Rutgers pharmacist fellows to get hands-on experience at McCann Health with first-of-kind program

McCann Health has snagged a first-mover advantage as the first healthcare agency to nab a partner spot in Rutgers' pharmaceutical industry fellowship program for postdocs. The well-regarded Rutgers program for pharmacists already includes 16 pharma and biopharma companies, but McCann is the first agency to get a bid.

The strategic partnership ties into McCann’s goal to stay in touch with the evolving role of pharmacists and pharmacies in healthcare, a role that's increasing in importance--particularly at the community level, Amar Urhekar, president of McCann Health Americas, told FiercePharma. Earlier this year, McCann launched the McCann Pharmacy Initiative specifically for pharmacy and pharmacists communications.

There’s also the opportunity to build relationships with pharmacists and potentially hire them to work at one of McCann Health’s agencies. McCann already works with Rutgers undergraduate pharmacists-in-training in 6-week internships and has hired at least half a dozen of graduates, said Kim Wishnow-Per, president of McCann Managed Markets, who led the McCann effort to get admitted.

The new fellowship program, which begins next June, will allow Pharm.D graduates to apply for what will be a 6-month rotation at four McCann agencies: McCann Torre Lazur, McCann Echo, McCann Managed Markets, and McCann Pharmacy Initiative.

“I’m a pharmacist myself, and I stumbled into healthcare communications as a career option,” Urhekar said. “Partnerships like these with Rutgers will hopefully help us learn, and then we can create more strategic partnerships with other universities in the U.S. and globally that will become a talent pool for us.”

McCann Health was one of just two companies chosen--the other was a pharma company--out of half a dozen that applied to join the fellowship program this year, Per said.

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