2021-23 cohort begins Applebaum PharmD Leadership & Scholars Program

Wayne State University third-year student pharmacists Sara Barakat, Kelly Kepley, Klea Noskey and Brooke Penny have been selected as the 2021-23 cohort of the Applebaum PharmD Leadership & Scholars Program. Each will receive a $4,000 scholarship – as well as a $2,000 budget to build on the work of earlier cohorts to advance community-ambulatory pharmacy practice.

2021-23 Applebaum PharmD Leadership & Scholars Program 2021-23 cohort

Meet the 2021-23 cohort

The program is supported by Applebaum Family Philanthropy as part of its Applebaum Fellows Program, which provides opportunities aimed to inspire entrepreneurship, independence and leadership in the next generation. Like the college itself, the program is named for Wayne State alumnus and college namesake Eugene Applebaum ’60, ’98, who was a role model for innovation and leadership. His legacy is an inspiration to student pharmacists to excel in the profession and give back to the Detroit community.

“We are so grateful to the Applebaum family for providing our students with this transformative leadership experience, and we are absolutely positive that the Wayne State student pharmacists in this program are destined for success of the most meaningful kind – success measured by positive impact on patients’ lives and the health and wellbeing of Metro Detroit communities,” said Dr. Francine Salinitri, clinical professor and director of experiential education for Wayne State’s PharmD program.

Along with Dr. Richard Lucarotti, professor emeritus and recently retired associate dean for pharmacy, Salinitri mentors the scholars and provides oversight of the program at the college.

“WSU Applebaum students are so driven to make an impact on the pharmacy profession and really passionate about improving health care and medication safety for patients, especially the underserved population in the university’s neighboring communities,” Salinitri said. “This unique program gives our student pharmacists the leadership skills and opportunity to do just that.”

The 2021-23 cohort will further advance an initiative started by now-alumni David Gutenschwager ’21 and Tara Orzechowski ’21 to help community pharmacists establish a practical process for obtaining medical and medication information vital to improving health care for patients.

As the inaugural cohort of the Applebaum PharmD Leadership & Scholars Program from 2019-21, Gutenschwager and Orzechowski began researching and implementing a process to collect medical and medication history from patients onsite at community pharmacies via an electronic tablet, giving pharmacists the necessary information to ensure patients are receiving the optimal medication therapies to improve their overall health. The pair studied this novel process with the support of preceptor and 2013 WSU Applebaum alumnus Vincent Marinco, PharmD, of Marinco Pharmacy in Hazel Park. Gutenschwager and Orzechowski are now in the process of submitting a manuscript they wrote to share their findings and potential impact of the patient-collected medical history on pharmacy care, and they hope to serve as mentors for future cohorts.

Student pharmacists in the 2020-22 cohort Jacqueline Feist, Rola Hariri, Hassan Khatib and Lauren Krumm – are carrying the project forward with an expanded goal in the community ambulatory care practice setting. They are currently working alongside preceptors in independent Metro Detroit pharmacies to pilot use of the electronic collection of patient history as a tool to both identify and manage chronic health conditions such as hypertension, COPD, diabetes and more.

“I am one of three family members to graduate from WSU Applebaum,” said preceptor and 2001 WSU Applebaum alumna Hanadi Thomas, RPh, owner of Merriman Drugs in Livonia. “Throughout pharmacy school, I was fortunate to have had my sister and sister-in-law there to help guide and mentor me, so as a pharmacist, I have precepted over 100 student pharmacists. I am so honored to be contributing to the advancement of students in pharmacy, and especially to be working with them on the Applebaum PharmD Leadership &  Scholars Program project.” 

Preceptor Jaime Spellman, PharmD, has also welcomed students from the cohort into Highland Pharmacy in Waterford, which she manages.

In addition to impactful participation in the cornerstone project, the Applebaum PharmD Leadership & Scholars Program also provides several professional development opportunities, including monthly leadership activities done as a cohort. Just this past April, the first and second cohorts participated in a Clifton StrengthFinders session aimed at clearly identifying each student’s natural talents. With this knowledge, students are better prepared to seek out a work environment that both aligns with and amplifies their talents. 

“Pharmacy students have many different career paths to choose from. They can angle their expertise toward hospital or community practice, research, entrepreneurship and more. Developing insight into their innate strengths and skills gives these students a head start on a satisfying career path even before they graduate,” Salinitri said.

Lauren Krumm
Learn more about Lauren Krumm (above) and her colleagues in the 2020-22 Applebaum PharmD Leadership & Scholars Program.

Student pharmacist Lauren Krumm said it was a privilege to participate in the session. “My CliftonStrengths report revealed my strengths include being Achiever, Input and Maximizer. It was very beneficial to learn ways to maximize these strengths, like setting challenging goals for myself and remaining dedicated to always learning and growing. These results solidified my desire to pursue a PGY-1 residency and to consider pursuing BCPS certification to challenge myself further.”

Krumm is a model of the type of student the Applebaum Fellows initiative seeks to build up: motivated individuals embodying an entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to reach a greater personal and community potential.

Pamela Applebaum, Eugene’s daughter, said, “My family is very proud to continue its support of the Applebaum PharmD Leadership & Scholars Program. Leadership is sometimes best motivated in a peer-to-peer setting. This program provides that vital opportunity, and we greatly look forward to the success of this new cohort and the program’s growing alumni.”

Meet the 2021-23 cohort

Sara Barakat

Sara Barakat currently practices as an intern at the Detroit Medical Center (DMC) Harper Hospital and CVS pharmacy. She is an active member of pharmacy student organizations at Wayne State including the Student Society of Health System Pharmacy, Arab American Pharmacist Association, American Pharmacists Association–Academy of Student Pharmacists, Michigan Pharmacist Association, and Phi Lambda Sigma. She is a co-coordinator of the Diabetes Education and Wellness (DEW) Clinic.

Barakat is a very driven, hardworking and passionate student who values family and helping others. She believes that pharmacy is a well-rounded profession that is continually evolving at helping to provide the best possible patient care. She is very excited to be a part of the Applebaum PharmD Leadership & Scholars program through which she can play an active role in making positive and beneficial changes to help evolve pharmacy practice.

Sara Barakat

Kelly Kepley

Kelly Kepley is a member of several pharmacy student organizations at Wayne State including American Pharmacists Association–Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP), Lambda Kappa Sigma (LKS), the Rho Chi Society and Phi Lambda Sigma, and she holds executive positions in APhA (Operation Heart co-chair) and LKS (Sisterhood chair). Kelly has been an intern with CVS pharmacy for three years, and recently she began interning at Beaumont Hospital Dearborn inpatient pharmacy.

Kelpley is very excited to begin working with her fellow classmates and faculty over the next two years of the Applebaum PharmD Leadership & Scholars program to gain new knowledge and help enhance the practice of pharmacy one step at a time. 

Kelly Kepley

Klea Noskey

Klea Noskey is a student leader in a number of pharmacy student organizations at Wayne State including Lambda Kappa Sigma (Alumni chair), American Pharmacists Association–Academy of Student Pharmacists (Operation Diabetes co-chair and Policy VP-elect), Industry Pharmacists Organization (external public relations elect and co-founder of the Wayne State University chapter) and Oakland County Pharmacists Association (student representative board member). She is also a member of the Rho Chi Society, Student National Pharmaceutical Association and Student College of Clinical Pharmacy.

Noskey is currently an intern in the inpatient pharmacy at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland and an MTM pharmacy intern at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. She is honored to be part of the Applebaum PharmD Leadership & Scholars program, and she looks forward to applying her knowledge to conduct research and advance community pharmacy to better serve patients.

Klea Noskey

Brooke Penny

Brooke Penny holds leadership positions in Wayne State pharmacy student organizations including president of the Student Pharmacists Diversity Council, and patient care vice president of the American Pharmacists Association–Academy of Student Pharmacists. She is also an active student member of the Pharmacy Program Assessment Committee, Professional Education Director, Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, Student Pharmacist Learning Community Peer Mentor, Phi Lambda Sigma, the Rho Chi Society, and the Society of Health System Pharmacy student chapter.

Penny is currently a pharmacy intern at Meijer Pharmacy. She looks forward to being a part of the Applebaum PharmD Leadership & Scholars program, seeing it as a valuable opportunity to help develop tools that will further the advancement of community pharmacy with the ultimate goal of better serving patients.

Brooke Penny

Visit the Applebaum PharmD Leadership & Scholars Program web page to learn how to apply for the program.

An anchor in urban health care
The Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is built on more than 100 years of tradition and innovation in the heart of Detroit. We have grown deep roots in our city, harnessing its powerhouse hospital systems and community service organizations as vibrant, real-world training grounds for students, with an ongoing focus on social justice in health care. And our research at all levels — from undergraduates to veteran faculty members — translates into creative solutions for healthier communities.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering approximately 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 26,000 students.

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