The American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) has entered a new collaboration with the Pharmacy Services Support Center (PSSC) of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Office of Pharmacy Affairs and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Special Health Issues to improve safe medication practices in underserved communities.


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APhA student pharmacists promote safe medication practices

January 14th, 2011

WASHINGTON – The American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) has entered a new collaboration with the Pharmacy Services Support Center (PSSC) of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Office of Pharmacy Affairs and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Special Health Issues to improve safe medication practices in underserved communities.

Called Project CHANCE (Chapters Helping Advocate for Needy Communities Everywhere), the initiative aims to boost awareness of safe medication practices in those communities through increased education about the pharmacist's role in the health care system.

APhA-ASP said that Project CHANCE, which was started in 2004, gives student pharmacists the opportunity to develop a community outreach project that delivers comprehensive pharmacy services within a 340B-eligible entity. Building on the success of this initiative, with the support of PSSC and the FDA, Project CHANCE was expanded to include raising awareness of safe medication practices in underserved communities and promoting interprofessional collaboration among student health care professionals.

Steven Zona, national president of APhA-ASP, said in a statement, "APhA-ASP is excited to offer this opportunity, which not only allows student pharmacists to make a difference in their local communities by assisting the medically underserved but also increases communication and builds alliances with other student health care professionals via a patient-centered model of health care."

All APhA-ASP Chapters will have the opportunity to submit an innovative proposal by Feb. 11. Up to five APhA-ASP Chapters will receive a $10,000 award to implement a year-long project.

Proposals will be evaluated on their capacity to raise awareness of safe medication practices in underserved communities; improve methods of identifying, understanding, reporting, managing and communicating risk in ways that protect patients; develop a collaborative and interdisciplinary team of student health care providers; make a positive impact on the lives of patients; increase awareness among pharmacists, student pharmacists and other health care providers about 340B-eligible entities and caring for the medically underserved; educate student pharmacists on the development and implementation of a year-round patient care program; and promote the profession of pharmacy and its key role in the community and health care delivery system.

Winners will be announced during the APhA-ASP Opening General Session at the APhA2011 Annual Meeting and Exposition on March 26 in Seattle.

"Through our involvement with the HRSA Patient Safety and Clinical Pharmacy Services collaborative, we have seen the direct impact that can be made when clinical pharmacy services are applied to patient-centered care with a collaborative, team approach," stated Lisa Scholz, vice president of the APhA Pharmacy Services Support Center/ IQ Institute. "Patients receiving the collaborative team approaches have seen improved health outcomes and decreased medication errors. By giving the next generation of health care professionals the opportunity to collaborate early in their training with other health professionals, we are helping them gain experience in collaborative, patient-centered care models for their futures in pharmacy."

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