Patient Centered Medical Home


Scholarship Reflections

Travel Scholarship - Professional Compounding Center of America Institute
Nicolette Portela
PharmD Candidate, 2020

My name is Nicolette Portela and I am a third year pharmacy student here at the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy. This month, I attended the Advanced Compounding Training Course for students at the Professional Compounding Center of America Institute in Houston, Texas. During this program, I had the opportunity to compound rapid dissolving tablets, oil-filled capsules, urethral suppositories, creams, mucolox popsicles, among other advanced compounds. I enjoyed the flavoring workshop and the nutrition workshop, where we focused on the specific medical and personal needs of various patients. I had the chance to listen to six guest speakers who all specialize in different areas at PCCA. I was able to learn about regulatory updates, third party billing, other financial considerations in regards to compounding, in addition to gaining a more in-depth look at USP <795>. Another aspect of the course that I enjoyed included meeting pharmacy students from across the country. I was able to meet other SNPhA local and national board members as well as making friends with students who go to pharmacy school in Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania. I even became closer to two other students in my very own class. I believe that PCCA’s Advanced Compounding course has helped me in areas of where I needed improvement so that I can place even higher this year at our local compounding competition and hopefully make it to the National Medisca Competition. I hope to be able to attend the veterinary compounding course next year to learn even more. KPIC has given me an amazing opportunity to travel to one of the best compounding programs for students. I learned beyond what I could have hoped for, and I now feel even more confident in being a competitive candidate for a residency.  Thank you.


Travel Scholarship - KPIC Aseptic Technique Training Course
Trent Bridge
PharmD Candidate, 2021

Thanks to the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Bill Kennedy, I was fortunate enough to attend the KPIC Aseptic Technique Training Course in June. This course focused on the basic techniques for preparing low-, medium-, and high-risk CSPs (Compounded Sterile Preparations), the different types of hoods used in Sterile Compounding, the guidelines outlined by USP 797, as well as the techniques and products used to clean the different areas/materials in an Aseptic Compounding Lab. As P1 year has come to a close and as P2 year is soon to begin, this training course has been invaluable for me beyond belief. As a hopeful future pharmacy lab professor, the opportunity to train through this course has presented me with an even greater opportunity: the prospect of assisting my peers in lab this year and further developing my skills as an educator. Not only will this help me in the end, but as a self-proclaimed “lab liaison” (so to speak) I will be able to assist any struggling classmates throughout our hospital lab courses for the coming year.

Through this course, I was able to work closely with veteran pharmacists specializing in Sterile Compounding and to develop skills allowing me to provide patients with the best care in preparing CSPs. I went in mostly blind, and I won’t lie; It could a bit overwhelming at times being exposed to and delving into a completely new field in pharmacy. At first I struggled to ensure that I practiced all techniques in correspondence with USP 797 especially with the nerves of being surrounded by pharmacists and technicians who all had experience in the field, but by putting my best foot forward I was able to pick up all of the USP 797 techniques presented throughout the training course by the end.

As a hands-on learner, this course granted me the opportunity to simulate and assess my newly-learned techniques by use of two USP 797 assessments required for Compounding Specialists to be permitted to work in Aseptic Compounding. The GFS (Gloved Fingertip Sampling) assessment requires that, after proper sanitation and garbing, you place your gloved fingertips on a growth culture to collect any bacteria. After 48 hours of incubation the Petri Dish is observed, and if there are no signs of particulate matter or microbial growth, the assessment has been passed. The Medium Risk CSP Media Filling Test also assesses for undesirable particulate matter; however, this is through the use of simulating the compounding of a CSP. Powdered “drugs” are reconstituted and injected into the Growth Media Bag (Simulated IV bag). After two weeks, the sample is assessed for particulate matter and signs of microbial growth. Two weeks post-course, I have received confirmation that I passed both evaluations. Thanks to the generosity of the Kennedy Pharmacy Innovation Center and Mr. & Mrs. Bill Kennedy of Nephron Pharmaceuticals, I am self-assured in my ability to successfully prepare CSPs and even more confident in my ability to provide my peers with assistance in the courses we will be taking, the objectives, and simply the proper techniques. I could not be more grateful for this opportunity and thanks to this program, I am confident that I am further well-rounded in the field of pharmacy which will ultimately allow me to become the best educator and pharmacy professional of my ability.

Travel Scholarship - Medisca Student Pharmacist Compounding Competition
Rebecca Caughman
PharmD Candidate, 2019

Participating in the 2018 Medisca Student Pharmacist Compounding Competition is an experience I will never forget.  Through this experience, I gained knowledge and confidence that will help me excel in my career as a pharmacist.  SPCC Nationals allowed me and my team to test our compounding abilities and challenge ourselves.  We were able to be creative and work on an innovation piece that could help the compounding world.  During the competition, we were able to network with students from pharmacy schools around the country.  Additionally, we were able to meet professionals from Medisca, United States Pharmacopeia (USP), and the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA).  At the conclusion of the competition, our team placed second overall nationally, and I won the title of Compounding Challenge Champion which earned our team a trip to the World Congress of Compounding in Las Vegas in October! 

The competition itself was divided into four sections.  The first portion was the Compounding Classic where we compounded two products and created Master Formulation Records for both as a team.  Next, we were tested on our knowledge during a two-part Jeopardy game.  We were excited that we won our section’s second round of Jeopardy.  To conclude the team competition, we recorded our innovation piece presentation to sell our idea to the judges.  The fourth and final portion of the compounding competition was the Compounding Challenge.  This was the head-to-head competition where one team member was selected to represent the team.  I was fortunate to have this opportunity and compete for my team.  During this challenge, I was tasked with creating a dosage form that was appropriate for the situation as well as convincing the physician it was the best choice.

Funds available through the Kennedy Center allowed me and my team to make the trip to Florida for this two-day competition.  Without the financial support provided by the Kennedy Center scholarship, the cost of the trip would have been challenging on a student budget.  I am thankful for this experience and am looking forward to using and applying the knowledge that I gained.  I would like to thank the Kennedy Center for helping me have this worthwhile experience.

Travel Scholarship - Digital Health South East (DiHSE) Conference
Chuck Hennes
PharmD Candidate, 2020

The Kennedy Pharmacy Innovation Center would like to honor Chuck Hennes, for being selected to attend the first ever Digital Health South East (DiHSE) Conference in downtown Greenville on September 22nd, 2017. This premiere healthcare tech event for consumer health, wellness, and future medicine was geared towards individuals in the digital healthcare community with an entrepreneurial spirit looking for new opportunities.

Chuck attended a seminar about how to capture value as a healthcare provider hosted by Christopher Mcguire, cofounder of iScripts, Dr. Mark Bringham, Chief Medical Informatics Officer at Spartanburg Regional Hospital System, and Lorelei Puthuff, System Architect at BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina. The panel of professionals went over how they started off in the digital health industry and what they had to do to achieve the positions that they are in now. The seminar was set up as a group discussion which allowed the attendees to be able to openly converse with the guest speakers and ask personalized questions. Chuck said that “this was very beneficial because of all the different perspectives that each host provided on how to capture value as a provider from digital health. For example, the topic of presenting a new technological product came up and even though each host came from a different background they all came down to the same conclusion that a new technological product needs to solve a problem, save time, and save the company money or make the company money.”

Aside from the break out seminar hosted in the afternoon, Chuck heard 3 other key note speakers throughout the day. These speakers included Dr. Lucile Ide, CEO & Cofounder of Rimidi, Mark Treshock, Associate partner of Healthcare and Life Sciences, IoT and Blockchain at IBM, and lastly Dale Rayman, SVP of Sharecare. Dr. Ide spoke about her startup company called Rimidi, an app that mainly focuses on diabetes management in the state of Georgia, and how she started with the idea and the struggles it took to make her dream take off. Mark Treshock spoke about Blockchainning and its implications in the digital health community. Dale Rayman introduced the app Sharecare and all of its amazing features to improve patient health and wellness. In closing Chuck said “that this was one of the most beneficial conferences I have ever attended and was specifically geared towards my interests. Hearing all of these amazing ideas and getting input on some of my ideas was invaluable. With only about 77 attendees I was able to have long and in depth conversations with some of the key note speakers and gained a multitude of knowledge that will follow me in my future endeavors.

Travel Scholarship - ACCP Annual Meeting
Matthew Berry
PharmD Candidate, 2019

During my experience at ACCP's annual meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, I was able to represent the South Carolina College of Pharmacy with 15 other fellow students.  This scholarship provided me the opportunity to present my team's research to a large number of people and share with them the discoveries we have med.  Our research explored the idea that pharmacists are needed as researchers to make significant contributions in patient care and improve public health, while also expanding the role of a clinical pharmacist.  We designed an experiment with the guidance of Dr. Bookstaver looking at the rate of pharmacy authorship in top-tier peer-reviewed medical journals in 3 disciplines: pediatrics, cardiology, and infectious disease.  We are still in the process of collecting data, but from the data we have analyzed, the rate of pharmacy authorship more than doubled in the pediatric and cardiology disciplines.

This was an incredible opportunity to present our findings to numerous people from across the country.  I was able to meet and network with pharmacists from Athens, Augusta, Chicago, Hendersonville, and Phoenix.  Not only did I get to expand my pharmacy network, I also had the opportunity to attend specialty specific meetings at the convention, such as an infectious disease bugs and drugs seminar and an infectious disease business meeting, where I was able to again network with other pharmacists in the work of infectious disease.  I also met with various residency program directors at a residency showcase event.  This was a great opportunity because it allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and go speak with directors about their programs, and seek their advice on how I can be more competitive candidate for those programs in the year and a half that I have left in school.  

Lastly, I got to meet some great people and build friendships that will last a lifetime.  I was able to get to know people that I sit in class with on a daily basis, and I even got to know some of our faculty members on a personal level.  Overall, I had an incredible experience, and I cannot thank the Kennedy Center and the Kennedys enough for their generous contributions for providing me the opportunity of a lifetime.