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Apples to Apples – Ours are the Cream of the Crop

Pharmacists at Children’s receive 2011 Apple for Excellence in Teaching Award


Rich Sakai, director of pharmacy at Children's Hospital Central California, and Brenik Kuzmic, pharmacist at Children’s, have won the 2011 Apple for Excellence in Teaching Award. Sponsored by the UCSF School of Pharmacy in Fresno, the Apple award recognizes excellence in Pharmacist Awardsprecepting UCSF pharmacy students on advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs). Taken during a student’s fourth year, APPEs allow pharmacists in training to spend four to six weeks, Monday through Friday, working with a medical team on site and going on rounds with them.

“Pharmacy is book smart,” said Sakai. “What really helps is when students see patients and interact with nurses. Seeing the effect of that drug on the patient is what they call clinical experience, and we provide that through our clerkships.”

“They come through on their fourth year and we do one-on-one with the students here at the Hospital,” said Kuzmic. “This way they get exposed to different settings to see what they might want after they graduate.” Children’s offers pharmacy students practical training in administration, oncology, neonatal and pediatric intensive care, medical/surgical, general practice and information technology.

“Currently in all the schools of pharmacy across California, pediatrics is not a separate lecture class,” said Sakai. “Children’s offers a unique opportunity to students of getting hands-on experience in a pediatric hospital.”

By sharing their expertise through exemplary teaching practices, Sakai and Kuzmic garnered the respect of the pharmacy students who experienced their APPEs through clerkships here at Children’s Hospital.

Nominated by graduating seniors, Apple award recipients receive a congratulatory letter signed by the Dean, and an "Apple" suitable for wearing on a name badge. Join us in congratulating Sakai and Kuzmic, an award winner for three consecutive years, for this well-deserved honor.