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July 2010 Issue

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Pharmacy, Grocery Chain Work to Improve Outcomes

By Angela Koenig
Published July 2010

The James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy and the Kroger Co. have embarked on a three-year, $600,000 research collaboration to study the supermarket chain’s community pharmacy clinical service programs. 
"Kroger and the College of Pharmacy are leaders in developing programs that are intended to improve patient outcomes,” says the study’s principal investigator, Wayne Conrad, PharmD, professor and chair of pharmacy practice at UC. 

The goal, he says, is to determine the impact that clinical pharmacy services have on patient care. The results of this collaboration may  lead to the expansion of clinical programs to other Kroger pharmacies throughout the United States. 

The grant, Conrad says, will fund quarterly data analysis of Kroger’s patient-centered programs which include health screenings, smoking cessation, medication therapy management, diabetes coaching and self management, heart disease coaching, fitness and weight management. 

The grant also includes funding for related research projects and will enable the college to fund a two-year fellowship in community pharmacy research. 

"We have the ability here to analyze large amounts of data to assess clinical outcomes,” says the study’s co-investigator Pamela Heaton, PhD, an associate professor of pharmacy.

The focus, Heaton says, will be on three common chronic disease states: diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

"Pharmacists are increasingly becoming more readily available to patients for the management of chronic diseases,” says Conrad, adding that community service programs such as those provided by Kroger "have tremendous potential for having an impact on the quality of health care.” 

The college and Kroger have a long-standing history of working together. Kroger has provided its pharmacies and pharmacist preceptors (training mentors) to the college for over two decades, and has jointly conducted a postgraduate residency in Community Pharmacy Practice over the past five years. 

The Winkle College of Pharmacy is one of the oldest pharmacy colleges in the United States. Grad-uates have a 100 percent job placement rate prior to graduation.

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