Nov 24, 2009    #136
Contact: John Austin

UMKC School of Pharmacy receives national community service award

American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy recognizes school for ‘transforming’ the community

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Pharmacy was recently selected to receive the 2009-2010 Transformative Community Service Award by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP). The award is presented annually to one college or school of pharmacy demonstrating a major institutional commitment to addressing unmet community needs through education, practice and research. This is the third consecutive year that AACP has recognized the pharmacy school with one of its top community service awards.

“The award is a national recognition of the many efforts that we make to serve the greater Kansas City community and is highlighted by the positive transformation that our faculty, staff and students create through their service efforts,” said Robert W. Piepho, Ph.D., dean of the UMKC School of Pharmacy.

The award also reflects the strong community partnerships and the statewide impact that the pharmacy school’s outreach efforts have inspired. Among the school’s many outreach partners are the Kansas City Free Health Clinic, Truman Medical Center, Western Missouri Mental Health Center, St. Luke’s Medical Center, Kansas City Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Research Medical Center in Kansas City; Northwest Missouri Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center in St. Joseph; and the University of Missouri and VA Medical Center in Columbia.

Overall, the pharmacy school’s community outreach since 2007 has resulted in nearly 17,000 patients served, more than 20,000 prescriptions provided, more than 9,000 volunteer hours, more than $2 million in savings and 330,000 people educated. In recognizing the pharmacy school, AACP noted the variety of community service programs that the school actively supports, including:

• Jackson County Free Health Clinic Patient Assistance Program — Founded by the UMKC chapter of Kappa Epsilon, UMKC School of Pharmacy volunteers have been involved with the Jackson County Free Health Clinic since August 2000. Patients seen by the clinic are primarily indigent adults with chronic disease and no medical or prescription coverage. School of Pharmacy volunteers help to link patients requiring medications with drug manufacturers and other providers that can provide medication at no charge for patients who can’t afford to pay.

• UMKC Wellness Fair — This past spring, the UMKC Health Sciences campus hosted the inaugural UMKC Wellness Fair to reach the underserved community within the university’s locale as well as provide a learning opportunity for UMKC students within four disciplines (dental, medical, nursing and pharmacy). Volunteers numbered 422, including students, faculty, alumni and community agents, the day of the event to provide 25 various health screening and education booths for the 1,200 patients that attended the Wellness Fair. This initiative also linked 100 patients to safety net providers in the area to ensure a medical home was established once health concerns were identified at the fair. Besides the volunteer hours, approximately $20,000 in cash donations and another $10,000 in screening equipment and materials were provided from area health care centers, clinics, practices and pharmacies.

• Operation Immunization — Spearheaded by the UMKC chapter of the American Pharmacists Association- Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP), Operation Immunization is a promotional campaign designed to increase community awareness of immunization information and advise patients where they can obtain the proper immunizations.

• Project Outreach — This award-winning drug abuse prevention program was developed in 1988 by two pharmacy students who were recognized with the Health & Human Services Innovations in Health Award. The program focuses on teaching elementary students the importance of saying no to drugs, alcohol and tobacco, and how to handle peer pressure.

The award, consisting of a commemorative Steuben glass Beacon of Light and a $5000 financial stipend, highlights community service as an important element of the academic mission, and singles out institutions that can serve as examples of social responsiveness on the part of the academic medical community.

“Awards like this are rare, and our school has been fortunate to garner virtually every national award related to community interaction offered by AACP in the past three years,” Piepho said. “This makes us truly unique among the 116 schools and colleges of pharmacy in terms of national recognition for community service efforts.”

The official award presentation will take place during the February 2010 AACP Interim Meeting in Arlington, Va. Further information on the AACP Transformative Community Service Award can be found here.

About the UMKC School of Pharmacy

Founded in 1885, the UMKC School of Pharmacy is the only public school of pharmacy in the state of Missouri. The School offers professional practice (doctor of pharmacy-Pharm.D.), non-practice bachelors (B.S.) and graduate (M.S. and Ph.D.) degrees. The School of Pharmacy is committed to providing an atmosphere that promotes life-long learning by helping students develop both the knowledge and skills needed to be a pharmacy professional in an ever-changing health-care environment.

About UMKC

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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