The University of Hawai¿i Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy has become recognized as a leader in health services research and innovation in the state and nation, particularly in medication use and health disparities. Located in rural underserved Hawai¿i County (Hawai¿i Island or “Big Island”), the College is an ideal home for “Improving Medication Use to Achieve Health Equity among CMS beneficiaries” (I mua Health Equity).
To help address health disparities, the College of Pharmacy was established at the University of Hawai¿i Hilo (UH Hilo) campus on the Big Island rather than the much larger Manoa campus in urban Honolulu on Oahu Island. UH Hilo, repeatedly ranked #1 in ethnic diversity among national universities, is a Minority Serving Institution – specifically, a Native Hawaiian-Serving Institution and an Asian American Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution. The UH Hilo College of Pharmacy was one of only two pharmacy schools in the nation to receive a round one Health Care Innovation Award from the CMS Innovation Center. Our research from that award demonstrated improvements in quality of care, meaningful use of health IT, and return on investment in pharmacists with our “Pharm2Pharm” model and has been published in high impact journals, frequently cited, and presented at numerous conferences. Thus, we are well positioned to lead technology-enhanced medication use research focused on social determinants of health.
The total budget is $388,880, with $333,325 in requested federal funding and $55,555 in proposed cost sharing to achieve the following goals, which are aligned with those of the CMS Minority Research Grant Program (MRGP):
1) Develop statewide infrastructure to support medication use health disparities research with a focus on social vulnerabilities (including funding for Hawaii Health Information Exchange to enhance existing infrastructure)
2) Test pharmacist-driven scalable interventions to address the root causes of medication use disparities among vulnerable populations (including salary support and fringe for the investigators and funding for the CPESN network of pharmacies to implement the interventions)
3) Disseminate models that reduce disparities and medication-related acute care among CMS beneficiaries (including funding for dissemination activites)