsonhg.org no later than November 1st.  More information may be found here.

    Thank you to everyone interested in running for a board position for the upcoming term starting in 2022.  Please keep an eye on our website for candidate bios as well as voting information.  Those chosen for an upcoming term will be announced at our November meeting.  We are still looking for a pharmacy technician board member.  If you are interested or know a technician that is interested in this leadership opportunity, please let myself or any current board member know!

    I hope you are all enjoying the fall color changes and changes in temperature as the holidays will soon be approaching.  If you have any concerns or ideas on how to improve your membership experience, please do not hesitate to contact myself or any other board member.


  • October 27, 2021 4:09 PM | Brad Miller (Administrator)


    Shelby Kelsh graduated from SUNY-Buffalo with her PharmD and moved to Western Michigan to complete her PGY1 at Spectrum Health. She joined WMSHP as a resident and has been a member since. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor at Ferris State University. She holds a clinical practice site at Spectrum Health Internal Medicine Residency Clinic as an ambulatory care pharmacist. Shelby has had the pleasure of serving as a WMSHP board member since January 2019. Shelby has coordinated multiple CE events and the WMSHP/FSU Residency Showcase. Please consider electing Shelby as president-elect.


    Andrea Borst 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 at Helen DeVos as a clinical pharmacist with a focus on general pediatrics, cystic fibrosis, and kidney transplant. In her free time, Andrea enjoys running, reading, and spending time with her husband and 14-month-old daughter. Andrea has been a WMSHP board member since 2018. During her time on the board, Andrea has planned three monthly meetings, including the Resident Continuing Education Event in 2021, and has volunteered at the annual WMSHP Mock Interview and CV Review at Ferris State University. Andrea is excited to continue her involvement with WMSHP by serving as treasurer.

    Board Members

    Chad Hutson is a 2012 graduate of Ferris State University’s College of Pharmacy. During pharmacy school, Chad was an intern at Ascension Borgess Hospital for several years where he completed several projects such as drug use evaluations and nursing in-services. Shortly after earning his doctorate Chad moved into a management role at Portage Pharmacy as director of compounding, where a large portion of his time was spent responding to and developing policy changes to address FDA and Michigan state board of pharmacy inspection findings. After this role, Chad moved to a clinical compounding consultant role at Professional Compounding Centers of America (PCCA), where his role consisted of offering regulatory and process guidance to numerous compounding pharmacies in the US, Canada and Australia. In addition to consulting, Chad’s role included serving as an instructor for new and experienced sterile compounders, developing and giving presentations on various compounding related topics, and developing standard operating procedures for pharmacies to align with regulatory requirements. Chad has also earned his board certification in sterile compounding. Most recently, Chad has moved to a staff pharmacist position at Ascension Borgess Hospital where he also manages various aspects of compounding activities and policies and continues to serve as a contract consultant for PCCA.

    Nathan L Kanous II, PharmD, BCPS is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in Ambulatory Care at the Ascension Borgess in Kalamazoo. He received his PharmD from Ferris State University and completed an ASHP-accredited ambulatory care residency at the William S. Middleton Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Madison, Wisconsin. Since graduation, Nathan has worked in many practice settings including academia at two different universities, the pharmaceutical industry, pharmacy benefits and managed care. His clinical interests focus on ambulatory endocrinology and cardiology, geriatrics, and de-prescribing.

    Tara McAlpine is a current WMSHP Board member and a co-chair of the Membership and Community Outreach Committee. She is an ambulatory care pharmacist and has enjoyed over five years working for Bronson Healthcare in Southwest Michigan, where she remained after completing her residency. At Bronson she has helped grow the ambulatory care program since 2018. She is now excited to be transitioning to join the ambulatory care team at Mercy Health in November, serving the Grand Rapids area where she resides. She has been a member of WMSHP since 2015 and has served on the WMSHP Board since 2018. Tara looks forward to the opportunity to continue to serve on the Board, including continuing her involvement with events like the Mock Interview and CV review for Ferris students.

    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 a clinical pharmacist. This allows him to precept P4 students on internal medicine APPE rotations.

    Technician Board

    We currently have no nominees for this position.  If you or someone you know would be interested in this post, please contact any WMSHP Board Member.

  • September 26, 2021 1:30 PM | Julie Schmidt

    Our fall continuing education programming started off with an excellent presentation by Curtis Smith, PharmD, FCCP, BCPS.  Dr. Smith discussed the most up-to-date research and recommendations for vaccinations in his presentation “Vaccine Update 2021: COVID-19 and Beyond.”  A huge thank you to Dr. Smith for providing our members with such an informative presentation.  Our October Board meeting and CE presentation will take place virtually on October 14th.  Autumn Neff, PharmD, MBA will present to our membership on “The Fundamentals of Dementia Care.”  Make sure you RSVP here!

    The annual WMSHP/FSU Residency Showcase will take place virtually on Thursday, October 7th.  Programming will begin at 5 pm with a panel discussion followed by the showcase from 5:30 – 7:30 pm.  From 5:30 – 6:30 the showcase will be open to current P4 students and PGY1s, and from 6:30 – 7:30 all potential trainees are welcome as long as you are registered!  More information and registration can be found here.

    It is almost time for our annual WMSHP Board elections.  If you are interested or would like to nominate a colleague for one of our open Board positions, please contact myself or any other member of the Board.  Please include a brief bio about the person being nominated.  The positions up for election this year are: President-elect, Treasurer, and Board (four pharmacists and one pharmacy technician).  The deadline for nominations is October 22nd.

    The change of seasons means the annual ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting is not far away!  This year WMSHP is giving away five(!) $250 scholarships to deserving pharmacy students.  While the meeting will be conducted virtually, these scholarships will still help to offset the registration costs.  To be eligible for one of these scholarships, students should have an expected graduation date in 2022, be in good standing with their respective College of Pharmacy, and be a current or native resident of West Michigan.  To apply for this scholarship, students must submit his/her CV along with a cover letter outlining his/her interest in attending the Midyear Clinical Meeting and his/her future career goals.  All submissions and/or any questions can be directed to myself at schmidtj@bronsonhg.org.  Applications must be submitted by November 1st.

    I hope you all have a great month and take the opportunity to enjoy the fall weather!  As always if you have any comments or concerns about improving your membership experience, please do not hesitate to contact me.


  • August 26, 2021 12:11 AM | Julie Schmidt

    While the weather this week sure does not feel like fall is upon us, it’s time for the kiddos to get back to school which also means it’s time for WMSHP activities to start up again.  Our June summer planning meeting was quite productive and I am excited for the upcoming months.  While the Board was hopeful we would be able to gather in person this fall, we have decided that our monthly meetings will continue to be via Zoom through the remainder of 2021.  We do not take this decision lightly but know it is in the best interest of our members, families, and patients.  Other organizations have also decided to conduct their annual fall meetings virtually, including MSHP and ACCP.

    Our fall continuing education programming will kick off on September 16th with Dr. Curtis Smith presenting “Vaccine Update 2021: COVID-19 and Beyond.”  I am confident Dr. Smith will deliver a very engaging and educational presentation.  Both pharmacists and pharmacy technicians may register here.  As health-system pharmacists, technicians, residents, and students, we have all been aware of the importance of vaccination against preventable diseases even before the current pandemic.  The current days we are living in have certainly heightened this awareness.  ASHP has developed a free toolkit that can be accessed by members as well as non-members.  I encourage you to visit their COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence Toolkit and utilize their resources to promote vaccinations in our communities.

    With the start of fall, comes the next group of P4 students interested in post-graduate training.  Our annual WMSHP/Ferris State University Residency Showcase will be held virtually on October 7th.  Registration may be completed via the WMSHP website in the coming weeks.  We received positive feedback after the last showcase last year.  If you have any suggestions of how we may improve it for this year, please do not hesitate to contact me at schmidtj@bronsonhg.org.

    Board nominations: Current West Michigan PGY-1 and PGY-2 residents should have received information from your RPD earlier this month regarding our Resident-At-Large position.  Please remember to submit your application no later than this Friday, August 27th.  In addition to our Resident-At-Large position, we will also be accepting nominations in the near future for President-elect, Treasurer, and Board (four pharmacists and one technician).  Please strongly consider nominating a coworker, friend, or yourself who is interested in advancing health-system pharmacy!

  • April 25, 2021 8:59 PM | Julie Schmidt

    For our April WMSHP meeting, pharmacy residents Aleah Hunt and Emily Thurnherr presented their research projects on apixaban and rivaroxaban reversal and vancomycin AUC dosing. Both residents did an excellent job presenting their research on these timely topics in the pharmacy world.

    Our 52nd Annual WMSHP Spring Seminar will be here before we know it! Join us virtually via Zoom on Tuesday, May 11th for this daylong event. The Board has been working hard to make sure it is a well-rounded, informative conference. This year we are excited the day’s activities will be free for current WMSHP members. If you are not a current WMSHP member there is a reduced cost this year compared to previous years: $20 for pharmacists and $10 for pharmacy technicians. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians will be able to obtain up to five live continuing education credits. This year CE topics include gout, telepharmacy, vancomycin dosing, pharmacy law, and chronic pain. We also look forward to our vendor engagement and reverse exhibitor program.  Register by May 7th at https://wmshp.net/event-4218735.

    I think it is safe to say the majority of us are looking forward to warmer weather and sunshine. While we normally look forward to our annual summer outing at the West Michigan Whitecaps, in the best interest of our membership we will not be gathering as a group there this year. I hope next year proves different and we are able to gather in person and enjoy the all-you-can-eat BBQ.

    The board will be holding our summer planning meeting via Zoom on June 3rd. If you have any comments, concerns, or items you would like us to review at this meeting please do not hesitate to reach out to myself or the entire board.

    I hope to “see” you all on May 11th!


  • March 23, 2021 8:01 PM | Julie Schmidt

    March started off with a virtual continuing education presentation delivered by Dr. Kevin Bozymski, Assistant Professor of Clinical Sciences at the Medical College of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy.  Dr. Bozymski delivered a very educational presentation regarding pharmacotherapy of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  Our April continuing education programming will feature our annual pharmacy resident presentations.  This year Dr. Aleah Hunt, Spectrum Health PGY1, will deliver her presentation “The Effects of FEIBA® and Andexanet Alfa for the Reversal of Apixaban and Rivaroxaban in Uncontrolled Hemorrhage,” while Dr. Emily Thurnherr, Ascension Borgess PGY1, will share her research "Impact of Implementing a Vancomycin Area Under the Curve (AUC)-based Dosing Protocol on Nephrotoxicity.”  We look forward to hearing how their hard work has paid off for their research projects this year.

    Our annual P3 scholarship application is now open for interested third year pharmacy students.  This year WMSHP will award one $1000 scholarship and two $500 scholarships.  The link to the application can be found at WMSHP Scholarship.  Please see this link for scholarship criteria.  Further questions can be directed to Sarah Hoerner at sarah.hoerner@spectrumhealth.org.  Please note the deadline for application submission is April 2, 2021.

    This month also brings about finalizing the details for our Annual Spring Seminar.  Last year this seminar was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this year it will be held in May as it traditionally has been.  Mark the date for Tuesday, May 11th!  This seminar will include informative programming including 5 live CE credits for both technicians and pharmacists, including one law and one pain CE.  Additionally, we are excited to have vendor engagement to provide a well rounded experience for all attendees.  Registration is open now at Western Michigan Society of Health-System Pharmacists - 52nd Annual WMSHP Spring Seminar.

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