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UM Community Pharmacy Residency Program Receives $50,000 Grant

Money funds new position at Funderburk’s Pharmacy in DeSoto County

By: Erin Garrett, Ole Miss News Desk


UM community pharmacy residents Liza Wilson (left) and Jasmine McKee participate in ASHP's Midyear Meeting. Photo courtesy of Leigh Ann Ross.
UM community pharmacy residents Liza Wilson (left) and Jasmine McKee participate in ASHP’s Midyear Meeting. Photo courtesy of Leigh Ann Ross.

The University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy has received a $50,000 Community Pharmacy Residency Expansion Project, or Community PREP, grant from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation.

“The number of students seeking residency opportunities in their first post-graduate year increased 13 percent last year, and this number is expected to increase,” said Leigh Ann Ross, associate dean for clinical affairs for the school. “The School of Pharmacy is committed to postgraduate training, and we seek opportunities to expand our residency program and programs at other institutions in our state to provide more opportunities for our students.”The $1.5 million Community PREP grant program was established to expand post-graduate community pharmacy residency opportunities for recent pharmacy school graduates. UM’s grant will allow it to add one position, which will be focused in Funderburk’s Pharmacy in DeSoto County.

Ashley W. Ellis, clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice, will serve as coordinator for the new position.

“Being a graduate of a community practice residency program provided a foundation for my career and gave me the training I needed to provide quality clinical services in community practice,” Ellis said. “UM’s program has produced well-trained and innovative clinicians. This grant allows us to expand the program and offer this excellent training opportunity to another resident each year. Because the community pharmacist is one of the most accessible health care providers, patients will benefit from the training and expertise that the resident will gain from participating in this program.”

UM’s community pharmacy residency program is one of 30 in the nation to receive the grant. The program, which began in 2009, received full accreditation from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists/American Pharmacists Association in 2011 for a full six-year accrediting cycle. From 2009-2010, the program had one resident supported by the Community-Based Research Program through the Delta Pharmacy Patient Care Management Project. From 2010-2011, it expanded to two residents with support from the Community-Based Research Program and Walgreens, both in Jackson.

“Our program offers the unique experience of working in an underserved region, the Mississippi Delta,” said Ross, the program’s director. “Residents provide health screenings and direct patient care through medication therapy management in community pharmacies, provider clinics and in an employer-based setting in various counties in the Delta.”

Ellis said she feels that the program provides a variety of experiences.

“The resident will have the opportunity to sharpen his or her clinical skills, be involved in the business aspects of independent pharmacy and participate in teaching by precepting pharmacy students and teaching in didactic courses,” she said. “The resident will also learn research skills and have networking opportunities throughout the year. Graduating from the residency program will open doors to innovative careers.”

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