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Washington State University

Prominent alumnus to receive lifetime achievement award

By Kelly Sylvester

Although he originally wanted to be a veterinarian, it’s clear that WSU alumnus John Oftebro, class of 1965, found his life’s calling as a pharmacist. He began his career as a staff pharmacist for a chain in Seattle, two stints for independent pharmacies, then a short time as a hospital pharmacist, but eventually continued working in independent pharmacy where he discovered his true niche. Eventually, John purchased Kelley-Ross Pharmacy and expanded it to six locations all over the Seattle area and became one of the pioneers of clinical pharmacy and innovation. He credits his success to building relationships, taking risks, and not … » More …

Pharmacy student helps hundreds of Afghan refugees in Washington

Third-year pharmacy student Ghazal Meratnia does not particularly enjoy the spotlight. She likes to keep things low key, but in many ways she’s an everyday hero for hundreds of Afghan refugees living in Washington state. Aside from being a full-time pharmacy student at WSU, Ghazal has served as a certified medical interpreter for Washington state for the last 10 years. Most of her clients are Afghan refugees who recently arrived to the Spokane area and are receiving medical checkups.

“It’s been an amazing journey,” said Ghazal whose family immigrated more than 10 years ago to the United States from Iran, a country which shares a … » More …

Pharmacy students’ law a game changer for patient care

Brandy Seignemartin (’20) had just completed her third year of pharmacy school when a bill she worked on with fellow WSU Health Sciences students and faculty was officially signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee. It was May 7, 2019, and the perfect exclamation point to end the school year. Less than one year later the world would go into lock down as COVID-19 quickly spread from country to country and the law that she helped to set in motion would have a significant impact on the health of Washingtonians across the state and COVID-19 testing and vaccinations for years to come.

“It is awesome … » More …

Discovery could improve cancer immunotherapy

By Sara Zaske, WSU News

A type of white blood cell previously known only as a helper in the immune system appears also to be the instigator of the body’s defenses against cancerous tumors. The discovery could lead to more effective cancer immunotherapy, a promising treatment which uses the body’s own immune system, rather than radiation, to attack cancer cells.

In an animal study, Washington State University researchers found that a population of T cells called CD4-positive helper T cells helped start a chain of antitumor immunity defenses that allow killer cells to better infiltrate melanoma and breast cancer tumors. T cells belong to a … » More …

Balancing military service and pharmacy school

Colton Sorensen is one of many service men and women who pursued his doctor of pharmacy degree at Washington State University. Colton, who served in the United States Marine Corps, shares how his military training as a marine translates to becoming a better health care provider as a pharmacist. In 2020, Colton was asked to press pause on his third year in pharmacy school to deploy to Georgia, a country which shares a border with Russia, Azerbaijian, Armenia, and Turkey. The deployment ended up delaying his graduation by one year. Along with an active-duty tour to the countries of Georgia, Afghanistan, and Qatar, Colton also … » More …

Interview with an infectious diseases pharmacist

May 22 is Infectious Diseases Pharmacists Day intended to recognize ID pharmacists and their impact on patient care and contributions to the health care team. This year’s theme for ID Pharmacists Day is deprescribing antibiotics amid COVID-19. To understand the role of ID pharmacists and what patients can do to protect their health, we speak to our very own infectious diseases expert and assistant professor at the college, Dana Bowers.

What does an infectious diseases (ID) pharmacist do and how do they differ from other pharmacists?

ID pharmacists focus on the appropriate use of antibiotics. We make sure that when patients are prescribed an … » More …

Graduating PharmDs achieve record 2022 residency matches

WSU PharmD students topped previous year’s accredited residency match rate at 71 percent up from 67 percent the previous year, according to the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists (ASHP), which coordinates the official match process for pharmacy schools nationwide. This year, 34 WSU PharmD students out of 48 matched.

Residencies are post-graduate training programs which allow new pharmacists to perform as a licensed practitioner to train under the supervision of an experienced preceptor. Residencies are highly sought-after positions to help pharmacists gain experience, leadership skills, advance their growth of clinical judgement, and hone their skills as a practicing pharmacist.

Following graduation this May, Shannon … » More …

Pharmacy students training to fill rural health care gap

WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has accepted five students into the rural health track. These first-year students will be the inaugural class in the track and will undergo specialized training and education in rural health care. Upon their graduation in 2025, they will be equipped with the skills, tools, and network needed to work in a rural setting.

“We look forward to working with this small group of talented students. Health care providers in rural areas face a unique set of challenges. This includes advising patients on how to access care if they don’t have phone or internet services, or if the nearest … » More …