Residents Kaitlyn Kerley, Dakota Raines, and Kelsey Stephens Schreuders in the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Pharmacy’s Community-Based Pharmacy Residency program were selected as 2023 incentive grant recipients of the American Pharmacists Association Foundation. Each recipient has been awarded $1,000 to support their community pharmacy research projects.
The APhA Foundation is a national not-for-profit organization and the oldest and largest professional society of pharmacists in the country. The foundation’s Incentive Grants for Practitioner Innovation in Pharmaceutical Care awards pharmacists, students, and community pharmacy residents grants to support the development and implementation of a project or patient care service in their pharmacy practice, with a focus on innovation.
Kaitlyn Kerley, PharmD, earned her Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Erskine College, and earned her Doctor of Pharmacy from Belmont University. Dr. Kerley serves as a PGY-1 (postgraduate year 1) community-based pharmacy resident at Kroger Health in Memphis.
Dr. Kerley has received an incentive grant for her service project titled, “Impact of Community Pharmacy Administered Long-Acting Injectable Medications on Adherence and Patient Perceived Barriers to Care.”
Her project focuses on providing a clinical service for pharmacists to administer long-acting injectable antipsychotics to patients, helping to reduce barriers to health care. “As pharmacists, we are highly educated and trained to administer this care, and the state of Tennessee allows pharmacists to inject these medications, but we just don’t have a service for us to do it,” Dr. Kerley said.
“These medications are used for people with severe mental disorders and are very effective, but they can only be administered by a health care provider,” Dr. Kerley said. “After patients leave the doctor’s office, they arrive at the pharmacy to get their medications dispensed, and then they have to return to the doctor, or a clinic, just to get it administered to them.”
The leading objectives of her project include determining the impact on medication adherence, the impact on barriers to care, and pharmacy staff acceptability, feasibility, and appropriateness of the service.
“Receiving this grant is such an honor and shows that other people think this is important too, and gives extra validation for this kind of service,” Dr. Kerley said.
Dakota Raines, PharmD, MBA, earned his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology and his bachelor’s in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He also received his Master of Business Administration from the University of Memphis and his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from UTHSC’s College of Pharmacy.
Dr. Raines serves as a PGY-1 community-based resident at Kroger Health in Knoxville. He was awarded the grant for his research project titled, “Retaining Technician Talent: Impact of Pharmacist Management Style on Pharmacy Technician Resilience in One Regional Division of a Large Community Pharmacy Chain.” Dr. Raines’ project analyzes the connections between pharmacists’ leadership and management and the resilience and well-being of pharmacy technicians.
“My first thought when hearing I was awarded the grant was shock and immense gratitude,” Dr. Raines said. “Taking place across 22 pharmacies in Tennessee, the project will use multiple methods of engagement to assess the impact pharmacist management behaviors have on technician resilience and well-being.”
Dr. Raines said the funding will support his project in areas such as travel and extended time in pharmacies, paying for materials, and conference fees to present his research to other pharmacists.
“As residents, we are encouraged to apply for the APhA Foundation Incentive Grant, but the motivation behind it means something different to each of us,” Dr. Raines said. “I appreciate the support of both the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Kroger Health in pursuing this project.”
Kelsey Stephens Schreuders, PharmD, earned her bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and her Doctor of Pharmacy from the UTHSC College of Pharmacy. She serves as a PGY-1 community-based resident at Kroger Health in Nashville.
Her research titled, “Impact of a Theory-Based Implementation Strategy Focused on Pharmacy Personnel on Increasing Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination Rates in One Regional Division of a Large Community Pharmacy Chain” also received the incentive grant. Occurring in 91 pharmacies across Tennessee, Kentucky, and Alabama, her research examines various strategies to determine the most impactful method to raise HPV vaccination rates in the community pharmacy setting.
Dr. Schreuders said this research will be helpful in shaping current methods in community pharmacy and potentially create change for the future. It is the fourth consecutive year that a resident in the pharmacy program’s Nashville residency site has received a research grant from the foundation.
“Vaccination rates for HPV are low across the country, and pharmacy teams have unique access to numerous patients that could benefit from this vaccine,” Dr. Schreuders said. “I think this project will also help pharmacists provide better public health outreach in the community.”
The grant will be used toward incentives for pharmacy teams providing this service, funding printing and mailing of materials, and various conference fees to present her study to other pharmacists.
“It was awesome to have been awarded this grant and I am looking forward to having more conversations with pharmacy teams about HPV vaccines,” Dr. Schreuders said. “I have already experienced great discussions with teams who may not have been aware of the expanded recommendations for this vaccine, and it is rewarding to help empower teams to make these recommendations.”
The UTHSC College of Pharmacy’s Community-Based Residency Program is a multi-site program located in one of three cities: Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville. The program enables residents to gain clinical skills and experiences in the community pharmacy practice.
“This is another example of how the UTHSC College of Pharmacy continues to advance community pharmacy practice through both research and training. We aim to solve real issues in practice today such as equitable care, pharmacy workforce issues, and public health access,” said Kenneth Hohmeier, PharmD, associate professor, director of Community Affairs, and director of the PGY-1 Community-Based Pharmacy Residency Program. “We are grateful to our residency site partner, Kroger Pharmacy, for their collaboration, they continue to push the boundaries of what community pharmacy can do to extend health care access to our communities.”