Apr 10, 2007    #055
Contact: Noemi Rojas
(816) 235-1520

School of Pharmacy names its 2006 outstanding alumnus

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Pharmacy has announced Susan McCann, R.Ph., as its 2006 Alumni Achievement Award winner.

Each of UMKC’s 12 academic units recognizes one alumnus annually for having achieved notable success in his or her professional field and for having rendered outstanding service to the community.

McCann will accept the alumni award at the annual Alumni Association’s dinner and program, which typically draws a crowd of 700. The event is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. April 19, 2007, in the Swinney Recreation Center, 5030 Holmes St.

McCann, a 1977 graduate, works as Missouri Chief Administrator for the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. The job title may seem innocuous, perhaps even mundane; but far from it. She often deals with cases that are criminal and, sometimes, downright malicious.

The illegal activities she busts have nothing to do with street junkies. She monitors health care practitioners. Largely, the bureau monitors doctor’s office, veterinarians’ offices, pharmacies, hospitals, long-term care facilities, etc. Their No. 1 aim is to educate practitioners so they know the laws governing recordkeeping and security. If practitioners don’t comply, the bureau may take administrative action or refer for criminal prosecution.

Recently, her office discovered five practitioners in the St. Louis area who were writing prescriptions for controlled substances, acquiring those substances through illegal means, and treating patients while under the influence.

“These five individuals are no longer endangering the public because they’ve been stopped by this bureau,” McCann said. “In this job, I feel like I can make a difference.”

It is a sentiment confirmed by colleague Patrick J. Bryant, Pharm.D., director of the UMKC Drug Information Center and clinical associate professor.

“This watch dog role has saved the state of Missouri thousands of dollars and… maximized the health care of this population of patients,” Bryant said.

Previous to working with the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, McCann’s employment was with Missouri Medicaid, where she worked for 19 years helping to draft legislation.

Rounding out McCann is her history of service. While too extensive to list here, her public service has benefited organizations such as the Center for Emergency Response and Terrorism, which provided medication consultation to people who were transplanted to Missouri after hurricane Katrina. She has held leadership positions with professional organizations such as the Missouri Pharmaceutical Association and National Pharmacy Administrators’ Association.

Other pharmaceutical groups in which she is involved include the Missouri Taskforce on Children in Meth Labs, as well as the National Strategic Stockpile Advisory Council for Missouri. The Stockpile Advisory Council ensures quantities of drugs used to treat patients who have been exposed to biological warfare are maintained.

It is through the Stockpile Advisory Council that McCann has involved the UMKC Drug Information Center to assure optimal clinical decisions for safe drug administration. She has also given presentations to UMKC students on controlled-substance laws and career paths.

“Ms. McCann has been an excellent example of an active, poised and educated alumna,” said Robert W. Piepho, Ph.D., dean and professor with the UMKC School of Pharmacy.

UMKC is one of four University of Missouri campuses. It is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health and life sciences, and urban affairs.


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