HIGH POINT, N.C., April 19, 2017 – High Point University pharmacy student Ashleigh Peters stood up from a table in a conference room at River Landing, a retirement community in Colfax.
She was saying goodbye to her newest friend, River Landing resident Kathryn McCrory.
“This was fun again,” said McCrory. “It’s been great getting to know Ashleigh as a person. She’s very interested in me and that makes it a lot easier to open up about my health.”
Peters and McCrory were meeting for the second time as part of the new Longitudinal Care Program, an initiative by HPU’s Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy to connect pharmacy students with a community member as a means of understanding patient care over an extended period.
Once a month, HPU pharmacy students visit with community members at both River Landing and Pennybyrn retirement communities, where they meet with a resident with whom they’ve been partnered.
“The first meeting was just a ‘get to know you meet,’” said River Landing resident Neil Shaver. “Our second meeting has been all about discussing my personal thoughts on health.”
While most pharmacy students gain experience by working rotations in different pharmacy settings during the latter years of their education, HPU provides a focus on patient-centered care opportunities like the Longitudinal Care Program for students to gain real-world experience in their first year of pharmacy school.
This program also allows HPU students to experience the changes that come with long-term patient care. Over the course of three years, they will maintain a relationship with their resident, monitoring any health changes and learning how to adjust treatments.
“My resident, George Brown, has shown me things that we could do better as caregivers,” said HPU student Joe Ezeigwe. “We learn all of the basic pharmaceutical skills in the lab, but it’s these practical experiences that are opening my eyes to changes that could be made on a pharmacist’s end to make life better for patients.”