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photo of sura poster
Pharmaceutical Health Outcomes and Policy Ph.D. candidate Sneha Sura, left, discusses her project with a Houston Medication Safety Symposium attendee.

Safe, Effective Use

Researchers Earn Awards for Podium, Poster Presentations at Houston Medication Safety Symposium

With a focus on high-risk medications in older adults and the opioid epidemic, the first Houston Medication Safety Symposium April 28 in Houston drew 30 podium and poster presentations by researchers from across the Greater Houston area and U.S.

Awards for the top podium and poster presentations were announced at the conclusion of the symposium, which was co-sponsored by the Phyllis Gough Huffington Endowed Lectureship and the UTHealth Consortium on Aging and co-hosted by the University of Houston College of Pharmacy's Department of Pharmaceutical Health Outcomes and Policy (PHOP) and the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth.

photo of 1st place podium team
Above, symposium co-chair Rajender Aparasu, second from left, congratulates the first-place podium presentation team of Zachary Marcum, Manvi Sharma, Aisha Vadhariya, fellow co-chair Holly Holmes, and Michael Johnson. Below, study author Nandita Kachru, center, UHCOP Ph.D. candidate, received the first-place poster presentation award.
photo of 1st place poster author

Among the podium presentations, the first-place winner was the project entitled "The Association between Payments Made by the Pharmaceutical Industry and Prescriptions for Drugs of Uncertain Medical Benefits to Medicare Part D Beneficiaries." The study was authored by UHCOP's Manvi Sharma, M.S. ('08), MBA, R.Ph., Aisha Vadhariya, BSPharm, and Michael L. Johnson, Ph.D.; University of Washington School of Pharmacy's Zachary Marcum, Pharm.D., Ph.D., assistant professor; and UTHealth McGovern Medical School's Holly M. Holmes, M.D., M.S., AGSF.

Taking home the second-place podium presentation award was a project entitled "Anti-Dementia and Anti-Hyperlipidemic Medication Use at End of Life in Elderly Lung Cancer Patients" by The University of Texas-MD Anderson Cancer Center's Min Ji Kim, M.D., Zhigang Duan, M.D., M.S., Hui Zhao, Ph.D., M.D., Joanna-Grace Mayo Manzano, M.D., Sharon Hermes Giordano, M.D., MPH, and Maria E. Suarez-Almazor, M.D., Ph.D.; and UTHealth McGovern Medical School's Holmes.

Among the poster presentations, first-, second- and tying third-place awards were presented to:

UHCOP's Nandita Kachru, BPharm, M.S. ('13), and Rajender R. Aparasu, Ph.D., FAPhA, for their project, "Antimuscarinic Medication Utilization among Older Dementia Patients";

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston's Jose A. Mendoza, M.D., Erin Hommel, M.D., Amandeep Kaur, M.D., and Joyce Alasse, M.D., for their project entitled "Improving Safety of Opioid Prescription in UTMB Geriatric Population";

UHCOP's Rohan Medhekar, Ph.D. ('16), now with Amgen, Hua Chen, M.D., Ph.D., and Joy P. Alonzo, M. Engineering, Pharm.D., for their project entitled "Characteristics of Psychotropic Polypharmacy in the Management of Pediatric Mental Disorders"; and

UHCOP's Sneha D. Sura, M.S. ('12), Johnson, Chen and Aparasu, and UTHealth McGovern Medical School's Holmes for their project entitled "Predictors of Antipsychotic Initiation among Short-Stay Nursing Home Dementia Patients."

For more information on the symposium, including the official program and list of presentations, visit the event webpage.