Community Impact | Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

2024 AACP Lawrence C. Weaver Transformative Community Service Award Winner

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Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy’s (TTUHSC-SOP) commitment to community service is demonstrated through a broad range of pharmacy services provided by our School, faculty, staff and students. Through innovative and collaborative educational, practice, and research efforts, we are able to meet the needs of our community in the areas of medication safety, preventative care, special populations services and research collaboration and training, while also providing our students with valuable experience that will help them become better leaders and pharmacists. These community service focused efforts include:

Medication Safety

  • TTUHSC-SOP has been home to the Texas Panhandle Poison Center (TPPC), which serves the top 71 counties of Texas, since 2003. During the last 20 years, the center has managed more than 25,000 cases of poisoning at home and prevented the unnecessary utilization of critical and costly healthcare services.
  • Through its 83 single-day Medication Cleanout events, TPPC has collected 73,061 pounds of unused medications from homes, of which 6% (by weight; 4,121 pounds) was controlled substances, over 15 years. The events, held in Amarillo, Abilene and Lubbock, have also collected 7,275 pounds of medical sharps for appropriate disposal.

Preventive Care

  • The interprofessional teamwork from the basic sciences, pharmacy practice, medicine, and public health enabled the VTM production project to produce 457,723 vials of viral transport media (VTM) desperately needed during the COVID crisis.
  • Our faculty, staff and students conduct numerous vaccination clinics each year through our two outpatient pharmacies, community health fairs, and Veterans Affairs (VA) clinics. Over the last 10 years, they have administered 26,311 vaccinations through the School’s outpatient pharmacies in Amarillo and Lubbock and administered vaccinations at an additional 186 health fairs in the community.

Special Populations Services

  • Since 1995, TTUHSC-SOP has provided pharmacy services to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) through the Correctional Managed-Health Care program. During that time, we’ve impacted approximately 25,000 lives located in 22 prisons in West Texas.
  • Individual students and student organizations regularly organize or participate in health screening and education events. Since 2018, TTUHSC-SOP students have served the community at 282 health screening and education events.
  • Two of our campuses collaborate with and provide care at underserved clinics. Our Dallas campus collaborates with Union Gospel Mission (UGM) Men’s Shelter Clinic, the UGM Smoking Cessation Clinic, Agape, and North Dallas Shared Ministries, and our Lubbock campus collaborates with the Lubbock Impact Clinic.
  • A TTUHSC-SOP faculty members is a co-director for Camp New Day, a summer camp for children with type 1 diabetes located in the Texas Panhandle. Each summer, TTUHSC-SOP students volunteer as counselors who help the 120-180 campers with their medical needs.
  • Our 17 volunteer student organizations are involved in community service and various types of outreach such as collecting items for donations, raising funds for charities, supporting those in need, making blankets, helping Meals on Wheels, working at food pantries, cleaning streets to “adopt a highway”, advocating for youth with HIV/AIDS, and raising awareness for disease prevention and medication safety.

Research Collaboration and Training

  • With the creation of the Abilene Research Coalition, a collaborative effort among 3 TTUHSC schools, 3 other universities, 1 community college, and 1 health-system, TTUHSC-SOP is able to play an integral role in popularizing biomedical research in the Abilene community and developing opportunities for students and faculty who want to make a difference through scientific discovery.
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