PharmDawgs Rise Up at the 2023 APhA Annual Meeting & Exposition

Last month, PharmDawgs descended on Phoenix, AZ, for the American Pharmacists Association’s (APhA) Annual Meeting & Exposition, where they represented UGA and embraced the conference theme—Rise!—in presenting award-winning posters on novel research, engaging in the APhA policy process to shape the future of pharmacy, and competing in the National Patient Counseling Competition

One of the major highlights of CoP’s presence at the conference was a “Best Poster Award” presented to a PharmDawg. The recipient of the APhA Academy of Pharmaceutical Research and Science (APhA-APRS) Postgraduate Best Poster Award, Dr. Smita Rawal, a postdoctoral researcher in the College’s Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy (CAP), served as the primary author on two posters related to opioid management in community pharmacies. “Applying the theory of planned behavior to examine community pharmacists’ naloxone counseling”1 describes that, while pharmacist intent to counsel does not always translate to actual behavior, a pharmacist’s perceived behavioral control on counseling—that is, how easy or challenging they view naloxone counseling—directly influences counseling behavior. Her second poster examined fentanyl test strip availability in community pharmacies throughout Georgia and describes extremely limited uptake, awareness of, and comfort providing information on fentanyl test strips despite their legal status, low cost, and ease of use2. Together, these posters identify current limitations in pharmacist-guided management of the opioid crisis and suggest that continued work is needed to improve pharmacist confidence in and action on naloxone and fentanyl test strip counseling.

Additional posters presented by COP faculty and students examined everything from COVID-19 vaccination intention among underserved patients3 and vaccination completion in ambulatory patients4 to student pharmacist cultural competence while providing diabetes education5, engagement in state pharmacy associations6, and emergency contraception access in community pharmacies7. In total, more than 20 PharmDawgs had their research represented across seven posters!

Across from the exhibition hall and poster presentations, Dr. Henry Young, CAP Department Head and APhA-APRS president-elect, was busy on the floor of the House of Delegates, where he served as one of 28 voting members. During this session, thirteen new policies—addressing workplace conditions, veterinary pharmacy curricula, transgender and nonbinary health care, and more—were adopted and will now shape the future of the profession. Similarly, Bryan Gomez, a P1 student from Lawrenceville, GA, served as the Chapter Delegate for UGA’s local APhA Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) chapter. While at the conference, he represented the College of Pharmacy well in APhA’s National Patient Counseling Competition and championed “New Business Item 2023.2: Sustainability in Pharmacy,” which he authored, in the smaller APhA-ASP House of Delegates.

We’re PharmDawg proud of the voices that UGA’s delegation amplified on the floor of the House of Delegates and the impactful research happening every day within the College that was highlighted throughout the conference. Without a doubt, students and faculty within UGA’s College of Pharmacy know how to “Rise!” to the occasion, and they continue to “Rise!” to demonstrate their leadership, scholarship, and innovation on the national stage.

For a listing of these posters, please view the addendum below.

[1] Rawal, S., Osae, S.P., Tackett, R.L., MacKinnon, N.J., & Young, H.N. (2023, March 24-27). Applying the Theory of Planned Behavior to Examine Community Pharmacist’s Naloxone Counseling [Poster Presentation]. APhA 2023 Annual Meeting & Exposition, Phoenix, AZ.

[2] Rawal, S., Khail, J., Stone, R.H., & Young, H.N. (2023, March 24-27). Assessment of Fentanyl Test Strips Availability in Georgia Community Pharmacies [Poster Presentation]. APhA 2023 Annual Meeting & Exposition, Phoenix, AZ.

[3] Gannavarapu, P., Rawal, S., Osae, S.P., Tackett, R.L., & Young, H.N. (2023, March 24-27). Assessing Trends in COVID-19 Vaccination Intention Among Rural Federally Qualified Health Center Patients Using the Health Belief Model [Poster Presentation]. APhA 2023 Annual Meeting & Exposition, Phoenix, AZ.

[4] Ward, K., Sudharsan, P., & Matthews, G. (2023, March 24-27). Evaluation of COVID-19 Primary Series and Additional Vaccinations in Ambulatory Patients at Augusta University Medical Center [Poster Presentation]. APhA 2023 Annual Meeting & Exposition, Phoenix, AZ.

[5] Jackson, T., McElhannon, M., & Hannings, A. (2023, March 24-27). Patient Perceptions of Inclusivity and Cultural Competence of Student Pharmacists Providing Diabetes Education [Poster Presentation]. APhA 2023 Annual Meeting & Exposition, Phoenix, AZ.

[6] Hannings, A., Sharpe, S., Ward, K., DeFusco, M., Welch, L.H., & McElhannon, M. (2023, March 24-27). State Association Engagement: Benefits and Challenges Affecting Chain Community Pharmacists [Poster Presentation]. APhA 2023 Annual Meeting & Exposition, Phoenix, AZ.

[7] Dallas, D., Akinwekomi, F., Albert, A., Boatner, J., Coeffelt, B., Lee, E., Gilbert, K., Patel, M., Brogan, N., Cleland, K., & Stone, R. (2023, March 24-27). Emergency Contraception Access in Chain and Independent Pharmacies: An Analysis of Stocking Practices in Georgia [Poster Presentation]. APhA 2023 Annual Meeting & Exposition, Phoenix, AZ.

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