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Washington, DC – The Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) is proud to announce the recipients of the fifth annual Post-Graduate Year 2 (PGY2) Pharmacy Residency Research Seed Grants as Amanda Charlton, PharmD, and Timothy Jones, PharmD. This program offers up to two $5,000 seed grants to PGY2 pharmacy residents who design projects that evaluate the impact of pharmacist board certification on medication-related outcomes for patients, demonstrate the value of board certification for pharmacist specialists to key stakeholder groups (i.e., patients, payers, physicians, and other health care providers), or contribute to credentialing or privileging of pharmacist specialists across practice settings. The grant will go towards the completion of their research projects.


“We look forward to seeing the findings of the two research teams and what insights they acquire about pharmacist board certification. As the community of board-certified pharmacists grows, it is important to pursue qualitative and quantitative research topics to fully explore the process of pharmacy specialization and the diverse practice settings and patient populations with whom pharmacists engage.” Said BPS Board Chair, Marianne F. Ivey, PharmD, MPH, FASHP, FFIP.


BPS is proud to recognize these researchers and support completion of their work.


Amanda Charlton, PharmD, PGY2 Pharmacotherapy Resident at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy, was recognized for her proposal: “Distribution and Accessibility of Board-Certified Pharmacists.” Dr. Charlton will conduct research in collaboration with Krystal K. Haase, PharmD, BCPS, BCCCP, FCCP; Eric J. MacLaughlin, PharmD, BCPS, FASHP, FCCP; and Jeremy H. Johnson, PharmD. 


The proposal submitted by Dr. Charlton stated: 

Board-certified pharmacists (BCPs) are uniquely qualified to improve medication-related outcomes for patients through advanced practice roles. Despite pharmacists being coined as the “most readily accessible healthcare provider,” a pilot study by our group suggests that BCPs are not routinely accessible to patients who reside outside of large metropolitan areas. We found that in Texas, 98% of BCPs practice in urban areas with 70% of counties having no certified pharmacists. However, it is unknown whether similar patterns of disparity exist in other states.  

All-cause mortality rates are higher for patients who reside in rural areas of the United States, and lack of access to healthcare providers is one of three major explanatory factors for this difference. Characterizing the geographic representation of BCPs on a national scale would be of value in determining the degree to which they are accessible to all patients. Further, comparing states base on degree of accessibility may identify determinants beyond geographies, such as health care policy, provider legislation, and compensation that drive board certification, particularly outside of metropolitan areas. Identifying drivers and barriers is critical to focusing future policy, advocacy, and credentialing efforts for pharmacists.  

Our long-term goal is to ensure that all patients have access to comprehensive medication management services provided by appropriately credentialed pharmacists. The objective of this application is to characterize the current accessibility of BCP and to determine factors that drive accessibility patterns at the state level. We hypothesize that accessibility patterns vary by state and are associated with specific geographical, policy, practice, educational, and legislative characteristics. Our rationale is that identification and characterization of patterns, particularly for highly successful states, will help better inform future efforts in legislation, advocacy, training, and credentialing. 


Timothy Jones, PharmD, PGY2 Critical Care Pharmacy Resident at Augusta University Medical Center, was selected for his proposal: “Impact of Board Certification on Quality of Care Provided by Evening Critical Care Pharmacist Services.” Dr. Jones will conduct research in collaboration with Andrea Sikora, PharmD, MSCR, BCCCP, FCCM; Kelli Keats, PharmD, BCCCP; Aaron Chase, PharmD; and Christy Forehand, PharmD, BCCCP, FCCM. 


The proposal submitted by Dr. Jones stated:    

Critical care pharmacists are considered essential members of the healthcare team; however, justification of new positions, especially in the evening or weekend shifts, remains a significant challenge. Workload of intensive care unit (ICU) clinicians has come to the forefront as a concern due its relationship with poor quality of patient care and clinician burn-out. Lack of clinical pharmacist positions in non-daytime, non-weekday shifts is a critical gap. The purpose of this project is to investigate how board certification in critical care affects the number and intensity of interventions provided during evening shift services. The central hypothesis is that board certification increases both the number and intensity of interventions that can be provided by the clinical pharmacist. This hypothesis will be tested through two specific aims: (1) Evaluate the quantity and intensity of documented interventions performed by a board-certified critical care pharmacist (BCCCP) and non-board-certified second shift pharmacists at an academic medical center and (2) Determine the effect of a BCCCP credentialed pharmacist on patient safety and clinical decision-making assistance in non day-time shift services. Interventions are tracked through an electronic health record system as part of routine standard-of-care. Demonstrating increased value of board-certification for evening shift services has significant potential to improve justification efforts for clinical pharmacist position in non-daytime, non-weekday shifts.  


“BPS is pleased to recognize Dr. Charlton and Dr. Jones for their research efforts, which support the growing body of literature surrounding pharmacist board certification. We were fortunate to receive many quality proposals for funding and thank the other teams who submitted proposals.”  Said BPS Director of Professional Affairs, Ellie LaNou, PharmD, BCPS.   


More information about previous awardees and the PGY2 Pharmacy Residency Research Seed Grants can be found here.


About the Board of Pharmacy Specialties

The Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) was established in 1976 as an autonomous division of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). The mission of BPS is to improve patient care by positioning BPS Board-Certified Pharmacist Specialists as integral members of multidisciplinary healthcare teams, through recognition and promotion of specialized training, knowledge, and skills for pharmacists in the United States and internationally. Board certification is a recognized credential for determining which pharmacists are qualified to contribute at advanced practice levels given the rigorous standards mandated by BPS board certification and recertification. BPS has currently issued more than 55,350 certifications held by pharmacists across 14 specialties.


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