MPhA News

Small Doses

December 8, 2017
News from MPhA
Minnesota News
Use Your Member Benefits
National News
MPhA Events
Did You Know?

News from MPhA

Mission Moments:

Marsha Millonig Receives Distinguished Pharmacist Award

Marsha Millonig is the 53rd recipient of the Distinguished Pharmacist Award, which is selected by the Pharmacy Alumni Society Board of Directors based upon the voting of past award recipients. A current Century Mortar Club Board of Directors member and chair of the College’s Board of Advisors since 2003, Marsha has contributed to pharmacy in so many ways. Marsha is the current executive director of the Minnesota Pharmacists Association and she has been a leader since her days as a student at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. Marsha has been a College of Pharmacy leadership network partner, a member of the College’s Center for Leading Healthcare Change, and a supporter of the College’s Women Impacting Healthcare Change program. Marsha has also done much to effectively lead the Minnesota Pharmacists Association in recent years. She is a past recipient of both the CMC Friend of the College Award and the University of Minnesota’s Alumni Service Award.

MPhA Southwest Minnesota Town Hall

Almost 20 people gathered last week at the New Ulm Country Club for MPhA’s most recent Town Hall. The social hour at the beginning is always a popular part of these events, giving friends from around the region the opportunity to catch up and to visit with our generous sponsors from Boehringer Ingleheim, Bristol Meyers Squib, Astra Zeneca, Pharmacists Mutual and Thrifty White Pharmacies. We then settled down to a delicious dinner and program on the current state of affairs with DIRs and the long-term vision on how we may adapt to the ever-changing environment, followed by a town hall discussion on issues that are important to our members in Southwestern Minnesota.

We thank our organizers, Vern Peterson and Reid Horning, for all of their work in organizing and publicizing this event and again thank our generous sponsors for their financial support.

Editor’s Note: During our Annual Learning Networking Event in September, MPhA made note of Mission Moments — those times when a member clearly exemplified our mission to advance patient care. As we move through the year, we will continue to showcase these Mission Moments as part of Small Doses. If you have an example to share, please send it to Laurie Pumper

Minnesota News

Register Now for 13th Annual Pharmacy Gala

Proceeds Provide Scholarships to COP Students

This gala is hosted each year to remember and raise scholarship money in honor of Michelle Mentzer, a student who passed away from leukemia in 2005 during her first year of pharmacy school. The money raised from the gala, as well as other donations, is put toward the Michelle Mentzer Scholarship, which was started by her classmates nearly 13 years ago. This scholarship is awarded each year in the spring semester to a pharmacy student whom an outside selection committee believes exemplifies outstanding qualities similar to Michelle. With fundraising efforts from all past Galas contributing to an endowment fund, we were able to award the last three recipients with a $1000 scholarship. RSVP now!

The Gala is a formal event that will be held at a new location this year — the Graduate Hotel (newly renovated Commons Hotel), located across the street from Weaver Densford Hall. The address is 615 Washington Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414. It will be held on Saturday, January 20 from 8:00 pm to midnight. A brief recognition ceremony will be held at 9:15 pm, so please be in attendance for this! There will be a very popular local DJ, appetizers, a cash bar, dancing, and fun all night!

Tickets are $25 for students and $30 for faculty, alumni and friends.

Because the Gala happens soon after winter break, the Pay It Forward committee is selling tickets before break, until Monday, Dec. 11. If you are a Duluth student or a PD4, you may pay at the Gala. Payments can be made in cash or check (written to “Pay It Forward”).

DHS Wants Feedback on Opioid Prescribing Guidelines

From Minnesota Department of Human Services Email, Dec. 5: The complete set of opioid prescribing recommendations developed under the Minnesota Department of Human DHS Opioid Prescribing Improvement Program was announced on Dec. 1. The draft prescribing recommendations are available on the Opioid Prescribing Work Group at Or download the PDF. DHS is accepting public comments on the prescribing guidelines until 4 pm on December 30, 2017.

DHS will collect comments and respond to questions about the guidance during the public comment period. After the public comment period, the Opioid Prescribing Work Group will review the comments submitted and determine whether to make changes to the recommendations. Revisions are subject to approval from the commissioners of Human Services and Health.

DHS may post public comments on its website, but will not post comments it finds to be inappropriate or comments that contain confidential information. Comments that contain confidential information may be posted, however, if the confidential information is redacted.

Comments may be submitted to this email address: or by mail to the address below.

Minnesota Department of Human Services
Opioid Prescribing Improvement Program
PO Box 64983
St. Paul, MN 55164-0983

UMN COP Student Published in APhA Student Magazine

Megan Olander, a second year student at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, has written an article published in the Student Pharmacist publication of the American Pharmacists Association. She writes, “Pharmacists are in a unique position to implement pharmacogenomics into practice and MTM is an ideal setting for implementing it.” Read her full article.

Use Your Member Benefits

Are Efforts to Control Opioid Addiction Fueling an Increase in Pharmacy Crime?

From Pharmacists Mutual’s Risk Management Newsletter: Despite aggressive measures to control the problem of opioid addiction, the rate of addiction continues to grow at an alarming rate. In the past five years, Pharmacists Mutual has seen a 62% increase in burglary and robbery at pharmacies. Learn more about the problem and what your pharmacy can do to minimize your risk of being a crime target. Read the full article.

Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Company offers Risk Management Newsletter as a service to its customers.

In addition, MPhA Leadership Residents Stephanie Swanson and Natalie Roy have created a Minnesota Opioid Toolkit on the MPhA website.

National News

PTCB Seeks Volunteers for Certification Council

From Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, Nov. 27: PTCB is currently seeking volunteers to represent the following stakeholder groups on the Certification Council: Health-system CPhT, Community Pharmacist, Community CPhT, and Pharmacist at-large. To apply, send a letter of interest and resume (or curricula vita) to Levi Boren, Director of Certification Programs, at no later than December 31, 2017. Get more information.

NASPA, APhA and AACP Submit Joint Comments to CMS Innovation Center

From NASPA Weekly Recap, Dec. 1: The National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations (NASPA), along with the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), has submitted comments in response to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center New Direction, Request for Information. These comments are in response to several focus areas: Advanced Alternative Payment Models, prescription drug, state-based and local innovation, and mental and behavioral health. Read more.

CDC Selects APhA Foundation to Implement Diabetes Prevention Program in Pharmacies

From NASPA Weekly Recap, Dec. 1: The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has selected the APhA Foundation, along with the Kroger Co. and Solera Health, to implement Project IMPACT: Diabetes Prevention program. Project IMPACT delivers the CDC-recognized National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) through “face-to-face, telehealth, and digital technology solutions” to patients in underserved communities across the country using community pharmacies.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to create infrastructure within highly accessible community pharmacies to deliver evidence-based diabetes prevention lifestyle change programs to the people who need it the most”, Benjamin Bluml, RPh Senior Vice President, Research and Innovation of the APhA Foundation said in a press release. “Working with our partners, The Kroger Co. and Solera Health, we will deliver an innovative model of diabetes prevention care, tailored to meet the needs of the participants, that we believe will help people lead healthier lives.”

Schimmel Named Executive Director/CEO at PTCB

From Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, Nov. 27: The Board of Governors of the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) has announced that William Schimmel will become PTCB's new Executive Director and CEO on December 14, succeeding Everett B. McAllister, MPA, RPh, Colonel, USAF (Ret.), who announced his departure in August for a new career. Mr. Schimmel has been PTCB Associate Executive Director (AED) for the past 7 years, serving as Interim Executive Director for 5 months from 2011 to 2012.

"PTCB is excited to welcome Bill as our new Executive Director and CEO. Bill has a unique knowledge of PTCB, expertise building consensus among our stakeholders, and an outstanding record of leadership. There's no better candidate to lead PTCB as it embarks on its next exciting chapter," said Larry Wagenknecht, RPh, Chair of the PTCB Board of Governors and CEO of the Michigan Pharmacists Association. "Bill demonstrates unwavering devotion to our mission, and the energy, enthusiasm, intellect, and vision to carry PTCB forward."

MPhA Events

Register Now for December Virtual Coffee Break Webinar: Medicare Part D Enhanced MTM

Wednesday, December 20, 11:30 a.m. CST

Please join MPhA for another hot topic in a Virtual Coffee Break Webinar. Joshua Johnson, PharmD, RPh, will explain why CMS is offering stand-alone Part D plans the chance to innovate MTM, with the goal of improving clinical outcomes while driving down A & B medical costs. The BlueCross BlueShield Northern Plains Alliance is one of the plan participants in this 5-year pilot. Participants will be able to describe the CMS pilot; list the goals of CMS for the pilot; understand the medication risk stratification; amd describe the MedicareBlue Rx program.

About Our Speaker: Joshua Johnson graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BS in Biology in 2004, and then went on to obtain his PharmD from Ferris State University in Michigan in 2008. Upon graduating, he returned to Minnesota where he practiced as a community pharmacist for 8 years, having already spent 3 years as a technician and 4 years as an intern in community pharmacy. In 2016, he was hired by ClearStone Solutions, a Part D Plan administrator, to run the 5-year CMS Enhanced MTM Pilot on behalf of the BlueCross BlueShield Northern Plains Alliance in Medicare Part D Region 25 (IA, MN, MT, ND, NE, SD, & WY). He has presented information on Enhanced MTM to national pharmacy organizations as well as several pharmacy schools within the 7 states of Region 25.

The Webinar is complimentary to MPhA members (including students and residents) thanks to an educational grant from CoverMyMeds.
Non-members are $25.

Register Now for January Virtual Coffee Break Webinar: Establishing Telepharmacy Services

Wednesday, January 17, 11:30 a.m. CST

A telepharmacy is a remote pharmacy that provides pharmaceutical services to medically underserved communities who do not otherwise have access to a "brick-and-mortar" pharmacy. Please join MPhA for our January Virtual Coffee Break Webinar to learn how to establish a telepharmacy to help serve more patients. In this session, speaker Heather Bibeau will review the Minnesota laws and rules involved with establishing a telepharmacy, how to apply for a variance, and describe the provisions recommended in the Board of Pharmacy's Guidance Concerning Approval of Telepharmacies.

About Our Speaker: Dr. Heather Bibeau lives in rural Grand Rapids and is the director of Outpatient Pharmacy services alongside her twin sister, Dr. Sara Elioff, the director of Inpatient Pharmacy services at Bigfork Valley Hospital in Bigfork, Minn. Heather has a background in community and long-term care pharmacy practice. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry with a minor in Biology from the College of Saint Scholastica and her doctorate from the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy in Duluth in 2010. She oversees participation in the 340B program as a contract pharmacy and the operation of three telepharmacies in rural Minnesota as the pharmacist-in-charge. She also serves as a consultant pharmacist for the Minnesota Department of Corrections. Most recently, she held an at-large position on the board of the Minnesota Pharmacists Association and is an active member. She is also the coordinator of the Grand Rapids Area Pharmacists (GRAPh) group and provides educational opportunities to her peers.

The Webinar is complimentary to MPhA members (including students and residents) thanks to an educational grant from CoverMyMeds.

The cost is $25 for nonmembers.

Save the Date: Complexities of Prior Authorizations — A Panel Perspective

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Please join MPhA for a Town Hall on a very hot topic — prior authorizations. The event will be held at the Continuing Education & Conference Center on the St. Paul Campus of the University of Minnesota. Watch for more details soon!

Register Now: Midwest Pharmacy Expo

February 16-18, 2018 • Des Moines, IA

More than 16 hours of high-quality, live CPE are waiting for you at the 2018 Midwest Pharmacy Expo on February 16-18, 2018, in Des Moines.

Friday’s Clinically Intensive Workshops will feature high-level clinical programming designed for pharmacists with advanced certifications, those interested in obtaining advanced certifications, or pharmacists who want to be clinically challenged.

Jacques Turgeon, BPharm, PhD, kicks off Expo Saturday with an insightful keynote focusing on using clinical decision support systems to better personalize therapy. The rest of the day features five sessions featuring three tracks – Current Headlines, Optimizing Medication Use, and Cardiology – for you to mix and match to fit your practice setting, expertise or curiosity.

Did You Know?

“Talk to Your Pharmacist First” Marketing Materials

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) has created new marketing materials for you to use in your pharmacy to encourage patient-pharmacist conversations — about medication, health plan options and more – and they're free for members. They included a "Talk to Your Pharmacist First" poster in the November issue of America's Pharmacist®magazine to you to display in your pharmacy. Need another one? A limited supply remains; contact NCPA if you need one. Or you can download differently sized versions of the poster, as well as bag stuffers, on the NCPA website (member login required).

Why Community Pharmacies Are Not Susceptible to an Amazon Takeover

Writing in Forbes magazine, PrescribeWellness Chief Technical Officer Yesi Orihuela says that the human interaction patients receive at their community pharmacies makes it unlikely that Amazon or another huge e-tailer can drive independent pharmacies out of business. Orihuela compares community pharmacies to independent booksellers that offer personal connections with customers.