Wilkes University


Wilkes University Pharmacy Student Nicholas Stauffer of Barto, Pa., Receives United States Public Health Service Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Practice Award

Wilkes University Pharmacy Student Nicholas Stauffer Receives United States Public Health Service Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Practice AwardWilkes University pharmacy student Nicholas Stauffer of Barto, Pa., has received the United States Public Health Service Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Practice Award. The national award is given annually to a pharmacy student enrolled in an accredited doctoral program who promotes the objectives of the Public Health Service’s “Healthy People 2020” initiative, serves the community and demonstrates leadership qualities that foster a team approach in patient care. This is the second consecutive year that a student from Wilkes University has received the national award.

Lt. Yvon Yeo of the U.S. Public Health Service presented Stauffer with the award in a ceremony on April 21. 

Jennifer Malinowski, associate professor of pharmacy practice at Wilkes University, nominated Stauffer for the award for the leadership he has demonstrated over the past two years in student-led awareness initiatives that promote the strategic vision of the “Healthy People 2020” campaign. The objectives of the campaign that Stauffer addressed include tobacco use, global health and health communication/health technology. 

Stauffer launched a Smoke-Free Wilkes initiative in fall 2014 for designated and enforced smoking areas on campus. He started a petition that collected over 640 signatures from students and faculty. He collected discarded cigarette debris in glass containers and displayed them in the Henry Student Center on the University’s campus and developed an aesthetic graphic design campaign using flyers and videos to promote his cause. As a direct result of Stauffer’s activities, the president’s cabinet and the University’s student life and media committee are working to establish entryway restrictions and formal smoking cessation programming for students and staff. A campus counselor has also become a certified tobacco cessation specialist. He also educated the campus community on the dangers of secondhand smoke through the University’s newspaper and television station. Stauffer is currently reviewing opportunities to engage pharmacy, nursing and other students to support the Smoke-Free Wilkes initiative and improve education in tobacco cessation counseling in fall 2015. 

Stauffer participated in the Glen Falls Medical Mission to Guatemala in April 2014. There, he counseled patients in Spanish on a variety of acute and chronic medications. He identified that the region misunderstood the need to complete the full course of antibiotics and educated patients on this need to correct the problem and lessen the risk of antibiotic misuse and resistance. 

In addition, Stauffer developed an online medication synchronization program and adherence tracker at the Medicine Shoppe in Boyertown, Pa., for more targeted outreach. The web application also alerts providers of changes in a patient’s medication regimen. The application has been positively received by patients, providers and pharmacy staff. Outcomes from this initiative are being used to assess impact on Medicare star ratings. 

Stauffer has also been recruited to serve as a pharmacy technology guide for grant development in collaboration with Malinowski and her practice site at The Wright Center for Primary Care, with sites across northeast Pennsylvania.

Pictured above are Nicholas Stauffer and Lt. Yvon Yeo of the U.S. Public Health Service.