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School of Pharmacy wins first ever National Challenge Award

Pharmacy students reach out to the community for medication challenge

The School of Pharmacy was awarded the National Challenge Award in the first-ever Script Your Future Medication Adherence Challenge. This year was the inaugural year for the award, making UMKC one of the first three schools to receive it. The School of Pharmacy, founded in 1885, is the only public pharmacy school in Missouri.

“This is a tremendous national honor for the UMKC School of Pharmacy,” said Russell Melchert, Ph.D., Dean of the UMKC School of Pharmacy. “Our faculty and student leaders worked diligently to cast a wide educational net to raise awareness about this important health indicator. This is a strong testament to the dedication of students, faculty and staff at the School of Pharmacy and a proud reflection of the culture of community engagement and service at UMKC.”

The Script Your Future Medication Adherence Challenge is for student pharmacists. This challenge is the newest part of a campaign to increase the public’s cognizance of the field of pharmacy.

It was launched in 2011 by National Consumers League (NCL), as well as more than 100 public and private organizations such as the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP).

Script Your Future aims to raise patient knowledge about the importance of taking medication only as directed.

“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,” the UMKC School of Pharmacy website said.

This was an example of the school’s outreach and hands-on learning. UMKC’s School of Pharmacy competed against 81 participating colleges and schools of pharmacy. Students from the UMKC School of Pharmacy competed in the Challenge through different outlets including community outreach activities.

These activities were used to teach the public about the negative health consequences of poor observance of the directed uses of medication and not taking medication when directed to. They also held one-on-one counseling sessions with more than 3,300 patients in the Kansas City area and statewide. These sessions included discussions about medicine and advice about how the public can remember to follow prescriptions.

Faculty and students spoke to almost 70 health professionals in the community around UMKC about the pharmacists’ role within the healthcare system and how they interact and aid patients especially when it comes to following their prescriptions.

“Script Your Future elevates the public expectation for medication education, which the pharmacist is well educated to provide,” said Dr. Lucinda L. Maine, Executive Vice President and CEO at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. “Student pharmacists work directly within communities to educate patients about medication adherence that leads to people living healthier lives as exemplified by the activities of the Challenge awardees.”

The UMKC School of Pharmacy offers professional practice (doctor of pharmacy-Pharm.D.), non-practice bachelors (B.S.) and graduate (M.S. and Ph.D.) degrees.

For more information about the UMKC School of Pharmacy, visit pharmacy.umkc.edu. You can also find the School of Pharmacy on Facebook and follow the School on Twitter.

ladams@unews.com

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