Photo (L-R): SIUE’s Chris Lynch, professor and director of clinical programs in the School of Pharmacy, and Jennifer Rosselli-Lynch, clinical associate professor of ambulatory care, diabetes education and medication management in the SOP.

EDWARDSVILLE – The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy (SOP) and SIHF Healthcare are celebrating more than 12 years of serving the community through the diabetes Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant that has provided more than $1-million in medications and services.

Chris Lynch, PharmD, professor and director of clinical programs in the SOP, combined with SIHF’s Patrice Howard and Dale Fiedler to write the original grant application in 2007. Since being approved, the grant has provided annual funding at $150,000. Of that, $80,000 annually is available to pay for diabetes medications for uninsured people in the area.

The grant also created the original diabetes clinical pharmacist position within the SOP and SIHF, which has now been expanded to two positions. Pharmacist-delivered diabetes management services within SIHF are provided by SOP faculty members Jennifer Rosselli-Lynch, PharmD, clinical associate professor of ambulatory care, diabetes education and medication management, and Andrea Wooley, PharmD, clinical associate professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, who care for patients in O’Fallon, Belleville and Centreville.

“The HRSA-supported diabetes program has resulted in more than 500 people receiving advanced diabetes care through a collaboration between myself and primary care providers at the O’Fallon, Belleville Family and West Belleville SIHF Health Centers,” Rosselli-Lynch said. “The funds available to cover the cost of medications have provided access to life-saving therapies that many patients in this program would not be able to afford due to financial hardship and lack of insurance coverage. It has been my privilege to work with people with diabetes over the past 10 years to enhance their self-care skills and optimize their medication therapy.”

Larry McCulley, president and chief executive officer of SIHF Healthcare, says the partnership with the SOP has been a tremendous asset to its patients and the community. “The integration of clinical pharmacist within our primary care locations is a perfect example of needed healthcare transformation that helps to elevate the clinical services and patient outcomes,” he said. “The delivery of care by the SIUE pharmacist has optimized medication therapy in coordination with the physicians resulting in benefits for our patients with diabetes, as they acquire a stronger integrated care approach. More importantly, patients are experiencing improved health outcomes.”

Today’s pharmacists improve patients’ lives through the medication and education they provide. Dedicated to developing a community of caring pharmacists, the SIUE School of Pharmacy curriculum is a model that offers students a unique combination of classroom education, research, community service and patient care. The School of Pharmacy’s areas of excellence include a drug design and discovery core; pediatric practice; chronic pain research and practice; and diabetes research and practice. As the only downstate Illinois pharmacy doctorate program, the SIUE School of Pharmacy is providing highly trained pharmacists prepared for the rapidly changing healthcare environment.

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