ST. LOUIS – St. Louis College of Pharmacy (STLCOP) has received a $259,000 grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH). The two-year award will strengthen STLCOP’s health literacy program by increasing the curriculum’s focus in pharmacy practice skill labs and experiential activities to enhance pharmacist-patient interactions and patient education.
While teaching students to educate their patients about medicine and its effects have always been part of the curriculum, the MFH grant offers an opportunity to expand these efforts, provide more hands-on practice in lab settings and with real patients, and to better evaluate techniques that enhance student communication and interaction skills.
Tricia Berry, professor of pharmacy practice and director of experiential programs, and Amy Tiemeier, assistant professor of pharmacy practice and associate director of experiential programs, will oversee the grant, which is one of the largest in school history.
About a year ago, Berry said, the College began discussing revisions to the health literacy portion of the curriculum and initial changes were incorporated last semester. At STLCOP, health literacy is taught in the classroom, through on-campus advanced pharmacy practice labs, and through student work with independent-living senior citizens.
The curriculum enhancement is for the last two years of study. The College offers a six-year professional program leading to a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree.
“This grant will help students take responsibility to ensure that patients understand the information being provided about their medications,” Berry said. “If a patient doesn’t understand how to take their medications appropriately, it often means they won’t have the intended therapeutic effects and it could actually be harmful.”
About Missouri Foundation for Health: Missouri Foundation for Health is the largest non-governmental funder of health-related programs in Missouri. It is a philanthropic organization whose vision is to improve the health of the people in the communities it serves.
About St. Louis College of Pharmacy: Founded in 1864, St. Louis College of Pharmacy is one of the oldest and largest colleges of pharmacy in America. The College admits students directly from high school and integrates the liberal arts and sciences with a six-year professional curriculum leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree. Approximately 1,250 students attend, and more than 72 percent of practicing pharmacists in the St. Louis metropolitan area are alumni.
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