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UIC College of Pharmacy

Chris Gummert

(312) 996 7785


Dr. Dima Qato Named ​Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar

Dr. Dima Qato, Assistant Professor at the UIC College of Pharmacy, has been selected as a 2017-2018 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated solely to health. Founded in 1972, the foundation has supported research and programs targeting some of America’s most pressing health issues—from substance abuse to improving access to quality health care.


Dr. Qato and her team will receive an award for the RWJF of $210,000 to improve access to prescription drugs for residents living in communities on Chicago’s West and South Sides, areas affected by pharmacy closures. These areas are commonly referred to as pharmacy deserts. The goal is to establish a "pharmacy referral" service where prescriptions are filled and then delivered to patients in need at participating community health centers. This will require a partnership with local pharmacies and community health centers and the support of Community Health Liaisons.

Dr. Qato will also collaborate with local public health and policy officials, and pharmacy organizations to address the problem of pharmacy closures by advocating for legislative changes that prevent closures from occurring in the first place. Dr. Qato and her team will also begin an initiative to strengthen the capacity of existing CHCs located in pharmacy deserts to expand their services to include an on-site pharmacy. 

"This award will allow our work on underserved populations continue uninterrupted," Qato said. "Our hope is to bring equal access to healthcare to all populations, regardless of the income level."

Dr. Shannon Zenk, Professor from the Department Health Systems Science is a co-investigator for this award.


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