At the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) 2022 Midyear Clinical Meeting & Exposition, Angela M. Hill, PharmD, CPh, RPh, professor and associate dean of clinical affairs; project director, WE-CARE, University of South Florida Taneja College of Pharmacy, will receive the ASHP-ABHP Joint Leadership award for her leadership in addressing health equities.
At the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ (ASHP) 2022 Midyear Clinical Meeting & Exposition, Angela M. Hill, PharmD, CPh, RPh, professor and associate dean of clinical affairs; project director, WE-CARE, University of South Florida Taneja College of Pharmacy, will receive the ASHP-ABHP Joint Leadership award for her leadership in addressing health equities. She explains the work she has done to provide education and engage communities.
What is the ASHP-ABHP Joint Leadership award you are receiving at the ASHP Midyear meeting, and tell me about the work you've done to lead to receiving this award?
The award is actually a collaboration between ASHP and ABHP, which is the Association for Black Health-System Pharmacists, where they actually acknowledge someone who's served in leadership in terms of health equities. It could be clinical work, research work, community engagement, and the like. I'm really honored to get it this year. I think that some of the things that probably caught their attention, or were interesting, had to deal with my role as project director with WE-CARE, which is an acronym for Workgroup Enhancing Community Advocacy Research and Education. It's the brainchild of our dean, Kevin Sneed, PharmD, CRPh, and it is our community engagement arm.
As the associate clinical dean for the college, 1 of the 3 main things that I focus on is community engagement. We have defined community to mean local, regional, national, as well as international, and some of the things that we've done—particularly with the pandemic the last 2-plus years—is provide education across the diaspora to our Nigerian colleagues and other pharmacy colleagues, like in London and in places worldwide, as well as I've coordinated a litany of workshops, panel discussions, town halls, and vaccination events as related to COVID-19 care; the vaccines, especially, the need for them, side effects and expectations from the therapies, all aspects of COVID-19. But also fold it into some of the work that we've done, and pride ourselves on, in relation to preparing the community for understanding the importance of participating in trials that will help us understand and learn more about not just vaccines and things related to COVID-19, but other therapies: investigational drugs, devices, and the like.
We have spent a lot of time, as well, looking at disparate areas that affect minority populations especially, that may predispose them to be at a higher risk for complications from things like COVID-19. So, mental health, Alzheimer disease, and cancer are probably 3 other strong areas that we spend a lot of time on. Our dean is still a practicing pharmacist—ambulatory care specialist—with a microbiology background, who has done quite a bit of work in chronic care disorders. And my areas of focus had been geriatrics, all things neurology, psychiatry, alternative medicine, etc. But we work with a host of other pharmacists and clinicians that marry to our mission, and that is either clinical trial recruitment and/or looking at some of these disparate areas that are impacting our diverse populations.
Our thinking is that we empower people with education. We've been working not only with the lay community persons, but our researchers to help them understand the importance of cultural competency and things that they could do that would enhance their ability to not just recruit people to participate, but to retain them in the clinical trials. We have then had to branch out and work with a lot of other community-based organizations. That's allowed me to really, I think, take a deeper dive into community engagement by appreciating common missions or ways that we can empower the communities at different levels in terms of our mission and the need to really try to ward off poor health outcomes.