USF College of Pharmacy leads the way in team-based practice

USF College of Pharmacy is transforming pharmacy practice to meet the demands of the ever-changing field of health care.

The USF Health college strongly emphasizes interprofessional education to prepare the pharmacists of the future and improve patient care.

That’s one of the biggest transformations happening at the USF College of Pharmacy.

“We believe team care is the best care,” said Kevin Sneed, PhamD, founding dean of the USF College of Pharmacy. “So, we’ve incorporated interprofessional education into our curriculum to prepare students to work closely together with doctors, nurses, physical therapists and other health professionals to improve health outcomes.”

Kevin Sneed, PharmD, dean of the USF College of Pharmacy, demonstrates emerging technology in pharmacy to fourth-year students Sidorella Gllava and Tyler Cureton.

The USF College of Pharmacy collaborates with the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and other USF Health colleges to provide hands-on training to students in clinical settings and simulation environments. Richard Roetzheim, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, has helped USF College of Pharmacy move that idea forward since the college opened its doors in 2011.

“An effective relationship and communication between pharmacists and physicians starts at health colleges,” Dr. Roetzheim said. “As physicians, we can’t take care of patients alone. Pharmacists bring a different perspective. So, we have to train students in medicine and pharmacy to work together as one team to provide adequate care. And we’ve done that successfully here at USF for years.”

Pharmacy continues to grow and evolve — allowing pharmacists to become part of a team-based healthcare delivery. Now, more than ever, they play a big role in the patients’ recovery and contribute to better health outcomes.

“Pharmacy is not what it used to be,” Dr. Sneed said. “Once the diagnosis has been made, the pharmacists now follow the patients all the way through recovery — administering medications, providing medication education and counseling, communicating with their families, giving lifestyle and diet tips, and consistently checking in with the doctors to help manage patient illness and recovery.”

The USF College of Pharmacy has embraced that change. That’s why the college trains students alongside USF Health Morsani College of Medicine students and physicians in a high-tech environment at the USF Health Morsani Center for Advanced Healthcare. They look at patients together, discuss the diagnoses and lay out a plan of care.

“Practicing what we learn in the classroom alongside medical students and doctors helps us become better prepared,” said Dorissa Cortes, a fourth-year student at the USF College of Pharmacy. “It also reminds us about what each person brings to the table, and how we use that to help provide better care for our patients.”

Second-year students, Raisah Salhab, USF College of Pharmacy, and Hannah Shin, USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, read a patient’s medical history during a simulated medical consultation.

Barry Silverstone, a patient who suffers from a blood disorder, has visited Dr. Sneed and other USF Health doctors in the USF Health Morsani Center for Advanced Healthcare for years. Silverstone said a close collaboration between his doctors, nurses and pharmacists has kept his health in check.

“I feel a sense of wellbeing when my doctor and pharmacist communicate about my recovery process,” Silverstone said. “I speak to Dr. Sneed regularly about my medication, what to take and when to take it. Our communication has kept me healthy longer and my blood level consistent.”

The USF College of Pharmacy is leading the way in team-based training. The college’s ultimate goal is to continue to prepare the best pharmacists in the country to meet the needs of tomorrow’s health care and improve patients’ lives.

“The future of pharmacy is right here at USF Health,” Dr. Sneed said. “Our college is ready to face whatever challenges health care brings. We’re committed to our students’ success for the benefit of the patient. This is the best place to be.”

Story and video by Vjollca Hysenlika
Photos by Fredrick Coleman