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Neurocritical Care Society Pharmacy Section Year in Review

By Currents Editor posted 01-04-2019 12:51


JMaki_Dec2018_Currents_RX.jpegBy Jason Makii, PharmD, MBA, FCCM, FNCS, BCPS, BCCCP, Chair, Pharmacy Section Leadership Committee

The pharmacy section continues to expand, and we have celebrated numerous successes this past year. Continued recruitment efforts have resulted in over 175 pharmacist members within the section, an increase from last year. Over 65 pharmacists attended the annual meeting in Florida last September with various members presenting their research, moderating sessions and speaking on various topics throughout the annual meeting. I would like to acknowledge and thank the outstanding committee members for their service and dedication this past year. A special thanks to Eljim Tesoro for his outstanding leadership of the Pharmacy Section for the past three years; the successes and growth of this section described in this review are a direct result of his leadership. I would also like to recognize Dr. Gretchen Brophy, who completed her term as the first pharmacist president of NCS this year. Her support and dedication to NCS and the Pharmacy Section have resulted in the continued growth and engagement of neurocritical care pharmacists within the society.

Pharmacotherapy of Neurocritical Care Series (PONS)

The third volume of PONS topics were released this past year. Topics covered in volume 3 include Substance Withdrawal in Neurocritical Care, Challenges in ICU Care – The Parkinson Patients, Reversible Cerebral Vasoconstrictive Syndrome (RCVS), Indications and Considerations for the Use of Antiplatelet Agents in Neurocritical Care, Medication Safety in Neurocritical Care, and Non-opioid Options for Treating Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Induced Headache. This on-demand webinar series currently offers 22 core pharmacotherapy topics with four new releases planned for 2019. The PONS series is an innovative tool to promote dissemination of updated information to clinicians as well as trainees and aligns with the educational mission of the society. It is one of the most visited pages on the NCS website. Thank you to this year’s PONS chairs, Mehrnaz Pajoumand and Jeffrey Mucksavage. This is a particularly valuable resource for trainees and nurses.

Learn more here:

Invited Clinical Pharmacist (ICP) Program

The ICP program was designed to promote and increase neurocritical care pharmacy services to medical centers and universities across the country. Applicants can request a senior pharmacy section member to visit their institution to meet with neurocritical care and hospital stake holders, attend multidisciplinary rounds and provide a guest lecture. This past year, Dr. Gretchen Brophy visited the UC Davis Health System and interacted with the neurocritical care team on rounds and through a grand rounds presentation. Kendra Schomer, PharmD, and Lara Zimmerman, MD, were the site leads who coordinated the visit and presented their experience at the Pharmacy Specialty Focus Corner at the annual meeting. Applications for the 2019 ICP are available on the NCS website. This is a great resource for institutions that would like to initiate &/or expand pharmacy services in their neurocritical care areas.  

Learn more here:


  • 2018 marked another productive year for members of the pharmacy section for articles in Neurocritical Care journal. A few publication highlights include:
  • Gabriel Fontaine reported on three-factor versus four-factor prothrombin complex concentrate for the emergent management of warfarin-associated intracranial hemorrhage. (Neurocrit Care (2018) 28: 43.
  • Theresa Human was the lead author on a randomized trial of brief versus extended seizure prophylaxis after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (Neurocrit Care (2018) 28: 169.
  • Dr. Human also contributed with Amanda Lamer-Rosen to the standards for neurologic critical care units: a statement for healthcare professionals from the neurocritical care society (Neurocrit Care (2018) 29: 145.
  • Denise Rhoney reported on the influence of single-dose antibiotic prophylaxis for early-onset pneumonia in high-risk intubated patients (Neurocrit Care (2018) 28: 362.

Neurocritical Care ON CALL

Neurocritical Care ON CALL was released earlier this year and included the following pharmacist contributors: Stephanie Bennett, Yana Bukovskaya, Jennifer Bushwitz, Meghan Caylor, Sarah Clark, Kristen Ditch, Michael Erdman, Salia Farrokh, Shannon Giddens, Kristy Greene, Leslie Hamilton, Theresa Human, Mathew Korobey, Lisa Kurczewski, Kimberly Levasseur-Franklin, Jason Makii, Casey May, Christopher Morrison, Kent Owusu, Mehrnaz Pajoumand, Dennis Parker, Deepa Patel, Brianne Ritchie, Amanda Lamer-Rosen, Eljim Tesoro, Andrea Tully, and Ryan Waybright.

Learn more here:

NCS Annual Meeting

Over 65 pharmacist members attended the Annual Meeting in Boca Raton, Florida this past September. The pharmacy section had great engagement throughout the annual meeting with speakers, moderators and workshop/course directors. Thank you to Leslie Hamilton and Christopher Morrison for promoting pharmacist involvement through the Annual Meeting Planning Committee.

The Pharmacotherapy workshop was directed by Jason Makii and showcased presentations on:

  • Anti-Xa monitoring in neurocritical care patients(Keri Kim)
  • Safe administration practices for high alert medications (Emily Durr)
  • Cannabidol use in the neurocritically ill (Kent Owusu)
  • The impact of the new AHA blood pressure guidelines (Caroline Der-Nigoghossian)
  • A debate on short vs. prolonged antibiotic administration in neurocritical care patients ( Meghan Caylor and Salia Farrokh)
  • Strategies to maintain neurocritical care pharmacotherapy in an era of drug shortages (Kimberly Levasseur-Franklin)

Other pharmacy section involvement included the following:

  • Shaun Keegan presented during the survivorship after critical illness: challenges and strategies for post-intensive care syndrome session
  • Sherif Mahmoud presented in the Individualizing therapy and prognostication for patients in the neurocritical care unit session
  • Christopher Morrison and Salia Farrokh also presented on the latest advances in the management of neurocritical care complications
  • Karen Berger, Jeffrey Mucksavage, Emily Durr and Kimberly Levasseur-Franklin represented the pharmacy section during the Debates Session.
  • Christopher Morrison also presented during the ENLS train the trainer course
  • John Lewin and Gretchen Brophy shared their leadership experience during the Future Clinical Leaders Forum

Please visit the on-demand section of the NCS website if you are interested in any of the presentations from the 2018 Annual Meeting:

Finally, the Pharmilia runners raised $445 placing them third in the Run for Research rankings and Jason Makii represented the pharmacy section on the winning scramble team during the golf for research outing.

Presidential Citations and Awards

The NCS presidential citation is an award that recognizes members who have shown exceptional support and dedication to NCS and have contributed to the neurocritical care community. Pharmacy section recipients at the annual meeting included Karen Berger, Aaron Cook, Salia Farrokh, Theresa Human, Kimberly Levasseur-Franklin, John Lewin, Jason Makii, Christopher Morrison, Jeffrey Mucksavage, Mehrnaz Pajoumand, Keri Kim and Eljim Tesoro.

Section recipients of the 2018 Annual Meeting Travel Grant included Kara Birrer, Olabisi Falana, Gabriel Fontaine, Allison Rider, Keaton Smetana and Jessica Traeger.

Three section members were inducted as Fellows of the Neurocritical Care Society (FNCS) at the annual meeting. Congratulations to Christopher Morrison, Jason Makii and Eljim Tesoro

Pharmacist engagement in NCS continues to remain prominent and we encourage all members to get involved within the society. Feel free to contact me to share ideas and to get involved within the section ( On behalf of the pharmacy section leadership, I want to thank the section members for another successful year and we look forward to working with everyone in 2019. Have a safe and happy holiday season!

#NCSRoundup #December2018 #JasonMakii #Pharmacy

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