Pharmacy Students Engaged in Month-Long Medication Adherence Campaign

On February 11, 2014 UC student pharmacists hosted a community health fair focused on medication adherence. The event was part of a month-long campaign called “Script Your Future.” This national campaign sponsored by the National Consumers League is aimed toward raising awareness about medication adherence. Pharmacists and pharmacy students throughout the U.S. are promoting medication adherence during the month of February as a way to encourage consumers to take action and improve health behaviors through safe and appropriate use of medications. Consumers can also take a medication adherence pledge by visiting: www.scriptyourfuture.org.

The Stats:

  • Three out of 4 people in the U.S. do not take their medications as directed
  • 20-30% of prescriptions never get filled
  • 50% of the time medication is not continued as pre-scribed
  • Not taking medications as directed causes approximately 125,000 deaths in the U.S. alone
  • Non-adherence has a direct estimated cost of over $200 billion dollars annual to health care

On February 11, student pharmacists at the University of Charleston served over 200 people through health screenings such as blood pressure checks, bone density tests, BMI assessments and medication reviews. Medication adherence information was provided for all attendees including those affected by diabetes, asthma and heart disease. Participants were invited to TAKE THE PLEDGE to TAKE THEIR MEDS.

In additiountitledn to the February 11 health fair, student pharmacists are attending UC basketball games throughout the month of February to education attendees about the importance of medication adherence. And, the UC SOP chapter of the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (SSHP) is hosting another fair at the Town Center Mall in downtown Charleston on February 22 from 10am until 2pm as a way of extending the reach to the surrounding community. In addition, student pharmacists have established a partnership with Fruth Pharmacy to distribute medication adherence information will prescriptions in 10 stores throughout the area throughout the week of February 24, 2014. This initiative will reach between 16,000 and 20,000 patients through the Kanawha Valley. UC SOP Class of 2016 and 2017 students have also created videos to promote medication adherence.

Learn more about UC SOP efforts around Script Your Future and the importance of medication adherence by liking our Facebook Page and watching our YouTube videos!

 

Honoring those who came before us . . . UC School of Pharmacy Celebrates Black History Month

ImageJames McCune Smith (April 18, 1813 – November 17, 1865) James McCune Smith was the first African American to earn a medical degree and practice medicine in the United States. He was also the first to own and operate a pharmacy, in New York City. Smith was born on April 18, 1813 in New York City to parents who were former slaves. New York’s Emancipation Act freed his father and his mother worked her way out of bondage. Smith began his education at the African Free School in New York City, but soon found he could go no further in U.S. education due to racial discrimination.  Source: PBS

Ella Nora Phillips Stewart (1893 – 1987) Ella Stewart was born in Stringtown, West Virginia. She attended high school at the age of twelve at the Storer College – the only school in the region that accepted black students. Rather than continue her training and education as a teacher, she chose to marry Charles Myers and begin a family. She had one child, a daughter, who unfortunately died at a young age from whooping cough. Advised by friends to turn her attention to new concerns, Stewart began working as a bookkeeper at a local pharmacy, where she developed an interest in becoming a pharImagemacist herself. Stewart wished to attend the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Pharmacy but was met with discrimination when she was told admissions were closed. She persisted however, and although segregated from other students, she graduated with high marks passing her state exam in 1916, to become the first licensed African-American female pharmacist in Pennsylvania and one of the earliest practicing African-American female pharmacists in the country. Source: Bowling Green State University, Center for Archival Collections

Read more about Ella Stewart at: http://www2.bgsu.edu/colleges/library/cac/ms/page44338.html.

Student Pharmacists Enjoy a Unique Spring Break

This week has started out with another snowy Monday, and students are beginning to look forward to warmer weather and spring break trips.  But a group of UCSOP student pharmacists have chosen a different path for their spring break.  During spring break 2013, 4 students joined a mission trip to Haiti through a local church and our CPFI chapter, and this year UCSOP students have the opportunity to participate in the mission trip again.  Class of 2016 student Jenny Byerly writes about her experience last year in Haiti during spring break.

Jenny: Last spring break I had the opportunity to attend a medical missions trip with Help Haiti Know Jesus Ministries through Gateway Christian Church.  This was an amazing opportunity offered to the University of Charleston.  Through this medical mission trip, myself and 3 other UCSOP students were able to extend our knowledge outside of the classroom.

UCSOP students Jenny, Temeka, Alex, and Aaron

UCSOP students Jenny, Temeka, Alex, and Aaron

The trip to Haiti took 3 plane rides and a 12-hour ride on the back of a truck.  Let me tell you, the trip was no easy task.  The roads in Haiti are nothing like the roads here in the U.S.

Road in Haiti

Road in Haiti

UCSOP Students Ride in the Back of a Truck from Airport to Haitian Town

UCSOP students ride in the back of a truck from airport to Haitian town

This being said, none of us imagined what we would actually see and experience during this trip but the outcome of it was unbelievable.  Throughout the week we were able to set up 5 different clinics and reach over 900 Haitians, providing care to what we may consider easy fixes, such as the common cold and flu.  During the week my classmates and I were able to master taking blood pressures, heart rates, and temperatures.

Alex Tate taking a patient's blood pressure

Alex Tate taking a patient’s blood pressure

UCSOP student pharmacists work at the pharmacy table during their mission trip

UCSOP student pharmacists work at the pharmacy table during their mission trip

Also, each one of us got to experience the process of diagnosing patients based on their chief complaints.  Some of the disorders/diseases we diagnosed were worms, yeast infections, high blood pressure, scabies, ring worm, elephantiasis, and breast cancer.  We treated each case as best we could and explained to each patient, with the help of our translators of course, how to use their medications properly.

Through this trip I was able to experience the beauty of both Haiti and its people and provide a wonderful service while applying the material I learn in class every day at UCSOP.   This trip will most definitely be offered to UCSOP students again and I highly recommend it.  It is truly a life changing experience and will benefit your life both emotionally and spiritually through the devotions of Pastor Paul.  It will provide ways to begin thinking out of the box helping to enhance your pharmacy skills.

Jenny with one of the kids from the Haitian church the group attended

Jenny with one of the kids from the Haitian church the group attended

The entire group on the mission trip

The entire group on the mission trip

The group at the beach in Haiti


The group at the beach in Haiti

This year Class of 2017 student Vanessa Chavarria is going on the mission trip for the first time.  When asked why she is choosing to participate in this type of spring break trip, she said, “The reason why I chose to participate in this mission trip is because I have always wanted to help less fortunate people and also spread the love of Christ while doing so. What I am looking forward to the most is being able to actually help these people feel better, just knowing that I might have saved a person’s life is more rewarding than any recognition. And the only thing that I am worried about is the adjustment when I come back. I am a very affectionate person and coming back to everything we have here will be a reality check, but as a future pharmacist this is something that I will have to be able to learn how to cope with.”

Vanessa Chavarria, Class of 2017

Vanessa Chavarria, Class of 2017

Good luck to those leaving for Haiti in March (only 4 weeks to go)!  Wishing you safe travels, warm weather, and the ability to help many people!

2014 Pharmacists’ Day at the WV Legislature

Pharmacists’ Day at the WV Legislature got off to a slick, snowy start.  But students were out in full force to advocate for the profession of pharmacy and thank legislators for their service to the people of West Virginia.

A snowy day at the WV Capitol complex.

A snowy day at the WV Capitol complex.

UC student pharmacists gather in the WV Capitol Rotunda to prepare for the activities of the day.

UC student pharmacists gather in the WV Capitol Rotunda to prepare for the activities of the day.

Student pharmacists from UC, WVU, and MU pose in the Rotunda.

Student pharmacists from UC, WVU, and MU pose in the Rotunda.

Dr. Kristy Lucas, along with Dr. Susan Gardner, has been instrumental in helping students plan for the Pharmacists’ Day activities.  According to Dr. Lucas, “Advocacy is a big part of the experience in training students as members of the profession of pharmacy at UC.  We are so blessed to be located directly across the Kanawha River from the beautiful West Virginia state capitol building. Our student pharmacists have the opportunity to participate in the annual “Pharmacists Day in the Legislature” with the goal of keeping legislators informed of the importance that pharmacists play in the healthcare system.  Sometimes we go to the capitol with specific issues that we would like legislators to address, while other times we go to simply keep up our relationship with legislators and serve as an educational resource for them on topics related tohealthcare and pharmacy, in particular.  Our school works together with colleagues from the two other schools of pharmacy in the state to speak in a unified voice for the profession.  As student pharmacists participate in this event, they are able to learn about advocacy while also helping to shape the future of their profession.”

Dr. Kristy Lucas, UC faculty member, talks with Dr. Krista Capehart, WVU faculty member.

Dr. Kristy Lucas, UC faculty member, talks with Dr. Krista Capehart, WVU faculty member.

An important part of the day is meeting with delegates to the legislature.  Students gathered with their group and then met with legislators.IMG_6407IMG_6405IMG_6413

Students also staff tables throughout the day to provide information and perform blood pressures and test blood glucose levels.

IMG_6436 IMG_6433 IMG_6439

Albert Won, class of 2016, also helped to plan and coordinate everything that goes into a successful Pharmacists’ Day at the Legislature.  When asked why he was willing to put in all the work to plan the day, Albert stated, “For me, Pharmacy Day at the Legislature was a productive experience. As my second year attending Pharmacy Day, we were able to thank our legislators for all their support for patient care. I am very proud that our school was the largest participating student group at Pharmacy Day. This event gives student pharmacists a hands-on experience to work with legislators. As this year’s Advocacy Chairperson, the legislators were impressed by students’ enthusiasm. Best part of the day was mingling with student pharmacists from WVU and Marshall. I was grateful that despite the snow, we were able to meet with the legislators as planned.”

Albert Won

Albert Won, Class of 2016