The College of Pharmacy News
September 2017
Marana High School Student Accepted into Research Program Designed to Prepare Students for Graduate Education in Health Sciences

Ayumi Pottenger has known she wanted to be a scientist since she was a kid doing experiments in her backyard.

“Always, science was her number one priority,” said her mother, Harumi Pottenger. “And she likes reading too, so she was always reading about science.” 

Ayumi Pottenger, now 20 and entering her junior year at the University of Arizona, has been accepted into the Environmental Health Sciences Transformative Research Undergraduate Experience at UA. The program, funded by the National Institute of Health, gives undergraduate science majors from underrepresented backgrounds the opportunity to complete paid research in a campus lab and is co-directed by Walt Klimecki, UA College of Pharmacy Associate Professor.

Pictured: Ayumi Pottenger in a lab at the UA.

SinfoníaRx and its Founders Helped Revolutionize Medication Therapy Management

University of Arizona College of Pharmacy startup SinfoníaRx, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sinfonía HealthCare Corporation, has been acquired by Tabula Rasa HealthCare (NASDAQ: TRHC), a public health care company that provides individualized, data-driven technology solutions.

SinfoníaRx was originally founded in 2006 as the Medication Managment Center by Kevin Boesen, PharmD '96. This was the same year Medicare launched prescription drug coverage and Dr. Boesen's goal was to transform pharmacy practice and pioneer a new model for patient care by better managing the health of patients with multiple conditions, medications and providers.

Since its inception, SinfoníaRx has returned $33 million to the UA and created 300+ UA jobs, while saving more than $1 billion in health care costs. It expanded its medication management programs to partnering universities/sites in Ohio, Florida, two in Arizona and a fifth opening in Texas in 2017.

Pictured: Dr. Boesen and Fletcher McCusker, CEO for SinfoníaRx.

UA Students Investigate Dangers of Tattoo Ink
One in three young adults has a tattoo. Could the chemicals in their tattoo ink pose a health risk? A group of 12 University of Arizona students has set off to find out. 
The students of the Environmental Health Sciences Transformative Research Undergraduate Experience program will spend the semester researching the chemicals in tattoo ink and evaluating the current research on adverse health risks under the guidance of Walt Klimecki, UA College of Pharmacy associate professor and interim department head of Pharmacology and Toxicology.
History of Pharmacy Museum Seeking Items

The College of Pharmacy is home to the History of Pharmacy Museum, which contains thousands of items, including bottles, original drug containers, books, store fixtures, and artifacts from historical drug stores (circa 1850 to 1950). Self-guided and guided tours are available for free M-F from 8-5 p.m. 
Museum curator Stephen Hall is looking for several items to complete the collection. Specifically, he is looking for the following three items. If you can help, email him at
  • Mortar and Pestle from the Schering Corporation, made in 1998
  • Mortar and Pestle from the Schering Corporation, made in 2002
  • A leech jar (any size/shape/color)



Stephanie Forbes, PharmD

How are you engaged with the College?
I am the Pharmacy Director of the Medication Management Center at the College of Pharmacy. The MMC is a pharmacist-run telehealth center. We employ over 90 pharmacy interns from the College and well as more than 60 pre-pharmacy undergrads in both Tucson and Phoenix. We mentor current pharmacy interns and prepare prospective students as they apply to schools of pharmacy. As a pharmacist with the MMC, I get to participate as a facilitator for some courses at the College as well as interview candidates who have applied to the UA COP.

What are you most passionate about in pharmacy?
I love speaking with patients and helping them to understand their medications while overcoming barriers they may have. After several years of practice, I have also discovered a particular passion for the development and cultivation of future pharmacists. I have a unique opportunity to work with many students (some current interns, some aspiring interns) and have meaningful interactions that help them grow as pharmacists, clinically and professionally.

What advice do you have for new students?
Pharmacy school is a lot of work. If it was easy, everyone would do it. My advice would be to ensure you are able to find some personal time amidst all the coursework, volunteering, paid work, clubs, organizations, fraternities, etc that you are involved in. Strive to maintain balance with exercise, hobbies, and the like. Oh, and get some sleep! Remembering to take care of yourself as a whole person, not just as a student, will, in turn, allow you to take better care of your patients.

What advice do you have for new pharmacists?
Continue to ask questions. Just because you're a licensed pharmacist doesn't mean you have all the answers - none of us do. I am so lucky to be mentored by my coworkers every day. One of the most important parts of being a provider is knowing what you don't know, and where you can go to find the answer.

What is your favorite memory at the college?
It's not COP-related but it happened shortly after I graduated pharmacy school: when UA Football upset Oregon during the 2013 season...Amazing game! Hopefully, we can get back to that place someday soon. Bear down!


Good News and Faculty Kudos

Ivo Abraham | Publication
Alhossan A, Lee CS, MacDonald K, Abraham I. "Real-life" Effectiveness Studies of Omalizumab in Adult Patients with Severe Allergic Asthma: Meta-analysis.​ 2017 Sep - Oct;5(5):1362-1370.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.jaip.2017.02.002. Epub 2017 Mar 27.​

Brian Erstad | Awards
One of only two pharmacists selected by the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF) and the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) for an interprofessional panel to assess neuromuscular blockage monitoring and residual neuromuscular blockade.
Dr. Erstad will also be receiving the American Society of Hospital Pharmacists (ASHP) Award for Sustained Contributions at the 2017 ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting in December. The award recognizes an individual who has a track record for publishing relevant articles of consistently high quality and impact in the primary, peer-reviewed, biomedical literature over a minimum of 20 years. This award places an emphasis on the significance and impact of the nominee's contributions to the biomedical literature, rather than the quality of articles. The ASHP Midyear Meeting will be December 3-7 in Orlando.
Heidi Mansour | Grant Award
United States Department of Defense Therapeutic Development Award for $4.39 million total including direct and indirect costs over 3 years.
Sid Patanwala |Publications
Patanwala AE, Aljuhani O, Bakhsh H, Erstad BL. Effect of Acetaminophen on the Prevention of Acute Kidney Injury in Patients With Sepsis. Ann Pharmacother. 2017Aug 1:1060028017728298. doi: 10.1177/1060028017728298. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28836466.
Gramish JA, Kopp BJ, Patanwala AE. Effect of Amantadine on Agitation in Critically Ill Patients With Traumatic Brain Injury. Clin Neuropharmacol. 2017 Aug 14. doi: 10.1097/WNF.0000000000000242. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28816834.
Patanwala AE, Sakles JC. Effect of patient weight on first pass success and neuromuscular blocking agent dosing for rapid sequence intubation in the emergency department. Emerg Med J. 2017 Aug 16. pii: emermed-2017-206762. doi: 10.1136/emermed-2017-206762. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28814478.
DeAngelo J, Jarrell D, Cosgrove R, Camamo J, Edwards C, Patanwala AE. Comparison of 3-Factor Versus 4-Factor Prothrombin Complex Concentrate With Regard to Warfarin Reversal, Blood Product Use, and Costs. Am J Ther. 2017 Jul 26. doi: 10.1097/MJT.0000000000000643. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28763307.
Hanna Phan | Award
Dr. Phan was appointed as the first pharmacist member of the Board of Directors, Arizona Asthma Coalition (AAC).


Reed's Pharmacy Selected for Arizona Daily Star Reader's Choice Awards

Reed's Compounding Pharmacy won the Best Pharmacy award from the Arizona Daily Star Reader's Choice Awards. Tom Reed, '69 is pictured here with his daughter, Dana Reed-Kane, '96.

About Reed's Pharmacy

Since 1998, the father-daughter pharmacist team, Tom Reed and Dana Reed-Kane, have served the Tucson community with dedication, expertise and history invested in caring for patients.

Prior to teaming with his daughter in 2001, Tom owned and operated Jones United Drug Company in Tucson since 1979. With a strong work ethic and passion for providing individual care to his patients, Tom established a dedicated clientele of patients. 

Shortly after Dana Reed graduated from University of Arizona College of Pharmacy in 1996, they decided to open a pharmacy that would allow them to continue offering individual care to patients while this time specializing in a more individual approach — compounding. 

Since opening in 1998, Reed’s Compounding Pharmacy has tripled in size with services ranging from consultations, screenings, diabetic footwear, pain management, women’s and men’s health as well as veterinary compounding.


Rachael Cook, '12, Promoted to Lieutenant Commander

Rachael Cook, '12, was promoted to Lieutenant Commander in the Public Health Service, aided by husband Andrew Cook '12.

Download App for the Chance to Win an All-Inclusive Trip to Tucson for Homecoming Oct. 26-28!

Download the application here. 
Earn points in the application for a chance to win an all-inclusive trip to Tucson for Homecoming 2017! This is your chance to Meet Wilbur and Wilma, get free tickets to the Homecoming luncheon, take advantage of priority seating at the bonfire, ride in the parade, enjoy free food and drink tickets at the Wildcat for Life Tailgate Party and cheer for the Wildcats against Washington State University in club level seats at Arizona Stadium!

Airfare and a two-night hotel stay are included as well as Wildcat gear prize pack and dining gift cards for the winner and one guest. Contest ends Sept. 27.

RSVP to celebrate Homecoming and our 70th Anniversary!

Save the date to join us on Friday, October 27 to kick off Homecoming and celebrate our 70th anniversary with fellow PharmCats, family and friends! Enjoy a fun evening of hors d’oeuvres, wine, beer and live music. Stock up on UA apparel and gift items sold by student organizations and the UA bookstore. We have several exhibits planned that will be fun for everyone, along with our fellow health sciences colleges celebrating and the Alumni Association having a tent in the mall. We hope to see you there!

Friday, October 27, 2017
5:00 to 8:00 p.m.
University of Arizona College of Pharmacy - Drachman Hall
RSVP Requested

Pictured above: Gerald Fehn (with wife Linda) and Jeff Gorman celebrating their 50th reunion with Larry Schallock (1968), recipient of the 2016 Jack Cole Distinguished Alumnus Award.

We asked Dr. Mansour how the Expansion and Renovation of our Skaggs Building will Help Advance her Research

"More space and modernized facilities that have the latest technologies and innovative structural designs will significantly help my research program and enhance research training, recruitment, and teaching with an innovative learning environment that comes with the expansion and renovation of the Skaggs building."

This Skaggs Pharmaceutical Sciences Center Challenge is a $31.5 million campaign to expand and renovate the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy’s Skaggs Pharmaceutical Sciences Center, allowing for more cutting-edge research, education, innovation and training. Your support will contribute to critical infrastructure upgrades that will shape the UA College of Pharmacy, contribute to the pipeline of future pharmacists and impact health care in Arizona and worldwide.

Pictured: Dr. Mansour (on the right) and Dr. Megan Carver, Assistant Research Scientist, conduct research in lab space in the Skaggs Pharmaceutical Sciences building. 


the number of articles published by PharmD students in

About the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy 
Established in 1947, the College of Pharmacy was the first health sciences college at the University of Arizona and is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. Educating pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists, the college participates in many interprofessional and multi-institutional educational and research collaborations throughout Arizona and globally. It is ranked among the premier colleges of pharmacy in the United States and is often among the top 20 colleges of pharmacy in terms of external funding for research, including funding from the National Institutes of Health.

About PharmCats Rx
PharmCats Rx is the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy monthly newsletter published by the Communications Office. For more information, contact Alli Benjamin. 

Facebook Twitter Flickr Vimeo
The University of Arizona