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Ringgold grad receives pharmacy award

Jamie L. McConaha, assistant professor of Pharmacy Practice at Duquesne University Mylan School of Pharmacy, receives the 2012 Distinguished Young Pharmacist for Pennsylvania from Dr. Thomas Mattei, during the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association annual convention in Scranton on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012.

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Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Jamie McConaha was attending Ringgold High School when she did a work shadow at The Medicine Shoppe in Monongahela.

“I always wanted to be in some type of health care profession,” said McConaha. “I liked the face-to-face interaction with people and also learning about how drugs interact on the body.”

An assistant professor of pharmacy practice at Duquesne University Mylan School of Pharmacy, McConaha was recently named the 2012 Distinguished Young Pharmacist for Pennsylvania by the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association and Pharmacists Mutual Companies.

Eligible candidates for the award must be active in professional organizations to further advance pharmacy and must have graduated with a pharmacy degree within the past 10 years.

She was nominated for the award by Dr. Thomas Mattei, associate dean for professional programs at Duquesne University Mylan School of Pharmacy.

In introducing McConaha at the convention, Mattei said, “This year's recipient has been a pharmacist for five years, yet has earned accomplishments fitting of one with many more years of experience.

“She is active in multiple regional, state and national associations, stepping into leadership positions both quickly and seemingly effortlessly. As an assistant professor of pharmacy practice at Duquesne University Mylan School of Pharmacy and a community pharmacist, her health outcomes research has focused on assessing the value of a pharmacist's impact on chronic common diseases, on the implementation of programs and systems to improve patient outcomes, and on the use of advanced teaching methods to enhance student learning.

“Her pharmacy practice serves as a clinical site for 50 advanced pharmacy practice students yearly.

“ She is a member of the American Pharmacists Association, the American College of Clinical Pharmacy and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. She is a co-advisor for the Duquesne University student chapter of PPA and ACPA and for the student chapter of the Lambda Kappa Sigma Fraternity. She sits on the Board of the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association, serves as chair for the PPA Peer Review work group, and is president of the Allegheny County Pharmacists Association. So you can see why I said she has done a lot.”

McConaha said she was humbled to receive the award.

“It was really an honor because it is recognition by my own peers,” McConaha said.

She received the award at the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association annual conference in Scranton on Sept. 22.

McConaha resides in Venetia with her husband, Mike. Her parents, Darla and David Kearns live in Monongahela.

She is a 2001 graduate of Ringgold High School. She graduated from Duquesne University Mylan School of Pharmacy in 2007. After completing a two-year academic training and Research Fellowship at Duquesne, she was hired by her alma mater.

McConaha teaches a cardiology module, dermatology, diabetes management and immunization certify courses, along with two pharmacy practice courses.

She's a member of the clinical division and maintains an active practice site in primary care physician office at Preferred Primary Care Physicians in Carnegie.

McConaha admits it was challenging at first teaching where she earned her pharmacy degree because she was teaching some students she knew when she was going to Duquesne.

“It's very rewarding because I love how the profession of pharmacy is changing,” McConaha said. “Because I practice in the profession, I try to teach how real world pharmacy practice operates.”

She is working as a pharmacist in a doctor's office as a part of her job as Duquesne.

“A typical work week is set up as a 40-hour week, but it tends to be a little longer,” McConaha said. “I enjoy that it's different every day so it does not seem like work.”

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or

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