The Belmont University and Lipscomb University Colleges of Pharmacy have recently announced a collaborative partnership with Jovenes en Camino to build and support a locally-run pharmacy in El Zamorano, Honduras. A Nashville-based nonprofit, Jovenes en Camino is a boys' home and clinic in Honduras that doesn't currently have access to the essential services provided by a pharmacy. Students and faculty from Belmont and Lipscomb are teaming up to provide a creative solution to that challenge.
The collaborative partnership will allow students and faculty from both pharmacy programs to travel to Honduras throughout the year to provide services to local residents, beginning as soon as this summer. Teams will be comprised in a variety of ways including interprofessional teams that will include students in pharmacy, nursing, nutrition, PA and other health-related disciplines, and inter-university teams, comprised of faculty and students from both institutions. Beyond pharmaceutical care, this interprofessional partnership will also include additional healthcare providers as nursing, medical and other health-related programs will accompany pharmacists for travel.
"Partnerships like this one allow areas of extreme poverty, like El Zamorano and beyond, to receive the much-needed care and medicine needed to live a healthy life," said Sarah Catherine Teixeira, executive director of Jovenes en Camino.
As long-time supporters of Jovenes en Camino, both universities were eager to formalize their partnerships, understanding the importance of service-focused education for students.
"At Belmont, we are consistently looking for opportunities to allow our students to learn through service," said David Gregory, PharmD, dean of Belmont's College of Pharmacy. "We believe that we are better when we are serving others, as the opportunity to move beyond the classroom and serve allows our students to experience life and their intended profession in an entirely new light."
Roger Davis, PharmD, founding dean of Lipscomb's College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, said through service students learn how to use skills gained in the classroom to help others, providing context to classroom learning. Additionally, he noted, "This collaboration demonstrates that in learning and in serving people there is a common ground that we all fit in. This is a unique expression of that between the two universities and between the two colleges. We are particularly excited about how this new facility will expand the capability of the people in Honduras to serve their patients and to have a lasting impact in that region."