During the month of April, UCSOP will be featuring our many student organizations. At UCSOP, we believe that co-curricular experiences (outside the classroom) allow our students to practice their pharmacy skills and serve our communities. 100% of our student body is a member of at least one organization and our students participate in over 25 community health fairs each year serving over 5,000 patients.
This year, the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) wanted to make a very large impact in the UC School of Pharmacy. We have been pretty silent in the past, but this year we want to turn it all around and show that AAPS is able to make a beneficial contribution to the field of pharmacy.
We started off the year with our Cystic Fibrosis Event. We wanted to do an event for Cystic Fibrosis (CF) awareness as a part of American Pharmacists Month because pharmacists play a major role in orphan disease states such as Cystic Fibrosis. Orphan diseases don’t have many drug therapy options, so it is crucial for pharmacists to engage with the patient to ensure proper symptom management to increase quality of life.
In order to increase awareness of the roles that pharmacists play for patients who have Cystic Fibrosis, we had three speakers for our event. We had a P1 student from Marshall University School of Pharmacy speak about her son who has CF, a resident of Tennessee who has a daughter with CF did a Skype call, and Dr. Linger spoke about her research involvement with CF as well as her cousin who passed away due to complications from CF. Each speaker has been personally affected by Cystic Fibrosis through either her child or a relative. They spoke about their personal stories as well as how pharmacists have played an important role. One speaker mentioned the amount of care that her pharmacist gave her daughter and how important it is for pharmacists to treat their patients as human beings and give that personal care aspect.
We also had information pamphlets to hand out that discussed what Cystic Fibrosis is, the pathophysiology and epidemiology, and the treatment options that are available. We closed out our event with a raffle where attendees were able to purchase raffle tickets for a dollar each. Several sponsors around the Charleston area including Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, Subway, Edible Arrangements, Books-A-Million, Café Creperi and several others donated the prizes. Through all of the raffle ticket purchases from our 60 attendees, we were able to raise $900 to donate to the West Virginia chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. We were told that this money would go towards the Great Strides Walk held in Charleston, WV in May to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis.
Overall, we felt this event was a great success and we hope to continue this event in the future and make it an annual one. Due to the success of this event, we want to continue putting on events for spring semester that can impact the UC community as well as the Charleston community. We will be putting on a health fair with NCPA as part of Script Your Future to educate patients on the importance of getting regular health checks and how this can greatly benefit them from reducing the risk future disease states such as hypertension and diabetes through regular blood pressure and blood glucose checks.
Contributed by: Monica Ven (AAPS President, class of 2017).