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VCU wins C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award

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Virginia Commonwealth University has won the 2014 C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award for the Pharmacist Collaborative Care and Outreach in the Community program in the university’s School of Pharmacy.

The national award is presented annually by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) in recognition of outstanding community outreach and engagement partnership efforts by a four-year public university.

“We are committed to being a national model for community engagement,” said VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D. “Receiving this recognition from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, which represents 237 public research member universities, elevates our profile among our peers.”

The Pharmacist Collaborative Care and Outreach in the Community program includes seven academic-community partnerships with independent senior-living facilities and underserved clinics, five large-scale community outreach programs, and programs to train the next generation of health professionals.

PCOC initiatives focus on underserved populations including the uninsured, older adults, homeless individuals and those living in rural areas. The scope of PCOC advances all four themes of VCU’s strategic plan – student success, research, health and community engagement.

“Receiving this award shows that this project is making a demonstrable impact in addressing a real need in our community,” said Catherine Howard, Ph.D., vice provost of community engagement. “We’re training students to tackle real health care challenges through significant interdisciplinary scholarship.”

Through the initiatives, 14 School of Pharmacy faculty members, 500 students and 35 residents have provided more than 20,000 patient care encounters in the Greater Richmond Area since 2001. PCOC initiatives are integrated with service-learning courses, advanced pharmacy practice experiences, electives and interprofessional education experiences.

“The Magrath Award means much to our school, faculty and students who have worked so hard over many years to build community partnerships,” said School of Pharmacy Dean Joseph T. DiPiro, Pharm.D. “This is a terrific recognition of those efforts and a great incentive to build these programs further."

The award, named for 1992-2005 APLU President C. Peter Magrath, was announced at the APLU 127th annual meeting in Orlando, Florida. The award includes a $20,000 stipend and a sculpture.

VCU was chosen from a pool of four regional winners from the Outreach Scholarship/W.K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Awards, which are presented each fall during the National Outreach Scholarship Conference. Oregon State University, the University of New Hampshire and Purdue University were the other national finalists.

About VCU and VCU Medical Center

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 226 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-seven of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University comprise VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see www.vcu.edu.

Lana Sargent, (left), assistant professor in the School of Nursing, and K.C. Ogbonna, Pharm.D., (right), assistant professor in the School of Pharmacy, bring on-site clinical care to elders at Dominion Place, a senior living facility in Richmond.
Lana Sargent, (left), assistant professor in the School of Nursing, and K.C. Ogbonna, Pharm.D., (right), assistant professor in the School of Pharmacy, bring on-site clinical care to elders at Dominion Place, a senior living facility in Richmond.
A School of Pharmacy student checks a patient's blood pressure at a Remote Area Medical event in Wise County, Virginia. RAM is an annual three-day clinic that provides free health care to an estimated 2,300 people at the Wise County Fairgrounds.
A School of Pharmacy student checks a patient's blood pressure at a Remote Area Medical event in Wise County, Virginia. RAM is an annual three-day clinic that provides free health care to an estimated 2,300 people at the Wise County Fairgrounds.
A School of Pharmacy student discusses a patient's medical history at a Remote Area Medical event in Wise County, Virginia.
A School of Pharmacy student discusses a patient's medical history at a Remote Area Medical event in Wise County, Virginia.