Scholarship recipients - saving lives, one interaction at a time.
Drug interactions take lives. Personal interactions save them. With that mantra in mind, the Alliance's scholarship recipients who have graduated are hard at work using their knowledge to help save lives. Whether they are working in a pharmacy, a hospital or an emergency room, they recognize the crucial role pharmacists play in helping people use their drugs safely.
Because of their association with the Alliance, our recipients who have graduated are keenly aware of the dangers of opioids, the risk of opioid interactions and the benefits of naloxone. Through their professional work and personal commitment, they are helping to save lives and end the opioid/benzodiazepine epidemics. The Alliance is proud to have played a small role in their professional training.
Geremi Boom, PharmD
2014 recipient - University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy
Dr. Boom is the Emergency Department clinical pharmacist at Boulder Community Health in Boulder, CO and was the first recipient of the JP Opioid Interaction Awareness Alliance Scholarship. She attended Northern Arizona University where she received her undergraduate degree in chemistry and later attended the University of Colorado obtaining her doctorate in pharmacy in 2016. Geremi completed a general hospital pharmacy residency in Aurora, CO before moving to Boulder Community Health. She has maintained a special passion for opioid use disorders and continues to be an advocate by promoting safe prescribing practices and medication education within the community. Geremi became a member of the Alliance board of directors upon graduation.
Marina Maes, PharmD
2015 recipient - University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy
After graduating from pharmacy school in 2017, Marina completed post-graduate residency training at the University of Michigan. When she returned to Colorado in 2018, she completed a second year of post-graduate residency training at the University of Colorado focusing on primary care and pharmacy academia. Following completion of residency, Marina became an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy where today she teaches PharmD students and practices as a primary care pharmacist. One of the topics that Marina currently teaches in the PharmD curriculum is how to educate patients about the risks associated with opioids as well as how to counsel patients on naloxone. She is also involved in developing opioid taper plans in her clinical practice. In 2021 the Student Senate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy elected Marina as their Teacher of the Year.
Megan Willis Orsburn, PharmD
2016 recipient - Regis University School of Pharmacy
Megan was the first recipient of the JP Opioid Interaction Awareness Alliance Scholarship at Regis University and graduated from there in 2017. Since 2018, she has been a practicing community pharmacist at Rocky Mountain Pharmacy in Estes Park, CO. At this small independent pharmacy, Megan wears many hats including compounding, vaccinating, durable medical equipment counseling, medication therapy management, inventory management, human resources, and insurance reimbursement/contracting. She says she enjoys community pharmacy because of the opportunity it provides to know all her patients by name and intervene on their behalf when necessary. She notes that the interpersonal aspect of her profession is equally as important as the knowledge she gained in school.
Anna Allen, PharmD
2016 recipient - University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy
After graduating from Skaggs in 2018, Anna headed to the Bay Area to complete her post-graduate residency training at the VA of Northern California. Following her residency, she moved to the VA’s Sacramento hospital location where she currently serves as a clinical pharmacy specialist working with large-scale medication safety, cost containment, and project management. In that position she has opportunities to improve prescription disposal and education regarding opioid use. In 2022, Anna returned to Colorado and joined the Alliance board of directors.
Breanna Vose, PharmD
2017 recipient - Regis University School of Pharmacy
Breanna is a staff-pharmacist at City Market Pharmacy in Gunnison, CO. She attended Arapahoe Community College and the University of Denver where she received her undergraduate prerequisites. She graduated from Regis in 2019. Breanna is also a wife, a mother to a 7-year-old boy and is expecting a new baby in November. She continues to be an advocate for opioid use disorders by providing medication education and offering naloxone to her patients at the pharmacy.
Kellie Spence, PharmD
2017 recipient - University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy
Kellie graduated from Skaggs in 2019 and pursued her first year of pharmacy residency in Portland, Oregon at the Oregon Health and Science University Hospital. There she discovered a passion for the solid organ transplant population and is focusing her career within the transplant realm. She is now working on her second year of training as a solid organ transplant pharmacy resident in Nashville, Tennessee at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She completed her training in June 2021 and is now working at Vanderbilt as their kidney and pancreas transplant pharmacist.
Renee Johnson, PharmD
2018 recipient - University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy
Renee received her PharmD from CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy in December 2021. She currently is a full-time pharmacist with Walgreens in Aurora, Colorado. When not working, Renee enjoys working out, going on a hike or playing with her two little kitties while relaxing at home.
Seaira Hickman, PharmD
2019 recipient - Regis University School of Pharmacy
In April 2021, Seaira graduated with honors and was voted most likely by her peers to lead a naloxone initiative. This month she is starting her career with Walgreen's pharmacy as a graduate intern and will be hired as a pharmacist once she passes her pharmacy licensure exams. Seaira volunteers with the Harm Reduction Action Center and plans to incorporate what she has learned from that experience into pharmacy practice to ensure all her patients have access to clean syringes. She says she will always be committed to the Alliance mission of educating her patients thoroughly about their medications to ensure those medications are used safely.