The 13 teams of pharmacists and health care providers who gathered at Concordia University Wisconsin on Thursday night have a common goal of improving patient care by preventing or resolving their medication-related problems.

Each team, however, is taking its own unique approach to accomplishing that goal.

There’s the team from Walgreens, for example, that’s developing a program of strategic interventions to improve HIV patients’ adherence to their medications, or the team from Monroe Clinic that aims to expand its ambulatory care services to include sorely needed primary care services for the patients in the 29 counties throughout southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois that the clinic serves.

“The goal is to contribute to a healthy and happy Wisconsin,” says Andy Traynor, PharmD, BCPS, chair and associate professor of pharmacy practice at Concordia. “We want to teams to work collaboratively to implement proven methods of business. The real power in that is for our patients. We all learn more together than alone.”

All are participants of the Concordia Medication Management Accelerator, an effort of Concordia’s School of Pharmacy and Batterman School of Business with financial backing from The Dohmen Co.

On Thursday, Oct. 12, the teams gathered to network and rehearse presentations in anticipation of the main event: a live pitch event on Nov. 8 at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center where six teams will be awarded more than $60,000 in funding.

CMMA is more than a competition, however. Launched in spring 2017, CMMA participants will continue on after the prize money is awarded, and they’ll begin implementing their concepts at their workplaces. From December 2017 to November 2018, they’ll continue meeting to collaborate, reflect upon and hone their efforts.

“It’s about the accountability that we have to one another, and it’s about inspiring commitment,” says Traynor, who is spearheading the CMMA. “We do that better when we work together.”

In addition to Walgreens and Monroe Clinic, representatives from Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, Hayat Pharmacy, Aroura Health Care, Marshfield Clinic, Reedsburg Area Medical Center, St. Croix Regional Medical Center and St. Vincent De Paul are participants in the collaborative, solution-seeking program.

Ten of the teams are participating in the service accelerator track, meant for health care organizations, primary care clinics, health systems or pharmacies working to adopt comprehensive medication management within their organizations. The other three are participating in the start-up track, for the creation of new, Wisconsin-based businesses focused on providing comprehensive medication management services.

Teams in the start-up track will pitch their ideas to a panel of nationally renowned venture capitalists alongside 11 other Milwaukee-area teams that are participating in the Healthcare Innovation Pitch. With a format similar to CMMA, the Healthcare Innovation Pitch seeks to award startup funds to entrepreneurs with innovations in the areas of medication management, health tech or therapeutics and devices.

Interested in seeing some of Wisconsin’s brightest health care innovators in action? Register for the HIP/CMMA live pitch event here.

— This story is written by Kali Thiel, director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at or 262-243-2149.

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