Tennessee Pharmacists Association

Founded in 1990, the Tennessee Pharmacists Research and Education Foundation (TPREF) is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt educational organization and a direct subsidiary of TPA. TPREF exists to advance the practice of pharmacy through research and education.

Make a general contribution to TPREF!

TPREF’s Building Tennessee’s Pharmacy Future campaign is raising necessary funds to transform the potential of the Tennessee Pharmacists Association into reality, through the purchase and renovation of the Center for Tennessee Pharmacy. Learn more about making tax-deductible TPREF contributions to Building Tennessee’s Pharmacy Future.

TPREF utilizes its resources to:

  • Increase patient access to pharmacist-provided patient care services through various activities;
  • Enhance the knowledge, ethics, and skills of pharmacists through delivery of education and training; and
  • Improve the standard of care for pharmacist-provided patient care through grants, research activities, and educational programs.

As an organization, TPREF has successfully implemented several practice-based research and innovative patient care initiatives. In many cases, TPREF has partnered with national, state, and local partners to achieve representation and collaboration with all areas of pharmacy practice.


Tennessee Pharmacy Recovery Network (TPRN)

Health care professionals, including pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and student pharmacists, are at risk for chemical dependency due to greater stress, burnout, and easier access to drugs. Impairment creates major problems, not just for personal lives and careers, but in the potential harm which can be inflicted upon the patients who trust their health and lives to the dependability of the pharmacy services.

Recognizing this, and in genuine concern for both the impaired professional and the integrity of the profession, TPRN exists to aid pharmacy professionals and student pharmacists on the road to recovery.

During the September 2022-September 2023 grant year, TPRN served 88 individuals. To learn more about TPRN and its available resources, visit TPRN’s webpage.

Recent Initiatives

Closing the Gap (2022-2024)

The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) awarded TPREF a $7.75 million two-year grant contract to support vaccination efforts across Tennessee. This funding is utilized to address vaccine hesitancy by promoting vaccine awareness throughout the state.

TPREF partnered with 95 pharmacies in rural communities throughout Tennessee to promote targeted conversations about immunizations with patients. TPREF collaborated with the American Pharmacists Association Foundation and the Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network of Tennessee to fulfill the obligations of this initiative.

Primary goals:

  • Engage pharmacies in communities with lower vaccine rates
  • Provide pharmacists with tools for focused and ongoing communications with patients

This initiative followed the APhA Foundation’s Project IMPACT Vaccine Confidence “vaccine seasons,” with different seasons of the year being optimal times to “close the gap” for specific vaccines.

To succeed in these goals, TPREF partnered with Pierce PR and GRX Marketing to provide assistance with participating pharmacies’ current marketing or social media strategies at no cost to the pharmacies.

Additionally, participating pharmacies are provided with a $4,500 stipend for enrolling and a guaranteed additional $30 per patient vaccination assessment performed, up to 300 patients, every quarter. Participating pharmacies can receive up to $40,500 by completing vaccine assessments with patients.

To learn more about the success of the Closing The Gap grant efforts, view the cohort’s Q1 2023 and Q2 2023 results.


CDC/TDH 1815 Grant (2018-2023)

In 2018, TPREF was awarded subcontracts to assist the Department of Health with executing objectives of the CDC’s 1815 and 1305 Grant Programs, each being five-year contracts (#GR1441067-00, RFS #34352-07814) designed to improve the health of Americans through prevention and management of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

For these programs, TPREF aligned its focus to implement evidence-based strategies to improve the health of Tennesseans with diabetes and hypertension, as part of chronic disease management, through the successful deployment of a new multidisciplinary approach to both care and and treatment:

  • TPREF worked with 60 different pharmacy sites on gaining accreditation from the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) to increase available structured education opportunities for patients with diabetes
  • For hypertension management, TPREF guided the collaboration between pharmacists and physicians to increase the utilization of collaborative practice agreements to manage patients more effectively, while also providing additional tools and resources.

Success in both chronic diseases were identified monthly and measures included the number of pharmacies who enrolled or pursued accreditation from AADE, attendance of new Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES) webinars, the establishment of new collaborative practice agreements between pharmacists and providers, and any increases in patients participating in self-monitored blood pressure.


Community Pharmacy Transformation Pilot Project (2017-2020)

Beginning in 2017, TPREF collaborated with the Tennessee Board of Pharmacy and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) as part of its three-year Community Pharmacy Transformation Pilot Project.


This pilot project utilized an emerging pharmacy practice model that leveraged pharmacy technician product verification (TPV) and collaborative pharmacy agreements to optimize the delivery of pharmacist-provided care and services in community pharmacy practice settings. TPV utilizes certified pharmacy technicians with advanced training to facilitate delivery of high-quality pharmacist-provided patient care that ensures patient safety and better health outcomes.

Building off the success of pilot programs in Iowa and Wisconsin, TPREF demonstrated that advanced trained, certified technician accuracy in performing final verification is comparable to pharmacist accuracy, and the use of TPV results in increased time for pharmacists to provide high-quality patient care that leads to optimal health outcomes with a high level of patient safety.


Implementation of TPV would:

  • Permit a certified pharmacy technician with advanced training in product verification to deliver the final verification of medication products (excluding compounds and controlled substances)
  • Empower certified pharmacy technicians to screen patients and refer eligible patients to pharmacists for additional care and services
  • Utilize a new pharmacy practice model to free up more time and increase patient access to pharmacist-provided services, such as those authorized by prescribers under CPPAs
Implementation of TPV would not:
  • Change the pharmacist supervision requirements for pharmacy technicians
  • Remove the pharmacist from the clinical decision-making process, Drug Utilization Review (DUR), or any other clinical component of the prescription dispensing process
  • Diminish the importance of a pharmacist or the license they hold
  • Replace pharmacists with pharmacy technicians

TPREF has no direct employees. Members of the TPA staff maintain all TPREF organizational operations and provide administrative services to TPREF on a contractual basis.

For more information, contact the TPREF office at 615-256-3023 or email tpa@tnpharm.org.