The wide-reaching impact the UofSC College of Pharmacy has on health care in our state was apparent at the 2021 annual meeting of the South Carolina Society of Health-System Pharmacists, where UofSC faculty and students took home several top awards for their work.
Erin Warren, Class of 2021, received the Outstanding Student Award, an annual title presented to a student pharmacist for his or her achievements and contribution to their local SCSHP chapter.
Warren is passionate about research and advancing the field of pharmacy. She became involved with SCSHP in her second year of pharmacy school as a Junior Board Member.
“My time serving in SCSHP has been a highlight of my pharmacy school career and has opened many opportunities for me over the last two years,” she says. “I know that I will continue to serve within SCSHP for years to come. My advice to other pharmacy students is to get involved in state and national organizations early on, because it is so rewarding.”
Warren plans to pursue residency following graduation and credits the faculty in preparing her for that path.
“Reflecting upon my time at the UofSC COP, as it is coming to a close in two short months, I am leaving both proud of what I have accomplished and confident that I have been equipped with the necessary skills to begin my career and be a great advocate for my patients.”
Hundreds of students, early-career professionals, and leaders attend the meeting to network and learn. Stephen Bowe, Class of 2021, received the honor of Best Poster at the virtual research poster session. His research focuses on safe use of medications, specifically analyzing the side effects of a new drug for treatment of the flu.
“We found that baloxavir may be a safer option than the most common flu drugs, since people were less likely to experience side effects like abnormal behavior and hallucinations,” he says.
This is Bowe’s second time to receive an award for research at SCSHP and is grateful for the guidance from faculty members.
“The COP is always looking to conduct research to evaluate and improve the profession. They are eager to involve students, serve as great mentors, and give students first-hand experience working,” Bowe says. “I am honored to have been a part of two UofSC research projects that have received SCSHP awards.”
They’ve done an incredible job representing the bright minds at the UofSC College of Pharmacy ...
Julie Ann Justo, Pharm.D. Associate Professor
The Clinical Pharmacy Challenge, held during the annual meeting, brings student teams from each of the four colleges of pharmacy in the state together to test their clinical knowledge. Third-year pharmacy students Carly Huggins, Ryan McCormick and Bailey Smith brought home this year’s winning title.
“This is even more impressive as the challenge was conducted via Zoom with a remote buzzer system and other technical intricacies,” says faculty advisor and Associate Professor Julie Ann Justo. “They’ve done an incredible job representing the bright minds at the UofSC College of Pharmacy and helping to maintain UofSC’s winning title for two years running.”
Justo was also recognized with the group’s top honor as Pharmacist of the Year, given to an active pharmacist with sustained achievements and contributions to health-systems pharmacy. Justo, who works on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis as an infectious diseases expert at Prisma Health – Richland, says this year has been tough but also extremely rewarding.
If you know someone working in health care today, let them know you appreciate them. Even a little nod goes such a long way ...
“Despite the challenges we have faced with COVID, I found a silver lining in getting to work so closely with some pretty incredible teammates at the University of South Carolina, Prisma Health-Midlands, and at the state and federal level,” she says. “If you know someone working in health care today, let them know you appreciate them. Even a little nod goes such a long way! We’re still in this together.”
College of Pharmacy Dean Stephen J. Cutler, Ph.D., echoed Justo’s sentiment on the special value of these awards after a difficult year. “Our faculty and students have worked exceedingly hard during the pandemic and it’s rewarding to see Dr. Justo, Erin Warren, Stephen Bowe, Carly Huggins, Ryan McCormick, and Bailey Smith receive awards from the SCSHP, which are reflective of their commitment to excellence.”