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MCW Pharmacy School and Independent Pharmacy Cooperative Partner to Develop a Pipeline of Future Independent Pharmacy Owners

Milwaukee, Sept. 11, 2019 – The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) School of Pharmacy and the Independent Pharmacy Cooperative (IPC) announce a partnership to develop a pipeline of future independent pharmacy owners who can implement primary care pharmacy services in medically underserved communities.

The MCW School of Pharmacy is creating the Independent Pharmacy Cooperative Scholars Program in collaboration with IPC. This unique, entrepreneurial track within the MCW School of Pharmacy doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum will offer students a path to independent pharmacy ownership. Through the program, Independent Pharmacy Cooperative Scholars will be provided with the skills needed to manage and own independent pharmacies with expanded services for patients, such as acute physical assessment, point of care testing including strep throat and flu tests, administering immunizations and comprehensive medication management.

Students accepted into the Independent Pharmacy Cooperative Scholars program will have the opportunity to experience clinical rotations at IPC member pharmacies throughout southeastern Wisconsin and in rural communities, in addition to obtaining specialty certificate trainings such as patient-centered diabetes care and medication therapy management through the PharmD curriculum. The program will also offer scholars mentorship from IPC Board members and opportunities to pursue post-graduate residency training at IPC member pharmacies.

“Together, we can engage the pharmacists of the future to impact healthcare in rural and medically underserved communities,” said George E. MacKinnon III, PhD, MS, RPh, founding dean of the MCW School of Pharmacy. “This program allows the MCW School of Pharmacy to continue to fulfill our mission to advance the health of our communities through innovative pharmacy education.”

“With this program we can secure the future and advancement of independent pharmacy by bringing together IPC member stores and the next generation of pharmacists,” said Don Anderson, CEO of Independent Pharmacy Cooperative. “We take pride in the idea that our members will play an active role in guiding the pharmacists of tomorrow and ensuring communities in need continue to have access to potentially life-saving care.”

To launch and grow the Independent Pharmacy Cooperative Scholars Program, IPC has pledged $300,000 in partnership support to the MCW School of Pharmacy. In addition to program and residency development, part of the fund will provide merit-based scholarship aid for students who are accepted into the Independent Pharmacy Cooperative Program.

The MCW School of Pharmacy will also provide IPC member pharmacies with the necessary training to implement community-based pharmacy residency programs, allowing these pharmacies to develop expanded opportunities for future pharmacy owners. The initial pilot program could expand nationally with implementation of a virtual curriculum, opening up opportunities for other pharmacy schools in IPC member regional territories.

In Wisconsin alone, 67 percent of counties lack access to quality healthcare, resulting in undiagnosed and untreated conditions. The MCW School of Pharmacy intends to play a leading role in addressing these healthcare challenges by advancing the role of the pharmacist in healthcare delivery. The aim of the MCW Pharmacy School is not only to educate the pharmacists of the future, but also create new and innovative practice models and inter-professional health care teams that leverage the role of the pharmacist to deliver patient-centered care with improved health outcomes.

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