University of Rhode Island pharmacy professor selected to lead network of palliative care professionals

KINGSTON, R.I. – November 14, 2014 – Jayne Pawasauskas, a clinical associate professor of pharmacy at the University of Rhode Island, has been helping her patients manage their pain for more than a decade. With 15 years of clinical practice, research and network building under her belt, Pawasauskas was recently named chair-elect of the Pain and Palliative Care Practice and Research Network of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy.

Her connections in the field of pain management, along with a year spent as secretary treasurer at the research network, made her a natural fit to assume the mantle of chair-elect. She will hold the position for a year before becoming chairwoman.

“The position allows me the opportunity to share with our members the latest developments and best practices in the field,” Pawasauskas said. “We bring in a lot of great speakers to talk about very current topics at our annual meeting.”

Pawasauskas will lead the way organizing the event, which gives clinical pharmacists a chance to connect with colleagues, mentors and friends while attending educational programming about cutting-edge clinical and professional developments. The meeting also offers specialty recertification in pharmacotherapy and ambulatory care, as well as highly specialized practice and research network focus sessions.

While most of the organization’s membership includes practicing clinical pharmacists, student members also take advantage of the educational and networking opportunities. Pawasauskas relishes the opportunity to work with the younger members.

“We’ve paid more attention to the student members and their work, and we recently decided to award two student travel awards,” she said. “The winners come to our annual meeting and do a presentation. It’s allowed us to reach out to the next generation of clinical pharmacists, so I have found that very rewarding.”

Pawasauskas’ current focus in her clinical work is on the development of pain management education strategies for interdisciplinary practice. She is also implementing a system for electronic examinations in URI’s College of Pharmacy.

Pawasauskas, who lives in East Greenwich, R.I., with her husband Thomas Napolitano and their 4-year-old son Noah, maintains a clinical consultation service in pain management at Kent Hospital in Warwick, R.I. She also serves as a preceptor for pharmacy students on their general medicine (required) and pain management (elective) advanced pharmacy practice experiences rotations. Pawasauskas also teaches an elective course in palliative care.

Despite her busy schedule, Pawasauskas is ready to take on the challenge as chair-elect.

“I had finished my year as secretary treasurer and I was looking forward to continuing to work with the group in some capacity,” Pawasauskas said. “A one-year team is not very long when you have so much to do, and it’s nice to be able to continue on and keep working with the organization.”