A student team from The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy took top honors at the inaugural Student Pharmacist Self-Care Championship sponsored by the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations (NIASPA) and the Nonprescription Medicines Academy (NMA). The competition took place at the late July annual meeting of the Texas Pharmacy Association in Frisco, Tx.
The Longhorn student team included Kalyn Marie Acker, Ravi Davuluri, Brendon Hogan and Staci Warren.
The competition, which is endowed by Procter & Gamble, featured teams from the various pharmacy colleges across the state competing head-to-head in an event similar to a quiz bowl as they answered questions focused on self-care. Each of the six schools of pharmacy in Texas was represented by a team of four students. Each team was also permitted to have a guest member serve in the capacity of their "Lifeline." A team could defer to their Lifeline up to two times throughout the course of the competition.
As winners of the competition, the UT team has the honor of bringing to Austin the traveling trophy that will bear The University of Texas at Austin's name as the first winner. The trophy will return to the site of next year's TPA convention and will again go home with the winning student team. Prof. Renee Acosta, who taught the students two semesters of Nonprescription Pharmacotherapeutics, also served as the team's Lifeline.
In other news from the meeting, students Kalyn Acker and Bindia Patel placed in the Patient Counseling Competition. Acker took second place while Patel won third place honors. Brendon Hogan also qualified to participate. The competition, sponsored nationally by the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists, is designed to encourage student pharmacists in their efforts toward becoming better patient educators. The competition is designed to reflect changes that are occurring in practice, to promote and encourage further professional development of the student pharmacist and to reinforce the role of the pharmacist as a health care provider and educator. Competition begins at the local level with winners from each college advancing to the state competition.
The UT delegation has a record attendance at the conference, thanks, in part, to travel stipends that assisted students with the costs to travel to the annual meeting. Prof. Sharon Rush is sponsor of the UT-APhA-ASP chapter that sponsors student travel to the state TPA meeting.
Longhorn alumni played prominent roles at the meeting with Carol Reagan, B.S. '94 and Pharm.D. 2000, serving as president of TPA and Bethany Boyd, B.S. '88, M.S. '94 and Ph.D. '97, serving as one of two co-chairs for the meeting.
Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, B.S. '79, received the association's Bowl of Hygeia award while Debra Lopez, Pharm.D. 99 and clinical associate professor within the college, received the Excellence in Innovation award. Joey Barrera, Pharm.D. '13, was recognized as recipient of the Distinguished Student Pharmacist award.