MAHEC, UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy expand clinical pharmacy training opportunities

Press release from Mountain Area Health Education Center

The Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) has announced the formation of a new department of pharmacotherapy at its UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC campus. The department will be chaired by Mollie Ashe Scott, PharmD, regional associate dean for UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. The expansion, supported by recent state budget appropriations, firmly anchors the school of pharmacy on MAHEC’s campus alongside programs affiliated with UNC’s top-ranked schools of medicine, public health, and dentistry with the goal of improving health across Western North Carolina.

“We are thrilled to build upon a decades-long partnership with MAHEC that will allow us to continue preparing leaders and innovators to solve the world’s most pressing health care challenges,” said Angela Kashuba, dean of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. “The launch of a collaborative department of pharmacotherapy, led by Dr. Scott, underscores the importance of pharmacists as key members of interprofessional care teams to improve patient outcomes in North Carolina and beyond.”

The new department will house MAHEC’s growing pharmacotherapy initiatives that include clinical pharmacists, ambulatory care and geriatric pharmacy residencies, a home-based primary care program, the Center for Healthy Aging, and research focused on improving health through collaborative care. “We’re excited to transition to a stand-alone department and contribute to MAHEC’s strategic initiatives at a higher level,” shared Scott. “We have played an integral role in interprofessional education and practice at MAHEC for decades. As MAHEC prepares to establish an on-site pharmacy, our pharmacists and pharmacy technicians will play an increasingly important role in expanding access to high quality whole-person care.”

The Asheville campus of the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, co-located on the UNC Asheville campus, is a transformative pharmacy practice hub that focuses on patient-centered care, community engagement, and student engagement. MAHEC shares this focus and has embedded pharmacists in its primary care practices who can initiate and adjust medications under North Carolina’s Collaborative Practice Act.

Clinical pharmacists are key members of the MAHEC’s patient care team, supporting patients with comprehensive medication management, annual wellness visits, anticoagulation management, diabetes and gestational diabetes, osteoporosis, Hepatitis C, and medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorder.

UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC is located on the campus of the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) in Asheville, NC. Our regional academic health center promotes interprofessional health education and practice through programs affiliated with UNC School of Medicine, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, and UNC Adams School of Dentistry. MAHEC is one of nine Area Health Education Centers in North Carolina established in 1974 to serve a 16-county region in Western North Carolina. MAHEC’s mission is to recruit, train, and retain the workforce needed to create a healthy North Carolina with a focus on primary care in rural and underserved communities. MAHEC’s graduate medical education programs include residencies and fellowships in family medicine, internal medicine, ob/gyn, psychiatry, addiction medicine, surgery, sports medicine, dental and pharmacy.

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