Laura Palombi Receives UMN Community-Engaged Scholar Award
Laura Palombi, PharmD, MPH, MAT, AE-C, associate professor from the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences, is the 2020 recipient University of Minnesota President's Community-Engaged Scholar Award. This award is the highest honor the University gives annually to one faculty or staff member for exemplary community-engaged scholarship that embodies the University of Minnesota’s definition of public engagement.
Palombi’s work focuses largely on community engagement to address the opioid crisis. Her expertise in opioid-related harm reduction and substance use prevention and intervention are increasingly requested by community members outside of the University system. Her research aligns with her teaching and service and focuses on the pharmacists’ role with interdisciplinary and interprofessional public health teams, expanding pharmacy practice in public health, and engaging pharmacy faculty and students in public health and community engagement focused on rural and indigenous communities.
With an interprofessional group of community-based co-instructors from medicine, harm reduction, and clinical social work, Palombi has educated more than 2,000 community members in five rural counties and three Tribal Nations with in-person opioid overdose prevention and naloxone education and distribution. Together with her partners, she has created an online resource site and free continuing medical education for community members and medical professionals across the state without access to in-person training. To date, this resource site has received more than 1,400 visits.
Laura has secured funding for and planned 16 community forums on substance use with 14 rural and tribal communities across central and northern Minnesota, reaching more than 1,200 total attendees. These forums have provided community members with information about local prevention, treatment, and recovery resources and have served as a springboard for sustainable community-specific solutions.
"Laura’s notable academic career and community-engaged scholarship exemplifies the University’s definition of public engagement. She is incredibly deserving of this recognition," said Lynda Welage, dean of the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy.
Read more about the award and past recipients.
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The University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, the only school of pharmacy in Minnesota, offers its program on the Twin Cities and Duluth campuses. Founded in 1892, the College of Pharmacy educates pharmacists and scientists, and engages in research and practice to improve the health of the people of Minnesota and society. The college is part of the health sciences, which are home to the University of Minnesota’s six health professional schools and colleges as well as several health-related centers and institutes.