Posted by William Nunnelley on 2008-06-04

Samford University's McWhorter School of Pharmacy will be awarded a 2008 Crystal APPLE Award by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) for achieving excellence in an academic practice partnership with the Perry County Health Department and Health Care System.

The award cites McWhorter's work of establishing and providing weekly diabetes and cardiovascular risk reduction clinics in rural Perry County for the past several years.

The Crystal APPLE (for Academic-Practice Partnerships for Learning Excellence) is a national award that recognizes the contributions of faculty and administrators at pharmacy schools and their practice partners for "quality experiential education in exemplary patient care clinical teaching environments," said AACP.

The award, announced Wednesday, June 4, by AACP in Alexandria, Va., will go to eight schools. The other seven are the pharmacy schools at the University of Maryland, Northeastern University, University of Michigan, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, University of Cincinnati, Texas Tech University and Virginia Commonwealth University.

Initially in Perry, Samford offered weekly clinics. Later, the school began funding a graduate, licensed pharmacist to live in Perry and develop the program. The school then purchased a residence in Marion, the Perry County seat, so experiential students can stay in the community and provide health care services. The students are under the supervision of the pharmacy resident from Samford, and work closely with the Perry County Health Department, local pharmacies and physicians.

"The relationship with Perry County has made possible a great clinical teaching site for our pharmacy students as well as an opportunity to provide real pharmacist-enabled preventive medical services to the people of the county," said Dr. Charles D. Sands III, who directs the program.

Dr. Lucinda L. Maine, AACP executive vice president and CEO, described the Crystal APPLE Awards as "the most coveted academic-practice partnership award in pharmacy education." The award will be presented during the AACP Awards Ceremony in February, 2009.

"This is an excellent demonstration of educating students and providing meaningful healthcare solutions," said McWhorter Dean Bobby G. Bryant "The support of the University and the dedication of the faculty have provided many life-changing experiences for our students. As a faith-based institution, we are sharing our concern for the welfare of others and providing real world experiences for our students." #

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.