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RxAlly And Shenandoah University Partner On Grant-Funded Pharmacy Initiative To Increase Pneumonia Immunization Rates

LEESBURG, Va., Feb. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- RxAlly, a first-of-its-kind alliance of more than 22,000 pharmacies nationwide, announced today a partnership with Shenandoah University's Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy to collaborate on a Pfizer-awarded grant to the university. The grant will enable pharmacy faculty members to assist community pharmacists with the implementation of a pneumococcal-focused immunization program.

The program - Improving Patient Immunization Rates through Optimizing Pharmacy's Role in Providing Immunization Services - will work toward an overall goal of promoting and increasing pneumococcal vaccinations among adults over age 65 and high-risk patients aged 2-64 with comorbid conditions. Kerr Drug, a North Carolina-based regional community pharmacy chain and RxAlly member, will participate in the initiative along with an experienced team of pharmacy educators, American Pharmacists Association (APhA) immunization trainers, an accredited medical education company, and an outcomes analytics company, RealCME.

Four key objectives will drive the direction of the study: increase pneumococcal immunization rates among high risk populations, improve the ability of pharmacists and pharmacy staff to identify candidates for receiving the pneumococcal vaccine, assist pharmacists and pharmacy staff in encouraging awareness of the importance of pneumococcal vaccine administration through direct patient interaction and work with pharmacists and pharmacy staff to increase opportunities to provide immunization-related clinical services.

According to the 2010 data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), pneumococcal vaccination coverage for adults >/= 65 years and high-risk adults age 19-64 in the United States was 59.7% and 18.5% respectively. Within  the state of North Carolina, the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) indicates that less than one third (30.2%) of the 10,205 patients surveyed received the pneumonia vaccine. This collaboration was designed to address the gaps in national and state pneumococcal immunization rates represented by these data.

"We couldn't be more honored and excited to work with Shenandoah University on this important public health initiative," said Bruce Roberts , CEO of RxAlly. "Studies show the proven value of pharmacists in increasing immunization rates and this will continue to create awareness of how pharmacy can and does play a major role in improving health outcomes and reducing health care costs in our communities."

"Working with RxAlly and the ability to leverage its reach into community pharmacy will be a tremendous advantage to our faculty in contributing to the overall increase in pharmacist-delivered pneumococcal immunization rates and the corresponding improvement in public health," said Dr. Alan McKay , Founding Dean of Shenandoah University's Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy. "They were the obvious choice."

RxAlly is a performance network of aligned pharmacies, united to help patients achieve better health through personalized pharmacist care while reducing costs.  The company was developed to provide a new solution to the critical issues of providing additional access to care and ensuring effective health care spending at a time when prescription medicine misuse is associated with $290 billion in annual costs.

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About RxAlly
With more than 22,000 member pharmacies nationwide, RxAlly has brought together the largest national network of pharmacies to improve health and lower costs. The RxAlly Performance Network of community pharmacies aims to improve health through personalized pharmacist care, clinical research and evidence-based clinical practices, and an interoperable technology platform. By advancing the role of pharmacists, RxAlly is facilitating new solutions as it leads an innovative approach to health care that aligns the interests of patients, pharmacists and payers. For more information, please visit us at:, Facebook or Twitter.

About Shenandoah University
Shenandoah University is the private, nationally recognized applied liberal arts institution, located in Winchester, Va., with an enrollment of more than 4,000 students. Shenandoah's close-knit community is rich in creative energy and intellectual challenge. Shenandoah empowers its students to help the human condition and to be principled professionals and leaders wherever they go.

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