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New Practitioner eXperience News Summer 2017

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OPA New Practitioner eXperience (NPX) Launchpad

Summer 2017

Welcome to the NPX Launchpad

Welcome to the third volume of the NPX Launchpad, the seasonal newsletter intended to help you, new practitioners, excel personally and professionally!  The New Practitioner eXperience is an automatic (and free!) Ohio Pharmacists Association (OPA) member benefit for pharmacists who have been in practice for 7 years or less.

Check out our featured articles in the Summer 2017 Edition:

You will also find news on upcoming events within OPA, and information on getting involved with NPX as a committee liaison. 

We hope you enjoy the NPX Launchpad!

Sincerely, your new NPX Advisory Team,

Amanda Singrey, Chair

Jennifer Sabatino, Vice-Chair

Aaron Neidig, Member-at-Large

Patrick Owcarz, Member-at-Large

Shea Swick, Launchpad Coordinator

Scott Uram, Member-at-Large



Meet the 2017-2018 NPX Advisory Team!

Amanda Singrey, The Ohio State University 2013 Amanda Singrey

Clinical Pharmacist at PrimaryOne Health in Columbus

If you had not chosen to be a pharmacist, what would you be doing?
If I were not a pharmacist, I'd want to be a travel host like Samantha Brown where I could get paid to travel the world and talk about the wonderful places I visit and delicious food I eat!

What is the one thing you can’t live without?
Other than the obvious answer (my family!), chocolate.  I need chocolate.  Every day.

Jennifer Sabatino, Northeast Ohio Medical University 2013 Jen Sabatino

Clinical Pharmacist at the Memorial Hospital Medication Therapies Center in Marysville

If you had not chosen to be a pharmacist, what would you be doing?
Maybe teaching!

What is the one thing you can’t live without?
Audiobooks! They make the commute to Marysville and time at the gym fly by.

Aaron Neidig, University of Findlay 2015 Aaron Neidig

Pharmacy Clinical Director at Medi­Wise Pharmacy

If you had not chosen to be a pharmacist, what would you be doing?
I would have studied to become a biomedical engineer.  I like to be innovative and this career would combine that with my interest in science.

What is the one thing you can’t live without?
There are really two things that I can’t live without; a cup of coffee and good book each morning.

Patrick Owcarz, The Ohio State University 2011 Pat Owcarz

Director of Pharmacy at Berger Health System in Circleville

If you had not chosen to be a pharmacist, what would you be doing?
I always dreamed of being a manager of an English premier league team growing up.

What is the one thing you can’t live without?
The support that I receive every day from my wife. She always allows me to take on new challenges.

Shea (Pennington) Swick, Ohio Northern University 2015 Shea Pennington

Co-Manager at Kroger Pharmacy in Whitehall

If you had not chosen to be a pharmacist, what would you be doing?
English was my strongest subject throughout school- I would be working in PR/Communications!

What is the one thing you can’t live without?
Besides an amazing husband and puppy snuggles… Kroger strawberry-kiwi energy drops (knock-off Mio).  I probably use a dozen drops in my water bottle daily!

Scott Uram, University of Toledo 2015 Scott Uram

Pharmacist at Kroger Pharmacy in Holland, OH

If you had not chosen to be a pharmacist, what would you be doing?
I would be a physical therapist for a professional sports team.  Physiology and kinesiology fascinate me and I love sports, so it’s a perfect blend of my interests and I would also get to incorporate some of my body building knowledge.

What is the one thing you can’t live without?
I can’t live without my family.  Imagine a real life “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”  They are loud, sarcastic, loving, in each other’s business, good cooks, and provide a strong support system unmatched by other families.

Practitioner Profiles 

Aaron Neidig, R.Ph., PharmD
University of Findlay 2015
Pharmacy Clinical Director at Medi-Wise Pharmacy in Newcomerstown, OH

Tell us a little bit about your practice site.
Medi-Wise Pharmacy is a locally owned, independent pharmacy located in Newcomerstown, Ohio.  The pharmacy has served the local community since 2007, and the county since 1993.  We offer home medical supplies and clinical services in addition to prescription services.  My role includes managing the pharmacy’s medication synchronization, compliance packaging, MTM, point-of-care testing, and immunization programs.  I also lead monthly diabetes education classes that are open to everyone in the community.

How long have you been an OPA member? What has been your best experience thus far?
I joined OPA as a student in 2014 while I was in my final year of pharmacy school.  My membership in OPA has been very beneficial so far in my career by providing continuing education and networking opportunities.

My best experience so far was attending the Midwest Independent Pharmacy Expo last year.  My dream is to one day own an independent pharmacy.  The information that I took away from this event was really valuable and will be a great resource in the future.

What has been your favorite moment of your career?
One of my favorite moments so far has been inviting and having a U.S. Representative visit my practice site.  We talked to our Representative about a number of bills affecting pharmacy at the federal level and asked for his support on these pieces of legislation.  I love advocating and I believe it is vital to the growth and future of our profession.  I encourage all pharmacists, especially new practitioners, to reach out to their legislators regarding legislation that impacts pharmacy.

Another favorite moment, has been starting a worksite smoking cessation program with a local employer.  Each week, I look forward to meeting with the individuals onsite to counsel and support them to quit smoking.  I am glad that I have the opportunity to implement new services at the pharmacy and get to live out my passion of improving the health of others.

What is the best career advice you have offered, or been given?
The career advice that I offer is to be an active member in an organization that supports the profession.  By being actively involved, we are able to make an impact that will allow us to advance our practice to improve the health of our patients and community.  Many pharmacists have helped move the profession to where it is today, and as new practitioners we must do our part to map out the future of pharmacy.  It is never too early to make a difference.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a new practitioner, and how did you overcome it?
A challenge that I have faced as a new practitioner is going from a pharmacy intern position into a management position where I am in charge of employees.  I have worked to overcome it by reading leadership and management books, participating in leadership classes, and networking with other leaders.  I embrace the challenge and I know that no resource can replace the experience that I gain each day at work.

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Upcoming OPA Events

Join us at one of these OPA events!  You can learn more about OPA and NPX, and how you can get involved.  

APhA’s Delivering MTM Services Certificate Training Program
August 29, 2017 | OPA Office - 2674 Federated Blvd, Columbus, OH

The purpose of this program is to prepare pharmacists to improve medication use through the delivery of MTM services in a variety of practice settings.  It includes an overview of the marketplace for delivering MTM services, guidance for implementing MTM services in pharmacy practice, a review of the essential skills and knowledge needed for performing MTM successfully, and an organized process for identifying medication-related problems. REGISTER TODAY!

Pharmacists Training Program for Immunizations
August 30, 2017 | OPA Office - 2674 Federated Blvd, Columbus, OH

The Ohio Pharmacists Association was instrumental in the passage of HB 394 which allows Ohio pharmacists and pharmacy interns to administer all immunizations recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to individuals 7 years of age and older. REGISTER TODAY!

APhA’s Diabetes Care Certificate Training Program
September 12, 2017 | OPA Office - 2674 Federated Blvd, Columbus, OH

This is an intensive educational experience designed to equip pharmacists with the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to provide effective, evidence-based diabetes care.  Participants will gain experience evaluating and adjusting drug therapy regimens for patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, counseling patients about lifestyle interventions, analyzing and interpreting self-monitoring of blood glucose results, and assessing the overall health status of patients to identify needed monitoring and interventions. REGISTER TODAY!

Recent OPA Events

Financial Advising Social

NPX Black Cloister Event

June 13, 2017
Toledo, Ohio

This event took place in downtown Toledo at Black Cloister Brewing Company.  For the first hour, about 20 young pharmacists from the area mingled over appetizers and drinks. The second half of the evening consisted of a presentation and question- and-answer session.  Topics covered were how to pick a financial advisor, how and where to invest, the best way to pay off student loans, and how much cash to save in order to retire when you want.  Much thanks to NPX Advisory Team member, Scott Uram, for organizing this fun and insightful night out!

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Rx Impact

A Clinical Pharmacist Impact in a Person with Diabetes

By Rachel Rocha, PharmD, CDE - Legal and Regulatory Committee Liaison

I am a clinical pharmacist at Promedica Pharmacy Counter and the Diabetes Nutrition and Education Services.  I commonly see many Medicare Part D patients who are unable to afford their medications.  There are a few options to help these patients obtain their prescriptions at lower costs or even for free.  Some of these options include applying for patient assistance programs directly with the drug company that makes the medication or applying for The Medicare Extra Help Program.  Additionally, I see many patients who struggle with adherence to multiple medication regimens and I can help them become part of the Rx Map Pill Pack Program, which is a service that Promedica Pharmacy Counter provides to patients for free.

The following is an example of where I was able to help a patient afford her medications and become more adherent to her medication regimen…

The patient originally presented to me with concerns about being able to afford her Humalog and Lantus insulin.  Since Sanofi makes Lantus and Lilly makes Humalog, I was able to suggest to her physician that her Humalog be switched to Apidra, which is also made by Sanofi so only one application would have to be sent in.  To apply for the Sanofi patient assistance program, the patient first spending 5% down is required.  This means that the patient needs to spend 5% of their household annual income in drug expenses to be eligible for the Sanofi program, while Lilly requires a patient to spend $1,100 out of pocket in drug expenses for the calendar year.  For each patient assistance program there are additional requirements, which include not being eligible for Low Income Subsidy or The Medicare Extra Help Program.  Additionally for the assistance applications, patients need to submit a copy of their Medicare Part D card, an explanation of benefits (EOB) that confirms their out of pocket drug expenses for the calendar year, and also proof of income.  Fortunately, the patient’s endocrinologist approved switching the patient to Apidra so only one patient assistance application would need to be submitted.  In the end, the patient was approved to get both her Lantus and Apidra for free through the remainder of 2017!

Additionally, the patient had concerns about being adherent to her oral medications since she was taking 11 of them.  I was able to explain the RxMap Pill Pack Program to her and how it could help organize her medications for each week.  This program sends patients a one-month supply of medication which is broken down into 4 packs by week.  Each weekly pack is broken down into 7 days which has morning, afternoon, evening and bedtime doses separated, and the patient is also able to tear out the medication slots if they don’t want to carry the whole pack around.  The patient agreed that this would be a very helpful solution to her non-adherence and I was able to set her up with this program.  She is now receiving her medications in the pill packs and is much happier.

If you have an inspiring story of how you or a friend in pharmacy influenced the care and wellbeing of a patient, please share!  Submit stories to Shea Swick at

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Money Matters

Why We Can All Benefit from Seven Figure Pharmacist

By Shea Swick, PharmD

Pharmacists generally have bountiful salaries but, as many of us know too well, that does not mean we are on the road to riches! A familiar scenario is being strapped down with enormous student loans after graduation, plus making car payments and paying off credit card debt… basically, trying to make ends meet each month. Perhaps you are blessed to not have the burden of loan pay-back, but struggle to understand how investing can multiply your dollars and earn wealth for the future.  No matter where you are in your pharmacy career- student, resident, or practicing pharmacist- there is knowledge to be gained on effective monetary moves. 

The newly released book, Seven Figure Pharmacist, has a wealth of advice specifically targeted at the financial situations we, in the pharmacy realm, face. Authors Tim Church and Tim Ulbrich (both pharmacists!) present material in a comprehensive and practical way that can be easily applied to your own circumstances as you follow along. Their medical anecdotes and sense of humor make this read as enjoyable as it is beneficial. The book is artfully sectioned off into 6 “prescriptions” for readers to digest and absorb:

  1. Practice Preventive Financial Medicine
  2. Manufacture a Financial Plan
  3. Protect and Maximize Your Income
  4. Shorten the Half-Life of Your Debt
  5. Become a Compounding Pharmacist
  6. Adhere to the Habits of the Wealthy

Putting these steps into practice helps ensure that we spend and save wisely, converting income into wealth.  Of particular importance is implementing a personal financial plan, which the authors make easy by discussing step-by-step strategies and the details of how to make a budget.  Seven Figure Pharmacist is full of information that was not covered in general economics class, or in leadership/ administration courses in pharmacy school.  To read excerpts from the book, learn about the authors, or order your own copy, check out the website here.

Seven Figure Pharmacist Cover

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A Taste of Our Kitchen


Italian Spiced Sausage Breakfast

From the Kitchen of Rachel Rocha


1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1 tablespoon oregano, chopped
1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons chives, chopped
Sea salt/ pink Himalayan salt to taste
Pepper to taste (if desired)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
4 cups baby spinach


In a large mixing bowl, add the sausage ingredients (ground beef through salt and pepper) and mix thoroughly.  Form into patties and place on a lined plate.

In a large skillet, heat coconut oil over medium heat and once the oil is hot, add patties.  Cook 10 minutes per side, or until each is thoroughly cooked.

Serve warm on a bed of baby spinach. 

For other recipes that are healthy and tasty for all, but especially friendly for those with autoimmune conditions, check out the Root Cause Recipes from Dr. Isabella Wentz.  She is a pharmacist who has done years of research on how the right foods can change your health for the better.

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 Breakfast Sausage Recipe

Ohio Days

Dog Days of Summer

By Andrew Faiella, PharmD - Pharmacy Economics Committee Liaison

The Canton/Akron area may not be a tourist hotspot, but it does have a few gems, especially during the summer months.

Canton is most well known as the birthplace of professional football.  The NFL got its start in Canton in 1920 and is the current location of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  The Pro Football Hall of Fame has an annual celebration, which is the unofficial start to the new NFL season.  This year the celebrations start on July 28 with a hot air balloon festival and culminate on August 5 with the enshrinement ceremony of this year’s Hall of Fame Class.  This year's class includes Morten Andersen, Kenny Easley, Terrell Davis, Jerry Jones, Jason Taylor, Ladainian Tomlinson, and Kurt Warner.  The annual Hall of Fame game is on August 3 and is between the Arizona Cardinals and the Dallas Cowboys.  Even if you cannot make it to the annual celebration the Hall of Fame is open year round and contains bronze busts of every enshrinee, interactive exhibits, and historical artifacts from the game.

If sports isn’t what you are interested in, Canton also is the home to the William McKinley monument, museum and Presidential Library.  William McKinley was the 25th President of the United States and called Canton his home.  The museum chronicles the life of President McKinley and contains other exhibits such as a planetarium, recreation of a historic main street, and the hands-on Discovery World exhibit.  Canton is also home to the First Ladies National Historic Site.  This museum, located in the McKinley’s Victorian home, is part of the National Parks system, and contains rotating exhibits and information about every first lady.  If you are not interested in Presidents or First Ladies, Canton’s Classic Car Museum offers a trip down automotive memory lane.

Akron is a short drive north of Canton and also offers many sites and events.  Akron is home to the All American Soapbox Derby.  This annual event takes place from July 16 to July 22 this year.  The All American Soapbox Derby was once the 5th largest sporting event in the United States and still has incredible popularity and draws around 500 racers aged 10-20 from across the globe.  Akron is also home to a PGA tour stop, the WGC Bridgestone Invitational, at Firestone Country Club.  This PGA tour stop, that is taking place from August 3 to August 6, has been won recently by Dustin Johnson, Shane Lowry, and Rory McIlroy.  It is also home to the Akron Zoo, the Akron Rubber Ducks (the Double AA affiliate of the Cleveland Indians) and Hoppin Frog Brewery.  This brewery has been rated as having one of the top 100 brewers in the world and the best beer in Ohio (its Barrel-Aged D.O.R.I.S. The Destroyer Double Oatmeal Imperial Stout).  Don’t rule out Canton/Akron for a weekend trip this summer.

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NPX Committee Liaisons

NPX is openly recruiting new liaisons for the 2017-2018 year!  If you are interested in serving on one of the OPA committees as an NPX liaison, responsibilities include attending meetings 1-3 times a year at the OPA office in Columbus, Ohio and reporting back to Shea Swick with an update for the newsletter.  We are in need of a second liaison for all committees, except the MTM committee.  Please email NPX Chair Amanda Singrey ( and Lisa Berman ( for further details.

Upcoming Committee Meetings:

Member Services & Development, July 20

Preparedness Task Force, July 25

Public & Professional Relations, August 3

Independent Special Interest Group (SIG), August 22

Compounding SIG, September 7

Resolutions & Bylaws, October 3

Medication Therapy Management, October 12

Pharmacy Economics, October 19

All meetings are held at the OPA office, 2674 Federated Blvd, Columbus 43235 at 10:00 a.m. unless otherwise noted. Please visit the OPA website ( for more information.

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Get Involved with the Launchpad Newsletter

Help us write the next newsletter! Articles may be submitted for Practitioner Profile, Rx Impact, Ohio Days or A Taste of Our Kitchen. Have an idea for another article relevant to new practitioners? You can submit that as well! Articles should be submitted in a Word document to Shea Swick at Photographs for articles should be submitted separately for higher quality images. Thank you!

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