School of Pharmacy, Rite Aid establish scholarship program to expand rural community pharmacy experience


Marshall University School of Pharmacy and Rite Aid are collaborating to provide a Community Practice Rural Health Scholars program for third-year pharmacy students interested in rural community pharmacy practice and future employment with Rite Aid.  Eligible scholars will receive up to $10,000 over the 15-week program.

“In many rural communities, a local pharmacist is the most accessible health care provider,” said Craig Kimble, Pharm.D., M.B.A., director of experiential learning and associate professor at the School of Pharmacy. “This program will advance patient-focused clinical skills, including medication reviews and counseling, medication insurance coverage assistance and vaccine administration.”

Third-year pharmacy students in good standing with the School of Pharmacy must have a minimum 2.5 GPA, be eligible for hire at Rite Aid Corporation and licensure as an intern in Ohio, and commit to working as a Rite Aid pharmacist in a mutually agreed upon rural area after graduation.

Completion of the program includes the development and presentation of a community-based rural health research project, participation in professional development opportunities such as customer service training and resume review with Rite Aid leadership.

Kim Richardson, Pharm.D., regional pharmacy leader at Rite Aid, welcomed the first two participants into the program during an event at the school April 7.  Marshall students Asam Mesleh, from Dearborn, Michigan, and James Mills, from Corbin, Kentucky, will begin the Community Practice Rural Health Scholars program this summer as they start their Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) rotations.

“Community pharmacists are not only the most accessible, but sometimes the only health care professional that patients see in rural settings. It is critical that these pharmacists are highly educated on a broad range of topics and are prepared to practice at the top of their license,” Richardson said. “Marshall graduates provide outstanding care to patients in community pharmacies. They make crucial health impact through immunization, medication therapy management and preventing emergency room visits. Rite Aid is ecstatic to partner with Marshall University and allow these pharmacists to be true practitioners and pillars of their community.”

For additional information or to apply for the Marshall University School of Pharmacy / Rite Aid Rural Community Scholars program, please contact Dr. Craig Kimble at The application deadline is May 12.


Photo: Rite Aid regional pharmacy leader Kim Richardson, Pharm.D. (center), welcomes pharmacy students James Mills (second from left) and Asam Mesleh (second from right) to the Community Practice Rural Scholars program.  Also pictured are Dr. Craig Kimble (left) and Dr. Eric Blough (right).


Contact: Michele McKnight, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-691-1713,

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