Husson University Pharmacy Student Receives National Award for Work with the Wabanaki People

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Jillian Kerr, a student attending the Husson University School of Pharmacy, will receive the United States Public Health Service's Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Award. The award recognizes Kerr's work and leadership on the Diabetes Care Project for the Wabanaki people.

The United States Public Health Service will be presenting Jillian Kerr with their Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Award on Thursday, April 28, 2016.

Today’s pharmacists administer inoculations, help manage medications, and promote healthy lifestyles. We’re very proud of Jillian and the work she did with this rural community.

Husson University announced today that School of Pharmacy student Jillian Kerr will be presented with the United States Public Health Service’s Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Award at the school’s annual Scholarship Luncheon on Thursday, April 28, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. at the Richard E. Dyke Center for Family Business.

Assistant Surgeon General and Rear Admiral Pamela Schweitzer, Pharm.D., BCACP, with the U.S. Public Health Service commended Kerr in a letter for her work and leadership on the Diabetes Care Project for the Wabanaki people. Schweitzer said that Kerr’s work demonstrated, “your passion and dedication to the profession of pharmacy and public health.” She also said that ‘through these endeavors, you [Kerr] illustrated the importance of incorporating core public health principles into today’s pharmacy practice.”

The Diabetes Care Project was made possible through a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Health Care Services Outreach Grant. Dr. Sarah L. Martin of the Husson University School of Pharmacy was a member of the team that secured the funding on behalf of the Wabanaki.

Rural Health Care Services Outreach Grants are designed to improve outreach and service delivery in local and regional rural communities. They also seek to expand the delivery of health care along with new and enhanced services in exclusively in rural communities. In doing this, these grants are helping to support improved health in rural populations.

Diabetes among Native Americans is a significant problem. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Indian Health Service, the likelihood of American Indians and Alaska Natives to have diabetes is 2.2 times higher than non-Hispanic whites.[1] In addition, it is a growing issue for young people. From 1994 to 2004, there was a 68 percent increase in diabetes in American Indian and Alaska Native for 15-19 year olds.[1]

“In rural communities, pharmacists are on the front lines of delivering healthcare. In fact, they may be the only healthcare providers close to where rural citizens live. Today’s pharmacists administer inoculations, help manage medications, and promote healthy lifestyles. We’re very proud of Jillian and the work she did with this rural community. She’s a great example of the kind of pharmacist we look to produce here at Husson University,” says Rodney Larson, Ph.D., R.Ph., founding dean of the Husson University School of Pharmacy.

Founded in 2006, the Husson University School of Pharmacy is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). The School graduated its first class with Doctorate of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degrees in May 2013. This fall, the School of Pharmacy will begin offering a Master of Pharmacology degree.

While Husson University prides itself as a teaching institution, the importance of faculty scholarship and research to contemporary pharmacy education is not overlooked. The School of Pharmacy has been able to attract nationally renowned educators with expertise in wound healing, epilepsy treatment and national board certification in a variety of specialty areas of pharmacotherapy.

For more than 100 years, Husson University has prepared future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent superior value in higher education. Our Bangor campus and off-campus satellite education centers in Southern Maine, Wells, and Northern Maine provide advanced knowledge in business; health and education; pharmacy studies; science and humanities; as well as communication. In addition, Husson University has a robust adult learning program. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit Husson.edu.

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[1] The American Diabetes Association, “Treatment and Care for American Indians/Alaska Natives

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Eric B. Gordon
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