Living an Educational Mission to Meet the Needs of Community and Public Health: Community Engagement in Pharmacy Education

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The Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences (PPPS) department on the Duluth campus of the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy (COP) was established in 2004 to meet the health-related needs of greater Minnesota with a mission to continuously improve “interdisciplinary pharmaceutical care education, research, practice and service focused on the health and well-being of underserved, rural, and indigenous communities.” In alignment with the PPPS mission and Boyer’s model of engaged scholarship, students and faculty have partnered with local communities through outreach events that have had a lasting impact on community health. Student-led programming can play a vital role in community and public health through health fairs and outreach activities that target the homeless, underserved, vulnerable communities, and individuals of all ages ranging from childhood to elderly. Over the past 10 years, these outreach events led by pharmacy students and faculty at the COP have provided educational and health-related services to more than 5,000 community members in northern Minnesota while providing valuable learning opportunities for students, faculty, and pharmacist preceptors.

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