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A message from Gary M. Pollack

April 2017

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

At the WSU College of Pharmacy, we believe it is important for us to set an example of the kind of leadership we aspire to instill in our students, and it is important for our alumni and friends to know why we feel this is such an important initiative to pursue. It’s because we are dedicated to advancing, promoting and protecting human health, and that’s done in part through advancing the role the profession of pharmacy plays in the future of health care. As we challenge the status quo to develop practice-ready graduates, we are also growing a community of like-minded peers within the academy. This summer we gather in Spokane to share our experiences and learn from others at our Transformation and Innovation of Pharmacy Education (TIPed) 2017 Institute. Collaboration within this community is vital to seeing the widespread adoption of innovation that will push the quality of our education and the advancement of our profession forward.

We believe in the viability of a robust market for well-prepared pharmacy graduates across a spectrum of positions and activities. It was this belief in the pharmacy profession that caused us to expand our Doctor of Pharmacy program and to establish a cohort of students in Yakima, reflecting our commitment to increase educational and career opportunities, and to enhance access to healthcare for the citizens of Washington state. Of course, quantity does not ensure quality, and our faculty have been totally committed to providing our students with the highest-quality educational experience, as well as the support necessary to become outstanding professionals.

An emerging external measure of programmatic quality is the Pharmacy Curriculum Outcomes Assessment (PCOA), developed by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. Over the last four years, the proportion of our third-year students scoring in the two highest-percentile decades (above the 90th percentile and between the 80th and 90th percentiles) on the PCOA each increased seven-fold. This substantial increase in high-end performance is coincident with completing implementation of a competency-based approach to educating our students. While other factors may have contributed to the improvement we are seeing on this admittedly controversial national examination, it appears that the pedagogical strategies we have been developing over the past several years are having the impact that our faculty envisioned.

There is no evidence, at least in the salaries earned by pharmacists, of the retrenchment of the profession predicted by some of our doom-and-gloom colleagues. A recent article in Bloomberg listed the 25 best-paying jobs in the United States. Of note was that two of the top five positions were occupied by pharmacy: “Pharmacy Manager” at number two (second only to “Physician”), and “Pharmacist” at number five. Pharmacy continues to be a personally, professionally, and financially rewarding profession, and one that has the potential for profound impact on the health of individuals and communities.

Best wishes,
signature: Gary M. Pollack

Gary M. Pollack
Dean, College of Pharmacy
Washington State University

TIPed 2017

4/8/17 Celebrating Generosity
in Yakima

5:00 p.m.
4/21/17 Celebrating Generosity
in Spokane

5:00 p.m.
5/4/17 Commencement
The FOX, Spokane
1:00 p.m.
View details
5/11/17 CougaRx Reception Columbia Tower Club
Seattle, 5:00 p.m.
More college events »

Tom Menighan

American Pharmacists Association CEO to speak at pharmacy commencement
SPOKANE, Wash.—Tom Menighan, executive vice president and chief executive officer of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), will be the keynote speaker at the commencement ceremony of the Washington State University College of Pharmacy. Read more »


Post-Graduate Fellowship in Pharmacy Focuses on Teaching Excellence in Higher Education
SPOKANE, Wash.—The Washington State University College of Pharmacy is dedicated to preparing outstanding health care professionals and scientists. Read more »

Kimberly McKeirnan

WSU expands training for immunizations to increase access to care
SPOKANE, Wash.—The Washington State University (WSU) College of Pharmacy, with permission from the Idaho Board of Pharmacy, is working to expand access to health services in Idaho. Read more »

Pharmacy weekend
A message from Linda Garrelts MacLean

Dear Alums, Colleagues and Friends of Pharmacy,

I am both proud and excited to announce a very special event that we are planning for this fall: we are bringing back Pharmacy Weekend! Please mark your calendars now and join us in Spokane on October 20-21. What is very special about the reinvention of this WSU pharmacy tradition (now called Pharmacy Homecoming Weekend) is we will be hosting an event on Friday evening to honor the distinguished service, accomplishments and contributions of WSU College of Pharmacy Professor Emeritus R. Keith Campbell. I invite you to join me for this esteemed event, it certainly will be a night you do not want to miss!

Our faculty prepare our graduates for success. One of the major elements that sets the WSU College of Pharmacy apart is the lasting relationships that our student pharmacists form during their time here. One very good example is this note Keith happened to forward to me a year ago from Alyson Blum, who is now a Clinical Assistant Professor here at WSU:

Dear Professor Campbell,

The other day, I had a new patient with Type I come in. I was reading her OB's note and he was referring her to me for pregnancy. She is 8 weeks and is very sweet. BUT, I could tell she wasn't sure how to feel about having a new diabetes care team during pregnancy. I usually take the first appointment to get to know people and how they manage their own diabetes. We laughed, we talked about pumps and CGMs because she wasn't aware of some of the new technology available. At the end she asked with tears in her eyes, "can I give you a hug?" and I said "of course." Then she said, "I have had diabetes since I was 4 years old and this is the best appointment I have ever had. You are the only diabetes specialist I have ever seen who I actually believe understands me and my disease."

I believe life is made up of moments that create life's course. This moment made me reflect on the moments that got me here and you have played the biggest role in providing these moments. From "you need to be great," to "you need to go to Camp STIX," to "Alyson Blum would be prefect for the OB residency," I wouldn't be here without you. So thank you for all you have done!! I love my job every day.

This is the impact great faculty members have on future pharmacists, and I know that many of you also have stories similar to Alyson’s! We believe that fostering these relationships and providing opportunities for comradery is not just to the benefit of our students, but also for our alumni and friends to stay connected and interact with each other. This is why we decided to host Pharmacy Homecoming Weekend—so that you can stay connected with the Cougar pharmacy family. I look forward to seeing you there!

With Cougar Pride,

Linda Garrelts MacLean
Linda Garrelts MacLean, BPharm, RPh
Vice Dean of External Relations
Clinical Professor

Student news STUDENT NEWS

Shelby Denney, class of 2017, followed her passion to pursue veterinary pharmacy. In the process she created an online elective and continuing education course. Read more »


Using a patients’ individual genetic information to select drugs and drug dosages specifically effective for them is part of pharmacy’s future.
Read more »

Linda Evans Parlette ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

Former senator of Washington’s 12th Legislative District Linda Evans Parlette is the fourth generation in her family born and raised in Central Washington. Read more »


  • Jim Carlson, class of 1980, is now working for ASHP as an Accreditation Services Associate, conducting accreditation surveys of PGY1 and PGY2 pharmacy residency programs. He is based out of the Seattle area and travels all over the country conducting accreditation surveys. His niece Megan (Foster) Tilton, class of 2015, is working at Virginia Mason Memorial Hospital in Yakima.
  • We recently heard from Huy Hoang, class of 2014. He sent us this great photo at Antelope Canyon, Arizona, about a two-hour drive north of the Grand Canyon. View photo »
  • Margaret Doane, wife of 1949 pharmacy alumnus Wayne Doane, passed away in December 2016. Our condolences to the Doane family.
  • Jacque Doane, WSU class of 1972 and pharmacy supporter, was named the “Dorothy Stimson Bullitt Community Service Award” recipient for 2016-2017.
  • Thank you to all that joined us at our APhA reception in March! View photo »

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


  • Pharmacotherapy Clinical Assistant Professor Kimberly C. McKeirnan, Pharmacotherapy Clinical Assistant Professor Julie M. Akers, Pharmacotherapy Research Associate Jennifer C. Czapinski, and Pharmacotherapy Clinical Associate Professor and Assistant Dean for Recruitment and Student Success Jennifer D. Robinson published, “Using collaborative drug therapy agreements to train student pharmacists to provide clinical patient care services,“ in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, the open-access official scholarly publication of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), available online March 30, 2017. Read more
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences Associate Professor Grant Trobridge and six co-authors published, “Evidence for the in vivo safety of insulated foamy viral vectors," in Gene Therapy, a peer-reviewed journal from the nature publishing group. Read more
  • Pharmacotherapy Professor Tracy L. Skaer published, “Treatment recommendations for fibromyalgia,” in the International Journal of Pharma Research & Review, an open access, peer-reviewed pharmacy journal (2016;5(4):19-28). Read more
  • Pharmacotherapy Professor and Associate Dean for Professional and Continuing Education Danial E. Baker published, “High drug prices: so who is to blame?” in the independent, peer-reviewed journal Hospital Pharmacy (2017;52(1):5-6).
  • Danial Baker and Pharmacotherapy Clinical Professor Terri L. Levien published, “Lixisenatide,” in Hospital Pharmacy (2017;52(1):65-80).
  • Danial Baker and Terri Levien published, "Irinotecan liposome injection,” in Hospital Pharmacy (2017;52(2):144-150).
  • Pharmacotherapy Assistant Director of Experiential Services Luke Rice co-authored with six others, “Best practices in establishing and sustaining consortia in pharmacy education,” in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education (2017;81(2):1-8).


  • Pharmaceutical Sciences Assistant Professor Hui Zhang presented, “Alcohol modulation of NK cells and CD8+ T cells via IL-15: kill two birds with one stone,” as part of the WSU College of Pharmacy Research Seminar Series on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, in Spokane, Washington.
  • Pharmacotherapy Associate Professor and Director of Experiential Services Joshua J. Neumiller presented, “Type 2 diabetes – pathophysiology and pharmacology review,” as a webinar for Postgraduate Healthcare Education, LLC on March, 22 2017.
  • Pharmacotherapy Research Resident in Medication Optimization Kyle Frazier, Kimberly McKeirnan and Pharmacotherapy Clinical Associate Professor Lisa Woodard presented two CE sessions of, ‘’Hypertension update,” for the Spokane Pharmacy Association on March 6 and 7, 2017, in Spokane, Washington.
  • Julie Akers presented, “Evolving role of the pharmacist,” at The Hepatitis C meeting at Gilead on March 3, 2017.


  • Joshua Neumiller was elected to serve a two-year term on the Rho Chi Society Executive Council as Region VII Councilor at the APhA Annual Meeting on March 26, 2017.


  • Pharmaceutical Sciences Assistant Professor John Clarke was awarded $714,616 over three years by the National Institutes of Health for the project, “Microcystin-LR toxicity in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.”

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) students

  • Kari Gaither, pharmaceutical sciences (Liu lab), will receive the 2017 Karen DePauw Leadership Award on April 6 in Pullman, Washington. Gaither was chosen for her demonstrated leadership as a WSU doctoral candidate and will receive $1000 as part of this award, given jointly by the WSU Association for Faculty Women and the WSU Graduate School.
  • Sara Dumit, pharmaceutical sciences (Tolmachev lab), presented, “Plutonium biokinetics in the human body under decorporation treatment,” during the European Radiation Dosimetry Group Annual Meeting in Karlsruhe, Germany on February 27 through March 3, 2017.
  • Sara Dumit, pharmaceutical sciences (Tolmachev lab), presented, “Chelation treatment after occupational exposure to plutonium,” at the Brazilian Graduate Student Conference at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California on March 11 and 12, 2017. Faculty co-authors include: Sergei Tolmachev and Maia Avtandilashvili.
  • Panshak Dakup, pharmaceutical sciences (Gaddameedhi lab), won the annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition with his presentation, “The benefits of circadian function in cancer therapy,” in Pullman, Washington on March 28, 2017.

Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) students

  • The WSU student chapters of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists and Operation Immunization provided medication reviews, immunizations and cholesterol screenings to elderly patients at the Deer Park Crossing Senior Center on March 6, 2017, in Spokane, Washington.
  • Natalie Tucker has been selected as an incoming American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) National Communications Standing Committee member.
  • WSU APhA-ASP Operation Immunization 2015-2016 has been recognized with an APhA Regional Award.
  • WSU College of Pharmacy elected the following students to the Professional Pharmacy Student Organization (PPSO) executive board: PPSO President-elect, Casey Aaby; APhA-ASP, Yongmin Ko; ASCP, Amber Duldulao; ASHP, James Nguyen; NCPA, Megan Baker; Director-elect of PR, Anne Fleming; Fundraising Chair, Brandy Seignemartin.
  • Tory Knebel was selected to serve on the national student leadership council for the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA).
  • Alec Sisneros and Johanna Pantig were elected president and vice president, respectively, for the 2017-18 Associated Students of WSU Spokane leadership team.
  • Kimberly Paulson, Shauna Leggett and Megan Baker placed fourth overall at the national Student Pharmacists Compounding Competition. In addition, their team won a research proposal contest and the college will receive a Medisca Mazerustar, a piece of compounding lab equipment valued at $17,000.


WSU College of Pharmacy logo

Washington State University College of Pharmacy
PO Box 1495, Spokane, WA  99202