September 18, 2020
The Ohio State University Office of Academic Affairs Outreach and Engagement recently awarded two Impact Research Grants to three College of Pharmacy faculty members. The grants, each worth $120,000, are awarded annually to "faculty or faculty-led teams that turn their attention outward, with the community, addressing a pressing public issue or shared problem."
Jennifer Rodis, PharmD, BCPS, FAPhA, associate dean for outreach and engagement, and E. Michael Murphy, PharmD, pharmacy advancement fellow, received a grant to continue the community outreach program they piloted last year as part of the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) for fourth-year Doctor of Pharmacy students.
With support from Julie Legg, PharmD, director of experiential education, Andrew “Andy” Myers, a fourth-year PharmD student, and others, Drs. Rodis and Murphy established a nine-week rotation at 10 innovative pharmacy practice sites focused on legislative advocacy on behalf of the pharmacy profession. Students were provided a step-by-step guide on how to host a site visit with a legislator so they could best speak to the needs of that particular site and of pharmacists in general.
“It is imperative that pharmacists know how to advocate and engage with their elected officials,” Dr. Rodis said. “While it can seem scary to meet with a legislator, they are people learning how to best serve their constituents. They want to learn about the issues you face and how their decisions impact you. Visits are simply a chance to converse and learn; we are hopeful that this initiative can remove some of the fear around legislative action and engagement by pharmacists.”
The funding this grant provides will allow the team to grow, expand and further evaluate the advocacy APPE.
“We learned a great deal the first year – both through successes and challenges,” Dr. Rodis said. “We received a very positive response from the pharmacies who had legislator visits and from the students who hosted them. We are excited this year to work more closely with the Ohio Pharmacists Association on scheduling legislators, as well as creating a longer term plan for sites to target through this year and the next 2-3 years.”
Additionally, Nicole Kwiek, PhD, assistant dean for undergraduate studies, received a grant for her work with Generation Rx, an organization established at Ohio State that promotes safe medication-taking practices across the county.
Prescription drug misuse often precedes forms of illicit substance misuse, such as heroin. One underlying issue is a lack of education and information for people of all ages regarding prescription medication safety. Generation Rx works to establish best practices in prevention education and invests time and resources in order to increase evaluation and collaboration, with the aim of closing the educational resource gap.
Many new users of Generation Rx's programming wish to know what impacts and outcomes have been documented and how other communities are overcoming issues of teacher and school readiness. This new grant will allow Generation Rx to develop an impact summary – available in both printable and interactive digital formats – of the outcomes, resources and community-focused delivery and partnerships that have been most effective and sustainable. They also intend to create a video series to summarize their findings and share the success stories of communities that have used their educational resources.
Learn more about the Outreach and Engagement Grants here.