Drs. Borgelt and Moore at AACP conference
Laura Borgelt, PharmD, and Gina Moore, PharmD, accept the Weaver Award at the AACP conference.

The University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences was recently recognized with two national awards at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy’s (AACP) annual meeting.

“I am very happy that we were recognized on a national stage for the good work we and our students do at our school and in our community,” said Dean Ralph Altiere.

The school received the 2017 Lawrence C. Weaver Transformative Community Service Award along with the AACP Award for Excellence in Assessment.

Transformative Community Service Award

The Transformative Community Service Award is presented annually to a school of pharmacy that demonstrates a commitment to addressing unmet community needs through education, practice, and research. This should be demonstrated through the development of exceptional programs that go beyond the traditional service role of academic pharmacy.

During a site visit with AACP, CU Pharmacy showcased several programs, they refer to as their Colorado Commitment, including prescription drug abuse prevention and the combatting the opioid epidemic, rural health programs, commitment to community health centers and Federally Qualified Health Centers through faculty positions, student rotations, and scholarly work, the Aurora Elementary Schools Nutrition Program – in which over 1,500 pharmacy students and 8,000 elementary students have participated since program inception, and finally their work with the Community Campus Partnership and the work of Robert McGranaghan, MPH.

CU Pharmacy faculty member, Gina Moore, PharmD, gathered all the elements needed for the award submission, “Thanks to Dr. Moore’s commitment and persistence over the years in preparing our award application and arranging our site visits and the great work of our faculty and students,” said Dean Altiere.

“Gina and everyone at the School of Pharmacy – congratulations! The School of Pharmacy has been a great champion and leader on the campus for community engagement and this award gives further evidence of that,” added Robert McGranaghan.

The award consists of a commemorative sculpture honoring the institution’s extraordinary social commitment and $5,000 to distribute to community partners to support continuation or expansion of their collaboration.

Excellence in Assessment

The school received the AACP Award for Excellence in Assessment thanks to work by faculty members Eric Gilliam, PharmD, Jason Brunner, PhD, Wesley Nuffer, PharmD, Toral Patel, PharmD and Megan Thompson, PharmD.

The award recognizes outstanding Doctor of Pharmacy assessment programs for their progress in developing and applying evidence of outcomes as part of the ongoing evaluation and improvement of pharmacy professional education. The manuscript CU Pharmacy faculty submitted was titled: Unique Assessments for Unique Experiences: Content Validation of Three Assessment Tools for Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience Rotations.

“The Experiential Education Committee at CU Pharmacy used a data-driven validation and assessment plan to guide the design, testing, and implementation of five high-stakes advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) student assessments,” explained Jason Brunner, PhD.

The use of a four-year validation plan to guide the design, testing, and implementation of new final APPE student performance evaluations resulted in significant and positive changes to the experiential education program.

“Students must demonstrate a readiness to practice pharmacy prior to graduation, and we are now better able to document each student’s level of skill during each experiential program. Compared to our prior performance evaluations, the value of the feedback to the student has much improved. We trust when a preceptor indicates a student is ready to practice, that the student truly is ready to advance in their career,” said Eric Gilliam, PharmD.

Ultimately, the five new APPE assessment tools, each unique to its own practice setting and designed by input of active preceptors,  have proven to be effective in providing reliable and meaningful feedback for students.

Congratulations to the CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy on both awards and the national recognition!

Guest contributor: This story was written by Stephanie Carlson, content producer, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.