The Western University of Health Sciences, an awardee of an NACDS Foundation-sponsored initiative, the Pharmacy Partners Program, examined health inequities in medically underserved communities in San Bernadino County California, with an eye on where pharmacists could fill gaps in care for patients.

It’s about working with communities and making them healthier.

They found a definite need for pharmacists among the community health clinics in the county, however initially many of the clinics were not aware of the broad services pharmacists could provide. When the clinics did recognize the role pharmacists could play in improving health outcomes, all were interested in having a pharmacist on staff. One clinic was already well versed in what pharmacists bring to the table and knew that pharmacists could not only assist with adherence and compliance, but could also counsel patients on diabetes, hypertension, asthma and other chronic conditions prevalent in the San Bernadino County population.

The University is committed to expanding community engagement and giving back with its pharmacy residents and graduates in order to foster not only immediate improved outcomes, but also to have a far-reaching impact, which funding from the Foundation has facilitated. Western University of Health Sciences Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Administration Anandi Law said, “It’s about working with communities and making them healthier. This has been a mission we’ve long been working toward, and it’s finally coming together.”

At last year’s NACDS Annual Meeting, the NACDS Foundation awarded more than $200,000 in scholarships and grants through its 2014 Pharmacy Partners Program, which is designed to fund prospective projects that show potential in meaningfully improving patient care.