CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Chronic diseases, worsened by misuse of antibiotics, changes in state and federal laws and decreases in Medicare funding, have magnified the need for health care professionals to receive the latest information and training in pharmacological care.

The Texas A&M Coastal Bend Health Education Center sought to address this need when it hosted its 6th annual Gulf Coast Pharmacy Symposium at the Education Services Center, Region 2 building in February.

“This symposium continues to attract nationally and internationally renowned speakers, and delivers latest trends in pharmacy and medicine to South Texas health care providers,” said George Udeani, PharmD, DSc, FCP, FCCP, the program’s course director and one of the speakers at the conference.

This year’s theme, New Strides in Pharmacotherapy, took a multidisciplinary approach to ensure physicians, pharmacists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, pharmacy technicians and other health care professionals learned effective methods to apply the most up-to-date drug management procedures to maximize positive patient outcomes.

“This symposium represents a commitment to continuous professional development of health care professionals,” said Henri Manasse, Jr., PhD, ScD, FFIP, one of the keynote speakers at the conference. “It also provides a platform for comradery for like-minded experts to discuss the personal challenges they face on a day-to-day basis.”

The symposium covered a broad spectrum of topics, including risks and benefits of proton pump inhibitors, sepsis and fluid balance, medication therapy management and automatic drug dispensing in health care systems.

About 75 medical professionals attended the conference. Many vendors were also present to show how their products and services can better assist health care professionals. Participation in the conference contributed to health care professional’s continuing education requirements.