It is widely believed that graduates of the pharmacy program at University of Findlay are highly sought after for their skills and care in the field. It is also well-understood that the UF educators from whom these students learn their craft are among the best there is. When the two meet and form into one person representing both groups, some innovative and important things are bound to happen.
Take, for instance, Suzanne (Lifer) Surowiec, Pharm.D. ’13, an alumna of UF and an assistant professor of teaching in pharmacy practice at the University, who recently received a grant award for almost $10,000 from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) for research into pharmacy practice and genetics.
Surowiec’s work will “blend pharmacy practice and genetics to determine if metabolizing certain medications is affected by a person’s genetic predispositions.” One of the goals of the research, according to a summary of the grant details, is to improve drug effectiveness and safety in an ambulatory care clinical setting.
Currently, Surowiec said, there are only limited examples of successful models in non-institutional ambulatory care pharmacy settings, so this research will serve to create some new knowledge and data to help fill in existing gaps. The project aims to enhance practice options in a patient-focused manner by piloting a 24/7 concierge pharmacy service that incorporates pharmacogenomics testing in a clinic setting. This will allow patients to have personalized and unlimited phone and office visits to discuss and/or meet with a pharmacist regarding medication and pharmacogenomic interpretation questions. This brand-new model has the potential to expand pharmacist availability to patients and positively impact patient outcomes.
As a result of this project, a toolkit will be developed that includes a series of publications, guidelines, standard operating procedures, forms, and best practices. The kit will be shared for other practitioners to utilize in expanding their own services, along with serving as a guide for pharmacists interested in developing new, flexible, patient-centered models, leading to enhanced patient care.
“I feel so honored to have received this national grant from AACP,” Surowiec said. “I think I am still in a bit of disbelief since it is such a highly competitive grant. I am looking forward to the project and the potential impact it could have on the profession of pharmacy.”
More can be found on Surowiec’s research here.