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The American Pharmacists Association is the largest association of pharmacists in the United States advancing the entire pharmacy profession.

Membership: Pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists and pharmacy technicians

Governance: 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization, governed by a 15-member Board of Trustees. Its House of Delegates (411 members plus alternates) meets annually to determine overall policy.

Location: Washington, D.C.

Founded: October 6, 1852 in Philadelphia, PA

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Published on Thursday, April 4, 2024

APhA and CDC select Community of Practice Teams to advance health equity and prevent heart disease and stroke

WASHINGTON, DC—The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and CDC are proud to announce the selected Community of Practice (CoP) Teams as part of the Advancing Health Equity with Pharmacy-Based Strategies, Pharmacists Patient Care Services and Support Services project to advance health equity and prevent heart disease and stroke in the United States.

Teams from state and local health departments, state pharmacy associations, professional organizations, colleges of pharmacy, pharmacy practice settings, and community-based organizations were invited to submit applications for consideration. Following a competitive application and evaluation process, six teams were selected to participate in the project based on their  composition, qualifications, and commitment to cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention.

  • A collaboration between the California Department of Public Health, the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, the University of Southern California Alfred E. Mann School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, the California Pharmacists Association, and the American Heart Association has helped scale value-based comprehensive medication management services through community-based pharmacies for patients experiencing health disparities in cardiovascular disease and stroke prevention, including certification of pharmacy technicians as community health workers.
  • To tackle  health disparities in the state, the Minnesota Department of Health and Hennepin Healthcare, a safety net hospital system, have partnered to provide pharmacist-driven medication management services and improve hypertension management.
  • Partnerships between the Mississippi State Department of Health, the Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network (CPESN) Mississippi, and the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy will train pharmacy-based community health workers to screen for social determinants of health, identify patients at risk, and connect these patients to cardiovascular health resources.
  • The State of Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services will partner with Bitterroot Drug and Thrifty Drug to drive the adoption of social determinants of health screeners in community-based pharmacies and improve referrals to  local resources for patients with cardiovascular disease.
  • The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, St. John’s University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences have partnered with Allure Specialty Pharmacy, Burke Avenue Pharmacy, Felicity Pharmacy, and Marble Hill Pharmacy. These pharmacies serve patients with a high prevalence of poverty and chronic disease. This team will engage with CDC-trained Healthy Heart Ambassadors to improve patients’ hypertension management through medication management and lifestyle modifications.
  • Leveraging their long history of collaboration, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Care Network, and the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy aim to expand access to community pharmacy-enhanced patient care services.  Their multifaceted approach trains pharmacy technicians to serve as community health workers, further integration of social determinants of health screenings to identify and resolve gaps that impact cardiovascular disease, enhances community pharmacist-physician collaborations, and explores remote patient monitoring.

The selected CoP Teams will accelerate the implementation of pharmacy-based strategies to advance health equity through initiatives that address racial and ethnic disparities in CVD risk factors, prevalence, or outcomes. The participants will engage with other CoP teams in virtual learning sessions and peer-to-peer learning opportunities and build capacity for health departments and pharmacy partners to implement promising program models in local communities.

Michael D. Hogue, PharmD, FAPhA, FNAP, FFIP, executive vice president and CEO of APhA, said, “Pharmacists are natural collaborators. We are excited to see the models the CoP Teams employ to tackle CVD, including financial sustainability as a part of the model, to optimize public health and pharmacy partnerships to address the needs of local communities.”

Dr. Janet Wright, MD, MACC, FPCNA, Director, Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, CDC, commented, “Public health epitomizes a team sport, and pharmacists stand as vital members of this dynamic team. Collaboration across public health and clinical sectors is key   in preventing and managing heart disease and stroke, addressing health disparities in our communities, and advancing health equity. We are delighted to support this collective effort and look forward to celebrating the results these teams will achieve in cardiovascular health and care.

This project was funded in part by a contracted project agreement with CDC, which is an agency of HHS.



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