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Photo of top 10 winners
Chapter co-advisors Lynn Simpson and David Wallace and Kroger representative Bonnie Richardson congratulate the competition finalists, fourth from left, Lakshmi Pillai, Abigail Wright, Sara Mirjamali, Ryan Winslow, Melissa Mirjamali, Erica Morales, Philip Ngo and Sabrina Ali. Winner Erin Moody and finalist Kortney Hanson are not pictured.

Counseling Champ

Moody Wins UH APhA-ASP Patient Counseling Competition for Second Year in a Row

For the second straight year, UH College of Pharmacy Pharm.D. candidate Erin Moody won first place in the UH American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists’ Patient Counseling Competition.

Moody will represent UH in the National Patient Counseling Competition during the APhA Annual Meeting and Exposition March 24-27 in San Francisco. Kroger, which sponsored UH’s local competition, will cover Moody’s expenses to attend the national meeting.

Moody, who has participated in the competition during all four years in the Pharm.D. program, said she enjoys the competition because it allows her to strengthen her communication skills and techniques for advising patients on their medication therapies.

"It’s very important to always stay on top of those skills to make sure that you're adequately providing the counseling that patients need to be successful in their treatment and also safe," said Moody, who also serves as the chapter’s immediate past president. "Being evaluated in this setting will help prepare you for rotations."

Erin Moody photoAPhA-ASP chapter faculty co-advisor Lynn Simpson, Pharm.D. ('97), clinical associate professor, agrees.

"Pharmacy is a profession that is about educating the patient," Simpson said. "This (competition) gives the students the chance to practice (doing that) in a non-threatening environment, but also in a competitive nature so they can get better."

There were 57 UHCOP students who participated in the local competition, which is broken up into two rounds and video recorded for judging and future playback as an educational tool.

Within the competition, the students are given a prescription and patient profile that informs the student of their patient’s medical history. The students are then given five minutes to review the information, along with research materials that educate them on the drug and its symptoms.

The judges in the competition include both pharmacists and professionals from other industries to give a more comprehensive approach to the students’ evaluation. This year’s judges were Bob Felber, Lena Malacoff, R.Ph., SueAnn Wang, Pharm.D. (’12), Debbie Veselka, R.Ph. (’94), Cindy Rodriguez, Bill Simpson and Nancy Steffens

Through a grading rubric supplied by the American Pharmacists Association, the students were evaluated on how well they communicated specific health and medication information to a standardized patient.

This year's second- through fifth-place finalists, who will receive textbooks from the APhA, are Abigail Wright, Kortney Hanson, Sara Mirjamali and Philip Ngo. The rest of the students who rounded out the top 10 were Sabrina Ali, Melissa Mirjamali, Erica Morales, Lakshmi Pillai and Ryan Winslow

-- by Ameena Rasheed