Helping pharmacy students is goal of new PPA president

Amanda Stickles, Staff Writer

Wilkes associate professor, Jonathan Ference was recently elected president of the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association Educational Foundation.

The Foundation’s mission is to foster research education and the development of practice models that advance patient care. It provides research grants of $1,000 to Pennsylvania pharmacists for the exploration of innovation for best pharmacy practices.

Jonathan Ference
Jonathan Ference

Ferences’ role in the foundation is to guide other board members in establishing a strategic direction foundation as well as developing a sound financial investment plan to grow the foundation’s budget. He said he believes in “continuing the foundations current projects as well as introducing new ones.”

Ference plans on hosting a student poster presentation as well as sponsoring the Know Pain, Know Gain pharmacy patient counseling completion at the annual mid-year conference.

Ference received his doctorate of pharmacy from Wilkes University’s Nesbitt College of Pharmacy and Nursing. He completed a specialty residency in family medicine and a faculty development fellowship at UPMC St. Margaret’s, Pittsburgh, Pa.

As well as spending four years on faculty as an assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy and as an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine Tulsa, Okla.

As director of pharmacotherapy education for the Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education-Family Medicine Residency program, Ference’s goal is to ensure that resident family physicians are provided with sound training on the appropriate use of medications.

Ference also provides formal didactic training in the areas of evidence-based medicine, clinical decision making and pharmacotherapy. He is also a part of direct patient care in collaboration with the residents in the outpatient clinic at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital and various local nursing homes.

“Through this collaboration we teach and learn from each other while practicing evidence-based care to optimize patient outcomes,” Ference said.

As a board certified pharmacotherapy specialist, Ference, whose clinical activities include working in the outpatient pharmacist-patient care clinic; is involved with giving advanced medication therapy management services to those with chronic medical conditions.

Ference specializes in the areas of diabetes and cardiovascular medicine and works alone side with a team of Wilkes University pharmacy students in giving patients medical care.

“The pharmacy students play a vital role in patient care and benefit by expanding their knowledge base in diabetes and cardiovascular medicine as well as providing direct patient care services,” Ference said. “The profession of pharmacy is shifting towards these advanced models of practice and this experience allows our students to enter the workforce with ample experience in this area.”

Wilkes University values interprofessional education and patient care, yet only host two healthcare disciplines. Ference has used his experiences at Oklahoma University to reach out and create networks between members of our local community across healthcare disciplines.

Wilkes has also been a big part of the work of the Northeastern/central Pennsylvania Interprofessional Education Coalition NCPA IPEC. Ference has had the opportunity to participate in the annual collaborate Care Summits hosted by the NCPA IPEC and looks forward to continuing with being involved in their work as they improve.

Ference ultimate goal as a faculty member is to help every pharmacy student he works with and help them realize their dreams of becoming a competent, comfortable and confident pharmacist.

“My three C’s,” he said.