The University of Charleston School of Pharmacy is always looking to bring health awareness to its surrounding communities. Luckily, UCSOP is privileged to have students who passionately share this interest. This past week, a total of thirteen students and two faculty members reached out to six local high schools to try and make a difference in our community. Students teamed up and presented for approximately 15 minutes on a myriad of topics including obesity, diabetes, and the pharmacy school admission process.
On October 30th, P3 student, Juhee Kim presented at Charleston Catholic High School with P1 Glenda Athus and Dr. Susan Gardner, Assistant Dean of Professional and Student Affairs. “This was the first time I really got to interact with high school students who plan on going into the healthcare field. I felt like a pharmacist, educating individuals on the dangers of diseases and it was a satisfying experience to say the least,” said Kim.
Dr. Gardner, who also attended a session earlier in the week at George Washington High School, commented, “One of the things that makes our program so special is the commitment our students have to health education and community outreach.” The events are part of a month-long diabetes awareness initiative. And so, the topics of discussion at the high school sessions pharmacy school admission and UCSOP’s upcoming Diabetes Awareness Day, scheduled for November 8th. The UCSOP sponsored event consists of free cholesterol tests, blood pressure screenings, and diabetes risk tests. Pharmacy students will also share informative displays, make presentations, and offer door prizes.
Pharmacy school admission was another common topic of discussion for the high school audience, and UC campus tours will be offered during Diabetes Awareness Day on Saturday. The high school students asked questions pertaining to the different roles of pharmacists and the future of the profession. Current pharmacy students and Dr. Gardner were more than happy to answer questions and help outline the journey to becoming a pharmacy student, and ultimately, a pharmacist.
Community outreach programs, like those mentioned above, help pharmacy students develop their communication, clinical, and leadership skills, while helping local residents live healthier lives. UCSOP’s ability to offer such opportunities makes it a great choice for students looking to give back to their communities and help advocate good healthcare. Stay tuned for more updates on how UCSOP and its dedicated pharmacy students continue to make a difference in their community! And, please join us on Saturday for during our Diabetes Awareness Day!
Contributed by, Peter Relvas, UCSOP P3 student and Graduate Intern in the Office of Professional and Student Affairs.