AUBURN – Target has awarded a grant to the Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy to support a program developed by Mobile pharmacy students to help the Ozanam Charitable Pharmacy meet the needs of the uninsured residents of Mobile, Baldwin and Escambia counties.
Allison Chung, associate clinical professor at the Harrison School of Pharmacy’s Mobile campus, said student pharmacists discovered a need for medication therapy management, or MTM, services after running a health screening fair at the non-profit pharmacy last December.
Chung said student pharmacists screened 53 patients in four hours and identified two cases of hyperglycemia and two cases of hypertensive urgencies as a result of inappropriate management of medication therapies. A severe case of pancreatitis was also identified as a result of a duplicated therapy, she added.
“At that point, the ideas for this student-engaged community service project began to surface, and plans were underway to create our MTM service,” said Chung.
Mobile student pharmacists earned a $6,000 grant from Target for developing a medication therapy management program called “Stepping Up and Reaching Out: MTM Services.”
Chung said the project is designed to show the impact student pharmacists are having “stepping up” in pharmaceutical care to educate patients about medication safety and “reaching out” to uninsured communities to provide optimal care for underserved patients.
“What the students developed on their own and are trying to sustain on their own is a service that didn’t exist at Ozanam, but is needed for the patient population,” she said. “As one of a handful of non-profit pharmacy organizations across the nation servicing uninsured patients at no charge, the resources and workload capabilities at Ozanam are limited.”
In the past few years, Auburn’s Harrison School of Pharmacy has partnered with Ozanam to perform community outreach programs designed to provide health-related resources, including MTM services that would not otherwise be available.
Chung said the Target grant will be used to purchase diabetic testing supplies and monitoring equipment, as well as an MTM database system. Funds could also be used to offer cholesterol monitoring.
Ozanam Charitable Pharmacy operates solely on grant funding, getting medications donated by physicians or purchased from suppliers to serve an uninsured population that are often homeless and/or unemployed, she added.
The Mobile pharmacy is a rotation site for fourth-year student pharmacists during the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience. However, Chung said “Stepping Up and Reaching Out” is not part of the rotation.
“The students developed it and are trying to run it on their own, as volunteers,” she said.
The Target grant is part of the company’s ongoing efforts to strengthen families and communities throughout the country. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its income to communities. Today, that giving equals more than $3 million every week.
“At Target, our local grants are making a difference in communities across the country,” said Laysha Ward, president of Target community relations. “We’re proud to partner with Auburn University’s Harrison School of Pharmacy and Ozanam Charitable Pharmacy as part of our ongoing commitment to strengthen communities where our guests and team members live and work.”
(Written by Amy Weaver)