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DPOP Digest: February 2014



Volume 4, Issue 1


From Chair Betsy Sleath

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Hi! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. I apologize that we did not get the DPOP Digest out before the holidays. We have been very busy! We had a terrific 2013, with many new grants and publications. The faculty, staff, and students are working hard.

First, I want to thank Stacey McGlothlin for her service to DPOP as administrative assistant. We will miss her as she moves to another division within the School. I’d also like to welcome Shavon Carey, our new administrative support specialist. We are very excited that she has joined us. Contact her at or 919-966-1169 if you need to reach any of us or if you need to let her know that your contact information has changed.

We would also like to welcome three PhD students, who joined us in the fall: Terence Johnson, Yi-Ting “Zoey” Chou, and Michelle Vitko. In addition, Lorie Geryk joined us as a postdoctoral fellow, and Autumn Locklear joined us as a social/clinical research specialist. You can learn more about them in the New Faces and New Places section of this issue.

Congratulations to Susan Blalock, who received a six-month Competitive Research and Scholarly Leave from the university. We will miss her this spring and summer while she is gone, but we are glad she has this fantastic opportunity. In addition, congratulations to Joel Farley, who has been elected chair of the Economic, Social, and Administrative Science section of the American Pharmacists Association.

Betsy Sleath, PhD
George H. Cocolas Distinguished Professor and Chair
Division of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy

Fang Receives AHA Award, NIA Grant for ACE Inhibitors Research

FangAssistant Professor Gang Fang, PharmD, PhD, is the principal investigator of an American Heart Association National Clinical Research Program Award to investigate the comparative effectiveness of tissue vs. non-tissue ACE inhibitors in secondary prevention of post-acute myocardial infarction.

Recently, Fang also received a grant titled “Should the Elderly Have Lower Dose of ACE Inhibitors for Prevention after AMI?” from the National Institute of Aging. Co-investigators on the grant include Joel Farley, PhD, an associate professor in DPOP; Till Stürmer, MD, MPH, a professor at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health; M. Alan Brookhart, PhD, an associate professor at Gillings; and Jennifer Robinson, MD, a professor at the University of Iowa College of Public Health.

Fang will assemble a nationwide cohort of 80,000 elderly patients who were discharged with AMI and had ACE inhibitors usage in 2008 and 2009. The study will compare the real-world treatment effectiveness and safety of the established doses of ACE inhibitors post-AMI versus lower doses in the elderly. This study will also deal with the concept of risk versus benefit when dealing with ACE inhibitors.

Farley Elected as Chair of APhA Section

FarleyAssociate Professor Joel Farley, PhD, has been elected to serve as the chair of the Economic, Social, and Administrative Science section for the American Pharmacists Association. Farley will be serving as chair-elect in 2014-2015 and then as chair in 2015-2016. The ESAS section is one of three sections in the APhA’s Academy of Pharmaceutical Research and Science, which devotes education and resources to the discovery, dissemination, and application of research to improve patient health.

This will be Farley’s second term as an officer of APhA, having previously served as the APRS  Postgraduate Officer. His contributions to APhA include coordinating several educational sessions for its annual meetings and serving as a member of the APhA House of Delegates Policy Committee. In his new position, Farley will help plan and coordinate ESAS specific programming for the APhA Annual Meeting and Exposition. He will also serve as the ESAS representative to APhA regarding policy initiatives and activities of the association during his tenure.

Bailey Receives Merck Grant to Develop Self-Management Tool

Stacy BaileyAssistant Professor Stacey Bailey, PhD, MPH, recently received a one-year grant titled “Measure of Drug Self-Management (MeDS)” from Merck. The study will focus on creating a tool based on electronic health records to measure patients’ self-management of their medication regimen. The study will include 210 English- and Spanish-speaking patients with diabetes and hypertension. The team working on the study includes Betsy Sleath, PhD, the chair of DPOP; Dan Reuland, MD, MPH, an associate professor at the UNC School of Medicine; and Autumn Locklear, MSPH, a social/clinich research specialist in DPOP.

Blalock Gets Leave to Study Medication Risk Communication

BlalockProfessor Susan Blalock, MPH, PhD, has been awarded a six-month Senior Faculty Competitive Research and Scholarly Leave from the University, which began on January 1. Research and Scholarly Leaves are granted based on the quality of the research proposed, the research experience of the applicant, and the likelihood that the work done during the leave will make a significant research contribution to the field and the University.

Blalock will spend her leave conducting research on how patients interpret, process, and use information concerning medication risks and benefits when making judgments and decisions involving medication self-management. She expects to submit several proposals during her leave to secure extramural funding for this line of research. If successful, she would be able to establish a state-of-the-art laboratory focused on medication risk communication upon returning from her leave.

Blalock will work with leaders in the field of risk communication, including

  • Valerie Reyna, PhD, director of the Laboratory for Rational Decision Making at Cornell University;
  • Theo Raynor, PhD, a professor of pharmacy practice at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom and director of Luto Research Ltd, a company that develops and evaluates written prescription drug information for consumers in the European Union; and
  • Kelly Giovanello, PhD, director of the Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory Laboratory at UNC-Chapel Hill.

New Faces and New Places

DPOP has added three new staff members.


The division also welcomed three new students to its graduate program.

Recent Publications

Cox WC, Persky A, Blalock SJ. Correlation of the Health Sciences Reasoning Test with Student Admission Variables.  Am J Pharm Education, 2013;77(6):Article 118. PMID: 23966721

Davis, T.C., Rademaker, A., Bailey, S.C., Platt, D.J., Esparza, Wolf, M.S., Arnold, C.L. (2013). Contrasts in Rural and Urban Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening, Journal of Women’s Health, 37(3):289-98.

Bailey, S.C., Oramasionwu, C.U., Wolf, M.S. (2013). Rethinking Adherence: A Health Literacy-Informed Model of Medication Self-Management, Journal of Health Communication, 18(s1):20-30

McCarthy, D.M., Davis, T.C., King, J.P., Mullen, R.J., Bailey, S.C., Serper, M., Jacobson, K.L., Parker, R.M., Wolf, M.S. (2013). Take-Wait-Stop: A Patient Centered Strategy for Writing PRN Medication Instructions, Journal of Health Communication, 18(s1):40-48.

Gossett, D.R., Bhatt, S., Nayak, S. Bailey, S.C. (2013). What do American Women know about the Consequences of Delayed Childbearing, Journal of Health Communication,18(s1):118-128.

Carpenter D.M., Ayala G.X., Williams D., Yeatts K., Davis S., Sleath B.L. (2013) The relationship between patient-provider communication and quality of life for children with asthma and their caregivers. Journal of Asthma, 50(7): 791-8.

Hansen RA, Farley JF, Maciejewski ML, Ye X, Qian C, Powers B. (2013) “Real-world utilization patterns and outcomes of colesevelam hcl in the GE electronic medical record” BMC Endocrine Disorders. Published online at:

Christian RB, Farley JF, Sheitman B, McKee JR, Wei D, Diamond J, Chrisman A, Barnhill LJ, Wegner L, Palmes G, Trygstad T,  Pfeiffenberger T, Wegner SE, Best R, Sikich L. (2013) “A+Kids, A Web-based Registry for North Carolina Youth: An Alternative to Prior Authorization” Psychiatric Services. Published online first at:

Wu, CH, Wang CC, Katz AJ, Farley JF. (2013) “National trends of psychotropic medication use among patients diagnosed with anxiety disorders: Results from Medical Expenditure Panel Survey 2004-2009” Journal of Anxiety Disorders. 27(2):163-170

Ellis AR, Dusetzina SB, Hansen RA, Gaynes, BN, Farley JF, Sturmer T. (2013) “Investigating differences in treatment effect estimates between propensity score matching and weighting: A demonstration using STAR*D trial data” Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety. 22(2):138-144.

Bailey SC, Oramasionwu CU, Wolf MS. Rethinking adherence: a health literacy-informed model of medication self-management. J of Health Comm 2013; 18(s1):20-30. PMID: 24093342

Recent Grants

  • Should the elderly have lower dose of ACE inhibitors for prevention after AMI?
    Gang Fang (PI). R21 (RAG043668A-A1,) NIA.
    7/1/13-6/30/15 - $417,234
  • Padres efectivos (parent activation): skills Latina mothers use to get healthcare for their children. Kathleen Thomas (PI). Betsy Sleath (Co-I). Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).
    8/2013-7/2016 - $1,502,756.
  • A Mixed Methods Approach to the Development and Testing of the Measure of Drug Self-Management. Stacy Bailey (PI). Merck, Sharp, & Dohme Corporation
    11/2013-11/2014 - $93,645
  • Developing a tailored video to help Spanish-speaking parents assess whether their child is using their asthma inhaler properly. Delesha Carpenter (PI). UNC University Research Council.
    5/2013-4/2015 - $3,500.
  • Understanding how RA patients process conflicting information about DMARDs. Delesha Carpenter (PI). Arthritis Foundation.
    10/2013- 9/2015 - $99,653.    
  • Developing a mobile health application to help adolescents self-manage their asthma. Social Behavioral Research. Delesha Carpenter (PI). American Lung Association.
    7/2013-6/2015 - $78,228.
  • Health Disparities in HIV/AIDS. Christine Oramasionwu (PI). National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). Health Disparities Research Loan Repayment Program - Renewal L60 MD003770.
    7/1/2013 - 6/30/2015 - $40,964.80

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