Department of Clinical Pharmacy Practice: Quarterly Newsletter Columns


Joyce Lee, PharmD

Health Sciences Clinical Professor
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Sarah McBane, PharmD

Founding Associate Dean for Pharmacy Education

Erin Knox, PharmD, BCPP

Director of Experiential Learning
October 25, 2021

In 2020, the first pharmacist-managed comprehensive medication management (CMM) service was established in one of the two Federally Qualified Health Centers maintained by UCI Health. These FQHCs, located in Santa Ana and Anaheim, serve over 20,000 patients per year with 99% of the patient population live below 200% of the federal poverty level.   


The CMM service, also known by the acronym “CAREPILLS,” is a referral-based service operated under the collaborative practice agreement.  It targets high-risk patients with uncontrolled chronic diseases and takes holistic measures to help them achieve timely control through individualized medication optimization plans that promote medication adherence and safety. Common clinical activities performed via CAREPILLS include but are not limited to pharmacotherapy review, dose adjustment and patient empowerment in self-care, medication knowledge and interpretation of self-monitoring devices.  CAREPILLS is also uniquely designed to be pandemic compatible; it provides flexible care approaches, which include zoom interviews and telemedicine in addition to the traditional face-to-face visits. 


Currently, CAREPILLS is also part of FQHCs’ initiative to promote timely management and self-care to achieve therapeutic control through remote monitoring technologies for blood pressure, weight management and diabetes.  In a pilot study of 81 patients with uncontrolled hypertension, approximately 61% of those who received pharmacist-guided medication optimization achieved clinical targets and medication adherence rate of 100% within 3 months.  The pilot is currently ongoing.  


My membership in the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) has been one of my most rewarding professional roles. I have been a member of ACCP since 2004, and during that time I’ve had the opportunity to serve the College in many capacities.  I have been a member and Chair of several committees, most of which produced publications addressing issues within clinical pharmacy or pharmacy education and training. In addition, ACCP has multiple Practice and Research Networks (PRNs) focusing on special interest areas. I have enjoyed many service roles within the Women’s Health PRN, the Ambulatory Care PRN, and the Education and Training PRN. These roles have ranged from committee membership to being Chair of the Women’s Health PRN.  

I am currently finishing up a three-year term as a Regent for ACCP. ACCP is governed by a Board of Regents which consists of six Regents and the ACCP officers: President, President-elect, immediate Past President, Secretary, and Treasurer.  All of these positions are elected from the ACCP membership.  The Executive Officer of ACCP is an ex-officio, non-voting member of the Board.  The Board of Regents assumes responsibility for the affairs of ACCP. During my time on the Board of Regents, ACCP reviewed and disseminated results from the comprehensive medication management (CMM) effectiveness and implementation study, an ACCP-funded, multi-site evaluation of CMM in primary care practices.  The study produced multiple publications detailing various aspects of CMM as well as the Optimizing Medications for Better Health website which houses tools and resources to promote and facilitate CMM.  More recently, the ACCP Board of Regents made strides in supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion by implementing a code of conduct attestation for all members seeking leadership roles or being recognized by ACCP.  I believe ACCP was the first national pharmacy organization to implement something of this nature, and I saw similar initiatives arise from other organizations in the following months.   

There are many benefits to ACCP membership, but I would personally emphasize two of them: connections and improvement.  ACCP is smaller than many national organizations and as such, it is easier to network and develop relationships with like-minded pharmacists throughout the country and even across the globe.  I have many colleagues and friends that I first met through ACCP. I also found my first two clinical positions through ACCP. ACCP offers professional improvement in different ways, particularly advocacy and education.  ACCP works hard to promote clinical pharmacy and comprehensive medication management to stakeholders outside the profession of pharmacy, including policy makers and other health care professions. ACCP also offers excellent education and professional development opportunities through its meetings, certificate programs, and other venues.  I always learn something new at each ACCP event, and I look forward to continued involvement within the College. 

The SPPS Office of Experiential Education is excited to be preparing for our first cohort of students to complete Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPE) in summer of 2022. After PY1, students will participate in two 2-week concentrated experiences: one in a community pharmacy and another in an institutional or hospital setting.   

Our partners at UCI Health are welcoming nearly the entire cohort of pharmacy students for the hospital IPPE, with additional support from Children’s Hospital of Orange County. Planning has been on-going, with input from our partners on learning objectives, activities, and feedback, focusing on shared educational goals. 

Community IPPEs occur in various settings, including retail, independent, and compounding pharmacies. Our partners include pharmacists with undergraduate ties to UCI and many are active in professional organizations. 

Student pharmacists will continue experiential training at the end of PY2 with two additional IPPEs. The Office of Experiential Pharmacy Education is looking forward to the development of a unique integrative health IPPE, allowing students to apply learned principles of various complementary interventions, including herbals and lifestyle modalities.  Elective IPPEs will provide students an opportunity to individualize their education learning by experiencing practice in specialized settings, such as infusion centers or ambulatory clinics. 

We look forward to seeing the students succeed on their first rotations!