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USC School of Pharmacy to Double Presence in Safety-net Clinics
Date:10/19/2011

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The School of Pharmacy at the University of Southern California announced today that it will double its presence in clinics and medical homes that deliver health care services to the uninsured, the poor and the homeless. The School began providing clinical pharmacy services in safety-net clinics in 2002, and currently is a key partner with 12 such clinics in Southern California. The new USC Medication Therapy and Safety Initiative aims to increase the School's coverage to 24 clinics and medical homes by 2013.

This increased commitment to community is desperately needed, with the continuing economic crisis making these clinics even more vital to meeting the health needs of underprivileged communities, as demand increases and public funding decreases. New census statistics show that more than 15 percent of Americans live below the national poverty level. In California the numbers are even worse, with more that 16 percent in poverty and nearly 20 percent lacking health insurance. Los Angeles County alone is home to more than 2.7 million uninsured.

A USC clinical study demonstrates that integrating pharmacy services into safety-net clinics and medical homes results in measurable improvements in care. For example, hypertension patients had reduced blood pressure, and patients with diabetes showed improvements in blood-glucose control.

"The USC School of Pharmacy's work in safety-net clinics enables us to have a direct and positive impact on the city's most at-risk residents," says R. Pete Vanderveen, the School's dean. "And, since these economic problems face the entire country, we are urging our fellow pharmacy schools to increase their outreach efforts as well."

"The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy [AACP] is delighted that USC is doubling its capacity to collaborate with community partners to improve the health of the citizens of Los Angeles," says William Lang, AACP vice president
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SOURCE USC School of Pharmacy
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