Diaz-Cruz, Pharmacy Alumni Published in INNOVATIONS in Pharmacy with Nashville CARES

Dr. Edgar S. Diaz-Cruz, associate professor in Pharmaceutical, Social & Administrative Sciences in Belmont’s College of Pharmacy, and three College of Pharmacy alumni recently had their manuscript titled: “Leveraging Expertise from Community Resources to Improve the Role of the Pharmacist in HIV Testing and Counseling” published in the INNOVATIONS in pharmacy journal.

This work is the result of a continued 10-year collaboration with the community-based organization Nashville CARES. Nashville CARES serves more than 50,000 clients annually throughout 17 counties in Middle Tennessee. It provides targeted education, free and confidential HIV testing, and a broad range of comprehensive social services to individuals at-risk for or living with HIV.

This article describes the development of a partnership between a pharmacy school and a community-based organization to offer an HIV counseling and testing training program to help develop skills in delivering HIV testing services. The HIV counseling and testing training program contains learning modules that provide a wide array of in-depth information about HIV patient care in the community. The partnership allows for the enjoyment of a myriad of benefits for students, the pharmacy program, the community-based organization and the public health of the community-at-large. Student pharmacists feel more prepared and comfortable working with patients in discussing HIV transmission risk factors and test results because of this training. The study proved that a successful and durable relationship between a community partner and a school of pharmacy is a feasible strategy for pharmacy progress in public health.

INNOVATIONS in pharmacy focuses on the leading edge, novel ideas for improving, modernizing and advancing pharmacy practice, education and policy.