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Samuel Kellum

Stronger TUgether

Kellum smiles for photo on uptown campus

Samuel Kellum is a second-year student from New Orleans pursuing degrees in finance and computer science. Kellum created a program to help pharmacists fill prescriptions for patients with hemophilia and other bleeding disorders. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)

 

Q: What is your hometown, major and year? Do you live in a residence hall or off campus?
A:
I am from New Orleans, and I am a second-year student double majoring in finance and computer science. I live off campus.

Q: Are there extracurricular activities/organizations you are a part of? What do you like most about being involved in them?
A:
I am a student-athlete on Tulane’s Division 1 cross-country and track teams. I’ve made lifelong friends with teammates from places worldwide, such as Kenya and the United Kingdom.

Also, I am a member of Tulane’s Cookies and Code Club e-board [a campus group for students interested in computer science to connect with the Tulane community and the New Orleans tech community]. I enjoy working with others that share my passion for computer science.

Q: What is your favorite weekend activity? Have you picked up any new hobbies during the pandemic?  
A:
I spend a lot of weekends traveling around the country to race. I love having the opportunity to compete at the highest level of collegiate athletes, to challenge myself against some of the best athletes in the country and the world. On the weekends my team does not race, we occasionally run from campus through downtown, the French Quarter and the Riverwalk. Even though I’ve lived in New Orleans my entire life, I see something new every time I run down Canal Street and the Riverwalk.

During the pandemic, my brother and I learned to cook a lot of tasty meals. My family also had the opportunity to spend a lot more time fishing and water skiing.

Q: What is the best part about being on campus this semester?
A:
It is a privilege to train with my teammates and represent Tulane at races once again. It has been nice to return to a bit of normalcy.

Q: You created a program that helps pharmacists fill prescriptions for patients with hemophilia and other bleeding disorders. Can you tell me more about it and how the idea came about?
A:
Soon after the pandemic started, my mother (a PharmD at Tulane University’s School of Medicine) asked me a “simple” math question to help fill prescriptions for her hemophilia patients while she was working from home. This process of determining the optimal filling of prescriptions has been manual and iterative for pharmacists – wasteful of both time and potentially expensive medications. Instead of solving the problem by hand, I applied what I learned in my “Introduction to Business Analytics” class and created an Excel model that eliminated this laborious process and achieved a new level of accuracy. I worked with MicroHealth Inc., the market leader in hemophilia digital health, and helped convert the spreadsheet to an online calculator accessible for any pharmacist to use. They (MicroHealth) provide an app for patients and a professional dashboard that is free for any patient or healthcare provider to use, with the goal of improving health outcomes. After discussion with other hemophilia organizations and the Tulane Intellectual Property Department, I decided to provide the program for free, allowing easy access to anyone who could find it useful. So far, the tool has received positive feedback from physicians and pharmacists at top medical institutions.

Interview by Alicia Serrano

 

Kellum running on race track

Kellum is also part of Tulane’s Division 1 cross-country and track teams.