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Minority Residents Living Healthier by Working with Duquesne University Pharmacy
Date:12/16/2011

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This December marks the first year anniversary of the Duquesne University Center for Pharmacy Services in Pittsburgh's Hill District, which has served more than 1,280 patients at the nation's first university-owned, community-based pharmacy.

"The day they opened up, I was there," said patient Barbara Strothers. "This truly was the best thing that happened in the Hill in a long time, and I tell everybody."

Strothers, like many other patients, has the chronic conditions of diabetes and high blood pressure. But health outcomes in this historically African-American community are improving as medications are taken regularly, thanks to the pharmacy's influence, say representatives of the nearby Hill House Health Center. In a community where the poverty rate is three times that of surrounding Allegheny County, using medications properly is easier because of the accessibility and services.

Conveniently located, the pharmacy is within walking distance of nearly 850 senior citizens and offers free delivery— eliminating the need to arrange rides or take buses.

The pharmacy also helps patients to find affordable options, said Kim Spruce, Hill House outreach worker. About 20 percent cannot afford to pay for medications, but the pharmacy provides services regardless, said Terri Kroh, pharmacy director. Then expense is no longer a reason to stop a medication.

Cutting-edge medication therapy management mitigates possible side effects and interactions—and encourages patients to comply with medication schedules.

The pharmacy, which looks more like a doctor's office than a typical retail operation selling greeting cards and snacks, also offers a battery of free screenings, on-call services 24/7 and over-the-counter medications.

"The mission of the University is to serve God by serving students, who then go out and serve. The mission of the pharmacy school is to improve health outcomes for patients and communities," said Dean J. Douglas Bricker of the Mylan School of Pharmacy. "There are a lot of medically underserved communities in Pittsburgh; this one is our neighbor."

Duquesne University
Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic research universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of more than 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability.

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