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Public Education & Awareness Outreach Publication Subcommittee
by Scott Drabant, BS - Zoology/Chemistry; BS Pharmacy; President, Medication Therapy Analytica, Inc. Chair of ICHP PEARLS
The Public Education & Awareness outReach pubLication Subcommittee (PEARLS) is a new addition to ICHP. PEARLS originated from discussion at last year’s ICHP Leadership Retreat.
Traditionally, whenever medication is presented in the media, the image of the blue counting tray and a pharmacist counting by fives is depicted. At the ICHP Leadership Retreat the question was asked, “Is this the image we want the public to have of pharmacists?” And if this perception is not an accurate portrayal of the current role of health-system pharmacists, then what can be done to educate the general public on both public health information and the role of a health-system pharmacist?
PEARLS was formed under the Division of Marketing Affairs for the purpose of presenting clinical health information on various public health issues to the general public while also integrating the clinical role of health-system pharmacist into this information. Fourteen ICHP members joined PEARLS and developed the purpose, mission, objectives, and goals of the subcommittee.
The mission statement for PEARLS is for ICHP to be a conduit of clinical health information to the public including, but not limited to, medications, medical conditions, and preventative health measures. The subcommittee then formulated the following goals:
- Promote and expound on the role of pharmacists as healthcare providers
- Promote the role of the pharmacist as a source of clinical health information
- Promote ICHP as source of health information to the public
- Utilize all forms of communication (print, video, social media, etc.) to reach different demographics
- Develop a database of press releases, social media posts, etc. which will be available to ICHP members
PEARLS is already hard at work developing clinical education pieces to teach the public about the intricate work health-system pharmacists perform on a daily basis to optimize the medication outcomes of their patients.
PEARLS meets monthly and is developing the infrastructure to ensure all conent is peer reviewed and distributed by ICHP. For ICHP members who want to help prepare and review content, the subcommittee has developed a training guide to assist in sending out press releases/social media posts. This training guide recommends guardrails to ensure all educational materials meet the highest standards. Currently the committee is developing several draft social media posts/press releases. To fulfill the goal of having a bank of educational material (press releases/social media posts), the committee is inviting all pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, pharmacy residents and pharmacy students to write press releases and/or social media posts based on their specific expertise (e.g., diabetes, cardiology, pediatrics, women’s health, etc). Volunteers are most welcome to share their talents in preparing, peer reviewing, or distributing material in various media formats. The educational material may be clinical in nature, and/or address timely or seasonal issues. Current event topics will arise from time to time, but having a bank of material will allow for continuous dissemination of educational information to the public.
We invite all ICHP members to contribute to the efforts of PEARLS as authors or reviewers of draft press releases or social media posts. If interested, please contact the ICHP office at: email@example.com