PQA & CPF Announce 2021 Community Pharmacy Innovation in Quality Awards

The awards honor an individual and community pharmacy for innovative, pioneering practices.

The Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA) and the Community Pharmacy Foundation (CPF) announced today the recipients of the 2021 Community Pharmacy Innovation in Quality (CPIQ) Awards. The awards honor an individual and a community pharmacy, whose innovative practices have improved care quality, medication optimization and patient outcomes.

The 2021 CPIQ Award recipient in the individual category is Sharrel Pinto, BSPharm, PhD, FAPhA, department head and the Hoch Endowed Professor for Community Pharmacy Practice at South Dakota State University and Director of the Community Practice Innovation Center. Pinto’s innovative programs involve pharmacies, employer coalitions, health systems, unions and counties in Ohio and other states and have generated returns on investment of $12-18 for every $1 invested in pharmacy services, while improving health outcomes and quality of life.

Pinto’s team collaborates with Integrated Delivery Networks, independent and chain pharmacies, Tribal partners, a state-wide EHR network and others to launch innovative programs and services geared towards diverse populations in South Dakota. Pinto also established the Community Practice Innovation Center, which brings together faculty, students, researchers and practitioners to lead change within community practice through innovative community engagement and partnerships, research, education and training.

The 2021 CPIQ Award recipient in the community pharmacy category is Bell Pharmacy in Camden, N.J. Bell Pharmacy has implemented a practice model making it a leader in New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s initiative focused on ending the state’s HIV epidemic by 2025. Through a partnership with the Camden Area Health Education Center, Bell Pharmacy has created a novel, collaborative “Pharmacy Based PrEP Clinic.” The practice provides testing, counseling and treatment for HIV, sexually transmitted infections and hepatitis C, among other conditions, in a single setting. This model removes barriers to access and streamlines delivery of care to those most at risk.

“Congratulations to Dr. Pinto and Bell Pharmacy for their innovative work using pharmacy services to improve health care delivery and the lives of patients,” PQA CEO Micah Cost said. “Dr. Pinto’s collaborative approaches are a model for all health care providers. Bell Pharmacy has shown how pharmacy services can significantly improve care and outcomes for vulnerable populations. Both are exemplary examples of the future of pharmacy.”

Award nominations and their contributions to community pharmacy were evaluated for their innovation, measurable impact, replicability, scalability and reach. Priority areas of focus were practices or programs that addressed vulnerable populations, gaps in quality or patient care and the quadruple aim of healthcare: patient experience, population health, reducing costs and care team well-being.

“These awards celebrate innovation and progressive community pharmacy practice, “said Brian Jensen, a CPF Board member and former PQA Board member. “Bell Pharmacy and Dr. Pinto have developed, implemented and maintained patient-centered approaches to pharmacy services that we hope will spread across our health system and in value-based models that reward innovations that deliver good outcomes.”