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Medication Safety Scholars Program

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Fundamental to healthcare is do no harm. We know that medication errors continue to account for the largest percentage of preventable medical errors. Pharmacists, as the medication experts, play a key role in optimizing the safety and quality of care and outcomes. While medication safety is included in the curriculum of pharmacy schools, developing critical skills requires sustained application and practice. Engaging our future pharmacists is an important piece of building safer healthcare for all.

The Medication Safety Scholars program is a distance impact program that is structured to support up to four Doctor of Pharmacy students, paired with one group coach, to enhance their knowledge and skills in medication safety. The program is designed to engage rising P2 and P3 pharmacy students. A pharmacist who is a recognized medication safety expert will serve as the group’s virtual coach.

The program is comprised of four components:
» Participation in, and completion of, the ASHP/ISMP Medication Safety Certificate Program.
» Monthly group calls with participants and a shared group coach.
» Preparation and delivery of an educational activity on medication safety by each participant. » Development, either by individual participants or as a group, of a plan for a future quality improvement project, resource, or other initiative focused on medication safety

Some of Our Esteemed Guest Faculty

The Medication Safety Scholars program is the first program concept to be offered through a new partnership formed between the ASHP Foundation and the Emily Jerry Foundation. This unique partnership was established to focus on educating and developing the leadership skills of the next generation of pharmacists.

All your donations will go directly to the Emily Jerry Foundation so that we can continue to develop and grow new programs like the Medication Safety Scholars program. Please click on the button below to donate.


Medication Safety Scholars Program Blog


February 6, 2022
Christopher Jerry via Linkedin

It was great to start the year off right, a few weeks ago, with our first Medication Safety Scholars Meeting of the year!  When the Emily Jerry Foundation first started our inaugural year for this program last fall, in collaboration with the ASHP Foundation, our virtual coach, Dr. John Hertig, had decided to ask his colleague Dr. Dan Degnan, who is a Senior Project Manager at the Purdue Center for Medication Safety, if he we would be interested in participating in the program as faculty.  I am so pleased that Dan said yes, he has become so actively involved in the program, right from the start!

Dan was our scheduled presenter this month. His presentation went into detail about identifying risk and error reduction strategies, by focusing on the system-based nature of errors, active errors vs. latent errors. He explained to the students how active medication errors, are ones that occur at the point of contact between a human (clinician/caregiver) and some aspect of the system, whereas, latent errors, are just “medication errors waiting to happen.” All throughout his lecture, he provided “real life” examples, keeping the students engaged in the conversation about specific case studies, etc.  I also feel as though he was extremely effective in conveying the very human side of the pharmacy practice, which can get lost sometimes. This was very apparent to me when Dan began to speak to the students about the vital importance of always having a “connection to purpose.”  Along those lines, he then imparted some words of wisdom, recommending that when they think of “best practices,” that should always be a reminder as to “purpose,” and at the start of any pharmacy related meetings, they should always ask themselves the question, “Why are we here?”

I can’t begin to thank everyone enough for rallying around our Medication Safety Scholars program, your donations, and for providing your time and resources, supporting this very important initiative!!

Virtual CoachDr. John Hertig, Associate Professor in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Thank you to all those who took the time out of their busy schedule’s to participate in this meeting!


Dr. Dan Degnan, Senior Project Manager, Purdue Center for Medication Safety


Dr. James Hoffman, Chief Patient Safety Officer, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital

 


December 2, 2021
Christopher Jerry via Linkedin

Just before the Thanksgiving holiday week, I am very pleased to say that I attended another very productive Medication Scholars Meeting with our students. Our virtual coach, Dr. John Hertig lead the group and we were all very privileged to have Elizabeth Rebo, who is the Executive Director of Pharmacy Quality and Medication Safety for Kaiser Permanente, as our guest presenter.

Elizabeth’s presentation was very comprehensive, utilizing “real world” case studies as examples that helped give the students the knowledge and ability they need to discuss how to properly investigate and thoroughly analyze medication errors when they occur.  She also spoke about the vital importance of risk detection, both proactive and reactive, in terms of the constant evaluation of systems, processes, and protocols, that must be done, to identify risks that can often lead to tragic medication errors.  Very simply put, as she mentioned, “A close call today, can be a serious error tomorrow.” In her closing slide, she also referenced one of my favorite quotes from Albert Einstein, which I think is extremely profound, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them” I am just so grateful, that through our new program, developed in collaboration with the ASHP Foundation, pharmacy students are now able to learn and gain an in-depth knowledge about medication safety from such experienced key opinion leaders like Elizabeth Rebo!

Virtual CoachDr. John Hertig, Associate Professor in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Thank you to all those who took the time out of their busy schedule’s to participate in this meeting!


Dr. Elizabeth Rebo, Executive Director, Pharmacy Quality and Medication Safety, National Pharmacy Services, Kaiser Permanente


Dr. Dan Degnan, Senior Project Manager, Purdue Center for Medication Safety


Dr. James Hoffman, Chief Patient Safety Officer, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital


November 29, 2021
Christopher Jerry via Linkedin

Ever since establishing the Emily Jerry Foundation, over 12 years ago, the primary source of funding for the foundation has always been my speaker honorariums, from the live engagements and CE accredited lectures, I do at the various hospitals & healthcare facilities, medical conferences, etc. At the beginning of 2020, when the pandemic first hit, unfortunately, all of my scheduled “in person” lectures & presentations had to be postponed.

During this time, that has been difficult for all of us, I am very pleased to say that EJF’s Board Chair, Carla Corkern, and I, in collaboration with the ASHP Foundation, were able to focus much of our time and attention, working virtually, on developing EJF’s new Medication Safety Scholars Program.

Looking back, it makes me realize how truly grateful I am for all the dedication, support, and encouragement that I receive on an ongoing basis from people like Carla, as well as, the other EJF Board Members (Chuck DiTrapano, RPhJack Risenhoover) who I report to.

Please consider supporting the Emily Jerry Foundation today, so we can continue to develop & grow important initiatives like our new Medication Safety Scholars Program!


October 27, 2021
Christopher Jerry via Linkedin

So grateful to have had the opportunity to join our students and faculty for our Medication Safety Scholars meeting last week.  Our virtual coach, Dr. John Hertig, focused on the vital importance and true impact of “culture” in our healthcare facilities.  Patient safety culture refers to the beliefs, values, and norms, that are shared amongst clinicians that influence the overall actions and behaviors of the staff throughout the organization. John, as well as, our other faculty members, like Dan Degnan, from the Purdue Center for Medication Safety, very clearly emphasized to the students, that an essential component of preventing and reducing medication errors, is by improving the overall “safety culture” within their healthcare systems.  The students were not only provided gentle reminders and profound words of wisdom like, “As a pharmacist, there’s always a person behind everything you do,” they were also given comprehensive leadership strategies, and steps that can be taken to positively influence change in the attitudes and perceptions of their colleagues at the facilities where they practice.  Bottom line, by creating a true “culture of safety” in our nation’s healthcare facilities, countless tragedies will be averted and so many lives will be saved!

Virtual CoachDr. John Hertig, Associate Professor in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

A special thanks to all those who also took the time to participate in last week’s Medication Safety Scholars meeting:


Dr. Dan Degnan, Senior Project Manager, Purdue Center for Medication Safety


Dr. James Hoffman, Chief Patient Safety Officer, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital


Dr. Vraj Patel, Medication Error Pharmacovigilance and Risk Management Fellow,
Butler University


Dr. Karolina Cieslak, PharmD, Global Patient Safety and Pharmacovigilance Fellow,
Butler University


October 17, 2021
Christopher Jerry via Linkedin

Very excited to share the following press release from the ASHP Foundation regarding the the five doctor of pharmacy students that where chosen for our new Medication Safety Scholars Program!

BETHESDA, Md. – The ASHP Foundation, in collaboration with the Emily Jerry Foundation, recently selected five doctor of pharmacy students for the inaugural cohort of its Medication Safety Scholars program. The distance impact program builds on the medication safety training offered in the pharmacy school curriculum and provides student pharmacists with sustained application and practice in medication safety principles.

The Medication Safety Scholars pairs Pharm.D. students with a group coach to enhance their knowledge and leadership skills. During the year-long program, the scholars will complete the ASHP/Institute for Safe Medication Practices Medication Safety Certificate and develop a quality improvement project, resource, or other initiative focused on medication safety. John Hertig, Pharm.D., M.S., CPPS, FASHP, vice-chair and associate professor in the department of pharmacy practice at Butler University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, will serve as the group’s virtual coach.

“The Medication Safety Scholars program is at the heart of the ASHP Foundation’s mission to provide the pharmacy community with high-impact programs that help advance pharmacy practice,” said ASHP Foundation CEO Steven Rubloff. “It is critical that we equip our future practitioners to take on their role as the guardians of safe and effective medication use for all patients.”

“As the healthcare system’s medication experts, pharmacists are the providers best positioned to ensure that all patients receive care that safely delivers optimal outcomes,” said Christopher Jerry, president and chief executive officer of the Emily Jerry Foundation.” The Emily Jerry Foundation is pleased to partner with the ASHP Foundation to enhance pharmacists’ ability to protect hospitalized patients from preventable harm from the medications intended to help them.”

The five student pharmacists selected as Medication Safety Scholars are:

Payson Ashmead
University of Utah College of Pharmacy
Class of 2023

Lacey Gotcher
University of Houston College of Pharmacy
Class of 2023

Brandéa Hardie
Medical University of South Carolina
Class of 2024

Kristina Leav
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
College of Pharmacy
Class of 2022

Adriana Weiser
University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy
Class of 2023


October 15, 2021
Christopher Jerry via Linkedin

Six years ago today, John Hertig and I, presented together at the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy! Earlier this year, I reached out to him and asked if he would be willing to participate in the Emily Jerry Foundation’s new Medication Safety Scholars program that we have been developing in collaboration with the ASHP Foundation over the past two years. Prior to making the call, I was really hoping he would agree to serve in the role of virtual coach for the five doctor of pharmacy students that would be in the program. Immediately after I gave John an overview, without hesitation, he accepted the position…for that I am extremely grateful!