Pharmacy Student Selected as PQA-CVS Health Foundation Scholar

Matthew Wittman will research high-risk medication usage and hospitalizations of the elderly

Matthew Wittman

OXFORD, Miss. – University of Mississippi pharmacy student Matthew Paul Wittman has been selected as one of nine students nationwide to the Pharmacy Quality Alliance-CVS Health Foundation Scholars Program.

The program is designed to support student interest in performance management and quality improvement while fostering student-mentor relationships. Wittman will work on a unique research concept with the assistance of a mentor and present the results at the PQA Annual Meeting in May in Baltimore.

“It’s pretty incredible to be a part of this program,” Wittman said. “I am really looking forward to being a part of such a nationally recognized program. I’ve worked really hard to get to where I am now and this really validated that.”

The second-year student pharmacist will work with adviser Sujith Ramachandran, assistant professor of pharmacy administration, researching high-risk medication usage and hospitalizations of the elderly. The pair will assess rates at which elderly patients are hospitalized and then perform a geographical analysis with a heat map of areas with higher hospitalization rates.

“Matthew’s skills, professionalism and motivation to be a constant learner made him a great candidate for the program,” Ramachandran said. “This exposure to research and new skills will help him identify specific career goals and enhance his learning experience as a pharmacy student.

“The experience as a PQA scholar has the ability to develop him into a steward of health care quality as he builds his future career.”

Originally from Bloomington, Illinois, Wittman developed an interest in the public health policy sector from his uncle, Scott Wittman, who practices law in this field. Wittman plans to pursue a law degree after pharmacy school and believes that his involvement with the PQA program will help him achieve his goals.

“I am grateful for the support my family has shown and I am honored to represent them, the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy and University High School with this opportunity,” Wittman said.