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UW Pharmacy Students to Participate in Innovative Exchange Program with Howard University

May 11, 2018

This fall, the University of Wyoming School of Pharmacy will participate in an innovative exchange program with its counterparts from Howard University’s College of Pharmacy.

Titled the Health Equity Leadership Program, this initiative, funded by the 23rd annual National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Foundation Scholarship Program, is geared toward challenging students to get “outside of their comfort zone” to learn firsthand about both urban and rural health care access and equity issues.

“Traditionally, diversity challenges and health disparities are focused on trying to explore differences through classroom case integration,” says Toyin Tofade, dean of Howard University’s College of Pharmacy. “The partnership gives students from both regions an opportunity to learn lessons from each other’s environment and to be better educated about how to serve and care for various types of communities.”

Pharmacy students from the two institutions will participate in the nine-month program beginning in fall 2018. As a part of the program, the students will tour Washington, D.C., to evaluate inner-city health care systems, visit professional associations and meet congressional leaders. They also will tour Wyoming to evaluate rural critical access hospitals and rural health care systems.

“Students will work together to compare and contrast rural and urban health care delivery systems, while honing their own leadership skills,” says Kem Krueger, dean of the UW School of Pharmacy. “I think this program will be transformational and allow participants to work toward the Healthy People 2020 goals. We are empowering the next generation of pharmacists to lead from outside of their comfort zones.”

The goals of the Health Equity Leadership Program are to:

-- Equip students with firsthand experiences with issues of health equity and access in urban and rural areas through immersion, education and reflections.

-- Develop students’ leadership skills and teach them about current patient and professional concerns so that they can address issues of health equity and access, and accomplish the Healthy People 2020 goals.

-- Identify ways to share these experiences with other students through venues such as presentations or creating practice laboratory vignettes.

The funding awarded to the Health Equity Leadership Program is one of six awards granted by the NACDS Foundation for 2018. These merit-based scholarships fund patient-centered, community-based coursework or other curriculum innovations.

The NACDS Foundation Scholarship Program was established in 1997 to fund prospective projects that have the potential to significantly advance patient care. Since then, nearly $4 million in scholarships has been provided to support pharmacy education programs.

Healthy People 2020 is an initiative of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that aims to encourage collaborations across communities and sectors in order to improve the health of all Americans.

For more information, email Rachel Stevens, UW School of Pharmacy, at rstevens@uwyo.edu.

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