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APhA Foundation names 2015 student scholarship program recipients

BY Antoinette Alexander

WASHINGTON — The American Pharmacists Association Foundation has announced the recipients of its 2015 Student Scholarship Program.

The student scholarships are awarded to recognize exceptional demonstration of leadership skills and academics through active involvement in the APhA Academy of Student Pharmacists.

For the first time, a new scholarship honoring the late former APhA president Mary Munson Runge will be awarded. Runge is known as a pioneer for women in pharmacy, particularly for being the first female and African-American president of APhA. The 2015 recipients are:

  • Brandi Bowers – University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy (Mary Louise Andersen Scholar)
  • Jessica Dizon – University of New England College of Pharmacy (Mary Munson Runge Scholar)
  • Rachel Howland – University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy (APhA Foundation/APhA Auxiliary Scholar)
  • Nilofar Jafari – Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy (Boyle Family Scholar)
  • Amy Kang – Loma Linda University School of Pharmacy (Robert D. Gibson Scholar)
  • Jeffrey Van Liew – University of the Incarnate Word Feik School of Pharmacy (Paul Pumpian Scholar)
  • Bernice Man – Chicago State University College of Pharmacy (Charles C. Thomas Scholar)
  • Meena Murugappan – University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy – Duluth (Marvin and Joanell Dyrstad Scholar)
  • Shiny Parsai – The University of Iowa College of Pharmacy (Juan and Esperanza Luna Scholar)
  • Ernest Ruiz – University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy – Twin Cities (Sam Kalman Scholar)
  • Kelsey Stephens – The University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy (Gloria Francke Scholar)
  • Bradley St. Pierre –Ferris State University College of Pharmacy (John A. Gans Scholar)
  • Sophia Yang – University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy (George F. Archambault Scholar)

The recipients will be recognized on March 30 at the APhA Foundation Contributors’ Breakfast during the 2015 APhA Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Diego. Scholarships will be officially presented at the APhA-ASP Opening General Session on March 28.

The scholarships recognize those students who choose to invest their time through active involvement in their school’s APhA-ASP chapter. Student scholarship recipients are selected by the members of the Student Scholarship Review Committee.

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Walgreens Flu Index reveals top markets, states for flu activity

BY Antoinette Alexander

DEERFIELD, Ill. — With flu activity winding down in the United States, Walgreens has announced the top markets and states for flu activity for this season, according to its season-ending flu index examining aggregate prescription data from November 2014 through February 2015.

The states with the highest rates of influenza, according to the index, were Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi, Texas and Tennessee. Portland, Ore., Hartford, Conn., and Boston were the markets with the least amount of flu activity.

“In just its first season, the Flu Index quickly became a resource that people — and news media in particula —, came to rely upon, and strong awareness helped deliver a call to action that had a positive impact on flu immunization rates,” stated Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president of pharmacy and retail operations. “This is another way in which we’re helping to better the health of our communities by providing the preventive health information and services they need.”

The Walgreens Flu Index provides state- and market-specific information regarding flu activity, and is compiled using retail prescription data for antiviral medications used to treat influenza across Walgreens locations nationwide. With the ability to generate hyper-local data that’s as specific as a single zip code, the index was instrumental in driving consumer awareness and prevention within communities, while also serving as a valuable tool for health departments, media and others at the local level.

Top 10 DMAs with Flu Activity
(Aggregate data from November 2014 through February 2015)

  1. Oklahoma City, Okla.

  2. Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, Texas

  3. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas

  4. Jackson, Miss.

  5. Fort Smith-Fayetteville, Ark.

  6. Knoxville, Tenn.

  7. Austin, Texas

  8. Little Rock-Pine Bluff, Ark.

  9. Chattanooga, Tenn.

  10. Tulsa, Okla.

Top 10 States with Flu Activity
(Aggregate data from November 2014 through February 2015)

  1. Oklahoma

  2. Arkansas

  3. Mississippi

  4. Texas

  5. Tennessee

  6. Louisiana

  7. Alabama

  8. Kentucky

  9. Nebraska

  10. South Carolina

New “Bottom 10” Shows Markets with Least Amount of Influenza Activity

In addition to the top markets for activity, the season-ending index also shows the bottom 10, suggesting successful prevention efforts in preparation for, and during flu season in these communities, which experienced the lowest levels of influenza.

Markets with Least Flu Activity
(Aggregate data from November 2014 through February 2015)

  1. Portland, Ore.

  2. Hartford-New Haven, Conn.

  3. Boston, Mass.

  4. Fresno-Visalia, Calif.

  5. Sacramento, Calif.
  6. Tucson, Ariz.

  7. Buffalo, N.Y.

  8. Providence, R.I.

  9. Seattle-Tacoma, Wash.

  10. Los Angeles

The Walgreens Flu Index data is analyzed at state and geographic market levels to measure absolute impact and incremental change of antiviral medications on a per-store average basis, and does not include markets in which Walgreens has fewer than 20 retail locations.

The flu index is not intended to illustrate levels or severity of flu activity, but rather, illustrate which populations are experiencing the highest incidence of flu.

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H. D. Smith makes changes to executive leadership structure

BY Antoinette Alexander

Dale Smith, chairman and CEO of H. D. Smith Holding Co.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — H. D. Smith, an independent wholesaler and pharmaceutical brand support company, has announced a series of executive moves, including the appointment of Dale Smith as chairman and CEO of H. D. Smith Holding Co.

In his new role, Smith will oversee progress for all H. D. Smith business units, including wholesale distribution and specialty solutions. Smith previously served as chairman and CEO of H. D. Smith Wholesale Drug Co.

Additional executive moves include:

  • Chris Smith, who served as president and COO for H. D. Smith Wholesale Drug Co., is now its president and CEO, with executive responsibility for the H. D. Smith wholesale distribution business unit, as well as the functional areas of information technology, human resources and finance, which support the entire company.
  • Bob Appleby, previously SVP of category management at H. D. Smith Wholesale Drug Co., has been named president of H. D. Smith Specialty Solutions, which includes subsidiaries Smith Medical Partners and Triplefin. Transitioning into this role, he will be responsible for managing one of the company's fastest-growing business units as the nation seeks to shift health delivery closer to patients.
  • Joe Conda joins the office of the chairman as EVP to focus on expanding upon the company's mission as an integrated provider of health products, solutions and services, a role that includes acquisitions and alliances. He was previously president of H. D. Smith Specialty Solutions.

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