Posted on: November 18, 2020
The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health sets aside the third Thursday of every November to celebrate National Rural Health Day. This year, National Rural Health Day is being celebrated on November 19.
In an effort to expand training in rural health care settings and to increase numbers of pharmacists practicing in rural areas, the College of Pharmacy, along with the SC Center for Rural and Primary Healthcare, UofSC School of Medicine Columbia, has partnered with Tandem Health in Sumter, South Carolina to offer a PGY1 Residency position. The position will coordinate with the family medicine residency program established by the School of Medicine in 2019 at Tandem Health to provide outpatient care in one of the state’s medically underserved areas.
Tandem Health is a federally qualified health center (FQHC) and accredited patient-centered medical home that provides comprehensive health care services to Sumter and the surrounding community, regardless of ability to pay.
The residency includes required rotations in adult and family medicine, diabetes self-management and education, transitions of care, rural health, leadership and practice management, along with a variety of elective rotations including pediatrics, infectious diseases, behavioral health and women’s health.
P. Brandon Bookstaver, Pharm.D., director of the college’s residency program, is helping launch the initiative for Tandem Health to select its first pharmacy resident slated to start in July 2021. Eventually, Reagan Barfield, Pharm.D., currently the residency program coordinator, will lead the program.
The need for more advanced pharmacy care in rural areas is tremendous. The focus for this residency will be managing chronic diseases through comprehensive medication management.
P. Brandon Bookstaver, Pharm.D. Director, Residency & Fellowship Training
“This has been a great partnership between COP, Tandem and the SC Center for Rural and Primary Healthcare,” Bookstaver says. “The need for more advanced pharmacy care in rural areas is tremendous. The focus for this residency will be managing chronic diseases through comprehensive medication management.
“This is the first time for the College of Pharmacy to place a resident in an underserved area,” Bookstaver adds. “There is nothing else like it in South Carolina right now.”
The candidate selected for the residency will also have the opportunity participate in the College of Pharmacy’s Clinical Teaching Certificate Program as well as a longitudinal curriculum for board certification preparation.
The goal of the program is to identify strategies to improve health care access and reduce health inequities in rural counties ...
Scott Sutton, Pharm.D., Clinical Pharmacy and Outcomes Sciences department chair, and Paula Stover, Vice President of Clinical Operations at Tandem Health, helped develop the training model and says demand for innovative pharmacists in rural communities continues to increase.
“The goal of the program is to identify strategies to improve health care access and reduce health inequities in rural counties. Data indicate that students who grew up in a rural area or had practice experience in a rural community may influence them to remain in that community in their professional career.”
Current fourth-year pharmacy students interested in applying for the residency can find additional information on the Tandem Health - UofSC residency program page.