Opens College Parkside Pharmacy at Whitney M. Young, Jr. Health Center in Albany
Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (ACPHS) announced today that it has begun operating the pharmacy located inside the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Health Center (WYH), a not-for-profit, federally qualified health center, located in Albany’s Arbor Hill neighborhood.
WYH will serve as the new home for College Parkside Pharmacy, a standalone, student-supported pharmacy opened by ACPHS in Albany’s South End in January 2017. The move will grow the program considerably by reaching even more children and adults who are in need of affordable, accessible pharmacy services. The new pharmacy at WYH will be managed by the same team of pharmacists from College Parkside Pharmacy — a full-time, licensed pharmacist who supervises ACPHS student interns as they complete their Doctor of Pharmacy program.
Despite relocating to Arbor Hill, the pharmacy will still offer free delivery service to the South End, ensuring all current and future patients in the area are able to receive their medications in a timely manner.
ACPHS will maintain a physical presence in the South End through The Collaboratory, a community health initiative that the College launched last year in partnership with Trinity Alliance of the Capital Region. Located on the ground floor of 3 Lincoln Square, The Collaboratory offers an array of health and social services for residents of the South End and the surrounding neighborhoods. As new programs and services are added, The Collaboratory will likely expand into the space previously occupied by College Parkside Pharmacy in the Capital South Campus Center (20 Warren Street).
“When we were approached by WYH about this opportunity, the benefits for all parties became quickly apparent. Managing the pharmacy at their Albany Health Center fills an important void, ensuring WYH patients continue to have convenient access to pharmacy services,” said ACPHS President Dr. Greg Dewey. “As importantly, the opportunity to be paired with a clinical partner will allow the College to serve the needs of many more people from medically underserved areas of Albany than we were able to do previously.”
“The Experiential Education component of our Doctor of Pharmacy program provides an opportunity for students to put the knowledge they have gained in the classroom to use in a clinic-based pharmacy practice setting,” added David Kile, R.Ph., executive director of continuing education and professional development at ACPHS. “There is more to community pharmacy practice than just prescription fulfillment and patient counseling. This pharmacy will offer students the ability to resolve prescription therapy issues directly with WYH providers.
“Students who complete a rotation at WYH will learn cultural sensitivity, as they will be working closely with an underserved community,” he continued. “They will also refine essential business skills required to successfully manage a pharmacy, while learning about the 340B drug discount program, which requires pharmaceutical manufacturers to sell outpatient drugs at discounted prices to community health centers and other organizations that care for uninsured and low-income patients.”
Additionally, the new arrangement will offer more opportunities for ACPHS students to assist with the delivery of primary care services, as they work with WYH providers to help patients manage chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and asthma. Dr. Wonu Abiona will be assigned by the College to the WYH to work with the clinic providers and to coordinate clinical pharmacy services for the ambulatory care population.
“We have enjoyed a long and productive relationship with ACPHS through the years, so in many ways, this new initiative is a natural extension of our work together,” said David Shippee, president & CEO of Whitney Young Health. “We are excited to bring a greater level of integrated care to our patients at the health center with talented pharmacy students and the presence of a dedicated clinical pharmacist in the primary care setting.”
The College’s history with Whitney Young Health stretches back nearly 50 years to when WYH pharmacist Dr. Peter Mok was hired by the College as an adjunct faculty member in the early 1970s. Soon after joining ACPHS, he began bringing students to assist him at the Health Center and the two institutions have been working together in various forms ever since.
College Parkside Pharmacy is one of two student-supported pharmacies in the Capital Region run by APCHS. In 2015, ACPHS opened its first student-supported pharmacy in Schenectady at Hometown Health Centers, a nationally recognized health center, which provides comprehensive primary medical, dental and behavioral health services to more than 20,000 patients each year.
Both College Parkside Pharmacy and College Hometown Pharmacy belong to Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Networks (CPESN) of Upstate New York, a clinically integrated network of independent community pharmacies throughout New York and across the country. CPESN member pharmacies provide a spectrum of patient-centered, pharmacist-provided, collaborative services that focus on medication appropriateness, effectiveness, safety and adherence with the goal of improving health outcomes.