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Research Reveals Inconsistent Approach to Medication Synchronization

October 2, 2020

Pharmacists across the country are adopting medication synchronization (“med sync”) programs to enable patients to pick up their chronic care medications at the pharmacy all at once, but programs vary and lack consistency.  With new tools developed by the UNC Eshleman School of Pharmacy in collaboration with the Community Care of North Carolina and the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, pharmacies considering adding med sync services have powerful new resources to test their readiness, develop and implement well-defined med sync programs that align with the pharmacists’ patient care process.  All tools are available online at no cost. The growth of med sync hinges on … Continued


Pharmacists Also Fill Care Gaps Reduce Toll of Medication Misadventures

October 2, 2020

Today’s community pharmacist fills more than prescriptions, they also fill gaps in care for people with complex health needs.  Often medications are the “go to” resource for managing chronic illnesses.  Often people daily care involves multiple medications that make compliance a challenge even for people committed to following regimens to the letter.  When that doesn’t happen or other regimens conflict, problems can quickly arise that compromise health. In fact, medication-related problems and mismanagement result in an estimated 1.5 million preventable adverse events each year, adding $177 billion in costs linked to avoidable injury, hospitalizations, and even death. “There’s a spotlight … Continued


From Potential to Reality: Care Models that Screen for Social Determinants of Health

October 2, 2020

Our healthcare system has casually been described as a “sick care system” because it usually cares for people only after they are already sick. Medical care delivered in healthcare settings alone has a limited effect on the health of individuals and populations. In fact, medical care is responsible for only up to 20% of a health outcome while the rest is attributable to social determinants of health (SDOH) — health-related behaviors, socioeconomic factors, and environmental factors that are shaped by the conditions in which we grow, learn, work, and live.4 So, it is no surprise that unmet social needs such as … Continued


Soon Doctors May Be Monitoring Your Fitbit Data

October 2, 2020

In the age of convenience and connectivity, information has become accessible in quantities and at speeds that were once inconceivable. Modern technology has empowered us to virtually conduct everyday activities, from ordering food and goods to connecting instantly with friends from high school and hailing transportation right to our doors. Simply put, life is more efficient. However, healthcare has struggled to implement accessible technology-based services, despite our quick societal adoption of other technological advancements. This problem has lent itself to the establishment of “Telehealth” – the remote delivery of clinical care through technology – an emerging field that can utilize … Continued


Grant Funding Helps CMO Pursue Value-Based Care and Population Health Projects

October 2, 2020

The Center for Medication Optimization (CMO) has received more than $600,000 in grant funding from the Eshelman Institute for Innovation to pursue new ideas spanning value-based care and population health. This June, the Eshelman Institute for Innovation (EII) awarded $3.5 million across 24 projects to support research and education initiatives at UNC, three of which were awarded to CMO. Earlier this year, CMO and EII partnered with other sponsors to hold the Medication Optimization Collaboration Summit, which served as the catalyst for many of these big ideas. For information about the summit, click here. Pharmacists are accessible, trusted, but underutilized and these grants will elevate … Continued


CMO Student Interns Take on Social Determinants of Health

October 2, 2020

Health is strongly impacted by the conditions in which people grow, learn, work, and live. Consider, for example, the health implications of trying to exercise in a neighborhood with no sidewalks, being unable to read a prescription drug label, or worrying that your food would run out before your next paycheck. These conditions are often referred to as social determinants of health (SDOH). Some of the most common SDOH assessed in relationship to health outcomes are income, educational attainment, employment status,  and access to food, housing, and transportation. Although non-clinical in nature, there is strong interest in exploring the influence of population-level … Continued


Motivation to Participate in the Collaborative: The Pharmacists’ Perspective

October 2, 2020

The HealthPartners Partners in Excellence (PIE) program provides an opportunity to sustainably provide direct patient care, expand patient-centered care approaches and expand access to care through community pharmacies. Pharmacists in the PIE program were invited to participate in the Slice of PIE initiative to facilitate the development of innovative ideas to adjust care models for patients and to share resources and identify areas of improvement within the CMM Patient Care Process delivered in the community pharmacy. There is commitment to an underlying philosophy that drives the work occurring in these community pharmacies. Our organizations are committed to providing exceptional patient-centered care and … Continued


Ph.D. student helps provide clean drinking water in Malawi through charity: water

September 29, 2020

When Aaron Devanathan, Pharm.D., arrived at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy in 2017, his advisor, Dean Angela Kashuba, asked him to look inward before he got to work. “Think about what your legacy is going to be,” she said. After much thought, the Ph.D. student had an answer: “My personal mission is to serve others.” He’s doing so both professionally and personally. His most recent effort began October 2016 when he started saving money each month to one day donate to charity: water, a nonprofit bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries. This year, Devanathan … Continued


Hingtgen Lab takes step toward clinical application in fighting deadliest form of brain cancer

September 29, 2020

Today, an estimated 700,000 people in the United States are living with a primary brain tumor. Members of the Shawn Hingtgen Lab at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy are focused on curing the disease, specifically glioblastoma, one of the deadliest forms of brain cancer. Recently, researchers in the lab published, “Generation and profiling of tumor-homing induced neural stem cells from the skin of cancer patients,” which details a promising approach to treating cancer that involves converting human fibroblasts (cells from the skin) into personalized induced neural stem cells (iNSCs) that actively seek out tumors and deliver cytotoxic agents, such … Continued


Ainslie receives NIH grant for influenza research

September 29, 2020

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the flu vaccine for the 2018-19 season was only 29 percent effective. Kristy Ainslie, Ph.D., wants to improve that number with the help of a $2.8 million grant. “All of us have been exposed to influenza,” she said. “When it happens to the sick, the young or the old, then it can become lethal.” Ainslie, a professor and vice chair of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy’s Division of Pharmacoengineering and Molecular Pharmaceutics, recently received a prestigious R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health. The grant will support research for a more … Continued