AAPS & NCPA Host Health Fair for American Pharmacists Month

On October 29th, 2016 the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) along with the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) chapters at UCSOP hosted a diabetes health fair at Fruth Pharmacy on Oakwood Road. This diabetes health fair was one of many events put together by the various organizations at UCSOP in honor of American Pharmacists’ Month.

While AAPS’s vision focuses on the development of products and therapies through research, a major part of their mission is to bring together all individuals involved in the pharmaceutical sciences in order to best serve patients. We saw this health fair as an opportunity to do just that. We were able to collaborate with students from other organizations that focus specifically on community pharmacy, but with whom we still share the ultimate goal of patient service.

“Through this health fair, we were able to embrace and exemplify the idea that while there are many facets and specialties within the field of pharmacy, we are all dedicated to the education and treatment of patients.”

At this event, AAPS and NCPA provided free blood glucose and blood pressure screenings to individuals in the Fruth Pharmacy store. Approximately 15 UCSOP students volunteered for this event between the two organizations. This event served as a great opportunity for P2 students to practice their newly-learned blood glucose and blood pressure monitoring skills on actual patients. P3s were able to use this an opportunity to interpret scores, as learned in our pharmacotherapy II class, and explain to patients their results.

AAPS & NCPA Students at Fruth at Oakwood Road's store hosting their health fair!

AAPS & NCPA Students at Fruth Pharmacy at Oakwood hosting their health fair!

During this health fair, we were able to serve approximately 30 patients. Many of these patients were highly engaged in their own health; they knew what medications they were taking and knew what their normal values were. These patients appreciated the opportunity to quickly test their blood pressure and blood glucose to make sure they were reaching their goals. However, we also interacted with patients who had very little knowledge of blood glucose and blood pressure screenings. With these patients, we had the chance to educate them on why each test was important and explain consequences of high readings. There were also patients who understood the screening methods and knew they were diagnosed with diabetes, but did not seem to take their diagnoses seriously. These patients mentioned having family histories of diabetes and seemed to think that it was inevitable that they too develop diabetes. For these patients, we stressed the importance of taking medications as prescribed and regularly checking their blood glucose and blood pressure.

This health fair served as an opportunity to reach out to the Charleston community. Through this event, we were able to educate members of our community, bring attention to our school of pharmacy, and promote the profession of pharmacy. AAPS and NCPA, two organizations that may not seem to be associated, were able work together and support one another.

Contributed by: Suyasha Pradhan, AAPS Vice-President, Class of 2018

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