UToledo Pharmacy Students Fare Well in National Competitions

November 18, 2021 | News, UToday, Alumni, Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
By Tyrel Linkhorn

Students from The University of Toledo College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences were recognized for their high marks in a pair of clinical skills challenges last month at the American College of Clinical Pharmacy annual meeting.

UToledo’s team of Alana Knapke, Jenna Len and Holden Pelz — all third-year students in the Doctor of Pharmacy Program — placed third in the nation in ACCP’s Clinical Research Challenge. It was the best finish for the college since the challenge launched in 2016.

From left, Jenna Len, Alana Knapke (captain) and Holden Pelz.

This year’s challenge tasked students with developing a hypothetical research proposal on the impact of clinical pharmacy services using telemedicine.

The UToledo team, which was captained by Knapke, focused its proposal on how clinical pharmacists could improve 30-day hospital readmission rates for seniors following their release from an acute care facility by conducting a pre-discharge interview and following up with regular videoconferences on a provided smart device.

“We were trying to find a different perspective on telemedicine. We focused on seniors since there are not as many studies available demonstrating pharmacy telemedicine use within the elderly population,” Knapke said. “Pharmacists can have a really big impact within this group because they tend to be on more medications and have more disease states.”

More than 80 teams participated in this year’s challenge. UToledo was the only school from Ohio to advance to the final round, joining Duquesne, Texas Tech, St. Louis College of Pharmacy, the University of Michigan and the University of Minnesota.

From left, Ryan Strausbaugh, Michelle Wilfong and Katherine Matousek.

UToledo also had a separate team place in the top eight of ACCP’s Clinical Pharmacy Challenge, a quiz bowl-style competition that focuses on general clinical knowledge and a provided clinical case.

That team, comprised of Ryan Strausbaugh, Michelle Wilfong and Katherine Matousek, matched a previous quarterfinal appearance from UToledo in 2019. Strausbaugh, Wilfong and Matousek are all in their final year of the Doctor of Pharmacy Program.

More than 100 colleges participated in this year’s Clinical Skills Challenge.

“We have some of the brightest students in the country and I’m just so impressed by them,” said Dr. Julie Murphy, associate dean of accreditation compliance and advisor to both student teams. “Our curriculum prepares them for this, but without their level of determination and work ethic they could not have gotten this far. I’m so proud of them.”

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