Update: July 31, 2019: Additional Funding for CHAMP

Lucas Berenbrok and Elaine Mormer (SHRS) were awarded additional funding following their second-place finish in the First Gear NSF I-Corps Program at the University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute. Their project Championing Hearing using Accessible Medication Experts at the Community Pharmacy (CHAMP): An Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Certificate Program for Student Pharmacists will be launching in the spring of 2020. The First Gear program helps shape Pitt inventions originating from University research from early-stage discovery to products and services that can be taken to market. The program offers hands-on guidance and mentor-ship that takes an inventor through the necessary steps in creating a go-to-market plan that can result in the creation of a new enterprise or licensing agreement for the technology. As a designated NSF I-Corps site, First Gear participants received additional funding to help validate the market-readiness of the innovation and qualify for additional NSF funding of larger amounts.

Among the six faculty members selected by the Provost’s Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence to receive funding for the 2019–2020 year are PittPharmacy Assistant Professor Lucas Berenbork and Associate Professor Elaine Mormer from Pitt’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. The Innovation in Education Awards are for projects that enhance teaching at Pitt and foster new instructional approaches that represent advances over existing methods.

Through their proposal, Championing Hearing Using Accessible Medication Experts at the Community Pharmacy: An Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Certificate Program for Student Pharmacists,Berenbrok and Mormer plan to develop practitioner training and the first certification program to teach student pharmacists the core competencies needed to safely and effectively assist patients in selecting and using hearing assistance devices that are soon to be sold as an over-the-counter product. The approach is collaborative, with the prospect of the program being used beyond the university. The proposal meets a cutting-edge demand in a broader societal context.

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