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Asheville, N.C. (April 1, 2013) – Mission Health recently opened its first pharmacy education space for the benefit of UNC pharmacy students and residents. The space, located in Mission Hospital, is part of Mission Health’s affiliation with the UNC-Eshelman School of Pharmacy. This year, 35 Doctor of Pharmacy students and eight pharmacy residents are completing clerkships at Mission Health’s inpatients areas, clinics and community pharmacies.
In 2011, UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy expanded its partnership with Mission Health by opening a full four-year pharmacy school satellite campus in Asheville. These students, based at UNC Asheville, receive classroom instructions from faculty on the Chapel Hill campus via interactive, real-time video- teleconferencing technology, as well as faculty based in Asheville. Upon completing all degree requirements, the students graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill with a Doctor of Pharmacy or PharmD, the professional degree required to practice as a pharmacist.
“Our students share patient-focused and problem-based learning opportunities with the UNC medical students and MAHEC family medicine residents,” said Dr. Elizabeth Michalets, Assistant Dean of Affairs and Clinical Associate Professor, Mission Hospital and UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. “The new education space is open for students and residents, faculty offices and The Western North Carolina Drug Information Center. Future additions include a classroom equipped for videoconferencing with the main campus and affiliate hospitals.”
Mission Health and the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy have worked together since 1995 to provide over 1,500 student months of experiential education for PharmD students at Mission. Current Mission Health pharmacists also serve as mentors and educators for the students and have been recognized not only by UNC’s School of Pharmacy but regionally and nationally for quality in teaching and innovative practices. The Mission Hospital Medication Assistance Program recently was awarded one of eight national best practice awards by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the American Pharmacists Association for Medication Management in Care Transitions.
“Pharmacists play a vital role in a patient’s healthcare needs,” said Ellen Williams, MBA, RPh, Director of Pharmacy at Mission Hospital. “Not only do they have knowledge of medicines and how they work with one another, but they can also serve as caregivers and communicators by providing a clear understanding of medications and drug interactions.”
About Mission Health
Mission Health, based in Asheville, N.C., is the state’s sixth-largest health system and the region’s only not-for-profit, independent community hospital system governed and managed exclusively in western North Carolina. In 2012, Mission Health was named one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems by Thomson Reuters – the only health system in North Carolina to receive this recognition.
Mission Health, which traces its roots in the region back to 1885, operates five hospitals, numerous outpatient and surgery centers, and the region’s only dedicated Level II trauma center. Its medical staff consists of more than 1,000 physicians and is certified in over 50 medical specialties and sub-specialties. Mission Health has seven Centers of Excellence: Cancer, Heart, Mission Children’s Hospital, Neurosciences, Orthopedics, Trauma and Women’s Health. Mission Hospital, located in Asheville, is the system’s flagship hospital and is licensed for 730 beds. It is the regional referral center for tertiary and quaternary care. It also includes Mission Children’s Hospital– the region’s only children’s hospital. Other Mission Health member hospitals include Angel Medical Center in Franklin, Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine, McDowell Hospital in Marion and Transylvania Regional Hospital in Brevard. With approximately 8,800 employees and 700 volunteers, Mission Health is dedicated to improving the health and wellness of the people of western North Carolina. For more information, please visit mission- health.org.