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Hometown Health, Albany College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences to Form Unique Pharmacy Partnership

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (Nov. 23, 2015) — In a first-of-a kind alliance for the Capital Region, Hometown Centers (HHC), the county’s only not-for-profit, federally qualified health center, and Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (ACPHS), have signed an agreement for ACPHS to run HHC’s full-service, in-house pharmacy.  Officials expect the program to be up and running in early 2016 following the successful completion of the pharmacy license registration and inspection process.



“College Hometown Pharmacy” will feature one full-time, licensed pharmacist who will supervise ACPHS students as they complete their bachelors, masters and doctoral of pharmacy programs. In addition to dispensing medications and providing related services, the pharmacy will be a “collaboratory,” whereby the college and HHC will team up to offer an expanded range of clinical services associated with patient wellness, including point-of-care screening services and associated disease state counseling.

“We are extremely excited by this very special collaboration,” said Hometown Health Centers CEO Joe Gambino, noting that only a handful of such arrangements exist nationwide such as Duquesne University Pharmacy, a community pharmacy located in the Hill District of Pittsburgh. “We had a void in our pharmacy services following the departure of Walgreens last April.  The leadership from both organizations saw this as a win-win for all involved, most importantly our patients and community members in Schenectady.

“Studies show that America’s lower income communities attract fewer retailers and service providers than more affluent areas. Pharmacy is no exception,” Gambino added. “Through this affiliation we are ensuring that our nearly 18,000 patients — 80 percent of whom rely on either Medicare or Medicaid — have convenient access to multiple levels of healthcare they deserve.”

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“On December 1, ACPHS will launch its `Beyond Practice Ready’ campaign with support from Rochester Drug Co-Op, Inc., MVP Healthcare and The Borisenok Family Foundation,” explained ACPHS President Greg Dewey.  “Within the campaign, the Student Operated Neighborhood Pharmacy(s) is one of the four major initiatives the college is investing in to innovate the student experience and increase access of services to local communities. College Hometown Pharmacy will provide a distinctive experience for ACPHS students by enabling them to serve as part of a health care team — one of the core tenets of a patient-centric approach to care.

“In addition to refining the clinical skills needed to be a successful pharmacist, students will learn the essential business skills required to successfully manage a pharmacy. College Hometown Pharmacy will provide hands-on experience in revenue analysis, inventory turnover analysis, break-even analysis, and pharmacy cash-flow analysis. With this training, students will be better prepared to `think like entrepreneurs,’ proactively seeking out opportunities not only for operational efficiencies and growth, but also for creative healthcare business models,” Dewey added.

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HHC, which offers family medicine, pediatric, obstetrical, gynecological, podiatry, specialty care, behavioral health and comprehensive dental care to nearly 18,000 local residents, is a qualified community health center that is able to participate in the federal 340B drug program to obtain substantial discounts on medications in order to stretch scarce Federal resources and provide comprehensive care and services to more medically underserved patients.

“Under a 340B contract pharmacy agreement with HHC, College Hometown Pharmacy will dispense medications purchased by HHC to eligible patients,” explained David Kile, R.Ph., director of continuing education and professional development at ACPHS.

For students attending ACPHS, the Experiential Education component of the Doctor of Pharmacy Program provides an opportunity to step out of the classroom and academic laboratory into a variety of real-world practice settings, putting the knowledge they have gained to use in hands-on pharmacy practice experiences. These practical experiences, or rotations, constitute 30 percent of the pharmacy student’s curriculum.

Currently, ACPHS offers practice experiences at more than 600 pharmacy and clinical sites across the Northeast and around the world. These experiences expand students' knowledge of pharmacy and often lead to job opportunities following graduation. Practice sites include community pharmacies, hospitals, ambulatory care clinics, research laboratories, managed care facilities, academia, government agencies and the pharmaceutical industry.

“College Hometown Pharmacy will be a ‘convenient care’ center much like a commercial retail clinic, but will also offer a broader range of services,” said Gambino. “It will offer the dual benefit of providing a distinctive and innovative experience for ACPHS students, while improving access to pharmacy and health care services for members of our local community.”

Related Videos:

-Introducing College Hometown Pharmacy —

-HHC & ACPHS: An Innovative Collaboration —









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