10 Days Left! American Pharmacists Month 2016

Our UCSOP faculty, staff, and students are busy with activities that emphasize the role of the pharmacist in providing optimum patient care during the month of October 2016. This month is American Pharmacists Month, a time dedicated to celebrate all the contributions pharmacists make to health care. But, it’s also a time to provide community outreach and education about medication safety, medication adherence, and disease management.

P1070579This month, our students have organized health fairs, immunization clinics, and other outreach projects throughout the Kanawha County. Whether delivering Generation Rx curriculum to area elementary schools to help teach children about prescription abuse and medication safety or filling prescriptions at the Kanawha Charleston Humane Association, our students and faculty are dedicated to utilizing their skills and knowledge in ways that benefit our community.

With 10 days left in American Pharmacists Month, our students are busy planning and preparing for several events including:

  • Saturday, October 22 –  Providing health services at the RAMS Clinic in Elkview
  • Monday, October 24 – Friday October 28 SNPhA Power-To-End-Stroke Tweet-a-Thon #SNPhANoBarriers • @SNPhARegion2 • @UCSOP • #UCSOP
  • Thursday, October 27 Health Fair from 4-7pm at the YMCA
  • Saturday, October 29 CPFI & ACCP Trunk or Treat—Promoting Poison Control at the South Charleston Kroger
  • Monday, October 31 SNPhA’s Say Boo to the Flu! Immunization Clinic at Family Care, (West Side near Patrick Street)

Our students serve over 10,000 patients throughout the Kanawha Valley each year through their activities and health fairs. We are proud of the work they do and their focus on community and public health.

 

 

 

Pharmacy Students Help Prepare Medicines at Animal Shelter

Contributed by Amanda Miller, Class of 2019

When an area experiences any form of natural disaster our first instinct is to try and help the people affected by the disaster. However, humans are not the only ones in need of help. Natural disasters can also displace animals. After the floods that happened in West Virginia in June 2016, there were many animals that lost their homes or owners, and many became extremely ill. Luckily, the Kanawha Charleston Humane Association (KCHA) stepped up to help as many of these animals as possible.

kcha1Since June, KCHA has experienced a huge influx of animals coming into the shelter—many are extremely young and very ill puppies and kittens. In these cases these animals have to be separated from the general population of the shelter and require more intense care from the veterinarian and the staff that assists them. This increased need for medical attention has made it difficult for the veterinarian technicians at KCHA to maintain a supply of prepared medications.

In order to host kittens at the shelter, most need at least 4 different medications when they first arrive. This does not include the animals who are extremely sick and will need this care for multiple days or possibly weeks of care. That means if the shelter takes in 20 kittens who require this extra care, which may require as many as three doses a day, these kittens will need 420 doses of each medication for one week. That is a lot of medication to both prepare and give to these kittens. This is where student pharmacists have stepped in to help.

kcha2As pharmacy students we have experience with preparing medications. From our first year of pharmacy school we are taught how to compound medications and how to draw medicine appropriately into syringes. So, although we do not have the know-how on how to give these medications to the sick animals, we do know the medications they are being treated with. For American Pharmacists’ Month we at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy (UCSOP) are volunteering our time to try and help KCHA prepare medications. By taking this extra workload off the veterinary staff, we are enabling them to spend more time actually treating these animals instead of having to spend their time preparing the medications. The veterinarian and veterinarian technicians have all been extremely thankful for our help because we have been able to help when they are in such direr need of help. Because we are training to become medication experts, pharmacy students are able to offer assistance for this specific area of need.

Our hope is to continue our relationship with KCHA and volunteer not only in October for American Pharmacists Month but year-round as well. Volunteering at the shelter not only helps the community but it allows pharmacy students to put their skills and knowledge into practice while helping our furry friends!

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!

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.

UCSOP Flood Relief with the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association

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A cat at the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association receives respiratory treatment in a nebulizing chamber

In the wake of the recent floods, countless people around the Kanawha area have needed help and many have volunteered to assist with clean up and medical care. But a group that is often forgotten in crisis situations is pets. On June 29th, a group of UCSOP faculty and students including Dr. Sarah Embrey Dr. Cassie Legari, Dr. MIchelle Knight, Kendra Hall (Class of 2019), and UCSOP interns Killian Rodgers and Dawnna Metcalfe went to the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association to help out in this time of need.

 

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Intern Dawnna Metcalfe prepares a syringe to help cats with respiratory issues

The Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association (KCHA) operates a shelter and animal hospital just outside of Charleston near Yeager Airport. They have over 100 kennels for dogs and house many cats as well. In addition to providing shelter, food, and medical care for pets in need, they work to fight animal cruelty in Kanawha county and help reduce the pet overpopulation issue through Trap-Neuter-Return programs. As a humane society, they try to save every animal they can and pair them up with a loving family to provide them a forever home.

Since the floods however, they have been inundated with new arrivals. Many are pets who are currently separated from their owners but many are also newly strayed and will need forever homes as well.

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A dog at KCHA awaits her dewormer

The team from UCSOP helped the veterinary staff at KCHA, led by University of Charleston Alumn, Dr. Jamie Totten, prepare medications, administer medications, and get a census of some of the dogs and cats. Many cats at KCHA were in need of respiratory care so Dr. Embrey and the UCSOP summer interns helped prepare dozens of syringes with necessary medications. In addition, the interns and a P2 student helped to deliver deworming medication to over 60 dogs.

Both the people and the pets at KCHA were very happy and grateful for the help, even the dogs that weren’t too happy about taking their medication. But there is still plenty more that needs to be done! Below are some links for how you can help out KCHA and the pets of Kanawha county:

If you are interested in adopting click here to find out about the process of providing a pet with their forever home.

If you are interested in volunteering or fostering an animal click here.

If you would like to donate money click here.

If you are in the area and would like to donate some supplies click here for a list of what they need most.

If you are a medical professional or work in a medical environment- the veterinary staff at KCHA are in desperate need of equipment like syringes, if you have any that you are willing to donate (expired equipment is OK) please click here for contact info on how to get that to the right people.

Contributed by: Killian Rodgers and Dawnna Mecalfe

 

Surviving a Flood: Before, During, and After

While our lovely University of Charleston School of Pharmacy campus remained undamaged during these historic floods, we cannot say the same for our neighboring friends, family, and loved ones. Many have lost everything, cdcfloodincluding their lives. There have been numerous efforts, not only from West Virginia, but from all over the U.S. to aid flood victims with clean up, donation supply, and moral support through these difficult times. For these, we are grateful. In this article, I’m hoping to offer you some educational tools to help you become familiar with preparing for the storm and how to handle life after it has passed.

 

Here are some resources for Before and After the Flood:

  • The CDC has a step-by-step guide to ensure adequate preparedness. Find it here.
    • This resource includes: Steps to prepare for the storm, what to do if you’re under a flood watch or warning, a list of emergency supplies, and steps on what to do if you’re preparing to evacuate or have been ordered to do so.
  • The American Red Cross®‎ Flood App – The American Red Cross® offers

    many emergency preparedness apps, but one in particular is the Flood app. This app allows you to monitor your area and any other areas in which you may have loved ones. They also let you link your loved ones to that area via your contact list. The app also includes steps you can follow to make sure you’re prepared for any upcoming flood and what to do after.

  • FEMA has provided a free, in-depth guide for care after flooding. Find it here.
    • This includes: Getting back to your home safely, Drying out your home after a flood, Cleaning mold, mildew and bacteria, and much more.

Health protection after a flood:

  • Tetanus shot – According to the CDC, you do not need a tetanus shot if you were exposed to flood waters or if you will be working to help clean up. However, if you are due for your tetanus shot (adults need a booster every 10 years) it would be best to get one. The infection is caused by C. tetani, the bacterium that causes tetanus, infecting a puncture wound (metal nail piercing the foot, animal or human

    bite, etc.).

  • Cuts, scrapes, and wounds – First aid is very important, even if the wound is minor. Wash with soap and clean water.
  • Ear protection – If you’re in an area in which loud machinery is being used, protective equipment should be worn.
  • Chemical Hazards – Due to everything being engulfed by water, it is important to realize the potential chemicals that could be lurking. Cars that have been left behind could have leaking engines or even remaining electrical current. It’s important to leave the removal of any potentially dangerous items to the professionals.

As our fellow West Virginians continue to recuperate from all the loss and devastation, I hope these resources find you well. I also hope that you are able to take away some helpful information that could save your life or even the life of another. An ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure. United we stand with the Mountain State, we are West Virginia strong, and we will come back stronger and better than before. Take care of each other.

 

Contributed by, Shelby Pethtel, Class of 2017

UCSOP Offers Summer Camp for High School & Undergraduate Students

Contributed by: Taylor Pickens, ExRx Boot camp Alum and Class of 2020

Are you interested in learning about the pharmacy profession? Registration for the 2016 Experience Pharmacy Bootcamp is now open. Tuesday, June 21 will mark the first day of the second ExRx BExRx-postcardootcamp event held at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, in Charleston, WV. This unique four-day event is designed to give high school juniors, seniors, and undergraduate college students the opportunity to experience pharmacy in an interactive, hands-on fashion. Students will take part in organized activities beginning Tuesday morning, June 21 and ending Friday afternoon, June 24. Some of the week’s events will include hands-on simulation, compounding, and IV lab experiences, as well as sessions on the history of pharmacy, medicinal plants, pharmaceutical career options, mock interviewing, and many other activities.

Students learn to compound IV products at ExRx Bootcamp

Students learn to compound IV products at ExRx Bootcamp

This unique experience is a prime opportunity to gain insight and preparation for that next step toward a future in pharmacy. Whether you are interested in learning more about a pharmacy career as a whole, or need help preparing for the application process, ExRx Bootcamp will prove to be a worthwhile experience. Emily Chattin, a freshman pre-pharmacy scholar at the University of Charleston says, “I would highly recommend attending this event. You are educated on what it takes to succeed before, during, and after pharmacy school, make lifelong friendships and connections with your preceptors. You also get to do fascinating experiments in the lab.”

Participating students will be housed in UC residence halls, with meals provided by the UC dining hall. Cost for the four-day camp is ONLY $99.00 per student, and includes meals, lodging, linens, towels, as well all activities. A limited number of need-based scholarships are available. If you would like to register, or are interested in receiving more information, please contact Ms. Jamie Bero at jamiebero@ucwv.edu, or call (304)720–6685.

Registration forms and information can also be accessed online at: http://www.ucwv.edu/pharmacy/ 

SNPhA Region I & II Conference Coming to Charleston

max your potential_logo.jpgOn behalf of the University of Charleston school of Pharmacy SNPhAmily, Our SNPhA chapter would like to welcome every pharmacy student and pharmacist to the city of Charleston and the 2016 region I & II conference. It is with great honor to have the opportunity to host the next SNPhA regional conference and introduce you to the beautiful city of Charleston, WV. As every pharmacy student and pharmacist take part in making the pharmacy profession, the healthcare system and community better, we hope this will be an opportunity for each pharmacy student to learn, connect, and most importantly, “Maximize your Potential.”

The conference will be taking place at the Marriot Town Center in downtown Charleston. Shuttles will be provided by the hotel in terms of requests to pick up students or pharmacists from the airport. Motivational speakers, Dr. Mordecai Brownlee and Dwayne Bryant are looking forward to bringing out the best in every student pharmacist and pharmacist. In addition, our “Casino” themed party is sure to bridge the gap between professionals and students in a very welcoming atmosphere. Lastly, we are putting together workshops with a goal in mind to enrich every student’s mind about subjects that would contribute to their growth. There will be endless opportunity for everyone to perhaps meet their future boss or company and we encourage everyone to travel to the conference with their business cards, ready to connect. And although this conference may be mostly geared towards pharmacy students, another portion of the conference is also designed with CEs to encourage every pharmacist in the field to continue being the best at patient care and continue to be informed in this forever-changing healthcare world.

We have worked effortlessly for the past few months to put together the most beneficial workshops, socials events, and CE’s to allow all pharmacy students and pharmacists to learn and share something new. We hope everyone will take the time to fully participate in all events and will be able to take away something significant and memorable to make the world, as future and current pharmacists, a better place to live in.

We are truly excited to see you all on April 1st -3rd in Charleston at the Marriot Town Center Hotel and we look forward to meeting, mingling, and learning with all of you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MV9qZj4_q2s 

To register for the conference, click here. Attendees registered for the conference can book a room at the Marriott Town Center (where the conference is taking place) by calling and mentioning the SNPhA Conference: 304-345-6500 or 1-800-228-9290.

About SNPhA

SNPhA, the Student National Pharmaceutical Association, is a group of educated pharmacy students, concerned about pharmacy, healthcare issues and the poor minority representation in healthcare. As a result, we are known to “serve the underserved.” Our mission is to plan, organize, and execute programs directed towards the improvement of health, education and social environment of the community.

Every year, SNPhA National gives through competition, an opportunity to two of their school chapters in regions across the country the privilege to be the host of one of the most meaningful experiences as pharmacy students. The SNPhA regional conference is an event for every pharmacy students and pharmacists to learn, grow and connect in the outside, all to ultimately forge great and knowledgeable pharmacists. This year, the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy was chosen to host the Region I & II conference in April 2016.

Contributed by: Loic Noubossie, Class of 2018, SNPhA President

Reflections: West Virginians for Affordable Health Care Annual Reception

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Erik Hanson, Class of 2019

Contributed by: Erik Hanson, Class of 2019

On Friday, October 23, 2015 I had the opportunity to attend the West Virginians for Affordable Health Care conference and fundraiser held at the University of Charleston. I was honored represent the School of Pharmacy at such an impressive event for such an important cause. The keynote speaker, United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell, is a very charismatic and eloquent speaker and passion for her cause is unquestionable.  The amount of support from each and every person in the room was very moving- and, while she is a very professional and powerful person, Secretary Burwell was still very approachable and friendly. Having the opportunity to attend the West Virginians for Affordable Health Care fund raising event was certainly one of the most impactful events in my academic career.

Through this experience, I learned that, even though one person can hold immense passion for a cause, it really does “take a village.”  Secretary Burwell and her team are making great strides in achieving affordable health care for all, especially the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides coverage for services such as doctor visits, hospital visits, prescriptions, vision care, and dental care.

While I’m extremely appreciative for the opportunity to attend the event, I wish it were something that the entire school of pharmacy could attend. Events like this make our time in school feel so much more than learning in a classroom. As future pharmacists we can have a major impact in ensuring that everyone has access to affordable health care. Secretary Burwell saw the West Virginians for Affordable Health Care as a calling- and because of that, they are heading towards improving Medicaid, supporting health equity for minority communities, encouraging stronger family leave policies, and pushing for better reimbursement for primary care providers- to name a few. As aspiring pharmacists, we all have a responsibility to make a difference for our patients and our community.  Individuals like Secretary Burwell encourage pharmacists and other health care providers to advocate for our community, our patients, and each other.

Reflections on President Obama’s Substance Abuse Forum: A Perspective From Two Student Pharmacists

Contributed by: Jeremy Arthur (Class of 2017) and Randal Steele (Class of 2016)

To view a video interview published by WOWKTV, please click here.

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Randal Steele (Class of 2016), Jeremy Arthur (Class of 2017), and Dean Easton at the Substance Abuse Forum

The Community Forum with President Barack Obama held on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 at Charleston’s East End Resource Center was an incredible, once in a lifetime experience for us. We believe the discussion will provide impetus for further action towards addressing the prescription opiate and heroin abuse epidemic occurring not only in West Virginia but throughout the United States. Sadly, as reported by the Charleston Gazette-Mail (10/17/15), West Virginia leads the nation in overdose deaths. In the U.S., overdose deaths involving prescription pain relievers rose more than 300 percent from 1999 through 2011, leading the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to declare these deaths an epidemic. Deaths associated with heroin overdose have also increased significantly over the last three years.

While the discussion took place in WV, the forum presented a bipartisan recognition that this epidemic does not discriminate—both rural and urban communities deal with prescription drug and heroin abuse—no one is exempt. Specifically, President Obama indicated that substance abuse is not isolated to one community—it can impact anyone regardless of their socioeconomic background. The focus of the discussion was the President’s plan for prevention and recovery.

The President’s 2016 budget proposed critical investments to intensify efforts to reduce opioid misuse and abuse, including $133 million in new funding to support prevention and education activities. It also focuses on helping individuals sustain their recovery from opioid use disorders. For example, Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is an important tool for the treatment of opioid use disorders, but is too often out of reach for vulnerable populations.  The President’s plan is to make these programs more accessible to those in recovery and those seeking recovery and treatment.

One facet of drug abuse discussed during Wednesday’s forum was the impact of the epidemic on America’s youth. The increase of prescription medication abuse in children and adolescents is likely due to the misconception that prescription medications are safer than illegal substances and therefore, less likely to cause abusive behaviors. Many individuals view prescription medications as “safer” simply because they are prescribed by healthcare professionals. Providing education to today’s youth is imperative in curbing the progression of the prescription medication abuse epidemic. Educating children from a very young age about the danger of prescription medication and illegal drug use is a key prevention strategy according to the President. He explained that children are “sponges” for knowledge.

Pharmacists can and should help with prevention and treatment strategies in a number of ways including education at the pharmacy counter. In fact, prevention through education is an area where student pharmacists and pharmacists can have a large impact. By promoting safe and effective medication use to children, we can dispel any myths that encourage experimentation that may lead to abuse in children and adolescents. Education specifically aimed at parents and adults should center on secure medication storage and proper disposal. Keeping medications out of the hands of children or adults who intend to misuse them is key in preventing diversion. Pharmacists and student pharmacists can aid in proper medication disposal by partnering with local law enforcement and other agencies that specialize in medication removal to ensure that unused/unwanted medications do not contribute to someone’s addiction.

While the pharmacist’s role in preventing this epidemic and assisting with patient recovery wasn’t acknowledged specifically at the community event, we know pharmacists are integral to discussion, education, prevention, treatment, and recovery. As we gain recognition as valued members of the healthcare team, our role will become more apparent, whether we are educating patients, coordinating care with physicians, or facilitating the sale of naloxone to help with opiate overdoses. With the awareness raised by the event, along with pharmacist’s expanding role, we hope to see rates of recovery finally outgrowing rates of substance abuse deaths and in turn, see healthier communities—both rural and urban.