Tanner Kowalski, Pharm.D.
Tanner Kowalski, Pharm.D.

Tanner Kowalski, Pharm.D., won the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy Independent Pharmacy Owner Residency Program’s first incentive grant from the APhA Foundation.

This APhA incentive grant offers pharmacists, students and community pharmacy residents seed money to implement or support an existing innovative patient-care service within their pharmacy practice. Kowalski’s project analyzes the effect that transition-of-care services have on preventing hospital readmissions for pediatric patients.

As part of the transition-of-care program, pharmacists review patients’ medication, identify appropriate interventions, work with providers to implement changes and provide bedside counseling to reinforce proper use of new medications.

“Hospital discharge is a critical time for patients, and pharmacist impact in transition-of-care programs has been shown to be incredibly beneficial to patients’ health,” Kowalski said. “Despite this, limited data exists on the impact of pharmacist-led transition-of-care programs in pediatric patients.”

Kowalski is completing his residency at Skywalk Pharmacy, an independent community pharmacy within the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Kowalski said Skywalk us uniquely situated to provide transitions of care and outpatient services to pediatric patients and their families.

“The purpose of this project is to systematically track the impact of pharmacist interventions through the transition-of-care program on hospital readmissions. This will then be compared to national statistics to determine if Skywalk’s clinical services reduce risk of readmission and the need to utilize urgent health-care services,” Kowalski said.

Kowalski said he hopes to show the crucial role pharmacists play in providing continuity of care to pediatric patients.

“The pharmacist’s role in transitions of care is underutilized especially in the pediatric population,” said Stefanie Ferreri, Pharm.D., executive vice chair of PACE and adviser to Kowalski. “It is exciting to have Tanner and Skywalk Pharmacy as partners with UNC and IPOR.”


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