University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy Honored for Transformative Community Service

University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy Honored for Transformative Community Service

AACP703-739-2330 ext. 1022

will receive the 2012-13 AACP for its significant institutional commitment to addressing unmet community needs through education, practice and research.

The award, consisting of a commemorative Steuben glass Beacon of Light and financial stipend, highlights community service as an important element of the academic mission and singles out institutions that serve as examples of social responsiveness on the part of the academic health professions community. Representatives from the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy will be honored during AACP’s Annual Meeting, , July 13-17, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

"Community service and public engagement permeate our college's missions and our values, and guide both our long-term and daily decision-making. It is integral to who and what we are, and we strive to have the greatest possible impact from our activities," said Dean Marilyn K. Speedie. "We are very honored to receive this prestigious award. It truly represents our college's long and proud history of engagement with the communities we serve."

The University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy is continuously aware of new opportunities to develop its community partnerships. Activities in which it engages include student-provided direct patient care to underserved communities, the development of new practices in underserved rural, urban and Native American communities, and the responsibility of advocating for the profession’s role in serving the public.

Programs such as the Duluth campus’ Health of People Everywhere (HOPE) Clinic, a year-round free triage/referral clinic, provide patient care and entry into the healthcare system for adults from underserved populations, while exposing student pharmacists to valuable professional experiences. The clinic operates two hours every Tuesday afternoon, at a local homeless shelter and community center in downtown Duluth. More than 50 first-, second- and third-year student pharmacists, as well as 30 first- and second-year student physicians, participate in the clinic each year. Since openings its doors, the HOPE Clinic has served over 300 individual patients.

Similarly, student health professionals from the Twin Cities campus run the Phillips Neighborhood Clinic, serving patients from the economically-disadvantaged immigrant population in east Minneapolis through various steps of care and counseling about their medications. Open two nights a week, students at the PNC monitor patient intake, run the dispensary for a limited formulary of prescription medications, and counsel patients about their medications. Using an interprofessional approach, students from the fields of pharmacy, medicine, physical therapy, nursing, nutrition, social work and public health combine their skills to find the best care for patients. Their work was recognized in 2009 when they received the AACP Student Community Engaged Service Award.

Student organizations within the College of Pharmacy also have been very active in organizing and delivering a wide variety of preventative care measures to many different populations. Through educational events about disease and drug abuse, bone marrow donor screenings and more, student-led outreach has provided healthcare services at nearly 100 local community events since 2005, all free of charge. These organizations annually vaccinate several thousand University of Minnesota students and staff against influenza as well.

Expanding their reach even further, University of Minnesota student organizations treat the internationally underserved through yearly programs such as the Puebla and Haiti Service Projects. Student pharmacists organize and raise funds for visits abroad to perform patient assessments and develop care plans for these globally underprivileged populations. Through the Haiti Service Project alone, student pharmacists provided care for 300 patients across four days in 2012. Originally working through a temporary clinic, the group plans to ultimately build a permanent clinic, to be run by Haitian healthcare workers year-round.