Academic Research Center for Pharmacy Care
Director: Suzanne Higginbotham, Pharm.D.
About The Center
The Academic Research Center for Pharmacy Care is part of the Academic Partners Program, a pharmacist-coordinated provider of disease prevention and disease management services for the Duquesne University campus and Pittsburgh community.
The Center for Pharmacy Care, established in October 2002, provides wellness, disease prevention and medication therapy management programs, focusing on hypertension, dyslipedemia, diabetes and osteoporosis.
We offer campus and community health screenings, lifestyle counseling, educational seminars, drug therapy review and management, disease state management and outcome reporting for certain health conditions.
Our educational programs, presented by experienced clinical faculty, residents and fellows, enhance the awareness of health and wellness issues. We provide an individualized assessment of current medication therapies and assist our clients in choosing self-care treatment options.
Our screening professionals are student pharmacists under the supervision of our faculty. The Center is dedicated to the education of the public in an effort to promote wellness, increase awareness of risk for chronic diseases, medication therapy management, and improve health outcomes. We are driven by the desire to improve the health outcomes and well-being of Pittsburgh and surrounding communities.
Notice of Health Information Practices
- Pre-travel appointments will include an assessment of what vaccines are needed, education on how to try to prevent or handle illnesses while traveling, and assistance with obtaining necessary medications. Most travel vaccines, including yellow fever, will be offered.
Submit a patient history form
- Lunar Achilles Express measures the bone density of the heel used as a screening tool to assess risk for osteoporosis . Osteoporosis is a disease where bones become fragile and more likely to break or fracture due to loss of bone density.
Blood Pressure Assessments
- With the increasing prevalence of cardiovascular disease it is more important than ever to have your blood pressure regularly assessed. Measuring your blood pressure and keeping a record of the measurements will show you and your doctor how much your blood pressure may change. Your doctor can use your record of measurements to see how well your medicine is working to control your high blood pressure. Also, measuring your own blood pressure is a good way to take part in managing your own health and recognizing changes.
Peripheral Artery Disease Screening
- The ABI exam is a fast effective tool for screening for peripheral artery disease, a potentially life threatening disease. This test is recommended for any patient who has one of the following risk factors: over age 65, diabetic, overweight, high blood pressure, inactive or bedridden, high cholesterol, family history of heart attack or stroke.
- At our facility, a single finger prick can provide a wealth of information about your health. We measure total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides, and glucose in a single test. These levels help us to determine your risk level for developing cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Already have a diagnosis? It’s even more important for you to get these levels checked regularly to assess the effectiveness of your current treatment.
Blood Glucose Screening
- One Touch Ultra glucometers are used to, report current blood sugar level. This value allows us to check for possible diabetes or monitor treatment of diabetes.
Body Composition Analysis
- The Tanita Body Composition Analyzer provides patient values for Body Mass Index, Fat %, Basal metabolic Rate, Total Body Water, Fat Mass, and Free Fat Mass. It also gives individualized desirable ranges. You and the pharmacists can discuss your weight loss goals and lifestyle changes based on your results.
- For patients who are at risk for developing diabetes or are already diagnosed, The Bayer DCA 2000 can provide a picture of your blood sugar control over the past few months. Our pharmacists can then offer counseling on what you should continue doing and what you can change to get an optimum level.
- Performed via the Hgb Pro device utilizing a small blood sample obtained by fingerstick. Hemoglobin is an accurate measurement used to assess anemia risk and severity. Low hemoglobin is an indication of anemia. Your doctor can perform additional tests to determine the cause and best treatment for your anemia. If you already have a diagnosis of anemia it is important for you to get hemoglobin levels checked regularly to assess the effectiveness of your current treatment.
- The KoKo Spirometer is a screening tool for patients with asthma or those wishing to be screened for the disease. The machine assesses pulmonary function through a variety of tests to give the pharmacist a snapshot of how well your lungs are working. Pharmacists are able to assess therapy for COPD in asthma patients when using the KoKo Spirometer.
Dr. Suzanne Higginbotham
Director of Center for Pharmacy Care,
Coodinator of Residents/Fellows Program
Dr. Robert Laux
Assistant Professor Pharmacy Practice
407 Mellon Hall
Dr. Monica Skomo
Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice
Awarded for Outstanding Business Practice Model by APhA (2014)
Approved as an AmeriCares partner (2013)
Agency of the United Way Organization (2013)
Granted 3 year APhA accreditation for PGY1 Community Practice Residency (2013)
Awarded the George H. Searight Community Service by PPA (2011)
Awarded a $1,000.00 grant from NACDS Foundation Community Engagement 2012
Served over 200 patients with our travel clinic programs for campus mission trips and outside travelers since 2011
Served 1500 with our Medication Therapy Management Program since 2010
Served over 500 as partners with Human Resources for the “Know Your Numbers” campaign since 2011
Served 50 as a coach Pharmacists for Pittsburgh Business Group On Health, Living My Life since 2007
Wellness, screening, health education and referral services are maintained at six regular sites: Carnegie, Lawrenceville, Millvale, South Side Hilltop, the West End and St. Benedict the Moor (Hill District). The Spirit of Health goes to each regular site once a month.
Expansion of Wellness Mondays and Wednesdays, providing health promotion and disease prevention programs for Duquesne University employees and students.
Successful Employee Weight Loss/ Walking Challenge – “ Lighten Up” program with Human Resources, in which over 230 employees and students enrolled.
Blood pressure screenings in the Duquesne Union twice a month; monthly in the summer.
Diabetes screening for employees at the University Benefits Fair.
Community screenings with the Highmark Caring Foundation and Astra Zeneca Asthma Camp, screening records.
Implementation of patient medical records for Duquesne clients to facilitate retrieval of previous screening records.
New partnerships were formed with Health Works of PA and Babb Insurance Group.
Health promotion and wellness services were provided at Fall Fitness Fair and Alumni Reunion.
Awarded two grants from Tobacco Free Allegheny for smoking cessation programs.
Published one article in a peer-reviewed journal, presenting a poster at a scientific meeting and obtained IRB approval for an osteoporosis screening and health education project.