The College of Pharmacy at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), has announced the launch of its new Community Pharmacy Residency Program and, in conjunction with Akron Community Health Resources, Inc. (ACHRI), named the program’s first resident.
As the nation’s health care landscape continues to evolve and pharmacists’ roles in the public health sector continue to expand, national pharmacy organizations have indicated a desire for postgraduate pharmacy residencies to serve as a prerequisite for direct patient care, much like medicine students’ requirement of completing a residency before practicing as a physician.
Due to this industry outlook, as well as a more competitive job market, increased numbers of pharmacy students are pursing residencies; however, site development for these residencies is not keeping pace.
“In addition to a shortage of pharmacy residency sites, we’re seeing a lack of variety in residency sites in Northeast Ohio. Currently, most residencies take place in hospitals, expertly training residents to work in those settings, but other practice settings, like community pharmacies and clinics, have a small percentage of residents and likewise fewer individuals specifically trained to work in these environments,” said Timothy R. Ulbrich, Pharm. D., R.Ph., director of pharmacy resident education and assistant professor of pharmacy practice in the College of Pharmacy at NEOMED. “To help address these needs, we have developed a Community Pharmacy Residency Program that will train residents in a public health setting, creating a new practice site for residents and intent on serving the local community.”
Designed to cultivate practitioners who develop clinical expertise, enhance their leadership skills, participate in research and serve as educators for future pharmacists, the Community Pharmacy Residency Program will engage the resident on campus and in the community.
At ACHRI, the only provider of comprehensive primary care services for underserved patients in Summit and Portage Counties, nearly 15,000 patients are served annually, and roughly 45 percent of those are insured through Medicaid while 41 percent are uninsured. Its pharmacy services, which work collaboratively with its primary care, dental and mental health services, include comprehensive medication review, disease state education/management (e.g. diabetes, asthma, smoking cessation), assisting with medication access programs and more.
The Community Pharmacy Residency Program officially launched with the orientation of its first resident, Alejandro L. Adorno, Pharm.D., alumnus of the inaugural NEOMED College of Pharmacy class of 2011. Dr. Adorno will spend 80 percent of his time at ACHRI under the direction of Preceptor Magdi H. Awad, Pharm.D., assistant professor of pharmacy practice at NEOMED and clinical pharmacist at ACHRI, enhancing pharmacy services and staffing the pharmacy. The remainder of his time will be spent at NEOMED where he will be responsible for teaching under the direction of Program Director Dr. Ulbrich.
“This program is a win-win for everyone—the University, the practice site and the local community,” said Dr. Ulbrich. “It allows NEOMED to demonstrate excellence in postgraduate training, assists with resource needs at the practice site, and ultimately improves the health of community members in Northeast Ohio.”