Shareholders from the Butler Giving Circle (BGC) recently voted to award the group’s annual community grant to the Butler University Community Outreach Pharmacy (BUCOP) to support its educational enhancement project. The $6,150 grant will be used to purchase a pill counter that will increase the clinic’s efficiency in filling prescriptions, allowing student volunteers more time to spend engaging directly with patients. The grant will also provide for the creation and printing of new health education handouts in patient-friendly language.

The BUCOP has been operating in partnership with the IU Student Outreach Clinic on the near eastside of Indianapolis since 2009 to provide primary care-based medical, dental, social and legal services for uninsured and underserved populations in the city. Current students from the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences work with volunteer pharmacists at the clinic to provide free prescription medications and educate patients about proper medication use. 

The number of prescriptions filled on a typical Saturday at the clinic has nearly doubled since prior to the pandemic. BUCOP now fills around 100 prescriptions every week. The pill counting device purchased with BGC grant funding will allow students to dedicate more of their time at the clinic to educating and engaging patients instead of counting medications, resulting in more productive learning experiences for Butler students as well as shorter wait times and increased health education for the patients.

Butler University Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice Kacey West has been the faculty advisor for BUCOP since joining Butler in 2017 and says the grant will provide important benefits to patients in the community who utilize the pharmacy as well as to the Butler students who serve there.

“Even though we don’t have strict time limits on how long the patient should be in the pharmacy, we do want to be respectful of our patients and it takes time to fill prescriptions safely,” West said. “As a result, we’ve not been spending as much time as we would like to in educating them about the medicines and the disease states they have as there is an internal pressure to get them out quickly. This will allow patients to get their prescriptions filled faster, but they will also get to spend more time with the students learning about their medications and getting their questions answered. From a student perspective, they will really have more time to sit down and connect with those patients and practice the skills they are learning in the classroom.”

The Butler Giving Circle was established in 2019 and is designed to connect alumni to their philanthropic areas of passion, focused on two mission-critical elements of the University’s vision for the future: community partnerships and student access and success.

With an annual gift of $500, Butler alumni can become shareholders in the Butler Giving Circle. After shareholder funds are pooled, 40 percent of the funds are directed to the Butler Fund for Student Scholarship, 40 percent are granted to an Indianapolis community partner(s) with an existing affiliation to Butler, and 20 percent are used to fund experiential learning opportunities for Butler students with Project 44, the Giving Circle’s priority partner.

“The Butler Giving Circle is all about coming together as a Butler alumni community to give back and serve our Indianapolis community,” Loren Snyder ʼ08, Chair of the BGC Executive Committee, said. “The work students and volunteers do each day at the Community Outreach Pharmacy embodies that mission by providing access to basic pharmaceutical and healthcare needs to some of our community’s vulnerable. We are proud to support their mission in addition to the other finalists from our annual shareholder meeting. All deserving causes are doing great work for our Indianapolis community.”

The BUCOP proposal was chosen from among four finalists at the BGC’s annual shareholder meeting on June 8. Each of the remaining three finalists were awarded $3,657 from the BGC’s annual pool of funds as seed money to fund their proposals:

  • College of Education, Special Olympics IN; With a GOOOOOOAL! of INclusion: Hosting the Special Olympics in State Soccer Tourney
  • Butler Community Arts School, MLK Center; Arts Camp 2.0 Tuition Assistance
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Desmond Tutu Peace Lab, Tru Colors Indy, MLK Center, and Peace Center for Forgiveness and Reconciliation; Youth-Led Photovoice: BIPOC and African Refugee Youth Picturing Conflict and Peace

New shareholders can join the Butler Giving Circle at any time by making a gift at