Originally Published by Barnes-Jewish Hospital
BJC Contact – JASON MERRIL – firstname.lastname@example.org – 314-286-0302
Along with a nursing shortage, the United States is also suffering a shortage of pharmacists. People are living longer and requiring more medications, which is increasing demands on the pharmacy industry.
Steven Player and Isaac Butler are more aware of the problem than most because they’re working to fix it. Both are pharmacists themselves – Player is inpatient pharmacy manager at Barnes-Jewish Hospital; Butler is a clinical program manager at Express Scripts.
Together, through the vision and leadership of their respective organizations, they started the Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Express Scripts, and St. Louis College of Pharmacy (BESt) Pharmacy Summer Institute to increase multicultural high school students enrolling in pharmacy school in the St. Louis area. The Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation and the Express Scripts Foundation provided equal funding for the program, which began in 2008.
By educating young people about the pharmacy profession and the opportunities available and equipping them with some of the knowledge and skills that are vital to pharmacists, the program hopes not only to help with the shortage of pharmacists locally and nationwide, but also to create greater diversity.
“Our goal is to foster the talent that lies within the diverse St. Louis high school community,” says Dr. Player. “Through the program we hope to create a viable pipeline of diverse, talented health professionals and ultimately take a step towards eliminating health care disparities.”
At the 2009 kickoff event June 12, 33 students, were welcomed to the summer institute by executives from all three partnering institutions, including Barnes-Jewish Hospital pharmacy director Jim Gray and center for cultural competence director Brenda Battle.
Students were introduced to the pharmacy field through guest speakers and a tour of the StLCOP campus. Throughout the next six weeks, students will participate in hands-on activities such as writing and interpreting prescriptions, compounding medications and visiting various pharmacy practice sites learning the many different roles pharmacists serve in and the wide range of services they provide within health care.