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Virginia Commonwealth University Wins C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is the 2014 recipient of the C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award. Presented by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, the university received a sculpture and a $20,000 prize during a special awards ceremony at the 127th APLU Annual Meeting underway in Orlando, Florida.

The award, made possible by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, recognizes four-year public universities that have redesigned their learning, discovery, and engagement functions to become productively involved with their communities. It is named for C. Peter Magrath, former APLU, (NASULGC) president from 1992-2005 and leading advocate for outreach and community engagement. The Magrath recipient is chosen from a pool of four regional winners of from the Outreach Scholarship/W.K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Awards, which are presented each fall during the National Outreach Scholarship Conference.

“This year’s Magrath Award winner has had a significant impact in the communities it serves,” said APLU President Peter McPherson. “Virginia Commonwealth University exemplifies the broad principles of community-based outreach and engagement embraced by the public university community. We are pleased to salute their work.”

VCU’s Working Together to Transform Lives through Pharmacist Collaborative Care and Outreach in the Community (PCOC) program is comprised of initiatives that include seven academic-community partnerships with independent senior

living facilities and underserved clinics, five large-scale community outreach programs, and programs to train the next generation of health professionals. PCOC initiatives focus on underserved populations including the uninsured, older adults, homeless individuals, and those living in rural areas.

The scope of PCOC advances all four themes of our strategic plan, which includes providing students with high-quality learning experiences, advancing research and clinical practice, preparing students for careers that advance health, and creating university-community partnerships to improve health care access. Impressively, 14 faculty members, 500 students, and 35 residents have provided more than 20,000 patient care encounters in the Greater Richmond area.

PCOC initiatives are integrated with service learning courses, advanced pharmacy practice experiences, electives, and interprofessional education experiences.

Three Magrath Award finalists were also recognized during the program: Oregon State University’s Oregon Open Campus: Making the Connection initiative for its convening community partners who address educational needs unique to individual Oregon communities; Purdue University’s Purdue Kenya Program for efforts to build sustainable access to high quality care for nearly 3.5 million people in the West African country while fostering development of globally engaged students; and the University of New Hampshire’s The New Hampshire Lakes Lay Monitoring Program for creating a model that has trained more than 1,250 volunteers to be active participants in data collection and analysis at more than 1,670 lake and tributary sites.

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