FREE Life Saving Training Coming to UCSOP

The University of Charleston School of Pharmacy will be hosting the American Heart Association’s Mobile CPR Unit on UC’s Charleston campus Thursday, September 29, 2016 in the Keenan Parking lot (across from the School of Pharmacy). This programming is being delivered in collaboration  with the UC school of pharmacy, Unicare Inc., and the American Heart Association. The event will serve as UCSOP’s kick off to American Pharmacist Month, which begins October 1, 2016.  

We have a goal of 250-500cpr persons participating in this hands on CPR training education. The program will run every hour on the hour from 10am until 2pm and those wishing to participate MUST sign up athttp://www.cvent.com/d/4vq000. All members of our surrounding community are invited to participate. We also urge faculty and staff participation! 

Anyone interested in serving as a volunteer on this date (beyond participating in the program) should contact Dr. Susan Gardner, Assistant Dean for Professional and Student Affairs in the school of pharmacy, susangardner@ucwv.edu

Reflections: UCSOP Summer Internship Experience

As an undergraduate looking to one day attend pharmacy school I was looking for any chance I could get to gain experience in the field of pharmacy. When the opportunity to become an intern at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy came up I had to take it. I quickly began the application process and soon was asked to interview for the position. After two rounds of interviews I received a phone call offering me the internship, which I quickly accepted.

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Beautiful view of the WV State Capitol building from UC’s campus.

I moved into East Apartments in the beginning of June to begin the internship. On the first day I received a very warm welcome from the faculty and staff of the School of Pharmacy. We toured Charleston, visited the Capitol building and Cultural Center, and became oriented with our new home for the next 8 weeks.

While we received many tasks to work on for the duration of the internship, our biggest project for the month of June was to serve as Head Counselors of the ExRx: Experience Pharmacy Summer Bootcamp. The camp was a week-long experience for high schoolers and undergraduates who were interested in pharmacy school. We spent the weeks leading up to the camp planning events, setting up activities, and preparing for the arrival of the students to the dorms. While we were leading the activities, we also got to immerse ourselves into the curriculum and learn about pharmacy school as well. After the camp ended we were invited to attend two School of Pharmacy alumni events; Blues Brews and BBQ, and Wine and all that Jazz. While the week of camp was long, we learned so much about UCSOP as well as meeting current students and alumni of UCSOP.

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Killian Rodgers, summer intern, and I volunteered at the animal shelter giving medication to dogs.

Throughout the month of July we got to work very closely with a P4 student who was on rotation with UCSOP administration. We also got the opportunity to work in the research lab under Dr. Linger. We spent the week assisting her running diagnostic tests, purifying proteins, and preparing a poster presentation. Also in the month of July we were able to shadow Dr. Juengel from UCSOP at WV Health Right. Both experiences allowed us to see different sides of pharmacy, and different paths we could take with a PharmD. Throughout the month we also volunteered at the local animal shelter and the health department. Both volunteer experiences served to broaden our horizons on what can be done with a PharmD, as well as giving us a sense of community and communication skills that are often used in pharmacy school.
Overall the experience allowed me to become even more excited about one day obtaining my PharmD. I got to experience several different paths of pharmacy that I didn’t know existed and I made connections with pharmacists and administrators that are invaluable. The eight weeks flew by as I grew to love Charleston more every day. To anyone who is currently and undergraduate and looking to attend pharmacy school this internship is a great way to further develop skills and experience that will be so useful when it comes time to apply!

KCHD’s Harm Reduction Program

Beginning in December 2015 the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department opened its Harm Reduction Clinic with Syringe Exchange Program. The program is designed to reduce the number of shared and re-used needles in order to control the spread of Hepatitis. Through confidentiality the patients receive the assistance they need through the needle exchange, counseling, and the various testing options available.

The Kanawha-Charleston program does not run off of any state funding or grants and relies completely on donations and volunteers to keep up with its increasing number of weekly patients. Volunteers can assist nurses in preparing patient bags containing clean syringes, a container for used syringes, as well as other products used to administer safe injections, such as alcohol pads and cotton balls. Several UCSOP students and faculty volunteer each week and gain experience with patient interactions.

The Harm Reduction Clinic takes place every Wednesday from 10:00am until 3:00pm. Patients, who remain anonymous throughout the process, have the opportunity to consult with a rehabilitation and addiction counselors while in the waiting area. Each patient is given the opportunity to safely exchange used syringes for new ones, with the promise that the patient will return the next week for the same purpose. While at the health department patients have access to free testing for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV. Patients can also request to have a doctor access any injections sites for signs of infection. The program also offers contraceptives to women patients.

In addition to the screening and testing options available, patients are also encouraged to complete a short Naloxone training course. With the increased drug use also comes increased risk of overdose, and this training helps patients to better identify the signs of an overdose. Naloxone can be injected into someone who is experiencing an overdose in order to reverse the effects and potentially safe a life. The training takes place during the hours of the clinic an lasts approximately 30 minutes.  Patients walk away with a sample of Naloxone and the proper training to handle an overdose situation.

The Harm Reduction Clinic and Needle Exchange Program provide a safe place for patients to discuss their concerns and receive counseling. The Health Department also ensures the safety of its patients by keeping the identity of each patient anonymous and maintaining police presence. This program is fairly new it has already seen an increase in the number of weekly patients, and its services have already affected many patients. While the program centers on reducing the prevalence of diseases transmitted by sharing and re-using needles, the program has also aided many patients in drug detoxification and recovery programs.

 

UCSOP Works with National Youth Science Camp

Since its start in 1963 West Virginia’s National Youth Science Camp has been encouraging recent high school graduates to pursue further education in the science field. Two students from each state are chosen to attend the month long camp that is centered at Camp Pocahontas in Bartow, West Virginia. This year the campers kicked off their journey by visiting the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy. Over 100 students arrived on campus the morning of June 16th and were welcomed by Dr. Paul Hill, the chancellor of West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. Dr. Hill spoke about the history of the National Youth Science Camp as well as his involvement as the CEO of the U.S Chemical Safety Board. The camp encourages students to take STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) classes and become more involved in the science field in their future studies. After the morning lecture the campers toured UCSOP and engaged in interactive sessions in the sterile IV and compounding laboratories.

Following the opening of the camp at UC the students traveled to Camp Pocahontas to begin their month long adventure. Their schedules for a typical day were full, beginning at 7:00am each day and ending around 11:00pm. The students experienced many guest lectures on varying topics from developments in cancer treatments to studies in foreign language in the medical fields. In addition to lectures, students had the opportunity to engage further into the sciences with hands on activities proctored by guest scientists of varying fields. Dr. Rebecca Linger, a professor at UCSOP, and P2 student Rachel Peaytt, traveled to the camp Sunday June 26th to conduct a week-long directed study block for the students. Their program was entitled Assaying Antioxidant Content of Medicinal Plants. Beginning the multi-day process Dr. Linger led the campers on a medicinal plant walk in search of plant samples. The samples were spectrophotmetrically tested for flavonoid content, giving the students an opportunity to see chemical interactions through color changes. The students were given the opportunity to learn about medicinal plants, as well as gain experience in plant material extraction and assay.

While the students developed their interests in science they also developed outdoor leadership through the camp. The campers participated in various outdoor activities including camping, hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, and mountain biking. With several overnight camping adventures, the students got to explore much of the beautiful West Virginia scenery including Canaan Valley and the Cranberry Glades. The students also got to spend time exploring the science behind telescopes and space exploration at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia.

Through the many hands-on activities, guest lectures, and outdoor activities the students developed a sense of what’s going on in the science community. This camp allows students to grow or develop their interest in science, while encouraging them to pursue their careers and continue their education. Dr. Linger and Rachel thoroughly enjoyed their experience with their involvement in the camp, and hope to continue building a relationship between UCSOP and the National Youth Science Camp.