December 01, 2016
By Kevin Chen
American Pharmacists Association - Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) is a national organization dedicated to promoting student growth, improved patient care, and the profession of pharmacy. In an effort to enhance patient care, APhA-ASP has established a number of national patient care and community service projects aimed to educate and screen for various disease states ranging from diabetes and heart disease to prescription medication abuse and misuse. Each year, patient care projects from around the country are nominated for regional and national awards based on their impact on the community, and pharmacy as a whole. The 128 chapters around the country are broken up into 8 individual regions, with 26 schools represented in Region 4. This year, the APhA-ASP Chapter at University of Kentucky (UK) College of Pharmacy was honored to receive the Region 4 awards for both Operation Immunization and OTC Medicine Safety.
The UK College of Pharmacy’s APhA-ASP Operation Immunization had an event-filled 2015-2016 year. The purpose of Operation Immunization is to both increase the knowledge of vaccinations, as well as provide immunizations in order to reduce the public health burden of preventable diseases. Volunteers partnered with nursing staff from UK Healthcare to organize influenza vaccine clinics for UK employees and students. UK College of Pharmacy students also had the opportunity to immunize UK President Capilouto and UK’s Board of Trustees members. Through these numerous events, Operation Immunization volunteers vaccinated over 2,500 people against the flu. The operation also focused on educating campus and the community through participation in local health fairs, presentations to UK sorority women, and vaccination screening of our state legislators in Frankfort.
APhA-ASP OTC Medicine Safety was introduced at the UK College of Pharmacy during the 2015-2016 year. OTC Medicine Safety's main goal is to educate 5th and 6th-grade students on over the counter medications. Over the 2015-2016 year, student volunteers for OTC Medicine Safety spoke with over 300 middle school students at local middle schools on the safe use of over-the-counter medications. OTC Medicine Safety also educated undergraduate students at UK on mental health and sleep hygiene and collaborated with Operation Immunization to educate sorority women at UK on the Gardasil vaccination and safe sexual practices. OTC Medicine Safety participated in the Georgetown Health Fair, where student volunteers educated the public on nuances of common OTC medications, and the Legislative Health Fair, where student volunteers spoke with Kentucky legislators about pseudoephedrine laws and needle exchange programs. Finally, OTC Medicine Safety held the second annual Rx Run/Walk 5K race and raised over $1000 for Be The Match bone marrow registry.
The diligence and dedication of Operation Immunization Co-Chairs, David Li and Holly Oatman, as well as the OTC Medicine Safety Co-Chairs, Chelsea Collard and Collin Ray, are what made these awards possible. In addition to the time each student leader spent planning and holding events, all student pharmacist who volunteered their time at these events were critical to the success of our chapter’s patient care projects. The APhA-ASP Chapter at the UK College of Pharmacy is extremely proud to have been recognized for the commitment our student pharmacists have towards improving patient care in our community.