Posted by William Nunnelley on 2007-03-13

Samford's McWhorter School of Pharmacy received a $77,051 grant from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help Alabama pharmacists learn more about emergency responses to disasters such as Hurricane Katrina.

The grant–to McWhorter's Institute for Public Health and Pharmacy–will enable the pharmacy school to offer a course that draws on lessons learned during the aftermath to Katrina.

"The public health system in Alabama gained important disaster response experience after Katrina," said Dr. Stuart Capper, director of the Institute for Public Health and Pharmacy. "This course will focus on one specific area that has received only limited attention, the partner relationship between the public health practice community and the pharmacy practice community."

Dr. Capper noted that Katrina disrupted such critical services as the writing and dispensing of important medications for disaster victims as well as the provision of such basic services as vaccinations and triage.

The grant will fund a course that not only builds on the lessons learned from Katrina, but also focuses on the roles and responsibilities of the pharmacy practice community for public health preparedness and response.

Capper said the grant also would help determine how Alabama pharmacists prefer to access such a course, face-to-face or internet-based, and whether or not both formats are equally effective at conveying the content. The course will be offered in each format to as many as 60 pharmacists at each presentation.

The Samford institute will partner with the Alabama State Department of Public Health in designing the course. These public health pharmacy preparedness efforts are part of an extensive program for such work at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) South Central Center for Public Health Preparedness.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.