Global Health


We strive to reduce health disparities in low-resource settings local and globally through patient care, teaching, research and service.

We believe that every single person deserves quality healthcare and medicines delivered to them with dignity and respect, with our duty to make this care available whenever possible.

We work to expand the role of the pharmacist in primary care by training pharmacists who are empathic, creative, and culturally sensitive in finding innovative solutions to problems for all people.


Advanced Practice Residency in Underserved Primary Care and Global Health (Specialty PGY2)

We train future pharmacist-practitioners to provide primary care pharmacy services in low resource settings. We develop leaders in reducing health disparities and experts in underserved care. We train practitioners who are empathic, creative, and culturally sensitive in solving problems for all patients, regardless of resources.

The resident will:

  1. Innovate the medication use system through task-shifting and informatics interventions which improve access to quality essential medicines, reduce medication stock-outs, reduce inappropriate and unsafe prescribing, and prevent adverse drug reactions; and
  2. Develop pharmacists to act as direct patient care providers in limited resource settings with strong communication skills to address medication adherence, chronic disease management, and health behavior change.

During the program year, the resident will develop the skills to design and deliver direct patient care in resource poor settings in a collaborative practice environment, teaching and assessment skills and research skills through the design, implementation, assessment, and publication of a research project.

For more information, see our residency web page

The Grace Lamsam Pharmacy Program of the University (GLPP) of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy provides pharmacy services to the most vulnerable people in the Pittsburgh region: the homeless, the working poor, the underinsured, and the uninsured. We believe that every single person deserves quality healthcare and medicines delivered to them with dignity and respect, with our duty to make this care available whenever possible.

The mission of the Grace Lamsam Pharmacy Program for the Underserved is to help reduce healthcare disparities in Pittsburgh by offering free or low-cost medicines, supplies, and medication therapy management that improves the quality of our patients’ lives and reduces unnecessary emergency room or hospital visits.

The GLPP also sees as its mission to ensure that all pharmacy students develop skills to be culturally sensitive, compassionate, humble and respectful in working with individual patients and communities. Students will value the diversity of their patients and be thoughtful in using limited health resources to ensure high quality patient care.

The following figure depicts GLPP partner programs and organizations.

Global Health Area of Concentration (ARCO-GH)

The purpose of the ARCO-GH is to provide students will skills and experience to be empathic, creative, and culturally sensitive in solving problems for all people.

Students will gain experience working in limited resource settings with vulnerable populations throughout Pittsburgh, the United States, and/or the world through elective courses and personalized rotation opportunities and research.

Students are provided with a mentored experience to develop research focused on addressing health needs for vulnerable populations worldwide.

Local Projects
Evaluation of a student pharmacist-led smoking cessation program at an inpatient drug and alcohol treatment program.
Developing a team-based integrated care model to improve physical and behavioral health outcomes of patients with serious mental illness.
Medication adherence or nonadherence to psychotropic medications impact relapse in dual diagnoses patients.
Transitions of Care: Identifying patients at risk of drug-related problems at an urban health center.
Complexities with transitions of care in older adults.

Global Projects
Baseline assessment of medication access and inventory management at the Shoulder to Shoulder Medical Clinic in Honduras
Antibiotic use in San Jose del Negrito, Honduras
Evaluation of adverse drug reactions in an outpatient HIV clinic in Manila, Philippines
Patient perspectives on the introduction of an electronic identification system in a rural primary care health center in Honduras
Development of interprofessional knowledge, attitudes, and skills in medical and pharmacy students following a short-term global health experience
Community knowledge and attitudes towards Chagas disease in Argentina
Impact of medication cost and availability on therapeutic appropriateness of antibiotic prescribing in the Philippines
Assessment of patient perspectives to adverse drug reactions at an HIV clinic in Manila, Philippines

All pharmacy students provide direct community service through service learning. Multiple courses in the pharmacy curriculum are designed to provide students with a fundamental understanding of pharmaceutical care and to foster a sense of community involvement through service learning. By participating as active volunteers for various organizations, in helping the organizations fulfill their mission and meet the community’s needs, pharmacy students practice components of pharmaceutical care. Students develop the foundation needed to provide respectful and culturally sensitive patient care, companionship, and compassionate care for the public they serve.

Each year pharmacy students provide over 9,000 hours of direct community service through service learning experiences.

Sample of elective courses offered

PHARM 5801 Pharmaceutical Care to Underserved Populations

This semester long elective course for third professional year pharmacy students will introduce and discuss important topics in caring for underserved and vulnerable populations, focusing specifically on problem solving, community resources, and engagement. In addition to readings and weekly discussion groups, students enrolled in this course will have the opportunity to gain valuable practice-based skills by working with partner agencies in Pittsburgh.

PHARM 5814 Global Health: Determinants and Application

This semester long elective course for third professional year pharmacy students will introduce and discuss important topics in global health, focusing specifically on care of the underserved in a global context. In addition to readings and weekly discussion groups, students enrolled in this course will have the opportunity to gain valuable practice-based skills by working with partner agencies in Pittsburgh.

PHARM 5823 Women’s Health: Global and Local Perspectives

This semester long elective course for third professional year pharmacy students will introduce and discuss important topics in global health, focusing specifically on care of the underserved in a global context. In addition to readings and weekly discussion groups, students enrolled in this course will have the opportunity to gain valuable practice-based skills by working with partner agencies in Pittsburgh.

PHARM 5892 Global Health: International Pharmacy Practice Experience

This elective course for student pharmacists will introduce and discuss important topics in global health and pharmacy practice, culminating in a one-week experience over spring break to Windhoek, Namibia. The overarching goal of this elective is for students to experience the practice of pharmacy in a global setting and learn ways to strengthen pharmacy systems locally and internationally.

PHARM 5827 Smoking Cessation in Underserved Settings

This semester long elective course for third professional year pharmacy students will allow the student real-life practice providing smoking cessation counseling and education in underserved settings. Students generally provide on-site smoking cessation services at either The Salvation Army Harbor Light Center, a 90 day inpatient alcohol and other drug program for homeless and low-income men in Allegheny County.

  • Shoulder to Shoulder Medical Clinic, San José, Honduras
  • Baobab Health Trust, Lilongwe, Malawi
  • Philippine General Hospital, Manila, Philippines
  • University of Namibia/Windhoek Central Hospital
  • Pharmaceutical Care to Underserved Populations, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Harbor Light – Care for Patients in a Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Program, Pittsburgh, PA

Global Rotations

Partner organizations include:

Local Rotations