College of Pharmacy Makes Strong Showing at OPA Conference

A group of more than 30 students, alumni, faculty and staff from the College of Pharmacy attended the 144th Ohio Pharmacists Association annual conference April 1-3 in Columbus. Many of the students participated in competitions or showcased their research in the form of poster presentations. Students Elizabeth Tagliarini (P3), Austin Clapper (P3), George Koupiaris (P3), Jolene Novak (P2) and Jasmine Samaroo (P1) competed in the OTC and Self-Care Challenge against students from other state colleges of pharmacy, while third-year students Jade Natali, Hannah Colburn and Olivia Zanolli competed against students from the University of Cincinnati and Ohio Northern University in the Ohio Business Plan competition.

Alumnus Dustin Carneal, Pharm.D. (’15), received the Upsher-Smith Excellence in Innovation Award, which recognizes a pharmacist who has demonstrated innovative pharmacy practice resulting in improved patient care.

Two NEOMED-affiliated pharmacists received the UNDER 40 Award, which recognizes leadership, excellence and vision in the practice of pharmacy: alumna Dana Wilkerson, Pharm.D. (’16), BCACP, specialty pharmacy manager, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and Kevin Fuschetto, Pharm.D., BCACP, BC-ADM, assistant professor of pharmacy practice, and director of clinical services, NEOvations Pharmacy Services, LLC.

NEOMED students, faculty and alumni also delivered eight poster or other presentations.

Richard Kasmer, Pharm.D., J.D., dean of the College of Pharmacy, said he was very pleased and proud to have two teams representing NEOMED at this event, one team participating in the OTC Competition and the other in the Business Plan Competition.  Students shared some takeaways and highlights from the conference:

Ellyse Ridgway (P2): Attending OPA was a great experience! It gave me the opportunity to meet experts and major influencers in the field of pharmacy as well as connect with students and faculty from NEOMED and other institutions.

Elizabeth Tagliarini (P3): I greatly enjoyed the OPA conference; I got to network and meet lots of pharmacists from all over Ohio and pharmacy students from other schools! I also got to brush up on lot of my guidelines in the various sessions! I enjoyed the sepsis review and reviewing the one- hour bundle requirements.

Paige Tulcewicz (P3): OPA is a great place to network with pharmacists, residency program directors and other pharmacy students from across the entire state!

Jasmine Samaroo (P1): I learned to always be prepared for an opportunity! My first night I arrived in Columbus, I met the executive director and the president of OPA in the HOTEL LOBBY. I had my business cards and my elevator speech ready, thanks to NEOMED, and I was prepared for the unexpected meeting! :)

Melinda Conley (P4): I loved that I got to see first-hand how much easier it is to network with people when you have a poster or presentation to discuss with them. I talked to so many different professionals at OPA. I am a bit introverted and have difficulty approaching people, so having a poster displayed brought people to me and made it much easier to have meaningful conversations.

Diana Morus (P1): The 2022 OPA conference was an experience where I was able to network, attend informative workshops, and grow as a student pharmacist as well an individual. Being a P1 student, this was my first time going to the OPA conference. Each of the three days was filled with seminars and workshops, and one of the unforgettable moments I had from this past weekend was with Dr. Ernest Boyd, the executive director of OPA, and Dr. Joel Levitan, the president of OPA. Prior to the first day of the conference, a group of pharmacy students and I were checking into our hotel room. We were looking for a place to park our car for the weekend but had an issue when the price was much higher than originally thought. Being the broke graduate students that we are, we began to discuss the possibility for a “student discount” with the receptionist. Let’s just say, it was not going in our favor! Along came two gentleman who began to inquire what the fuss was about. After explaining the situation and how we were pharmacy students attending OPA, without hesitation Dr. Boyd offered to pay for the parking. We were all in awe of the generosity he showed to us in that moment. For the next 20 minutes, we had a conversation with him as well as well as Dr. Levitan. Throughout the weekend, we would see them every day, and it got to the point where we were on a first-name basis with each other. Isn’t it a funny coincidence how things happen; it just shows that we were at the right place at the right time. I will never forget my first OPA conference, by networking with other people in the pharmacy profession, other students, and of course Dr. Boyd and Dr. Levitan.  

Jolene Novak (P2): Opportunities in pharmacy are everywhere. You just have to be willing to say yes.

NEOMED posters presented during the conference

“Ohio Innovative Practice Forum: Orthopaedic Medication Use Process and Pharmacy Practice Model Innovations”

Authors: Dustin Carneal, Pharm.D. (‘15), Abby Brookbank, Pharm.D. (‘19), Cameron Warner (P4), Jason Patton (P4).


“Review of 50 states pharmacy laws and rules related to pharmacist licensure after graduating from an Ohio college of pharmacy”

Authors: Melinda Conley (P4), Cameron Warner (P4), Deborah Loyet, M.A., M.S., executive director, administration, faculty affairs and institutional research, Richard Kasmer, Pharm.D., J.D., dean, College of Pharmacy


“Finding the right balance: A nationwide study of student pharmacist exposure to and perceptions of nonsterile compounding”

Authors: Liz Fredrickson, Pharm.D., BCPS, assistant professor of pharmacy practice, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences, Faith G. Belcher (P3), Kamryn M. Del Vecchio (P3), Leila S. Jugo (P3), Miranda N. Galleher (P3), Raneem H. Pallotta (P4), Victor A. Pallotta (P4), David M. Gothard, M.S.


“Evaluating the role of pharmacy technician-administered vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic”

Authors: Kevin Fuschetto, Pharm.D., BCACP, BC-ADM, assistant professor of pharmacy practice, director of clinical services, NEOvations Pharmacy Services, LLC, Kunal Amin, Pharm.D., assistant professor of pharmacy practice, VP & director of clinical services, NEOvationsRx, Erin Merico (P4), M. Dave Gothard, M.S.


“Clinical pharmacy specialist impact on post-operative glucose control”

Authors: Bhavika Patel, Pharm.D. (’21), PGY1 pharmacy resident, Aultman Alliance Community


“Health professions education students’ perceptions of and experiences with philanthropy”

Authors: Vindya Perera, M.P.H. (P3), Liz Fredrickson, Pharm.D., BCPS, Dave Gothard, M.S.


“Patient satisfaction with pharmacist-led chronic care management services at a federally qualified health center”

Authors: Dana Webb, Pharm.D., PGY-2 pharmacy resident, Kenneth Furdich, Pharm.D., BCACP, clinical pharmacy manager, AxessPointe Community Health Centers, assistant professor of pharmacy practice, Magdi Awad, Pharm.D., M.S.A., associate professor of pharmacy practice 


“Pharmacy-driven AUC/MIC protocol for pneumonia”

Authors: David C. Whipkey, Pharm.D., Aultman Alliance Community Hospital, Nichole Thorne, Pharm.D., clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice, Megan King, Pharm.D., BCACP, Zachary Selker, Pharm.D., Thomas Rouzzo, Pharm.D., Aultman Alliance Community Hospital

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