College a finalist for Weaver community service award

Students doing health screenings at a health fair

The University of Arizona College of Pharmacy is a finalist for the Lawrence C. Weaver Transformative Community Service Award presented by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. This honor is awarded annually to one college or school of pharmacy demonstrating a major institutional commitment to addressing unmet community needs through education, practice and research.

The commitment must be demonstrated through the development of exceptional programs that go well beyond the traditional service role of academic pharmacy. The award recipient must have a broad-based and continual pledge to community service. The assessment for the award included a site visit on Nov. 27.

The UA College of Pharmacy has qualified as a finalist based on many areas of continuous outreach including:

  • Outreach and educational programs targeting Arizona youth including the Keep Engaging Youth in Science internship program, for high school students, and PharmCamp, which is offered to middle school students.
  • Community health promotion activities such as the El Rio Health Fair, where screenings and health information are provided for underserved residents who do not have health insurance.
  • Workforce development including the Rural Health Professions Program/Health Disparities Certificate Program in which pharmacy students spend time providing services for rural communities. Students also take part in the San Luis/Yuma Rural Pharmacy Program which reaches out to a rural border community of about 24,000 residents along the Arizona-Mexico border.

AACP chooses three finalists from all applications received. The organization then schedules a one-day site visit at each of the three schools to evaluate their programs. During the visits, three AACP staff members meet with institutional leadership, students, alumni and community partners. AACP chooses the award recipient based on the site visit assessments.

Elizabeth Hall-Lipsy, assistant professor, who assembled the materials for the application says, “It was extremely difficult to limit the application's narrative section describing all the community service activities the college performs to only eight pages, which speaks highly of the commitment to serving our local and rural communities. It was also amazing to note the diversity of programs and ways our college is reaching out to serve a wide variety of groups, from pharmacy pipeline programs that serve middle school students to student-run screening programs that help the underserved who may not receive regular or adequate health care. I'm excited for the site visit team to connect faces and stories to all the wonderful community outreach programs we described in our application that make the college so unique.”

Notification of the recipient is expected in late February and the award will be presented at the annual AACP meeting in July.

Story by Rebecca Wingate

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