Script Your Future Goes Red at Macy’s

Script Your FutureOn February 3rd, UCSOP students and faculty members held a community outreach event by the local Macy’s store in the Charleston Town Center Mall. This event served as an opportunity for our students and faculty to educate the public about medication adherence and cardiovascular health while promoting Script Your Future and the Go Red For Women Campaign.

SNPhA and ACCP spear-headed this event along with numerous other student volunteers to reach out to the Charleston community. Posters about cardiovascular health, risk factors for heart disease, knowing the signs of a stroke, and smoking cessation were all made available to the public. Our students were available to provide education, resources, and answer questions about these materials as well. Students also provided free blood pressure screenings and raffles to those who stopped by the booths! Overall, this event was a huge success and a fun way for our students to engage our local community in taking the right steps to heart-healthy living.

UCSOP students and faculty at the Charleston Town Center Mall Macy's hosting a Script Your Future event

UCSOP students and faculty at the Charleston Town Center Mall Macy’s hosting a Script Your Future event

Dr. Kristy Lucas, Ms. Jane Condee, and Ms. Barbara Smith



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.




SCCP – American College of Clinical Pharmacy

During the month of April, UCSOP will be featuring our many student organizations. At UCSOP, we believe that co-curricular experiences (outside the classroom) allow our students to practice their pharmacy skills and serve our communities. 100% of our student body is a member of at least one organization and our students participate in over 25 community health fairs each year serving over 5,000 patients. 

The Student Chapter of Clinical Pharmacy (SCCP) is the student chapter of American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP). SCCP strives to “advance human health by extending the frontiers of clinical pharmacy through strategic initiatives, partnerships, collaborations, and alliances.” We accomplish this by, “promoting innovative science, helping in the development off successful models of practice, and advocating new knowledge to advance pharmacotherapy and patient care.”


SCCP members participating at the Caregivers Health Fair at Temple Israel


SCCP members Rani Saadallah, Jacob Jones, and Brandon Coleman helping kick off American Pharmacy Month at the University of Charleston Football Game

During the two semesters SCCP has been on campus we have participated in and developed many events and activities. In the spring semester SCCP hosts a faculty research symposium were faculty members are able to present their research to students as well as other faculty members. This has lead to students participating in research while still in school. We as an organization are also in the process of developing participation criteria for the annual ACCP research competition for first and second year pharmacy students. This would not only be a great opportunity to develop research and professional skills, but it would also give the student an advantage as they are applying to residencies during their P4 year. Another way SCCP helps its members to obtain residencies is by bringing in clinical pharmacists from around the community to talk about their individual jobs as well as what students need to do in order to obtain residencies in the future. These events give students a first person account of the countless job opportunities clinical pharmacists have and the path students need to take to get there. Throughout the year SCCP also participates in a variety health fairs to help advance the public knowledge on health care and enhancing patient care. This is an excellent opportunity for members to go out into the community and practice interacting with the public and other health care professionals.

As an organization we encourage the advancement of our members leadership, advocacy, and inter professional skills. This is accomplished through member participation in not only SCCP events, but as well as other organizational events on campus and throughout the area. Being a relatively new organization on campus there are many opportunities for new and current members to step up and have a leadership role in the organization and help lead the organization to advance the field of clinical pharmacy in the present and in the future.

For the 2015-2016 academic year the dues to join SCCP was $35 dollars for national dues and $5 for local dues.

Contributed by: Brandon Coleman, SCCP Treasurer (Class of 2019)

AAPS – American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists

During the month of April, UCSOP will be featuring our many student organizations. At UCSOP, we believe that co-curricular experiences (outside the classroom) allow our students to practice their pharmacy skills and serve our communities. 100% of our student body is a member of at least one organization and our students participate in over 25 community health fairs each year serving over 5,000 patients. 

This year, the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) wanted to make a very large  impact in the UC School of Pharmacy. We have been pretty silent in the past, but this year we want to turn it all around and show that AAPS is able to make a beneficial contribution to the field of pharmacy.

AAPS members visit a Raffle Table at an AAPS meeting

AAPS members visit a Raffle Table at an AAPS meeting

We started off the year with our Cystic Fibrosis Event. We wanted to do an event for Cystic Fibrosis (CF) awareness as a part of American Pharmacists Month because pharmacists play a major role in orphan disease states such as Cystic Fibrosis. Orphan diseases don’t have many drug therapy options, so it is crucial for pharmacists to engage with the patient to ensure proper symptom management to increase quality of life.

In order to increase awareness of the roles that pharmacists play for patients who have Cystic Fibrosis, we had three speakers for our event. We had a P1 student from Marshall University School of Pharmacy speak about her son who has CF, a resident of Tennessee who has a daughter with CF did a Skype call, and Dr. Linger spoke about her research involvement with CF as well as her cousin who passed away due to complications from CF. Each speaker has been personally affected by Cystic Fibrosis through either her child or a relative. They spoke about their personal stories as well as how pharmacists have played an important role. One speaker mentioned the amount of care that her pharmacist gave her daughter and how important it is for pharmacists to treat their patients as human beings and give that personal care aspect.

Dr. Rebecca Linger speaking at an AAPS meeting

Dr. Rebecca Linger speaking at an AAPS meeting

We also had information pamphlets to hand out that discussed what Cystic Fibrosis is, the pathophysiology and epidemiology, and the treatment options that are available. We closed out our event with a raffle where attendees were able to purchase raffle tickets for a dollar each. Several sponsors around the Charleston area including Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, Subway, Edible Arrangements, Books-A-Million, Café Creperi and several others donated the prizes. Through all of the raffle ticket purchases from our 60 attendees, we were able to raise $900 to donate to the West Virginia chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. We were told that this money would go towards the Great Strides Walk held in Charleston, WV in May to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis.

AAPS members listen to a speaker at a chapter meeting.

AAPS members listen to a speaker at a chapter meeting.

Overall, we felt this event was a great success and we hope to continue this event in the future and make it an annual one. Due to the success of this event, we want to continue putting on events for spring semester that can impact the UC community as well as the Charleston community. We will be putting on a health fair with NCPA as part of Script Your Future to educate patients on the importance of getting regular health checks and how this can greatly benefit them from reducing the risk future disease states such as hypertension and diabetes through regular blood pressure and blood glucose checks.

Contributed by: Monica Ven (AAPS President, class of 2017).

APhA – American Pharmacists Association

During the month of April, UCSOP will be featuring our many student organizations. At UCSOP, we believe that co-curricular experiences (outside the classroom) allow our students to practice their pharmacy skills and serve our communities. 100% of our student body is a member of at least one organization and our students participate in over 25 community health fairs each year serving over 5,000 patients. 

The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) national organization was founded in 1852. With 62,000 presently active members, it is now the largest association of pharmacists in the United States. Members of this organization include practicing pharmacists, student pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmaceutical scientists. The University of Charleston School of Pharmacy is very fortunate to have a local chapter of this widespread national organization.

P3s LaTasha Marshall and Beverly Okoroji, P2 Rafi Saadallah, and P4 Melanie Richmond present a poster for APhA's Operation Heart.

P3s LaTasha Marshall and Beverly Okoroji, P2 Rafi Saadallah, and P4 Melanie Richmond present a poster for APhA’s Operation Heart.

Locally, our APhA-ASP chapter at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy has over 100 student pharmacist members. Coincidently, it is also the largest student organization within the school of pharmacy. Having a lot of active members allows the organization to cover many different areas within the pharmacy field. One of our busiest and most exciting campaigns takes place annually in the month of October. Nationally, October is recognized as American Pharmacists Month. During this time, we as an organization sell American Pharmacists Month apparel, advocate publicly for the profession, and show our appreciation for the pharmacists and faculty that educate and prepare us for our future career.

Our APhA-ASP organization hosts an annual patient counseling competition. During this event, student pharmacists counsel a mock patient on a specific medication, and then UCSOP faculty judge each patient interaction and determine a winner. This exciting opportunity allows pharmacy students to have an authentic, valuable experience with professional feedback in a non-threatening environment. The winner also receives a paid trip to attend the APhA annual meeting in the spring, which is in Baltimore, MD this year. This is just one of many “perks” available to APhA-ASP members at the University of Charleston.

Within our chapter, we have many sub-committees that target different areas within the large umbrella of pharmacy. Operation Self Care, for example, educates students, pharmacists, and the general public on the significance of using over the counter medications safely and effectively. Similarly, GenerationRx provides information on prescription drug abuse, and the importance of taking the proper medication as prescribed. Other committees include Operation Immunization, Operation Diabetes, and Operation Heart

As with many major disease states, pharmacists can play an imperative role in preventing and managing cardiovascular disease. In 2009, Archives of Internal Medicine published a study demonstrating that collaboration between pharmacists and physicians resulted in better hypertension (high blood pressure) control. In 2014, 84 of the student chapters of APhA-ASP incorporated Operation Heart committees into their chapters, and we are hopeful that participation will continue to grow. Being the public’s most accessible health care provider, we as students and pharmacists should make an effort to educate our patients and advocate for our profession.

Contributed by: Celine Quevillon (APhA Secretary, class of 2017) and Lindsay Tincher (APhA Self-Care Co-Chair, class of 2017)

UCSOP Class of 2018 Hosts Health Fair at Local Pharmacy

Starting this fall the Class of 2018 has set out to reinforce the vision of the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, which is to provide optimal healthcare to patients in rural Appalachia and other areas. The Class of 2018 has met this vision this semester by hosting a health fair at the Family Life Pharmacy in Comfort, West Virginia. This pharmacy serves a very rural part of West Virginia and gave us the opportunity to touch many patients lives that may not have the means of accessing health care on a regular basis.

Throughout the day we offered blood sugar and blood pressure checks, along with general information on diseases and ways to stay healthy. We also had the privilege of a local nurse participating in the fair and giving out flu shots to any patients who wanted them. All of the patients we interacted with that day really seemed to enjoy our company and information they received.

I personally participated in this activity and by doing so I feel as though I learned some great skills that I can apply to my future in pharmacy. We all learned how to effectively deliver medical information in a way that made sense to the patients. One of the more difficult parts of the day  was adjusting to accommodate the elderly patients. All of the student pharmacists had to come up with a way to aid in patient care with those who may not hear or see as good as they used to. This can be a real challenge when trying to accurately deliver or obtain information.

In total we interacted with around sixty patients throughout the day. We are hoping to make this a routine health fair and would love to see it happen multiple times throughout the year. In the upcoming semester the Class of 2018 along with a health fair is trying to organize a golf tournament for a local charity. We not only want to touch the lives of patients by interacting with them directly, but we also want to help the organizations that aid patients with chronic diseases provide better services and also monetary support. Our hope with doing activities in our community is that we can at least make a difference in one patients life if not many. If we can make a difference in a patient’s life, then that makes everything we are doing worthwhile.

Contributed by: David Poe (President, class of 2018).Poe, David

“Get Smart About Antibiotics” Week: November 16-22

getsmartContributed by: Jeremy Arthur, Class of 2017

According to a report published by the CDC in 2013, nearly half of the prescriptions written today are for antibiotics and nearly half of those are not necessary or the best therapy option. This has resulted in an astounding 2 million US citizens developing severe infections from resistant strains of bacteria. Furthermore, nearly 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections. To help educate the public about the dangers of antibiotic resistance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched “Get Smart About Antibiotics” week November 16-22, 2015. The purpose of this week is to raise awareness about the issue of antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic prescribing and use or “antibiotic stewardship”. The term “stewardship” carries an ethical connotation that embodies responsible planning and management of resources by those who use them. Antibiotics are invaluable resources that have saved millions of lives and as such, each person has a duty to use them responsibly.

One factor contributing to resistance is when a person who does not need antibiotics takes them. For example, someone infected by a virus, such as the common cold, would not benefit from taking an antibiotic. Instead, the drug will attack the natural, helpful bacteria in this person’s body. When bacteria are exposed to the same antibiotics over and over, they learn how to fight off those drugs and become resistant. These resistant bacteria can then multiply, making more resistant bacteria, and the cycle continues. Eventually, bacteria that could once quickly be stopped by antibiotics are no longer so easily destroyed. This puts everyone at risk, but by raising awareness, the CDC hopes to stem the tide of resistance.

This year’s Get Smart Week serves as a key initiative for antibiotic stewardship within communities and healthcare facilities. In order to get involved, the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy is hosting a Student Convocation in November to discuss the role pharmacists’ can play in the fight against antibiotic resistance. Dr. Jessica Sobnosky, an Antimicrobial Stewardship and Infectious Diseases Clinical Pharmacist from King’s Daughters Medical Center and Dr. Jessica Robinson, an Assistant Professor from the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, as well as Infectious Diseases Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at Charleston Area Medical Center, will be sharing their experiences and encouraging students to get involved. In order to gain further insight, Dr. Glenn Ridenour, an Infectious Disease Specialist from Charleston Area Medical Center, will be joining Dr. Sobnosky and Dr. Robinson for a Q&A panel following the convocation. The UCSOP Class of 2017 will be following this event with a health fair at the Charleston Town Center on Friday, November 20th in order to engage the public on a direct level and share what they have learned about antibiotic stewardship.

Antibiotic stewardship is one small step towards improving appropriate antibiotic use. Our hope is to get as many students involved in this campaign as possible, so we can reach the community at large. For more information, you may visit the CDC’s Get Smart page at

Celebrate American Pharmacists Month with UCSOP!

APhM_Twitter_IconFor a comprehensive list of UCSOP’s October events, please view: American Pharmacists Month Activities 2015

October is American Pharmacists Month! Sponsored by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), October is the month to advocate for the profession of pharmacy and the important role of the pharmacist.

APhA encourages all members of the pharmacy profession to participate in American Pharmacists Month, and has community outreach ideas available for established pharmacists, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians. The UCSOP is fully embracing American Pharmacists Month, and has events planned all month long. Events range from online webinars on financial advice, to a Halloween costume contest. Casual events are planned, such as the numerous dress down days, but there are also many community outreach based events, such as the Women’s Edge Health Fair and the AAPS Cystic Fibrosis Event.

Month long UCSOP events include supporting Medicine Bottles for Malawi, which provides Malawi’s rural hospitals and villages with recycled medicine bottles to keep their medicines clean, out of reach of children, and safe to use. There will also be History of Pharmacy blog posts throughout the month. The blog posts will highlight an important American pharmacist, honoring those who have contributed to pharmacy- past and present. These posts are contributed by Dr. Gardner’s PHAR 546: History of Pharmacy class.

National American Pharmacists Month events include a fundraiser campaign for APhA Foundation’s Pharmacists Care Campaign, which supports the Foundation’s mission to improve people’s health through pharmacists’ patient care services. For every $30 donation, a personalized marker will be displayed on the lawn of APhA Headquarters during the week of October 19, 2015. Also, Pharmacy Times is running a social media event over Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Followers are encouraged to recognize their most valued pharmacists by using #ThankAPharmacist and @Pharmacy_Times, creating awareness for America’s favorite pharmacists. Pharmacy Times will recognize 10 of the posts in their November publication.

No matter your position in the pharmacy community, be sure to advocate for the pharmacy profession and get involved in American Pharmacists Month. And, don’t forget National Pharmacy Technician day on October 20th!


Community Immunization Awareness at the UCSOP

On August 29th, Christelle Ngatchou, a P2 at the UCSOP, celebrated National Immunization Awareness month by planning and coordinating an immunization event with her peers at the UCSOP. The event was designed to share the advantages of vaccinations. Working with the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA), and the West Virginia Immunization Network, the event was successful and allowed UCSOP pharmacy students to educate the community, and advocate for the pharmacy profession.

The event included vaccine poster presentations and allowed student pharmacists to share the advantages of vaccines to the community. Each student who participated was fully engaged with the public.


“As health care providers, pharmacists have the ability to provide immunizations as long as they have completed all training and requirements enforced by the Board of Pharmacy. Those include training provided by the American Pharmacists’ Association (APhA), holding a current life support-training certificate as CPR, and a current immunization permit. On May 17 2015, the West Virginia Legislature passed the rule of adding the meningococcal vaccine to be administered by pharmacists. Thus the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy updated its list of immunizations, which includes the influenza, pneumococcal, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, herpes-Zoster, tetanus diphtheria, and now the meningococcal vaccines.”

-Christelle Ngatchou (Class of 2018)


IMG_2148Thanks to the  UCSOP Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA), and the West Virginia Immunization Network, the August event was successful in increasing the awareness about immunizations for the Charleston community. Other opportunities will be organized in the future to educate the public such as for the Flu season.


Although, the month of August was National Immunization awareness month, our UCSOP students know that it’s important to continue educating the community about the prevention of diseases all year long! Be sure to check back for future events–including flu immunizations in the future!

Pharmacist Day at the WV Legislature

The University of Charleston School of Pharmacy joined Marshall University School of Pharmacy (MUSOP) and West Virginia University School of Pharmacy (WVUSOP) to help promote the profession of pharmacy and impact public health for all West Virginia residents during the 2015 Pharmacists Day at the Legislature. The event was held at the State Capitol Complex on Monday, February 23, 2015. Under the guidance of Drs. Capehart (WVUSOP), Gardner (UCSOP), Lucas (UCSOP), and Wolcott (MUPDATL PhotoSOP), over 300 pharmacy students participated to help advocate for the profession and for our patients.

In total, 31 groups of students (5-6 per group) met with delegates and senators to share the pharmacists’ role in health care delivery. Many representatives were more than willing to take time out of their busy schedules to meet with students and talk about upcoming legislation and public health concerns. Information about medication adherence was also distributed to 389 persons as part of the University of Charleston’s Script Your Future Campaign.

P3 Kyle Sargent performing a blood pressure reading as Ms. Smith counsels a patient.

P3 Kyle Sargent performing a blood pressure reading as Ms. Smith counsels a patient.

In addition to advocating for the profession, Ms. Barbara Smith, an instructor and preceptor for UCSOP, organized a blood pressure and diabetes health fair at the Capitol to help educate individuals on the importance of monitoring their blood pressure and blood glucose levels, as well as providing them with a blood pressure reading while on site. In total, 60 patients had their blood pressures and diabetes risks screened, helping to demonstrate the importance and versatility of pharmacists in a healthcare system.

Contributed by Peter Relvas UC SOP Pharmacy Student & Graduate Intern, Office of Professional and Student Affairs.