July 6, 2019
Ninth annual Script Your Future contest saw participation by 82 health profession schools hosting 250+ events in 14 states and reaching 1.5 million consumers nationwide
Washington, DC — Today, the National Consumers League (NCL) and its partners announced the winners of the ninth annual Script Your Future Medication Adherence Team Challenge, a competition designed to engage health profession students and faculty across the nation by encouraging teams to develop creative initiatives to raise public awareness about the importance of medication adherence. This year’s winners are University of the Sciences: Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, Howard University College of Pharmacy, St. Louis College of Pharmacy, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine School of Pharmacy (LECOM), University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, and Western University College of Pharmacy.
The 2020 Medication Adherence Team Challenge is part of the national Script Your Future public awareness campaign coordinated by NCL with support from its partners and the Challenge sponsors—the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Foundation, the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and the American Pharmacists Association (APhA).
Medication non-adherence can lead to devastating health outcomes. Research shows that nearly one in five prescriptions go unfilled and half of all patients with chronic illnesses do not take their medication as prescribed. Improved medication adherence leads to better health outcomes and reduced total healthcare costs, and it was for these reasons that NCL launched the Script Your Future awareness campaign in 2011. The Team Challenge was established to extend campaign messages into medical and other schools of health professions, and to nurture adherence-minded values in future generations of professionals entering the workplace.
Each year, top performing teams are honored with a National Award for overall outstanding team achievement, or a Focused Award, which recognizes outstanding team achievement in the specific areas of health disparity/under-represented community outreach, media/communications outreach, or creative interprofessional team event. This year, we introduced a new focused award category, with the inclusion of a Technology Innovation Focused Award – a category that evaluates creative outreach with a focus on technology-based interventions.
In 2020, our Team Challenge student health professionals were met with unique challenges as they navigated the historic COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in school closures, event cancelations, and a host of other obstacles. To adhere to social distancing guidelines, our dedicated teams pivoted their campaigns and made an impact in other ways. This year, the Team Challenge observed engagement from nearly 2,900 future healthcare professionals and volunteers, who all together hosted over 250 events in 14 states. Collectively, the teams directly counseled close to 12,000 patients and introduced Script Your Future messaging to over 430,000 consumers, nationwide. Since the Team Challenge began in 2011, more than 21, 000 future healthcare professionals have directly counseled nearly 87,000 patients and nearly 26 million consumers.
The recognized schools, selected from dozens of applications and 82 participating educational institutions, are listed below.
National Award | University of the Sciences: Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, PA
University of the Sciences (USciences) interdisciplinary medication adherence outreach centered around individuals across all ages, from children to older adults. USciences’ team structure included students of pharmacy, occupational and physical therapies, medicine, and social work. Throughout the Team Challenge, USciences directly counseled 455 patients, reaching a total of 805 people. During their outreach, USciences introduced a new campaign theme – “A future of ______ begins with me”, to personalize medication adherence through each patient interaction. USciences’ campaign also placed a great emphasis on addressing racial disparities, reducing stigma surrounding mental health, and tangential issues like vaccine confidence and proper nutrition.
National Award Finalists
The following schools were named Finalists under the National Award category:
Pacific University School of Pharmacy, West Virginia University School of Pharmacy, Western University College of Pharmacy, Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, Touro University College of Pharmacy, St. Louis College of Pharmacy.
Rookie Award | Howard University College of Pharmacy – Washington, DC
NCL is thrilled to announce that DC HBCU, Howard University College of Pharmacy, was the recipient of the 2020 Rookie Award. Howard University’s team included students of pharmacy, medicine, social work, and dentistry. Howard University’s target population included homeless or displaced minorities, children and parents, and adults with behavioral issues. The team tailored its disease focus to diabetes and heart disease, as they are chronic conditions that plague the region. Throughout the Challenge, Howard University directly counseled close to 400 patients and reached over 1,000 people with the help of 169 students and volunteers and distributed nearly 1,000 Script Your Future medication adherence resources.
Rookie Award Finalist: University of Arizona College of Pharmacy – AZ
The University of Arizona College of Pharmacy in Tucson, AZ also made a strong showing in the Team Challenge as a first-time competitor.
Health Disparities Community Outreach Award | St. Louis College of Pharmacy – MO
Communication and Media Outreach Award | Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine School of Pharmacy (LECOM) – PA & FL
To illustrate the diversity of their team, LECOM pharmacy and medical students from campuses based in PA and FL produced a public service announcement (PSA) spoken in eight languages, to help amplify the value of medication adherence to numerous populations. The PSA garnered over 2,800 views. LECOM employed social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LECOM’s Pulse Newsletter, to help disseminate Script Your Future medication adherence messaging. LECOM students also wrote an original book to present heart health information to the children entitled “Mr. Pumper and the Heart Valves”, which was read to third grade elementary students. Throughout the Challenge, 293 students and volunteers directly counseled over 500 patients, reaching over 1,200 patients, and disseminated over 730 Script Your Future resources in their community.
Creative Inter-Professional Team Event Award | University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy – PA
The University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy partnered with the Schools of medicine, dentistry, social work, nursing, dietetics, and rehabilitation sciences, to organize a team of over 300 students and volunteers to execute their medication adherence outreach. University of Pittsburgh harnessed the interdisciplinary nature of their team to build a campaign serving older adults in their community, from a holistic treatment perspective. The team addressed issues like hypertension, social isolation, and food insecurity. Throughout the Challenge, University of Pittsburgh directly counseled over 130 patients and reached over 2,200 patients.
Technology Innovation Award| Western University College of Pharmacy – CA
Western University College of Pharmacy made an impressive debut for the inaugural inclusion of the Technology Innovation Award. To foster medication adherence, the team created a dedicated website that directed patients to resources relating to disease areas like COPD, pneumonia, heart failure, and diabetes. The website was geared towards patients recently discharged following a hospital stay and contained features like medication and post-discharge appointment reminders and medication adherence-related infographics in multiple languages.
Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 Script Your Future Medication Adherence Team Challenge!
A word from NCL and our generous Script Your Future sponsors
“Medication adherence was always a growing public health concern across the nation, but in the face of a historic pandemic, it is more vital than ever to foster adherence within our communities. For the past nine years, Script Your Future has provided aspiring future health professionals with the tools, strategy, and language to conduct targeted outreach in their communities,” said NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg. “Year after year, students around the country form interprofessional team to highlight the integral role the entire spectrum of health care providers play in achieving positive health outcomes. 2020 was no different. We continue to be encouraged and inspired by the tenacity the teams have exhibited in serving their communities for such an important cause.”
“Despite the challenges that the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic had on participating schools, the Script Your Future Medication Adherence Team Challenge continues to be an innovative avenue for our future healthcare professionals to engage with their local communities,” said Executive Vice President and CEO at AACP Dr. Lucinda L. Maine. “The communications avenues utilized, resources shared, and events held in these communities provide essential information and strategies for patients to improve their medication adherence and ultimately their health outcomes.”
“Medication adherence can be highly personal, whether in times of calm or as patients try to stay as healthy as possible during disruptions like the current coronavirus pandemic,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA. “As clinically trained medication experts, pharmacists fill an important role in patients’ care team, working to see that they adhere to their treatments and can overcome barriers to care. This is more important now than ever. We applaud Script Your Future participants for adjusting to this year’s unique challenges and remaining focused on medication adherence as key to better health outcomes and lowering health care costs. These skills and your adaptability will serve you well into your future.”
“Public health awareness and initiatives for medication adherence is of the utmost importance to improve population health and patient care throughout our country. This rings true especially in light of the current COVID-19 global pandemic,” said NACDS Foundation President Kathleen Jaeger. “The annual Script Your Future Challenge offers a prime opportunity for interprofessional student collaboration while also addressing key aspects of medication non-adherence and delivery of accessible, quality patient care.”
“The Script Your Future Medication Adherence Team Challenge showcases the creative efforts of student pharmacists and other future health professional members of the patient care team. During the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, these students and faculty from across the health professions collaborated on direct counseling of patients and communicating the importance of medication adherence. We congratulate all the recognized schools and student health professionals who participated. Let’s continue to do great things together!” said APhA Executive Vice President and CEO Scott J. Knoer, MS, PharmD, FASHP.
About Script Your Future
Launched in 2011, Script Your Future is a campaign of the National Consumers League (NCL), a private, non-profit membership organization founded in 1899. NCL’s mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. As an advocacy organization, NCL is working to educate consumers and key health stakeholders on the importance of taking medication as directed. For more information about the Script Your Future campaign, visit ScriptYourFuture.org. For more information on NCL, please visit nclnet.org.