Four PharmD/MBA students named 2019-20 WNY Prosperity Fellows

Published September 27, 2019

Four University at Buffalo PharmD/MBA students have been named 2019-20 Western New York Prosperity Fellows.

The fellowships, which are made possible through support from the Prentice Family Foundation, are awarded to college and graduate students with an entrepreneurial drive who want to make a difference in Western New York.

The program assists undergraduate and graduate students at UB and Canisius College who are actively preparing for careers that further economic development and growth in the region.

“Participating in the Prosperity Fellowship Program has expanded my education,” adds Kathryn Gentz, who is new to the fellowship program this year. She is a PharmD/MBA dual degree student and a graduate assistant for the Blackstone LaunchPad. “It’s given me a focused view of how essential it is for future leaders to not only work in a community, but work to grow and sustain a community.”

The 2019-20 University at Buffalo PharmD/MBA Prosperity Fellows are:

Kathryn Gentz

Kathryn Gentz.

Kathryn Gentz is a Buffalo native, having grown up in Grand Island, NY.

Kathryn is pursuing a dual PharmD/MBA with a concentration in marketing management at the University at Buffalo. She anticipates graduating in 2022.

Kathryn is very active in her professional program. She is currently the director of national engagement for the Industry Pharmacists Association (IPhO), the women’s health co-chair for the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), and served as class president during her first two years of pharmacy school. She was recently accepted into a micro-credentialed clinical research program (CRP) at the University at Buffalo, where she will be studying the effects of anticoagulation on pregnant women. Kathryn is very passionate about women’s health care access in Western New York. She spends a lot of her time advocating for women’s health services and education in the area.

Her future plans include post-doctoral training in women’s and consumer health with a focus on marketing. She plans to keep her talents in Buffalo by continuing to support the women in her community, as well as improve access to women’s health care services such as mental health services, infertility education and sexual education programs around Western New York. With the support of Western New York Prosperity Fellowship, Kathryn is turning her dreams into every woman’s reality.

Kathryn is grateful for her Buffalo community, believing the biggest impacts come from thinking globally and acting locally.

Peter Okorozo

Peter Okorozo.

Peter graduated in 2016 with a BS in pharmaceutical sciences, and is currently enrolled in the doctor of pharmacy/master’s in business administration (PharmD/MBA) dual degree. Born in Queens, NY and raised in Nigeria, Peter knew the need for better health care and how it would impact many lives in our communities.

As a Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) alumnus, he showed dedication in creating a pathway for the less privileged and giving them the inspiration to achieve a higher education. Peter was a campus health educator who collaborated with UNYTS to campaign on the need for organ donation. He also furthered his experience by interning at Good Neighbors Health Clinic at Harvest House, where he managed workflow and the day-to-day activities of the clinic. He also worked on collecting health and demographic data that supported the organization’s submission of a grant proposal.

Peter believes the WNY Prosperity Fellowship has opened his eyes to the virtues of Western New York. As a PharmD/MBA student, he sees resources and opportunities here for a startup. His journey to this point in his career wasn’t an easy one, and the Prosperity Fellowship still gives him the reason to keep pursuing his dreams of becoming a collaborative practice pharmacist in Western New York.

Neel Patel

Neel Patel.

Neel has been a resident of the incredible Western New York community for more than a decade and has a found a new home here. He completed a bachelor’s degree followed by a master of science in pharmacology and toxicology at the University at Buffalo, and is currently enrolled in the dual PharmD/MBA program, gaining expertise and skills for leadership positions in pharmacy management.

Over the past nine years, Neel has been involved in extensive research, investigating biomarkers and novel drugs for prostate cancer at UB and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center (RPCCC). Along with publishing several articles in prestigious journals, he has presented his research to multiple committees at various conferences. Neel has worked as a laboratory manager for several years, and has established a program to teach basic science laboratory skills and help spark local students’ interest in the medical research field.

Moreover, Neel has held leadership positions in numerous clubs and organizations, and is currently pursuing a professional development program at UB. Last year, Neel began serving as a venture coach for UB’s Blackstone Lauchpad, where he provided students with one-on-one mentoring and individualized support to help transform ideas into successful businesses. Moreover, as the lead coach for UB’s 2019 Three-Minute Thesis Competition, Neel guided the participants, including the finalists, in preparing and competing successfully. To recognize his various scholarly achievements and academic excellence, Neel was offered the Cecil and Violet Newton Scholarship as well as the Henry A. Panasci, Jr. Pharmacy Scholarship this year. Student Sandbox is a business competition held at UB in which Neel pitched his idea regarding developing a biomanufacturing plant in Buffalo and won third prize. Neel is an intern at UB’s Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships, where he completed many projects, including identifying potential commercialization of products developed through scientific research by various principal investigators at UB. His passion for pharmacy and for improving the economic landscape and prosperity of Western New York also led him to connect with many leaders, including those at Thermo Fischer Scientific in Grand Island, to work toward creating strong partnerships and a sustainable life sciences ecosystem in the region. Neel is also greatly passionate about service to community and has volunteered with more than a dozen organizations across the U.S. and Canada, including BAPS Charities and SickKids.

Neel’s long-term aspiration is to establish a locally-based, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the development of biologic agents, as well as exploring and instituting simplified manufacturing processes for drugs that are imported or in short supply. While working toward this goal, he is interested in using the advanced resources available in Buffalo and bringing leaders together to build a team of experts, all with the common goal of reinvigorating the community.

Bryan Quinn

Bryan Quinn.

Bryan Quinn is pursuing a dual degree, consisting of a doctor of pharmacy and master of business administration with a focus in health care at the University at Buffalo. He is interested in the implementation of value-based reimbursement models in the community pharmacy setting. Over the summer, Bryan assisted in data collection for the Independent Health and Pharmacists’ Association of Western New York (PAWNY) Wellness Committee Pilot Program. This program was developed to help improve patient mediation adherence, education, and overall health. Bryan published the results from this study in the PAWNY’s state journal. He has continued his research to collect the level of commitment of community pharmacies to provide value-based services to their patients. Bryan presented a poster publication, Assessment of the Perceptions and Implementation of Patient Care Services Within Community Pharmacies: A Mixed Methods Study, at PAWNY’s annual winter conference, at which Bryan and his team were awarded the best poster and presentation award. Bryan is also heavily active in the American Society of Consulting Pharmacists (ASCP), which specializes in geriatric care. He has volunteered numerous times in wellness clinics run by this club to provide bone mineral density screenings for the elderly. During the fall semester, Bryan and his team presented their bone mineral density data at the ASCP’s national conference.

Bryan is the current president and founding member of UB’s newest interprofessional club, known as the Health Care Management Club. Bryan’s vision for this club is to provide students with the tools and knowledge to help make a professional health-focused interdisciplinary team successful; as well as provide networking opportunities. He is also one of the newly elected treasurers for the School of Pharmacy Student Association (SPSA). This year, Bryan was elected onto the WNY Prosperity Fellowship’s Council, where his role is community outreach and volunteering. Bryan has organized various volunteering events at The Teacher’s Desk, Ronald McDonald House Charities, West Herr Winter Wishes, and Buffalo Hearing and Speech’s Soul Gala. In honor of Bryan’s contributions to Western New York and the field of pharmacy, he received the Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Companies scholarship. Recipients were chosen based on their commitment to practice in either an independent community or in an underserved geographic or cultural community. Bryan seeks to continue his future contributions to the Western New York area, and to grow as a business leader as well as a Buffalonian.

For over 130 years, the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has continually been a leader in the education of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists, renowned for innovation in clinical practice and research. The school is accredited by the American Council of Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE) and is the No. 1 ranked school of pharmacy in New York State and No. 22 in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.