FAMU College of Pharmacy Students To Gain Scholarships from Optum RX Partnership

July 25, 2023
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FAMU College of Pharmacy Students To Gain Scholarships from Optum RX Partnership

Florida A&M University (FAMU) and Optum RX have established a partnership to support students in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences/Institute of Public Health. (CoPPS/IPH).  The goal is increasing diverse representation in the pharmacy field. The Optum RX Health Equity scholarships will fund up to $95,000 for more than 15 students for the 2023-2-24 academic year, the company said.

According to the terms of the agreement, CoPPS/IPH students with a minimum 2.8 GPA are eligible to receive $4,000 per year for instate and $8,000 per year for out of state scholarships.

“Consistent with the attribute of ethnic diversity is the demand for resources to fund education. The Optum Rx gift will give the affected learners a great advantage in meeting the cost of education, and relief of significant work demands, worry and stress,” said CoPPS, IPH Dean Johnnie Early, Ph.D. “It bolters learner perception of the value of academic performance in a difficult curriculum. This assistance translates into the development of skills, abilities and a dept of knowledge directed at improving pharmaceutical care.”

OptumRx® is a full-service prescription drug benefit provider with a broad network of retail chain and independent pharmacies, Optum Specialty Pharmacy, and a mail service pharmacy through OptumRx home delivery. OptumRx is based in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and is a subsidiary of United Health Group.

Corey Coleman, vice president of Health Equity & Strategic Partnerships, Optum Rx., said representation of minorities among pharmacy professions is lacking, with access to funding for graduate pharmacy programs among the top barriers contributing to low numbers of underrepresented students enrolled in pharmacy schools.

“Ensuring equity is one of the most persistent challenges in health care. Partnering with FAMU to advance Black representation in pharmacy care will help contribute to making health care more accessible to all, from the profession to the patient,” Coleman said. “The pharmacy student scholarship fund is our opportunity to support up to 15 students facing financial insecurity while ensuring we are intentionally seeking ways to reduce disparities in the health care sector.”