Contributed by: UCSOP Class of 2020, APhA-ASP, ASHP
It is a tradition here at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy for student pharmacists to celebrate American Pharmacist Month by advocating for the profession of pharmacy and the valuable role pharmacist play in community out reach. This year, Pharmacist students of the class of 2020 collaborated with student pharmacist organizations, APhA-ASP and ASHP to organize a health fair at the town center mall in Charleston WV. This location was chosen because it is a place frequently visited by many individuals of different age groups, thus the best way to reach out to a lot of people.
The health fair was aimed at advocating for the professional of pharmacy and creating awareness to the general public about the various health issues facing our communities and ways to prevent or manage them.
Most individuals believe that a pharmacist only has one job dispensing medication at a community pharmacy. As fellow student pharmacists, it is our responsibility to educate the general public that the responsibility of a pharmacist goes beyond dispensing medication at a pharmacy. How do we do this? During the event, student pharmacists wearing white coats walked around the mall holding posters of health topics like diabetes and heart diseases and provided handouts on these and other disease. In addition, student pharmacists educated the general public on the importance of taking your medication as prescribed. We also offered free blood pressure and blood glucose check to the general public.
As student pharmacist we were able to provide services to over twenty-five individuals of different age groups. As future pharmacists, individuals in our communities will be able to access us more easily than many physicians or primary care providers, so assuring them we can help them manage some diseases through organizing health fairs like this, would create a trusting relationship between pharmacists and patients.