Andy and Diana Bodiford are two of several MUSC pharmacy alumni working as pharmacists at the Hollings Cancer Center

It all started with a pink unicorn…

Andy ’13 and Diana ’11 Bodiford both graduated from the MUSC College of Pharmacy and they currently serve as clinical pharmacists at MUSC Hollings Cancer Center (HCC). But their relationship did not spring from late night study sessions or office water-cooler conversations – it sprang from a bet at the 2011 Cooper River Bridge Run.

A mutual friend created a race time pool in which the loser had to wear a pink unicorn outfit for several hours. Andy lost the bet, Diana supplied the pink unicorn, and the rest was history.

“It was pretty funny and he took it well,” Diana said.

It makes for a unique origin story, which turns out to be an appropriate symbol for their work at Hollings, South Carolina’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer center. MUSC pharmacy alumni are part of the reason HCC is able to offer team-oriented, customized care to the individual patient, which has been highlighted in a recent series of ads about MUSC (fingerprint, here)

“We provide the patients access to medications, educate them on their use, monitor their effects, and offer supportive care,” said Andy. One of the most individualized treatments can help through one of the most difficult times – end-of-life care. “We have a Compassionate Use Program that enables us to offer a medication that is not yet FDA-approved for use with that one particular patient, when it is a last-line treatment.”

The Hollings Cancer Center Pharmacy coordinator is MUSC pharmacy alumna Kristie Fleming ’08 and the Bodifords work alongside a number of practitioners with MUSC pharmacy education ties, including recent graduates Anastasia Finn Graham ’13 and Kelsey Fincher ’14.

The Bodifords cite the preparation they received in the MUSC pharmacy program as a contributor to the success they bring to HCC.

“I felt really well-prepared, particularly for residency,” said Andy. “I had great mentors who helped me learn the different residency programs and which to apply for.”

“Having the other schools was a big help with interprofessionalism,” said Diana. “I had a lot of friends in other disciplines and it really prepared me for interprofessional work, particularly in an academic medical center.”