CORVALLIS - An Oregon State University pharmacy student's skills in patient care earned her a spot in national competition in Louisiana.

Kassie Westmoreland, a 1990 graduate of Riverside High School in Boardman, earned best overall campus score in OSU's American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Clinical Skills competition. Her success qualified her for the ASHP nationals in New Orleans, which was held Dec. 8-12.

Purdue University and the University of Texas tied for top honors at the national competition.

"We competed against 25 other schools from around the country, but the society only ranks the first-place winner, so the rest of the teams aren't assigned runner-up spots," Westmoreland said.

As part of the competition, students reviewed an extensive patient case history and then assessed drug therapy plans for the patient.

Westmoreland, a senior at OSU, is working toward her bachelor's degree in pharmacy and has a job as staff pharmacist lined up with Kaiser Permanente after graduation in 1997.

"I've also applied for residency in pharmacy doctorate programs in Oregon and Washington," she said.

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists is a 30,000-member national professional association that represents pharmacists who practice in hospitals, health maintenance organizations, long-term care facilities, home care agencies, and other health care systems. The group is a national accrediting organization for pharmacy residency and pharmacy technician training programs.

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Kassie Westmoreland, 541-752-6603