Student Pharmacists Focus on Our Community

Contributed by: SSHP

American Pharmacists Month is a time when we as student pharmacists advocate for our profession and educate the community about services we can offer. In October, the Student Society of Health System Pharmacists (SSHP) at the University of Charleston decided that the best way to teach the community about our role, is to show them! From day care centers to a local market in Charleston, we found ways to give back to our community.


Our first event of the month was in collaboration with the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and the UCSOP Class of 2020. Student pharmacists were providing blood pressure and blood glucose screenings for visitors of the Charleston Town Center during “White Coats at the Mall.” In addition to the health screenings, we provided information about diabetes, flu vs cold, and heart health!



Next, we had our first Capitol Market health fair. Each month, our SSHP chapter will go to Capitol Market to educate their customers on the disease state that is recognized nationally. During October, we focused on breast cancer. We provided blood pressure screenings, general information about breast cancer and mammography, and pink ribbons that were handmade by P3 Eirini Fallieros. Rajveer Kaur, P1, said the most meaningful part of the health fair to her was when a customer was influenced by our information about mammography and inquired about where to get testing done. “When there is early detection of breast cancer, the cure rate is much higher, and it can be found early through routine mammograms. It’s a great feeling knowing that we could have made the difference for that person.” We will continue our monthly visits to Capitol Market in November when we talk about diabetes awareness and provide blood glucose screenings.

We ended our month of community service with a young and adorable crowd! SSHP members went to the Sacred Heart Center in Charleston to teach kids that flu shots aren’t scary. Each child was given a teddy bear and a (needleless) syringe so they could give their new furry friend a fake flu shot! This was a fun way for students to teach kids the importance of getting themselves vaccinated to protect against illnesses.

We as student pharmacists are committed to public service, and there was no more satisfying way to spend our American Pharmacists Month than by giving back to the citizens of Charleston.

Sara Yagodich

President, SSHP

Class of 2019

Go Red for Women

Contributed by: UCSOP Fellows

“Go Red for Women”: Heart Disease Prevention and Awareness

Red is a color often used to show confidence and power. It draws attention. It is also a color that, in the medical field, signifies blood and the heart. In February, when we mention the color red, many people automatically think of roses, chocolates, and hearts. However, we want to get women thinking about more than just the hearts on a Valentine’s Day card – we want them to focus on their own heart health!

Heart disease is often thought to be a disease that affects primarily men – but this misconception is putting our women at risk. Nearly 500,000 women across the United States die every year from these preventable and treatable conditions, and heart disease is the number one health threat to women today. In 2003, The American Heart Association decided to take action to change this. February is National Go Red for Women month, where we place a special emphasis on heart health for women. National Wear Red Day is celebrated every first Friday in February, where women and men across the United States wear red to bring awareness to this important, life-saving issue.

The UCSOP has participated in many Wear Red days over the years as a strong supporter of heart health for women, in addition to many other successful events. On National Wear Red day in 2014, a free heart-health screening event was held in our Patient Care Clinic, in order to raise awareness and provide education in our local community. On Wear Red day in 2016, our local chapter of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association held another health fair to raise awareness in the local community. And, in February of 2016, UCSOP students organized the Run for Women’s Health 5k, which raised proceeds to be donated to a local women’s shelter.

This year, we will celebrate Go Red for Women the entire month of February. Raising awareness of the risk of heart disease among women is the first step to changing and saving the lives of women at risk. By educating the public, we hope to prevent heart disease and encourage women to remain healthy and active. Please join the UCSOP community on National Wear Red Day this year, on February 2nd, 2018. Share your pictures with #GoRedWearRed, and feel free to tag us at @UCSOP. Let’s work together to raise awareness, save lives, and Go Red!

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During February 2018, University of Charleston School of Pharmacy (UCSOP) student pharmacists will visit 25 third-grade classrooms throughout Kanawha County to deliver Generation Rx, a prescription drug misuse information and prevention program. The program, serving as a partnership between UCSOP, Kanawha County Schools (KCS) and Kanawha Communities That Care (KVCTC), will be part of UCSOP’s involvement in the 2018 National Consumers League Script Your Future Medication Adherence Team Challenge – a two-month long intercollegiate campaign where student pharmacists find creative ways to educate the public through a series of events pertaining to medication safety. 

The visit to the third-grade classrooms during the spring 2018 semester serves as a follow-up visit to the children who initially received the presentation in October 2017.

In addition, student pharmacists will be expanding upon the Generation Rx outreach program with a presentation targeted toward six pre-kindergarten classrooms throughout Kanawha County. These sessions will provide a simple, three-point presentation with a coloring page and contest. Information will also be sent home to parents on the importance of storing and disposing of medications properly.

Generation Rx is an evidence-based program developed in collaboration with the Cardinal Health Foundation, the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), and The Ohio State University School of Pharmacy. The Generation Rx curriculum is designed to increase public awareness of prescription medication abuse and medication safety. The program also encourages healthcare providers, community leaders, parents, teens, and college students to actively work to prevent abuse. 

“The messaging our student pharmacists share through Generation Rx is so important for elementary-age students,” said Dr. Susan Gardner, UCSOP’s assistant dean for professional and student affairs. “Nationwide 5,700 persons age 12 or older abuse a prescription medication every day. Reaching children early and educating them about medication safety is crucial in combatting prescription drug abuse and encouraging adherence.”