Inter-Professional Collaboration between Wilkes University, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine and The Wright Center Results in National Recognition

Wilkes University’s Nesbitt School of Pharmacy, in collaboration with The Wright Center and Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, will be recognized at the 2017 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Innovations in Teaching Competition. The unique, collaborative partnership with The Wright Center and Wilkes University promotes integration of inter-professional development opportunities into experiential and didactic settings. This collaborative pilot study and its unique results will be one of three national awardees recognized at the AACP Annual Conference in July 2017.

Presenters of the winning case study, “Value-Driven Pharmacy Student-Led Rapid Cycle Process Engagement in Experiential and Didactic Settings” include:

Results indicate that when learners are engaged as active contributors in established clinical environments, valuable and symbiotic relationships can develop between educational institutions and healthcare organizations. On-site, practical, team-based learning provides opportunities to apply “theory in action” and demands real-time critical thinking, inter-professional collaboration and the self-awareness of all parties involved. Click here to download the winning poster and learn more about the award-winning project.

During a 5-credit/5-week advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) in ambulatory care, 12-13 fourth year pharmacy students led a QI project focused on population health and/or medication safety, using the “Plan. Do. Study. Act.” (PDSA) model. Participating pharmacy students learned the fundamentals of the PDSA process while at The Wright Center for Primary Care Mid Valley (Jermyn) and carried out their projects, with active feedback from their preceptors and faculty. While in the field, the pharmacy students also actively collaborated with The Wright Center’s  integrated clinical staff to address specific obstacles.

At the completion of the student’s rotations, measurable improvements in the population health were noted, and 100% percent of the students “strongly agreed/agreed” that the rotation was a worthwhile experience.  The data also suggests that leveraging student pharmacists as system improvers helps to promote an accountable and innovative culture of learning in pharmacy education, and as graduating pharmacists enter into a fragmented, challenging healthcare system, they will understand that small, iterative improvements can lead to wide-scale impact.

Additional contributors on the project included all levels of The Wright Center for Primary Care’s clinical staff. Special acknowledgment must be given to Jignesh Sheth, MD, MPH, Senior Vice President for Operations and Tiffany Elkins, EHR Manager for their active involvement with the project and with the pharmacy students.


As the largest gathering of academic pharmacy administrators, faculty and staff, the AACP Annual Meeting is a chance for professionals in multiple disciplines to share their work. The team’s presentation will be one of over 70 educational innovations presented over the course of five days in Nashville, TN. Their presentation slides can be found online during and after the meeting.

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