Each New Year brings with it optimistic hopes for the months ahead. Sadly, we began 2010 with the loss of one of our P4 students, Jim Malaney, on New Year’s Day. Jim had been fighting a valiant battle against bone cancer for the last two years; he was just months away from graduation. I was honored to be asked to deliver Jim’s eulogy. Here is some of what I had to say:
The late Senator Ted Kennedy in eulogizing his nephew John said that he had every gift except the gift of years; the same can be said about Jim Malaney. In my 25 years in pharmacy education, every once in a while a student comes along who combine an engaging personality, great intelligence, and, most importantly, a genuine sense of caring about others; Jim was such a student. In his personal statement in his application to the School of Pharmacy, Jim gave us a sense of the kind of individual we were admitting: “For my first job, I worked at a summer camp for dysfunctional children sponsored by Bridges Community Support System. This was my first real experience helping others. From mentoring children to mediating families, I found that the thanks I received for my efforts were both rewarding and self-fulfilling. I further went on to help others through key club and a Natural Helpers program. I enjoyed helping people, but was now looking for a way to help others through my knowledge of science.” In his 3 ½ years in our school, Jim helped and inspired many people: patients at the VA in West Haven and at CVS Pharmacy, his faculty & classmates in the School of Pharmacy, and his many, many dear friends.
At my request, the university will grant Jim his Doctor of Pharmacy degree posthumously; I will present Jim’s diploma to his parents at Commencement in May. I am proud of the response of our students to Jim’s death that began with their show of support during his funeral services and extended to a fundraising evening to support a scholarship in Jim’s name. Our annual School of Pharmacy 4K race will this year be dedicated to Jim with the proceeds going to the Malaney Scholarship Fund. If you would like to contribute to the Malaney Scholarship, please contact my office.
As Jim would have wished, the School of Pharmacy has moved forward in meeting our educational, research, and service missions. A busy spring semester is ahead.
Center for Technology and Aging Grant
Thomas Buckley is the co-principal investigator with the Connecticut Pharmacists Foundation and Khmer Health Advocates “on an innovative telemedicine approach to delivering medication therapy management services to elderly Cambodian-Americans in Connecticut, Western Massachusetts, and California. Their collaboration has resulted in a grant award of $92,000 by the Center for Technology and Aging. The one-year grant will partner Connecticut pharmacists with community health workers in Connecticut and California (through telemedicine link) to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate medication management, with a goal of identifying and resolving drug therapy problems to optimize health outcomes. The project incorporates all aspects of telemedicine including videoconferencing, spoken format (in Khmer language) data collection tools, electronic medical records and software for data analysis that identifies medication beliefs and adherence for use in community specific education programs.”
American Geriatrics Society
Dr. Sean Jeffrey, along with his pharmacy student collaborators, has had several abstracts accepted for presentation at the annual meeting of the American Geriatrics Society. One of these papers reports on a project that allowed him to model the use of an instrument designed to assess medication complexity. The second abstract involves a multicenter warfarin study. Dr. Jeffrey will also be delivering a podium presentation.
School of Pharmacy Scholarships
Despite the difficult financial environment, the School of Pharmacy will award nearly $166,000 in scholarships this spring, more than $30,000 than last year. We are very grateful for the continued support of our scholarship sponsors. This year’s new scholarships include the Capuano Fund, Griebell Family Fund, William M. Hait Family Scholarship, and Bryan F. Zembrowski Pharmaceutical Industry Scholarship
We were also pleased to learn that P3 student, Doniel Simon, has been selected as a $2,000 NACDS scholarship winner.
Louise Stokes Alliance Minority Participation 2010 Symposium
We were pleased that several of our students participated in the Louise Stokes Alliance Minority Participation 2010 Symposium. School of Pharmacy Urban Service Track Scholars Sharif Arif and Vicky Liu assisted with the manning of the Connecticut AHEC/UST table and did an exceptional job engaging students. Approximately 200 students, primarily from underrepresented backgrounds, attended from UConn and several other colleges.
P4 student, Nicole Jordan will be joining the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) team at the Clarion Root Cause Analysis Competition. DHMC precepts pharmacy students from several schools of pharmacy, so Nicole’s selection, not the first for a UConn student, is a testament to the quality of our professional students.
Robert L. McCarthy, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor