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College of Pharmacy earns grant to provide hepatitis C virus screening for Hardin County residents

May 11, 2017

The Ohio Northern University Raabe College of Pharmacy has been awarded a 2017 National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Foundation Excellence in Pharmacy Education Scholarship. The $20,000 grant will support a two-year program to utilize the college’s Mobile Health Clinic to screen 1,000 underserved patients in Hardin County for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.

The Mobile Health Clinic improves access to health care services for the county’s rural residents. The NACDS Foundation grant will expand those services to include testing for HCV, which will begin July 1. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HCV testing is recommended for all persons born between 1945 and 1965, as well as individuals with an increased risk of HCV infection. Hardin County is among the highest in Ohio for injection-drug use per 100,000 persons, which is a risk factor for HCV infection.

“The Excellence in Pharmacy Education grant aligns with the college’s emphasis on serving Ada and the region by improving access to important health-testing services while also providing ONU pharmacy students with practical, high-impact learning opportunities that extend beyond the college’s classrooms and laboratories,” said Steven J. Martin, dean of ONU’s College of Pharmacy. “Improving the health of our community is an important part of our mission, and efforts such as this help us fulfill that mission.”

ONU received one of six grants that the NACDS Foundation recently awarded for innovative educational programs. There were more than 40 applicants. The NACDS Foundation Scholarship Program is designed to fund projects that hold promise to meaningfully improve patient care. The scholarship program, which began in 1997, has awarded more than $3.75 million in scholarships for pharmacy education.