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Faculty Students

Healthcare Careers Highlighted at State Conference for Teens

Author cupharmacy | Publish Date March 17, 2017

Approximately 750 high school and post-secondary students from around the state of Colorado recently participated in a state conference organized by the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA).  Among the 15 exhibitors representing health science related organizations was the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

CU Pharmacy featured prominently in various activities, including symposiums, practice skills competitions, and a health poster contest.  Two students received awards for the practice skills competitions in non-sterile compounding and prescription accuracy.  Jillian Laplante from Mountain Vista High School won the gold medal for her accomplishments. Francisco Estrada from Morgan Community College was awarded the silver medal. Alumna Julia Rawlings, PharmD, assisted with judging the pharmacy practice competition. There was also an award given for the extemporaneous poster contest, featuring prescription drug abuse as this year's topic.  Our faculty, Robert Valuck, PhD, and Catherine Jarvis, PharmD, assisted with developing the topic.

Well over 60 students attended two symposiums presented by CU Pharmacy faculty and students. Third-year students Christian Gabriel and Megan Wary conducted a workshop on antibiotic resistance and infectious diseases.  Assistant Professor Danielle Fixen, PharmD, featured a topic on medical marijuana research, highlighting the new opportunities for pharmacists to complement patient care through a better understanding of marijuana for medicinal use. Both presentations were videotaped. 

Excerpt from Megan and Christian's presentation follows:

Proctor: Thank you all for coming to the CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences symposium on Antibiotic resistance.  This is Megan and Christian and they will be your presenters.

Megan: Me and Christian are both third year pharmacy students.  It’s a 4 year program it a doctorate and we’ll graduate next May if all goes accordingly.  I grew up in Arkansas. I went to the University of Arkansas for my bachelor’s degree and majored in biochemistry.  Christian is from Arizona and when to the Univ of Arizona and he majored in physiology.

Christian: Alright, we are good to go. Thanks everyone for coming. Today we are going to talk about antibiotic resistance. A really common, pressing matter just in general in medicine. We’ll be talking about it microorganisms can take over the world.

Megan: Feel free, if you have any questions, to shout them out.

Megan: So, what is antimicrobial resistance? It’s the idea that these bacteria come up with mechanisms to withstand antibiotics.

That can happen through random mutations. Or as we expose them more and more to antibiotics we give them selective pressure. We encourage them to evolve. And we have bacteria that can outsmart our drugs.

Christian: So, some of you might have hear about multi-drug resistance bacteria. So specifically this 49-year old woman had a Colistin resistant organism that she had a resistance to. Last line, end of the road options not working. This one was scary because it plasmid mediator resistance.

Typically, they will mutate through general mutations in DNA. This specifically was sharing its DNA and sharing information with each other.

Luckily for this patient there was another medication and they ended up being fine. Unfortunately, that’s not the case in every case.

Megan: We’ll be talking about Bob.  He’s a 74 year old man. He stubbed his toe. All of that is indicative that he has an infection…