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September 2020

Message from the Dean

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Fall semester has officially started and I’m so grateful to our students, faculty and staff and how they have pulled together in many firsts for us. How we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic will define the pharmacy profession going forward and I’m so proud to see the way our student pharmacists and faculty have answered the call to action. As COVID-19 cases climbed to new peaks over the summer in various parts of the country, numerous faculty and student pharmacists volunteered their personal time to assist at drive-thru test sites in Yakima and Spokane. Nearly two dozen of our student pharmacists have sprung into action to assist with a drive-thru test site setup by Walgreens in Spokane at the end of August. The video below summarizes why so many of us chose this profession and how we can continue to help our communities battle this pandemic now and in the future.

I am extremely grateful to our faculty members Nicole Perea and Kim McKeirnan (’08) in Spokane, and Christina Buchman in Yakima, who put their creative minds together to ensure that our students can be certified to administer vaccines this fall. This will guarantee that student pharmacists can continue to work on the frontlines. With careful planning down to the minute detail, student pharmacists will be able to demonstrate their competency in administering a vaccine. Thank you also to Shandra Calmes (’05) our immunization trainer, and Albertsons and Safeway for their continued sponsorship of this program. During this challenging year, your contribution will make an exponential difference—not only for our students—but for the many communities where our student pharmacists will work this flu season.

We recently held our first virtual white coat celebration and it was a tremendous success. Due to restrictions on social gatherings, our incoming student pharmacists had to commemorate this milestone from the safety of their own homes. Though it was a virtual event, the gravity of the moment was not lost. On behalf of the college, we are so proud to present to the world our class of 2024. Over 600 viewers took part in the event. If you missed it, you can catch the recording here, and meet some of our first-year student pharmacists via Instagram. Again, these cherished moments would not have been possible without the support Walgreens and their District Manager Nick Bruck (’04), and QFC and their Health and Wellness Merchandiser Chuck Paulsen (’84).

Normally, I’m not a person who enjoys being the center of attention, but I would like to invite you all to my homecoming Zoom social hour on October 1. We will be auctioning off a case or two of my homemade wine, made with grapes from the Lonesome Spring Ranch Vineyard in the Yakima Valley and aged in French oak barrels. While I can’t take full credit for the wine, as several of my engineering friends also contributed to the creation of our wine (including a Cougar and dear friend, Craig Massie, Mechanical Engineering, class of 1986), I guarantee that my skills developed from years of working in a lab were put to good use.

Thank you all for another great month and your ongoing support of our students and mission.

Mark Leid, Professor and Dean
WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Yakima Pharmacotherapy Assistant Professor Nick Giruzzi
Karen Vo, class of 2023

A note from Linda Garrelts MacLean

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Fall semester is usually the season that we reconnect and celebrate with our alumni and friends, marked by our Crimson Gala and homecoming tailgate at the beginning of October. With restrictions on social gatherings we have postponed our usual festivities until next year but would like to invite you to join us for a Zoom social hour in celebration of Dean Leid’s return to Washington State University. As many of you may know, Mark graduated from the WSU College of Pharmacy in 1983. After 37 years of working in community pharmacy, research, and as a faculty member at Oregon State University, we are so pleased to welcome him back to his alma mater. As mentioned in his note, Mark will be auctioning off some of his private reserve. Guests will also have a chance to win some Cougar Crest wine. We hope you can join us for this fun, albeit abridged, catch-up.

Also, I want to thank alumni who have submitted student names through our Refer A Future Cougar PharmD program. Over the years, many of our student pharmacists have said they were inspired to join the profession thanks to the encouragement of WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences alumni. In order to share our sincere gratitude, we have formalized this process so that we can thank you for motivating future generations of pharmacists. If you know someone who would make a great future Cougar PharmD, don’t hesitate to let us know!

As usual, thank you all for your continued guidance and support. We look forward to hearing your latest news and sharing all the wonderful things our students, faculty and staff are doing inside and outside the college.

With best regards and much respect,

Linda Garrelts MacLean

Linda Garrelts MacLean, Vice Dean of External Relations
WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Spotlight on Success

PharmD News

CPPS on the Frontlines

Mobile health unit offers COVID‑19 testing for students
The William A. Crosetto Mobile Health Care Unit will be heading to Pullman this week with pharmacy, nursing and medical student and faculty volunteers to begin testing WSU students who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID‑19 or are experiencing any symptoms associated with the disease.

Read more from the Insider

Our College

Meet pharmacy’s new dean

Pharmacy and research were never part of WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Dean Mark Leid’s life plan, but dreams of becoming a Division 1 football player and following his then girlfriend to the WSU College of Pharmacy, led him on an unlikely path to a lifelong career as a pharmacist and researcher.


Philanthropy Focus

We’d like to express our gratitude to Walgreens and Nick Bruck (class of 2004) for their generous support of the Class of 2024 Virtual White Coat Celebration. Walgreens’ investment in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences makes a tremendous difference to our student pharmacists and our program. Thank you!

Alumni Updates

Carl Manhardt, class of 2017, recently accepted a position as a Clinical Pharmacist for the Community Health Center of Snohomish County. He spent the past four years at Fred Meyer, where he served first as an intern, then spent three years as a Pharmacy Manager, and even served a brief stint as a COVID-19 tester. Carl expressed his gratitude to his co-workers and patients at Fred Meyer for inspiring him to make the transition from community pharmacy to community health. Congratulations, Carl!
Andrea Dickens, class of 2011, is now working for McKesson as a Senior Manager of Oncology Clinical Content in Houston, where she specializes in breast cancer. She was previously with MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
Eric Kim, class of 2017, has been working at Seattle Genetics for the past few months as Senior Clinical Scientist. He was hired by the company after completing  a two-year residency with Merck and serving as adjunct faculty at Rutgers University.

Want to be listed in our alumni updates? Send us your career information or let us know what you’ve been up to at!

September 2020 Updates



Pharmaceutical Sciences Assistant Professor Travis T. Denton, with pharmaceutical sciences and molecular medicine graduate students Dunxin Shen and Laken Kruger and Doctor of Pharmacy student Tyler Deatherage published, “Synthesis of a-Ketoglutaramic acid,” in Analytical Biochemistry in August 2020.

Pharmacotherapy Associate Professor Kimberly C. McKeirnan published, “ACIP updates vaccine recommendations for 2020: what pharmacists need to know,” in Pharmacy Times in August 2020.

Kimberly McKeirnan, Pharmacotherapy Assistant Professor (Yakima) Anne P. Kim,  Pharmacotherapy Associate Professor (Yakima) Angela S. Stewart, Pharmaceutical Sciences Assistant Professor Connie M. Remsberg and co-authors published, “Study behaviors associated with student pharmacists’ academic success in an active … » More …

Other News

White Coat ceremonies go virtual: Families celebrate at home
First‑year students in WSU’s colleges of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences are already adapting to the changes of a new school year under the shadow of COVID‑19.
Read more from the WSU Insider

Upbringing influences student regent’s leadership
Fourth-year pharmacy student and WSU student regent Arliegh Cayanan attributes his community-centered leadership style to his Hawaiian upbringing. He hopes to bring this “spirit of Aloha” to his new role as regent.
Read more from the Daily Evergreen

ACIP updates vaccine recommendations for 2020: What pharmacists need to know
Every year the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) updates their vaccination recommendations. Pharmacotherapy Associate Professor Kimberly McKeirnan takes a look at this year’s ACIP recommendations for influenza, meningococcal disease, and COVID-19 vaccines.
Read more from Pharmacy Times

WSU pharmacy school receives grant to help UGM free clinic
Yakima Pharmacotherapy Assistant Professor Nick Giruzzi spoke with KIMA Action News about the college’s recent $47,500 Lauzier grant to work with the Yakima Union Gospel Mission’s free clinic to provide services for homeless and uninsured people in the Yakima Valley.
Read more from KIMA Action News

Increasing COVID-19 testing capacity on Pullman campus
As the University works to increase testing capacity, the WSU Health Sciences is preparing the William A. Crosetto Mobile Health Care Unit to head to Pullman with pharmacy, nursing, and medical student and faculty volunteers ready to help take on COVID-19 testing.
Read more from the WSU Insider