Teddy Bear Flu Clinic

On Monday, October 23rd and Friday, October 27th, 2017, two groups of student pharmacists from the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy volunteered at Sacred Heart Daycare Center, in Charleston, WV.  The event, the Teddy Bear Flu Clinic, allowed student pharmacists to pass out teddy bears to students ranging from ages 5 – 12 years old, to show them that getting the flu shot is not scary.   The student pharmacists explained to the children that flu shots are nothing to be afraid of, and, in fact, they are important to get every year.  The student pharmacists allowed the children to draw back a syringe (without a needle) and give their teddy bear a “flu shot.”  After each child gave their bear a shot, the student pharmacists helped fill out “prescriptions” for the bears, indicating what kind of love and care the bear would need afterward.  The children were very enthusiastic and enjoyed learning about flu shots and why they are so important.  In fact, many of the children were excited to go get their flu shot next!

This event showed that student pharmacists are always willing to give their time back to their community.  With pharmacists being more accessible than any other healthcare professional, it shows the importance of their vaccination privileges.  As of right now, pharmacists in West Virginia have the ability to prescribe and administer vaccines, but are limited by an age restriction of 18 years or older.  It is important for us continue to support pharmacists in gaining more vaccination privileges.

We would like to thank the Student Society of Health-Systems Pharmacy (SSHP) for organizing this event as well as providing the teddy bears and certificates.  Additional thanks are extended towards Sacred Heart Daycare for allowing us to come teach your children about influenza vaccinations and the importance to getting vaccines.

UCSOP Hosts DEA 360 Strategy Meeting

Exciting things are happening at UCSOP, in the Charleston community, and around the state of West Virginia! On January 25, 2017, UCSOP hosted the DEA 360 Strategy Meeting for Charleston, WV. This meeting served as the kick-off event in the 6th city for this nationwide initiative. The DEA 360 program focuses on heroin, prescription drugs, and violence within our communities. screen-shot-2017-02-02-at-2-04-33-pm

DEA 360 utilizes a three-fold approach to fight the drug epidemic in its pilot cities. This approach focuses on diversion control, law enforcement, and community outreach working together to make our cities safe and free of drugs! The ultimate goals of the 360 Strategy are to stop the deadly cycle of heroin and opioid drug abuse and addiction, partner with the medical community to increase awareness about the link between heroin and opioid use, and to strengthen community organizations to provide long-term support for this initiative.The basic components of the strategy are outlined below:

  • Coordinated Law Enforcement Operations: Focuses on DEA leadership with coordinated local law enforcement actions targeting all levels of drug trafficking, organizations, and violent gangs supplying drugs in our neighborhoods.
  • Enhanced Diversion Control: Increases engagement from drug manufacturers, wholesalers, practitioners, and pharmacists to increase awareness of the heroin and prescription drug problem. Pushes for responsible prescribing practices and safe use of these medications throughout the medical community.
  • Building Community Partnerships:  Community outreach and partnerships with local organizations following DEA enforcement actions to equip and empower communities with the tools to fight the heroin and prescription drug epidemic. Focuses on young people through after school programs, education, and media attention to this issue.

Overall, 200+ people from DEA (both local divisions and DEA Headquarters in Washington DC), community groups and organizations in Charleston, along with UCSOP faculty, staff, and student pharmacists attended the meeting! Be on the lookout for local television and radio adds about the program as well as a website designed specifically for our Charleston community. It’s time to “Wake Up Charleston”!

UCSOP Faculty and Students host a luncheon for DEA representatives after the meeting!

UCSOP Faculty and Students host a luncheon for DEA representatives after the meeting!

 

Educating Charleston’s Youth About Safe Medication Practices

As first-year pharmacy students (P1s), we sign the Oath of a Pharmacist when we walk across the stage during the White Coat Ceremony. By signing this document, we are accepting the responsibility of utilizing our knowledge to serve the community. This year, the P1’s had the pleasure of using our knowledge to teach 5th grade students throughout the Charleston area about the dangers of misusing prescription medication by utilizing materials from Generation Rx.

In the past month, more than 6 million Americans ages 12 and older have taken a prescription medication for non-medical reasons. Drug overdose deaths, mainly from prescription medications, is the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S. Generation Rx’s goal is to educate our youth, college students, other adults in our communities, and seniors about enhancing medication safety in order to prevent them from being another statistic in the future of prescription drug misuse.

UCSOP Class of 2020 students celebrate safe medication use with 5th grade students!

UCSOP Class of 2020 students celebrate safe medication use with 5th grade students!

Being that West Virginia has one of the highest opioid abuse rates in the United States, it is vital to reach out to the children in our state and teach them the importance of using medications correctly while they are young. Our class was split up into twelve groups who would each present to one 5th grade classroom in two hour-long sessions. For the first session, we were given a PowerPoint to present that hit on all the core messages of Generation Rx such as not sharing medications, using medications as directed by a physician, proper medication storage, and being a good role model. In the second session, we were able to incorporate active learning activities for the students.

Overall this experience was truly rewarding. We wore our white coats to the presentations and you could tell the children wanted to hear what we had to say as a result. They were constantly participating and seemed to have fun while going through the PowerPoint. In order to see what information the children had retained, our group decided to play jeopardy with the class during our second session. I was impressed to see great improvements in their answers from our first presentation. It made me feel like we could actually be making a difference. If our presentation can prevent even one student from misusing medication in the future, then it can be considered worthwhile. Generation Rx is a very important organization and I think it is great that our school of pharmacy has become actively engaged with teaching it. I hope to continue partaking in events related to Generation Rx throughout my pharmacy school career.

Contributed by Glenn Schiotis, Vice President Class of 2020

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.