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Judith T. Barr received her BS in medical technology from Simmons College, her MEd in science education from University of Massachusetts-Boston, and her ScD in health policy and evaluation from Harvard University, School of Public Health. After five years of clinical practice, she joined Northeastern University in 1972 as an assistant professor. Since that time she has served as Chair of the Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Associate Dean of the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions, Interim Dean of the School of Pharmacy, and presently is an Associate Professor of Pharmacy Administration. She also is the Director of the National Education and Research Center for Outcomes Assessment, based in Bouve College of Health Sciences, that was initially established in 1993 to serve as a federally funded national demonstration center to link research, education, and clinical practice in the field of patient-centered outcomes assessment. Her research involves the development and validation of patient-reported outcomes measures and the incorporation of these measures in the evaluation of health care practices. Professor Barr is the recipient of the 1996 Northeastern University's Excellence in Teaching Award, the Mendelson Award of the American Society of Clinical Laboratory Science, the Presidential Lectureship of the American Dietetics Association, and the Member of the Year of the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions where she is a past president and fellow of the association. She has published over 40 articles, 12 chapters, and received over $3million in grants and contracts.

Objectives of P.O.E. project:
To integrate practice-based connections (both co-op and in-class) to the content of the third year Doctor of Pharmacy course, Health Care Systems (HSC), an overview of the economic, political, and structural organization of the American health care system and the policy and regulatory issues that affect it and the practice of pharmacy.

The issue:
This course is an island in the middle of the 6-year Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum with little or no bridges to the scientific and clinical content of the curriculum. Although students have had 6 months of pharmacy-based, co-op prior to this course, the majority of the students perceive little relevance of the course to their future practice. Unwittingly, this is re-enforced by later coursework that rarely incorporates economic or regulatory issues.

The P.O.E. solution:
To explicitly make links between the course and co-op experiences and between the course and other courses scientific and clinical courses in the curriculum.

  1. Winter 2002: Students were surveyed at the beginning and end of the course and asked to identify elements of the course that they saw on co-op.
  2. Winter 2002: Honors adjunct student designed and analyzed an additional survey concerning student-identified suggestions for course-related content that would help them on co-op or enrich their co-op experience.
  3. Summer 2002: While on co-op, incoming HCS students will be asked to identify HCS issues that arise.
  4. Summer 2002: Interview co-op coordinators, co-op employers
  5. Summer and Fall 2002: Design course-based learning experiences to build upon co-op experiences in HCS
  6. Summer and Fall 2002: Work with instructors in several advanced pharmacy courses to integrate HSC principles into case-based examples and discussions.
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