The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) School of Pharmacy has been chosen for two prestigious awards in the 2014 National Consumers League (NCL) Script Your Future (SYF) Medication Adherence Team Challenge.
For helping patients in Erie and in Bradenton, Fla., understand why they should take medications as prescribed, LECOM received the National Team Award and was just one of two pharmacy schools nationally to earn that honor this year. The competition involved nearly 50 schools of pharmacy and other health professions. LECOM announced the awards during press conferences at its campuses in Erie and in Bradenton.
|Ashley Ramp, a second-year pharmacy student and Class of 2015 SGA president at LECOM-Erie, is interviewed at a press conference to announce LECOM’s national awards.|
In addition, LECOM won the Creative Inter-professional Team Event Award for promotions that fostered collaboration between pharmacy students and dental and medical students. The award also recognizes the schools and colleges of pharmacy that were most effective in raising awareness of the importance of medication adherence, defined as taking medications as prescribed, and promoting adherence in an “original or inventive way.” In its announcement, the NCL noted that LECOM students, as part of their outreach, spoke to local nursing students about adherence and how to use interventions to increase communication with patients.
For both awards, the LECOM School of Pharmacy will receive funds to be used for future community outreach related to medication adherence. In the three years of the competition, LECOM now has won two national awards and an honorable mention award, and is the only school of pharmacy nationally to be recognized each of the three years of the competition.
Non-adherence has become a critical health-care issue in the United States: nearly three out of four Americans don’t take their medications as directed for a number of reasons, including inability to get to a pharmacy, forgetfulness, desire to save money, attitudes and cultural beliefs, and underestimating or not fully understanding the consequences of failing to take medications as prescribed.
“Regardless of the reason, these numbers are staggering and they are cause for concern,” said Justin Scholl, Pharm.D., Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice. “As a School of Pharmacy, we believe that educational outreach, including Script Your Future and numerous other programs, can and will help people improve their health and well-being.”
|Bryan Davidson, a third-year pharmacy student and Script Your Future student coordinator, and Julie Wilkinson PharmD, Associate Dean, announced the awards at a press conference at LECOM-Bradenton.|
The students chose “Ensuring a healthy life through medication adherence” as the theme of LECOM’s campaign. Students in Erie and in Bradenton contributed more than 900 volunteer hours at nearly 50 educational events that were open to the general public. They also distributed information and materials on medication adherence, including pill boxes and reminder cards, to more than 3,000 people. In addition, a public service announcement created by students, faculty, and the LECOM office of Communications & Marketing was heard more than 953,000 times.
“Our Script Your Future campaign was focused on educating people of all ages, and particularly those with chronic conditions, about the potentially serious consequences of non-adherence,” said Ashley Ramp, a second-year Doctor of Pharmacy student at LECOM’s Erie campus and the Class of 2015 of Student Government Association President. “I’m proud of how hard we worked and I’m grateful for the tremendous support of LECOM’s medical and dental students. Their participation in our events helped make these awards possible.”
LECOM’s pharmacy, medical, and dental students at LECOM’s campuses promoted medication adherence at numerous events. They included:
- The Rx Runners Club and medical students met with members of the LECOM Medical Fitness and Wellness Center to emphasize the importance of exercise and medication adherence for individuals withChronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or asthma.
- Members of LECOM’s American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists’ (APhA-ASP’s) Operation Self-Care gave presentations at senior living communities in Erie. Older adults were given pill boxes and informational handouts.
- Students gave a presentation on medication adherence and asthma, including what asthma is and how to prevent asthma attacks, to children at the Quality of Life Learning Center.
- LECOM’s chapter of the International Pharmaceutical Student Federation (IPSF) collaborated with APhA-ASP and students from the International Medical Society for a presentation on medication adherence and diabetes. The students spoke to local refugees because many have a limited understanding of medication adherence and related issues.
- LECOM’s chapters of the Florida Society of Health System Pharmacists (FSHP) and APhA-ASP, along with medical students, spoke to participants in the Venice (Fla.) Health Fair and Walk-a-Thon about medication adherence. The students also offered free blood pressure, blood glucose, and cholesterol screenings.
- At Turning Points, an organization that serves the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless, LECOM’s FSHP chapter and medical students administered free health screenings and spoke about diabetes and hypertension.
- Members of LECOM’s chapter of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) and of Rho Chi spoke to attendees at the De Soto Heritage Festival about diabetes, infections, and medication adherence.
- Student members of LECOM’s chapter of Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International (CPFI), along with medical and dental students, gave a medication adherence presentation at Covenant Sanctuary Church in Bradenton. The presentation focused on the importance of adherence for patients with chronic diseases.
More about the Script Your Future Challenge
Script Your Future is designed to raise awareness of the importance of medication adherence as a vital first step toward better health outcomes. In partnership with more than 100 public and private stakeholder organizations, the campaign provides the resources to help patients and health care professionals communicate more effectively with regard to improving medication adherence. Health care professionals, particularly pharmacists, can play an important role in helping patients understand the safe and effective use of prescribed medication.
The Script Your Future Challenge was open to all American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) member schools and colleges of pharmacy and their inter-professional partners. A team of reviewers, including representatives from the AACP, National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Foundation, American Medical Association (AMA), National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and the National Consumers League judged applications based on a number of factors, including creativity, community impact, team approach, and outcomes.