When Jenny Van Amburgh isn’t teaching stu­dents in the class­room at North­eastern, she’s treating patients at a com­mu­nity health center in Dorchester.

Once a week, Van Amburgh, asso­ciate clin­ical pro­fessor of phar­macy at the Bouvé Col­lege of Health Sci­ences, helps patients at the Neponset Health Center manage their medications.

It’s her way of giving back.

Working in a com­mu­nity health center gives me the oppor­tu­nity to help care for under­served patient pop­u­la­tions,” said Van Amburgh, who devel­oped the out­pa­tient prac­tice site at Neponset 10 years ago.

This led to an ongoing part­ner­ship between North­eastern and Harbor Health Ser­vices, Inc. (HHSI), a public health agency that over­sees com­mu­nity health cen­ters, to pro­vide com­pre­hen­sive phar­macy ser­vices for patients at Neponset and their other com­mu­nity health centers.

In col­lab­o­ra­tion with nurse prac­ti­tioners and physi­cians, Van Amburgh teaches patients who have chronic dis­eases, such as dia­betes, heart dis­ease and hyper­ten­sion, how to manage their med­ica­tion reg­i­mens and make healthful decisions.

Keeping patients healthy requires that they fully under­stand treat­ment plans, including med­ica­tions, and that phar­macy health-​​care providers present them with crit­ical infor­ma­tion to treat their dis­ease most effec­tively,” said Van Amburgh.

Van Amburgh is not alone in her com­mit­ment to the com­mu­nity. Sev­eral North­eastern fac­ulty work at HHSI and six other com­mu­nity health cen­ters, pro­viding impor­tant patient ser­vices. Another fac­ulty member vol­un­teers at an elder ser­vice pro­gram in Boston. Col­lec­tively, they give thou­sands of hours of ser­vice each year.

HHSI has rec­og­nized North­eastern fac­ulty for their ser­vices, naming Robyn White, an assis­tant clin­ical pro­fessor in Bouvé, its clin­i­cian of the year in 2008.

Plans are under way to expand the Northeastern-​​HHSI col­lab­o­ra­tion, with the addi­tion of fac­ulty mem­bers at prac­tice loca­tions. In the short term, HHSI will open its first med­ical phar­macy at the Neponset Health center.

In addi­tion to pro­viding North­eastern fac­ulty with oppor­tu­ni­ties for ser­vice, com­mu­nity health cen­ters give North­eastern stu­dents valu­able oppor­tu­ni­ties for expe­ri­en­tial learning. Phar­macy stu­dents are required to work in the field with many of the cen­ters, right on the front lines of patient care, said Van Amburgh.

The expe­ri­en­tial learning oppor­tu­ni­ties at com­mu­nity health cen­ters give stu­dents the hands-​​on expe­ri­ence nec­es­sary to excel in the field,” said Van Amburgh. “It exposes them to such a wide range of issues that patients deal with on a daily basis.”