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Dr. Sparrow Receives Doctor of Humanities Honorary Degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin

Dr. Sparrow Receives Doctor of Humanities Honorary Degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin

Tracey Sparrow, EdD, President of Next Door, Received the Doctor of Humanities Honorary Degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) during the Commencement Ceremony on May 22, 2020. Next Door is an organization that supports the intellectual, physical and emotional development of children by partnering with their families for success in school and the community.

“Dr. Sparrow’s dedication to serving the community exemplifies the mission of the MCW School of Pharmacy to advance the health of our communities through continuous public and professional service and serves as a shining example for our Inaugural Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) graduates,” says George E. MacKinnon III, PhD, MS, RPh, FASHP, Founding Dean and Professor at the MCW School of Pharmacy.

Dr. Sparrow’s relationship with MCW began in 2000, when she began working at the Milwaukee Academy of Science, which was opened with the vision of T. Michael Bolger, who served as President and CEO of MCW, to address a gap in minority achievement in the health sciences. Since that time, Dr. Sparrow has formed partnerships with a number of different departments at MCW.

“It feels amazing to be recognized for the work that I have been lucky enough to do in partnership with MCW for many years. I have learned so much from the students and staff at MCW and appreciate all they do to support the community,” says Dr. Sparrow.

Most recently, Dr. Sparrow has collaborated with the MCW School of Pharmacy to develop MCW Neighborhood Partners, which is a unique pharmacist-led, community-based health screening and care referral service that is housed within Next Door’s location in Milwaukee’s Metcalfe Park neighborhood. The clinic is staffed by MCW School of Pharmacy faculty members and students on clinical rotations.

“It is great that MCW is training future pharmacists at MCW Neighborhood Partners. This is providing an opportunity for young professionals to get the training they need in an underserved area such as Metcalfe Park and hopefully leaves them compelled to do future work in an area such as this,” says Dr. Sparrow.

Services offered at MCW Neighborhood Partners include health and wellness screenings, health promotion, disease prevention, nutrition counseling, and patient health assessments. From March to December 2019, MCW Neighborhood Partners provided 320 free health screenings, including blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol, and body mass index. The pharmacists and pharmacy students of MCW Neighborhood Partners also conduct health screenings out in the community during various events such as the Metcalfe Community Bridges On the Block, the Fondy Farmers Market, and the Next Door Walk for Children. “Dr. Sparrow has been a fantastic partner and essential to the success of the MCW Neighborhood Partners initiative to provide free health screening services at Next Door. She works to make our service feel like an integral part of the Next Door community,” says Michael DeBisschop, PharmD, Professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences at the MCW School of Pharmacy.

Dr. Sparrow addressed the MCW graduates, including the MCW School of Pharmacy inaugural class, during the virtual Commencement Ceremony. “My advice to MCW graduates is for them to remember that they can make a difference and change in our community. They can change the world for individual people who often don’t have hope or feel they have a chance. We need to be focused on developing a more equitable system and really recognize that we can be part of the change that needs to happen,” says Dr. Sparrow.