Second consecutive UH win puts national spotlight on pharmacy student

04/26/05

Dana Hausmann top communicator in patient counseling competition



Dana Hausmann, a UH pharmacy student, took first place in the National Patient Counseling Competition held at the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) annual meeting. Hausmann (third from left) is joined by Michelle Edwards (far left), a 2004 UH alum and last year’s winner of the contest; Alex Varkey, a fellow UH pharmacy student and APhA Academy of Student Pharmacists national president; and Lynn Simpson, vice-chair of the clinical sciences and administration department at UH’s College of Pharmacy.
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HOUSTON, April 26, 2005 – For the second consecutive year, the University of Houston College of Pharmacy took first place in the National Patient Counseling Competition held at the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) annual meeting.

Dana Hausmann, a fourth-year UH pharmacy student, won the contest, competing against a record number of participants in this year's challenge. For the first time in the history of the 21-year competition, a student competed from every APhA Academy of Student Pharmacists (ASP) chapter in the country for a total of 90 contenders.

Hausmann's unprecedented win gave UH the distinction of being the first pharmacy college or school to capture back-to-back titles. At last year's APhA annual meeting, Michelle Edwards, a 2004 UH alum, won the contest, becoming the first UH College of Pharmacy student to take first-place honors. The two victories underscore the college's emphasis on the importance of being able to effectively communicate with patients.

"Communication is very important for health care professional, especially pharmacists who have the difficult task of proving information about drugs and the disease process to patients," said Sunny E. Ohia, dean of the UH College of Pharmacy. "Clearly, the success of our students in this competition two years in a row is a positive reflection of the quality education they receive from our faculty."

The purpose of the National Patient Counseling Competition is to support student pharmacists in their efforts to become competent health care providers and educators. The challenge is designed to reflect changes that are occurring in practice, encouraging further professional development of the student pharmacist. Students competing in the competition are given a prescription and a patient profile from which they are expected to counsel a patient. Typically, patients present the competitors with a communication barrier that can range from the patient having obtained confusing information about the prescription on the Internet to needing to leave the pharmacy in a hurry without fully understanding the prescription instructions. Students are evaluated on their ability to maintain control of the counseling session, providing all the information the patient needs and making them feel comfortable talking about their situation.

"We are so proud of her," said Clinical Assistant Professor Lynn Simpson, vice-chair of the clinical sciences and administration department and ASP faculty adviser. "This is a huge accomplishment for Dana. She was not only up against more competitors this year, but she also had to overcome the pressure of following Michelle Edward's win last year."

Before becoming part of the UH College of Pharmacy faculty, Simpson, a 1996 UH pharmacy alum, placed in the top three as a student competitor in this same contest.

Hausmann's triumph earned her $1,000, a plaque and the opportunity to return on an all-expense-paid trip to judge next year's National Patient Counseling Competition. Edwards, who won the same package last year, served as a judge for the first round but not the final. Alex Varkey, a fellow UH pharmacy student and APhA ASP national president, shared in the college's victory by announcing Hausmann as the winner.

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