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2019 International Engagement Award Recipients

SouthAfrica webMentoring South African pharmacists to improve the quality of patient care and safety, and emphasizing the social and academic value of partnering with diverse communities in the Columbus area and beyond, are the focus of two Ohio State projects recognized for their international impact. The 2019 International Engagement Award recipients include “South Africa Antibiotic Stewardship ‘Train the Trainer’ Pharmacist’s Mentoring Program and “Spanish and Portuguese Outreach Initiative.”

The projects will be recognized at the University Engagement Recognition Awards on May 2, 10 a.m. in the Ohio Union, U.S. Bank Conference Theatre. The event is free and open to the public. RSVP at go.osu.edu/awardsceremony.

Pharmacy webDistinguished International Engagement Award

The Ohio State University – South Africa Antibiotic Stewardship “Train-the-Trainer” Mentoring Program for South African Pharmacists has contributed to reduction in use of antibiotics, improved quality of patient care and increased safety for South African citizens who are impacted by the threat of antibiotic resistant “superbug” infections. Led by Debra Goff since 2012, the program has advanced the profession of pharmacy by placing pharmacists in direct patient care. By empowering pharmacists to engage patients and healthcare providers to improve the responsible use of antibiotics by implementing antibiotic stewardship programs, they ensure that antibiotics are used only when necessary.

In South Africa, the shortage of adequately trained infectious diseases pharmacists and physicians presents a challenge for hospitals where global rates of antibiotic resistance are exceptionally high, putting patient’s lives at risk. In the first year, the program proved that trained pharmacists decreased antibiotic use by 18% in 47 hospitals across South Africa through addressing a complex issue at multiple points in a feasible and sustainable way.

The key to the program’s sustained success is based on the intensive multidisciplinary training in the United States, best practices each pharmacist receives during their training at Ohio State, and Ohio State faculty working in South African hospitals to understand how cultural factors shape the beliefs, policies and practices of antibiotic use.

The impact of the program was recognized in a film by The Wellcome Trust foundation featuring the mentored pharmacists as an example of “Pharmacist Pioneers” leading the way to stop superbugs. The 2018 United Nations Call to Action Conference featured the program as a global pioneering idea making a difference.

The program has grown to over 200 South African pharmacists participating in antibiotic stewardship. Discussions are currently underway with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Nationwide Children’s Hospital to implement train-the-trainer programs in South African hospitals neonatal intensive care units.

procession2 2n63ot1 1j3f173Emerging International Engagement Award

The Outreach Committee in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese emphasizes the pedagogical, social and academic value of partnering with diverse communities in the Columbus area and beyond. Signature events include Festival Latino in the summer, Día de los Muertos in the fall, and a partner luncheon in the spring.

The committee is composed of Spanish and Portuguese faculty members and graduate students from diverse areas of inquiry, as well as a large network of collaborators and volunteers whose vision and energies power many areas of engagement. Sponsorship of a booth at Festival Latino in Genoa Park has helped forge long-lasting community partnerships with the flamenco dance studio U Will Dance, Brazilian capoeira demonstrations by Tribo Afro Bahiana de Capoeira Angola Tradicional, and Spanish, Portuguese and Quechua mini language courses that introduce participants from across the city to Department of Spanish and Portuguese’s language offerings.

The second major Spanish and Portuguese community outreach initiative is “Día de los Muertos” (Day of the Dead) celebration, which is now in its fourth year. Community programs are collaboratively offered to teach the public about the cultural significance of this Latin American holiday. Last year the committee organized a guided tour of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum, a Latinx Studies research panel, a community procession down High Street, cultural performances, and activities for children such as a screening of the movie Coco, multiple art projects and a storytelling adventure.

The act of coming together to celebrate our global community at the local level has been a richly rewarding endeavor for all who participate in these initiatives.

For more information about the University Outreach and Engagement Awards, visit engage.osu.edu