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School of Pharmacy recognized for transformative community service

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The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy has selected the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy to receive the 2014-15 Lawrence C. Weaver Transformative Community Service Award for the school’s commitment to addressing unmet community needs through education, practice and research. 

Representatives from the school will be honored for the Pharmacist Collaborative Care and Outreach in the Community program during AACP’s annual meeting in July. 

“The PCOC program comprises exemplary initiatives that include academic-community partnerships with independent senior living facilities and underserved clinics, large-scale community outreach programs and programs to train the next generation of health professionals,” said Joseph T. DiPiro, Pharm.D., dean of the VCU School of Pharmacy. “The common theme that unifies PCOC initiatives is the focus on underserved populations, including the uninsured, older adults, homeless individuals and those in rural areas.” 

Since it began in 2001, the PCOC program has grown to include seven formal community partnerships. During that time, 17 full-time faculty members, more than 600 students and 37 residents have provided more than 33,000 patient care encounters in the Greater Richmond area.

“The community transformation efforts of VCU have been lauded both within and outside of pharmacy, most recently with the C. Peter Magrath Award from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities,” said Lucinda L. Maine, executive vice president and CEO of AACP. “We are truly fortunate to be able to shine a light on their excellent work.” 

Members of the VCU School of Pharmacy, including faculty, residents and students, have conducted more than 50 research projects related to community outreach, leading to 57 posters and 14 publications. 

The Weaver Award, consisting of a commemorative sculpture 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. Previous recipients are the schools and colleges of pharmacy at the University of Oklahoma, the University of Minnesota, the University of Mississippi, the University of Washington, the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the University of Southern California.

 

Feature image at top: Lana Sargent, (left), assistant professor in the School of Nursing, and K.C. Ogbonna, Pharm.D., (right), assistant professor in the School of Pharmacy, bring on-site clinical care to elders at Dominion Place, a senior living facility in Richmond.

 

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