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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

School of Pharmacy Doubling Clinic Presence

USC School of Pharmacy will double its presence in safety-net clinics to help uninsured residents.

USC School of Pharmacy announced Thursday they will double its presence in safety-net clinics that provide health services to the uninsured, the poor and the homeless.

Under the new USC Medication Therapy and Safety Initiative, the school of pharmacy aims to double its coverage from 12 to 24 clinics and medical homes by 2013. The USC School of Pharmacy began providing services in safety-net clinics in 2002.

"The USC School of Pharmacy's work in safety-net clinics enables us to have a direct and positive impact on the city's most at-risk residents," Dean of the USC School of Pharmacy R. Pete Vanderveen said. "And, since these economic problems face the entire country, we are urging our fellow pharmacy schools to increase their outreach efforts as well."

Nearly 20 percent of California residents lack health insurance and Los Angeles County is home to more than 2.7 million uninsured. According to new census statistics, more than 15 percent of Americans live below the national poverty level and California falls below that number at more than 16 percent.

Due to the continuing economic crisis, these safety-net clinics are vital to meeting the health needs of underprivileged commuties such as Los Angeles.

The uninsured residents aren't the only ones benefiting from the program, pharmacy students do too. The clinics provide ideal training for a diverse population and a wide range of diseases and conditions.

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