VCU wins C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award

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Virginia Commonwealth University has won the 2014 C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award for the Pharmacist Collaborative Care and Outreach in the Community program in the university’s School of Pharmacy.

The national award is presented annually by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) in recognition of outstanding community outreach and engagement partnership efforts by a four-year public university.

“We are committed to being a national model for community engagement,” said VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D. “Receiving this recognition from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, which represents 237 public research member universities, elevates our profile among our peers.”

The Pharmacist Collaborative Care and Outreach in the Community program includes seven academic-community partnerships with independent senior-living facilities and underserved clinics, five large-scale community outreach programs, and programs to train the next generation of health professionals.

PCOC initiatives focus on underserved populations including the uninsured, older adults, homeless individuals and those living in rural areas. The scope of PCOC advances all four themes of VCU’s strategic plan – student success, research, health and community engagement.

“Receiving this award shows that this project is making a demonstrable impact in addressing a real need in our community,” said Catherine Howard, Ph.D., vice provost of community engagement. “We’re training students to tackle real health care challenges through significant interdisciplinary scholarship.”

Through the initiatives, 14 School of Pharmacy faculty members, 500 students and 35 residents have provided more than 20,000 patient care encounters in the Greater Richmond Area since 2001. PCOC initiatives are integrated with service-learning courses, advanced pharmacy practice experiences, electives and interprofessional education experiences.

“The Magrath Award means much to our school, faculty and students who have worked so hard over many years to build community partnerships,” said School of Pharmacy Dean Joseph T. DiPiro, Pharm.D. “This is a terrific recognition of those efforts and a great incentive to build these programs further."

The award, named for 1992-2005 APLU President C. Peter Magrath, was announced at the APLU 127th annual meeting in Orlando, Florida. The award includes a $20,000 stipend and a sculpture.

VCU was chosen from a pool of four regional winners from the Outreach Scholarship/W.K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Awards, which are presented each fall during the National Outreach Scholarship Conference. Oregon State University, the University of New Hampshire and Purdue University were the other national finalists.