Haitian Medical Team Explores Wegmans School of Pharmacy’s Model for Pharmacist-Run Immunization Clinics
On Monday, Feb 28, the Wegmans School of Pharmacy hosted a six-person medical team from Haiti, who was in Rochester to work with the Vineyard Farm to learn more about setting up pharmacist-run vaccine clinics in other parts of the world. The Haitian team spent 10 days meeting with different groups around the city. The team is partnering with the Vineyard Farm, a non-profit organization which serves some of the poorest and most vulnerable populations in the Rochester region.
The School of Pharmacy has partnered with the Vineyard Farm over the last year, supporting their COVID vaccine clinics and vaccine awareness program. The Vineyard has also been one of the primary partners for the School’s ROC Community Immunity program, led by Drs. Ramil Sapinoro, Amy Parkhill, and Kelly Conn. The program provides education regarding the COVID vaccine and aims to reduce vaccine hesitancy. The project was funded by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) in 2020 during the height of the COVID pandemic. Parkhill has also been instrumental in recruiting students and pharmacists to help at The Vineyard’s Saturday afternoon vaccine clinics and food distribution programs.
“We are honored to collaborate with the Vineyard Farm, which serves as an essential and trusted resource to some of the most underserved individuals in the city,” said Parkhill, an associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences. “It is an invaluable opportunity for our students to learn firsthand about the challenges that many face right in our city and to be inspired by the impact that a committed grassroots organization like the Vineyard can make in the community.”
The Haitian team spent time with the School of Pharmacy faculty to learn more about the scope of practice of pharmacists in the United States, pharmacist engagement in the COVID-19 pandemic, and about pharmacist-run vaccine clinics, which have been prevalent during the pandemic. The team also spent time at the Vineyard Farm vaccine clinic.
“We are pleased to be able to host a team of health professionals from Haiti here at the Wegmans School of Pharmacy, and be able to share our experiences with pharmacist run vaccine clinics,” said Dr. Christine Birnie, dean of the School. “With 90 percent of Americans living within a five-mile radius of a community pharmacy, pharmacists have been critical to the effective distribution and administration of the COVID-19 vaccine, particularly in rural areas. We are proud to be able to assist other countries in helping to utilize their pharmacists is similar ways.”