Charleston, WV – During January, February and March 2017, an interdisciplinary student team from the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, nursing, and physician assistant programs will kick off a series of community outreach activities throughout West Virginia and southern Ohio to raise awareness about the health consequences of not taking medication as directed. They will join with health professions students across the country in the 2017 Medication Adherence Team Challenge, a two month-long inter-collegiate competition among health profession student teams and faculty for creating solutions to raise awareness about medication adherence as a critical public health issue. In the United States, nearly three out of four patients do not take their medication as directed.
The Challenge, coordinated by the National Consumers League (NCL), America’s pioneer consumer group and the lead organization on the national Script Your Future campaign, is returning to university campuses across the country, this year for two months, after four years of successful student innovation.
Outreach activities for this year’s campaign include: community health fairs; a radio blog series; advocacy events during the West Virginia legislative session; distribution of informational flyers with patient prescriptions; outreach presentations to over 200 elementary school students, mission trips and more. Locations, dates and times of the activities will be posted on the UC School of Pharmacy website and on the UC School of Pharmacy blog (ucsopblog.com).
“There are many reasons why people don’t take their medicine as directed, but the consequences for patients are the same,” said Dr. Michelle Easton, Dean, University of Charleston School of Pharmacy. “Nonadherence puts patients, especially those with chronic conditions, such as diabetes or asthma, at risk for serious complications.” The focus of the campaign is diabetes, cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease.
“With the changing landscape of healthcare in America, the role of healthcare professionals in helping patients take their medications as directed to preserve and improve their health is critical. The Challenge is unique in that it encourages an interprofessional approach to improving medication adherence and lays the foundation for adherence-minded care delivery among students before they enter the workforce,” said Sally Greenberg, NCL Executive Director. “Each year, we are so impressed by the ingenuity of our student teams and their ability to meet patients where they are. We look forward to seeing what this year’s Challenge will contribute to the discussion.”
The Challenge is sponsored by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Foundation, the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).
“The Script Your Future Adherence Challenge has provided a tremendous opportunity for health professions students to illustrate how they can work collaboratively to improve patient care through better medication adherence,” said Dr. Lucinda L. Maine, Executive Vice President and CEO at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. “This challenge, now in its sixth year, continues to provide a great example of the power health professions teams can have on the public health issue of medication adherence.”
The Medication Adherence Team Challenge 2017 is a two month-long outreach project that will be held from January 16 through March 17, 2017 to engage interdisciplinary student teams from pharmacy, medicine, nursing, and other health professions to tackle the problem of poor adherence. The teams will be implementing creative solutions and outreach in their communities to raise awareness and improve understanding about medication adherence, using Script Your Future materials. At the end of the Challenge, select schools or colleges will be recognized nationally for their efforts to improve medication adherence.
Since the Challenge began in 2011, more than 9,500 future health care professionals have directly counseled more than 34,000 patients and reached more than eleven million consumers in this concerted public effort about the importance of medication adherence. Last year’s National awardees were the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy and the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy. The Focused awardees were the Northeast Ohio Medical University College of Pharmacy (NEOMED) (Health Disparities), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill) (Media), and the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy (Creative Inter-Professional Event).
To learn more about last year’s winners visit the Script Your Future website.
For more information on the Challenge visit the Challenge Community website at http://syfadherencechallenge.ning.com/. Tweet along with us during the Challenge using #SYFchallenge and follow the campaign @IWillTakeMyMeds.
Script Your Future is a campaign of the National Consumers League (NCL), a private, non-profit membership organization founded in 1899. NCL’s mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information about the Script Your Future campaign, visit www.ScriptYourFuture.org. For more information on NCL, please visit www.nclnet.org.