Touro College of Pharmacy students organize ‘Operation Immunization’
Left to right: Touro College of Pharmacy students Rachel Jakobov; Tinnie Liao-Ng Yan; Christine Nguyen, and Angela Pantanawong
NEW YORK — Touro College of Pharmacy students provided vaccines to seniors this week as part of its third annual “Operation Immunization” as one of four events held in support of Flu Awareness Month and American Pharmacists Month, which included a flu clinic at TCOP, a lecture from a developer of the flu vaccine and a documentary on the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic.
At “Operation Immunization” — which was organized by the college’s chapter of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists — students screened seniors in East Harlem to ensure they could receive vaccines that were then administered by registered pharmacists.
“We are very committed to contributing our expertise in preventative medicine within the Harlem community and are proud of the contributions our students make to this significant public health initiative,” TCOP interim dean Dr. Zvi Loewy said.
Working with Rite Aid as a community partner, students organized the entirety of “Operation Immunization”, building on the pharmacists’ role in working to improve public health and gaining experience in patient interaction and meeting seniors’ needs.
"It's vitally important for seniors to receive vaccinations because adults over 65 years of age are more susceptible to the flu and also prone to other preventable diseases as well,” event organizer Christine Nguyen said. “As student pharmacists, it was our goal to administer as many immunizations as possible in order to do our part in protecting our senior population.”
Diplomat Pharmacy announces 2 C-suite promotions
FLINT, Mich. — Diplomat Pharmacy earlier this week announced two promotions within the company's executive leadership team as part of a strategic move to align efforts for internal improvement.
Robert Fleckenstein, previously VP operations, has been promoted to SVP operations. Fleckenstein's advancement adds focus to the company's total enterprise operations, including remote locations and subsidiary companies.
Gary Rice, previously VP clinical services, has been promoted to SVP cinical services, education and human resources. Rice's appointment brings clinical efforts, employee education, employee engagement and quality improvement into the same segment of the company.
Fleckenstein oversees day-to-day operations of Diplomat's national distribution center, patient service operations, call center, remote sites and other patient-facing services at Diplomat. Before joining Diplomat in June 2010, Fleckenstein was VP pharmacy operations at Allion Healthcare and at CVS ProCare Mail Service. Previously, he served as regional manager of oncology pharmaceutical services at US Oncology, director of pharmacy and customer service at Stadtlander Drug Company and general manager at Healthcare Management/Murray Pharmacy.
"We have made substantial investments in our technology, infrastructure and service lines to build a scalable foundation for constant improvement in patient care and growth," said Gary Kadlec, president of Diplomat. "Through Robert's steady management we continue our enhancement of key operating metrics. I can personally attest to his deep industry acumen and his commitment to all that we do."
Prior to joining Diplomat in June 2011, Rice was VP operations at ITSRx, where he provided operational and clinical leadership for the development of specialty and retail pharmacies. Rice also served as director of specialty clinical management for MedImpact Healthcare Systems. He directed oncology strategy, specialty pharmacy sales management, clinical guidance of specialty medication providers and the clinical protocol development of 15 specialty therapy categories. Before MedImpact, he was VP retail and ancillary services and director of pharmaceutical services at the Kelsey-Seybold Clinic in Houston.
"Our focus as a company continues to be on our clinical excellence and care to our patients. This is truly our Diplomat Difference," Kadlec said. "We are committed to continually enhancing our abilities in all of these areas and look for Gary Rice and his team to carry us to that next step. We have a very rare resource in our Diplomat University, where our intent with every new hire is to improve the quality and clinical results for our patients. With this clear path before us the alignment of Diplomat University, Clinical Services and Human Resources, all within the sponsorship of Gary Rice, will best optimize how these groups work together."
Rite Aid offers genetic testing of Rx efficacy
CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid and Harmonyx announced Thursday the availability of select genetic tests in all Rite Aid pharmacies except those in New York. Rite Aid is the first U.S. drugstore chain to offer Harmonyx genetic testing.
The self-administered oral swab test will help patients determine the effectiveness of their prescription medication based on their genetic makeup.
Currently, Rite Aid is offering genetic testing for three classes of medications including those used to manage cardiac conditions, cholesterol and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Rite Aid pharmacists are available to help patients and physicians determine if a particular test is medically appropriate.
"At Rite Aid, we are committed to offering our customers unique and innovative products, services and programs that meet their individual wellness needs, and personalized medication therapy through genetic testing is a perfect example of such a service," said Jocelyn Konrad, Rite Aid EVP pharmacy. "By offering Harmonyx genetic testing to our customers, we're helping to ensure that the medication they are taking is the most effective medication to help them treat and manage their condition while avoiding unnecessary and potentially harmful side effects."
Customers can purchase the testing kit at any Rite Aid (except those in New York). Once the customer's cheek is swabbed, Rite Aid pharmacists return the sample to Harmonyx for processing. Harmonyx provides a state licensed physician to review each patient test and detailed results are returned to both the pharmacist and treating physician in as little as 24 hours once the laboratory receives the test.
Rite Aid pharmacists are available to discuss the results with the patient and their physician to find the best medication choice based on the patient's genetic makeup and other relevant clinical factors.
"Knowledge really is power so the more people who are aware of the availability and accessibility of these genetic tests, the greater the impact we can have on the health of our communities," said Bob Bean, Harmonyx president and CEO. "With our tests now being at nearly 4,000 Rite Aid locations, we have an opportunity to make a true difference in the lives of people by making sure that the medication they are taking is the right therapy for them."
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