UCSOP Garners National Attention Once More!

The National Consumers League and its partners have released the results from the Script Your Future campaign, and UCSOP is once again on the national platform! If you are currently involved with the school of pharmacy, or have been following this blog for the last few months, you are probably aware of all the efforts that have gone into this medication adherence campaign. Our students and faculty worked tirelessly throughout the months of January and February to help patients pledge they would work on their medication adherence. Students created a commercial shown on local TV, hosted over a dozen health fairs, and handed out hundreds of wallet cards fliers. In the end, the school got pledges from hundreds of people, and reached over 300,000 individuals in total.

untitledNow that the results are in, however, we can see that the hours  and days of preparation have paid off. The school was nationally recognized as an Honorable Mention for the National Award and received the Health Disparity, Under-represented Community Outreach National Award. UCSOP was recognized for following its mission statement and focusing on serving populations that may not have access to good, quality healthcare. These types of communities aren’t always the focus of healthcare as they don’t bring big numbers or profits, but they often require the most help. The school stayed true to its mission and focused on helping these individuals get the information they need.

This award was made possible thanks to The Script Your Future committee, including committee chair John Robinson and faculty advisors Dr. Susan Gardner and Professor Melissa Garrett Jensen. Thanks to their efforts, as well as multiple faculty members and students, UCSOP now has a 2015 National Award Honorable Mention and 2015 Health Disparity Community Outreach National Award to hang beside the 2013 National Award. Let’s continue the efforts into the next year and hopefully bring home the National Award once more!

Contributed by Peter Relvas (P4)

Let the Rotations Begin!

The first few weeks of P4 rotations is complete, with students working at many rotation sites that are available to UCSOP students. For those of you unfamiliar with the term “rotation site,” think of it as on-the-job training. Students have the opportunity to work at a pharmacy or hospital; classrooms are available if the student is interested in teaching what they’ve learned. The experience allows students to hone their communication skills with patients, while helping fortify the teachings they received in the classroom setting. The goal of the experience is to expose students to their future jobs and responsibilities, with a safety net in the form of a preceptor.

P4 Student Kyle Robinson with Preceptor Joey Anderson at Alum Creek Pharmacy on Sand Plant Road

P4 Student Kyle Robinson with Preceptor Joey Anderson at Alum Creek Pharmacy on Sand Plant Road

Incoming students may be curious as to what rotation sites are available, and I know one of the first emails I sent  as a pharmacy student was to the Experiential Experience Director asking what rotation sites I could look forward to. The director emailed me a rough list and although I had a few years before I could experience most of them, I felt excited and started my planning. At this point, I should clarify roughly how the process works. Students rank the rotations they want, and then a computer system utilizes a lottery-like algorithm to determine which student goes to what site. Therefore, there is a bit of randomness involved and nothing is truly certain.

Luckily the school has a very strong preceptor network, covering multiple different fields of pharmacy. Students interested in institutional environments like hospitals have options like the Cleveland Clinic, Indian Health Services, Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC), Cabell Huntington Hospital, Thomas Memorial Hospital, St. Francis Hospital, Highland Hospital, just to name a few. If students prefer to go into retail or community pharmacy, there is a plethora of rotations as well. These include CVS, Rite Aid, Walmart, Walgreens, and Kroger rotations, as well as many independently owned pharmacies that focus on compounding and home infusion products. UCSOP also has rotations specializing in academia, research, and industrial pharmacy. Opportunities for such rotations are available with professors at the school, but also with Mylan Pharmaceuticals, the drug manufacturer giant in Morgantown, WV.

This list only contains a few of the available rotation sites, as the UCSOP has sites as far west as Guam, Alaska, and New Mexico, as well as many in Chicago, Columbus, Maryland, Virginia, and Kentucky. There’s also the possibility of setting up a new rotation site as well, however this process may take a very long time, as the site must be qualified and inspected to ensure the school’s standards are met.

As a student who originally was worried about the available sites, I have come to realize that the only real limitation is the lack of time to experience them all. Looking at my current rotation schedule, I wish I could try a few more than just the eight I am current assigned.

Contributed by Peter Relvas, P4 student.