ALEXANDRIA, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy has selected The University of Oklahoma (OU) College of Pharmacy to receive the 2013–2014 AACP Lawrence C. Weaver Transformative Community Service Award for its significant commitment to addressing unmet community needs.
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 recognizes institutions that serve as examples of social responsiveness on the part of the academic health professions community.
“For us, community service is more than a catch phrase—it is a core belief,” said Dr. JoLaine R. Draugalis, dean and David Ross Boyd Professor at The University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy. “Our faculty, students and staff look for avenues to live out our identity as ‘a prescription for excellence.’ Excellence doesn’t just happen—it can only flourish in an environment of creativity, and The University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy is committed to both service and creativity.”
Through programs such as the OU Physician Community Health Evening Clinic, an interprofessional, student-based clinic that focuses on providing care in underserved areas of Tulsa and rural northeast Oklahoma, OU has demonstrated a deep and consistent commitment to community service. Since opening as the Bedlam clinic in 2003, the OUPCH Clinic has conducted consultations with more than 10,000 patients, 95 percent of whom do not have health insurance. The clinic, which was initially open from of 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. two evenings a week, has grown to include 20 school-based clinics, a mobile clinic, and a daytime Bedlam Longitudinal clinic to help better manage chronic diseases.
A minimum of three physicians, four medical students, a pharmacist, two student pharmacists, two nursing students and a nursing faculty member are onsite to run the clinic. More than 275 student pharmacists have earned IPPE service hours through the clinic since its creation five years ago.
In 2009, the College of Pharmacy partnered with Variety Care, a family-focused health center with locations throughout Oklahoma, to implement clinical pharmacy services with the goal of improving the health of individuals in communities without access to healthcare. Through assessment, education and pharmacotherapeutic management of patients with diabetes and related co-morbidities, Variety Care serves as both an interprofessional training ground for student pharmacists and a haven for underserved patients. Of the 24 sites selected for APhA’s Project IMPACT: Diabetes, Variety Care provided the most significant positive change in objective measurements of patient health, such as hemoglobin A1C, blood pressure and lipid profiles.
This mirrored a similar program the College of Pharmacy began in 1998: the Pharmacotherapy Service at the University of Oklahoma Family Medicine Center. Focusing on coagulation disorders in addition to diabetes, pharmacists helped review, instruct and manage mostly indigent or uninsured patients with limited access to health services. In addition to effectively serving the community, over 300 student pharmacists have trained in the program in the last 15 years. The program has earned a reputation for quality, being recognized by the Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality, Roche Diagnostics and the Oklahoma Pharmacists Association for excellence in diabetes care and anticoagulation management.
Representatives from The University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy will be honored during AACP’s Annual Meeting, Pharmacy Education 2014, July 26–30, at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas.
Founded in 1900, AACP is the national organization representing the interests of pharmacy education. AACP is comprised of all accredited colleges and schools with pharmacy degree programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, including more than 6,500 faculty, 62,500 students enrolled in professional programs and 5,100 individuals pursuing graduate study. To learn more about AACP, visit www.aacp.org.