December 20, 2005
St. John’s University College of Pharmacy and Allied
Health Professions placed in the Top 10 out of 84 pharmacy
schools from across the country in the Clinical Skills Competition
at the American Society of Health System Pharmacists’ Midyear
Clinical Meeting in Las Vegas on December 4, 2005. “We’ve been
trying to break into the upper division and have now made it,” says
Sixth-year pharmacy students Sara Myones and Danielle Ferrari
represented St. John’s at the Competition, after winning the
College of Pharmacy competition October 14. At St. John’s,
they competed against seven two-person teams to come up with the
best pharmaceutical treatment plan for a hypothetical patient.
After being given a case summary and access to references, they
created a pharmacist’s care plan for the patient. They then
presented their findings verbally and answered questions about
At the national competition, they were given a different case,
and had to submit a written pharmaceutical treatment plan. A
three-judge panel evaluated the plans and asked the authors of the
top 10 plans to present their recommendations orally the next day.
The St. John’s team of Sara Myones and Danielle Ferrari were
required to present their therapy recommendations and rationale
starting with the problem of highest acuity.
“The judges asked us to give the rationale behind our
decisions,” says Sara Myones, who is the president of the Rho Chi
Honor Society for pharmacy students at St. John’s.
“They asked us to defend our decisions on the spot,” says
teammate Danielle Ferrari, the secretary of the Rho Chi Honor
Society. “We always had an answer to any question the judges
asked.” This wasn’t the case for all the other teams, Sara and
Assistant Clinical Professor Nicole M. Maisch, who is the
College of Pharmacy’s faculty liaison to the American Society of
Health System Pharmacists, ran the College’s professional skills
contest, which she has done since 2000. She is also the Assistant
Director of Drug Information Services at Long Island Jewish Medical
Center, New Hyde Park, NY.
“Students in their fourth to sixth year of pharmacy competed at
St. John’s,” she says. “Two judges evaluated their five-minute
presentations, and scored them and their written pharmaceutical
care plans according to the association’s guidelines.” She
provided valuable feedback to the winning team before it departed
for the nationals in Las Vegas.
As sixth-year students, Sara and Danielle were well prepared for
the competition because they had completed most of their nine,
four-week, clinical rotations, Professor Maisch indicated.
Sara Myones is applying for a one-year clinical residency at a
provider of home health care pharmaceuticals in New York City. “I’m
interested in doing community pharmacy work,” says the Bellmore,
NY, native who decided to become a pharmacist when, in her early
teens, she sought information on the medications prescribed to her
father after his heart attack.
Danielle Ferrari, a Staten Island resident whose father is a
pharmacist, would like a job in industry after graduation. During a
summer internship at the Ortho-Biotech Division of Johnson &
Johnson that involved marketing pharmaceuticals, she gave a
presentation to the sales staff based on research she did
identifying potential targets the company had overlooked.
Both young women say that their aptitude in science and the
reputation of the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions
prompted them to become pharmacy majors at St. John’s.