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Washington State University

College alumnus highlights demand for pharmacists in pharmaceutical industry

Randy Legg doesn’t come from a legacy family of pharmacists. In fact, he was the first in his family to go to university, and he knew by middle school that he wanted to become a pharmacist. The class of 1988 college alumnus is now National Clinical Account Director for AstraZeneca, one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world. He says the path to his current role was not a linear one.

“I relied on mentors in the college as well as people throughout my career to help me progress,” said Legg who has worked in a variety of settings in his 34-year career in … » More …

Q&A with college alumnus and Chief Pharmacy Officer of Portland hospital

Class of 2007 alumnus Dr. Majid Tanas’ career has spanned all aspects of inpatient, outpatient, ambulatory, and research services. As Vice President of Pharmacy Services and Chief Pharmacy Officer at Legacy Health in Oregon, Dr. Tanas has a world of experience in health systems. Prior to joining Legacy Health, he was Chief of Pharmacy Services at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center and worked in various administrative positions in health systems at Oregon Health and Science University after completing his Health-System Pharmacy Administration Residency at University of Washington Medicine. Earlier this year, Dr. Tanas was recognized by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists … » More …

Smiles, hugs usher in return of annual Crimson Gala

There’s no feeling quite like that of seeing an old friend after years apart. This October, Cougar pharmacy students and alums greeted one another with hugs and smiles as they came together at the first Crimson Gala since 2019. The annual Crimson Gala is a celebration of pharmacy leaders who shape the profession for future generations as well as all of those who help to pave the way for future Cougar pharmacists through their guidance and leadership. » More ...

Capitalizing on opportunities in pharmacy

As a high school student who immigrated from Russia to Los Angeles, class of 2014 alum Alex Heyfetz never would have imagined that he would become a pharmacist one day. His hobbies at the time included judo and weightlifting; advertising, construction, and personal training were the many jobs he tried on before pursuing his doctor of pharmacy at Washington State University. 15 years later, Heyfetz says that the career choice has been better than what he could have ever imagined.

“The most important thing that you need to do in life is to try different things,” he impressed on an audience of pharmacy students during … » More …

Former Interim Dean Linda Garrelts MacLean to receive Lifetime Achievement Award at Crimson Gala

Leader in pharmacy practice Linda Garrelts MacLean, class of 1978, will receive the R. Keith Campbell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Washington State University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (CPPS) on October 7. The award will be presented at the college’s Crimson Gala in Spokane attended by alums, faculty, students, and supporters of the college.

Garrelts MacLean retired from the college on July 1, 2021, after a 20-year career as a professor, department chair, vice dean, and ultimately serving as interim dean from 2018 through 2020. She is the first female to hold the position of dean at the college.

Garrelts MacLean mentored hundreds … » More …

Study identifies key protein that drives rheumatoid arthritis damage

By Judith Van Dongen, WSU Health Sciences Spokane Office of Research

SPOKANE, Wash. – Scientists have identified a protein known as sulfatase‑2 that plays a critical role in the damage caused by rheumatoid arthritis. A chronic disease in which the immune system attacks the body’s own joint tissues, rheumatoid arthritis affects an estimated 1.5 million Americans.

Published in the journal Cellular & Molecular Immunology, the discovery sheds new light on the molecular processes that drive inflammation seen in rheumatoid arthritis. It could also someday lead to improved treatment of the disease, which currently has no cure.

“Tumor necrosis factor‑alpha — or TNF‑alpha for short … » More …

WSU pharmacist creates a haven for Ukrainian refugees

Sixth Avenue Pharmacy, located in the heart of Spokane’s health care hub, reflects the monumental development the city has undergone over the last two decades. The former QualMed Plaza, which houses the nearly 60-year-old pharmacy, has laid vacant for 50 years. The medical building is now being renovated into high-rise luxury apartments touting amenities such as a dog spa and a rooftop sky lounge. Yet, Sixth Avenue Pharmacy has stood the test of time since it opened its doors in 1964. The frenzy of construction outside mirrors the frenetic pharmacy inside where roughly a dozen employees busily fill prescriptions, compound tailor-made medicines, and prepare orders … » More …

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 Careers: Psychiatric Pharmacy Specialty Practice

Approximately one in five adults in the United States live with a mental illness and a survey published by the CDC found that 16.5% of American adults have taken prescription medication for their mental health. As the medication experts of the health care team, pharmacists are uniquely positioned to have an impact in mental health.

In the final Career Seminar presentation of the 2021-22 academic year, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences doctor of pharmacy alums Glen Chase (’15) and Aubrie Duke (’16) from Comprehensive Healthcare in Yakima, Washington talked to WSU doctor of pharmacy students about pharmacy roles in psychiatric care.

Chase and … » 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 …