Students to host interdisciplinary conference

The School of Pharmacy and the School of Social Work will hold their first annual interdisciplinary conference, Medication Use & Society, which focuses on how pharmacists and social workers can provide patients with the best medical care, on Tuesday.

Tenie Khachikian, a graduate student studying social work, created the concept of the conference because a social worker is often responsible for helping a patient understand the health care system and recovery treatments when he leaves the hospital.

“This conference will give an opportunity for students of a respective profession to better understand the other and bridge any gaps that may exist,” Khachikian said.

Khachikian paired up with Tadeh Vartanian, a doctoral student in the School of Pharmacy, and together they set in motion plans for the conference.

Bruce Jansson, a professor of social policy and administration at the School of Social Work, and Dr. Kathleen Johnson, a professor in Dept. of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy, will speak at the conference.

Johnson said she is enthusiastic about the conference because it brings together a wide range of speakers and students who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to interact.

“When students get into clinical training they can understand how to interact with a person in a different profession to help the client get better,” Johnson said.

Khachikian said social workers and pharmacists aim to enhance the lives of their patients.

“Though the professions of social work and pharmacy may be different in name and meaning, there are similarities,” Khachikian said. “We are all professionals working together to improve the life of our patients.”