October is American Pharmacists Month

Did you know that October is American Pharmacists Month? 

American Pharmacist Month is a month-long celebration to recognize the significant contributions to health care and the commitment to patient care by pharmacists in ALL practice settings around the country. Our student pharmacists will host several health fairs and outreach events in October and November.  Get involved by helping to educate the community about “Know Your Medicine, Know Your Pharmacist”!

Listen to this student-created ad then visit www.asppacific.com/aphm to learn more.

 

ASP Takes Home APhA Innovation Chapter of the Year Award Two Years in a Row

Pacific’s American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Academy of Student Pharmacists (ASP) was awarded the Innovative Chapter of the Year award in March 2011 at the APhA Annual Meeting and Exposition in Seattle. This is the second year in a row for ASP Pacific.

The award recognizes the single chapter that has excelled in implementing an innovative program that promotes both the mission of APhA‐ASP and the profession of pharmacy. Chapters may report on a single activity or a series of activities based on a central theme that is original, creative, and sets their chapter apart from all other APhA‐ASP Chapters.

Last year they received the recognition for organizing a health fair which fundraised for the Community Center for the Blind and lending a helping hand to a local baseball team in preparation for the Beep Baseball World Series, the adaptive version of America’s favorite pastime for the blind and visually impaired.

Early 2010, Andy Chan ’11, 2009-2010 ASP President, proposed the idea of utilizing Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels to post a new pharmacy fact every day during October of American Pharmacists Month. APhA-ASP Pacific later launched “Face the Nation, Face the Facts” campaign in coordination with APhA’s theme, “Many Paths, One Purpose.”

Their goal was to have over 30,000 student pharmacists nationwide to educate the community about pharmacy and gain support from other professionals and graduate schools in promoting “Did you know October is American Pharmacists Month?” The student pharmacists created a Facebook group called “American Pharmacists Month” which quickly gained over 2,500 members. In addition, an external website (http://www.31facts.com) was also created and received a total of 1,525 hits and their Twitter account under the username “RxMonth” received 137 followers.

On Twitter, the student pharmacists tweeted facts such as “Did you know that pharmacy technicians work alongside pharmacists in the pharmacy to take better care of patients?” and more.

“Thanks! I didn’t know pharmacists could do that! Keep the facts coming!” said a follower.

They also promoted the campaign through professional publications such as the California Pharmacists Association. In addition to using social media channels, ASP Pacific appeared on Good Day Sacramento to promote American Pharmacists Month which reached over 150,000 Sacramento Valley residents.

This campaign proved to be such great success that APhA has adapted it into their marketing initiatives.

“We are honored that APhA-ASP continues to use our Facebook campaign during American Pharmacists Month to educate thousands of people about how pharmacists can play an essential role in healthcare. We take pride in knowing our efforts can impact patients’ lives for years to come. Our hope as is that Pacific will continue to be at the forefront of being influential leaders,” said Chan.

 

Students Take a Spin Off March Madness

The Drug Awareness Committee (DAC) is a student organization at Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences that focuses on medication therapy management for seniors, and raising drug awareness for people of all ages.

DAC participated in March Madness by hosting Medication Therapy Management, MTM, sessions in Stockton and Lodi, participated in VN CARES Pacific Family Health Fair, presented on poison control for elementary school students at American Cancer Society Committee’s, ACSC, Linden Elementary science fair, presented Generation Rx at Cesar Chavez High School in Stockton, and more.

MTM sessions were offered at O’Connor Woods in Stockton and Hutchins Street Square Senior Center in Lodi to serve our senior population in managing their medications, checking for major interactions, assessing medication compliance and ensuring that our patients know the purpose and how to use their medications.

These MTM events have not only shown to be beneficial to the patient but also rewarding to students and preceptors as well. DAC would like to thank alumni and preceptors for their continued support of their events.

 

Pharmacy Legislative Day Encourages Students to Take Action

On April 12, 2011 approximately 175 pharmacists and student pharmacists, including four students and two faculty members from University of the Pacific’s Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, gathered near the State Capitol in Sacramento. These healthcare professionals were all members of the California Society of Health-System Pharmacists (CSHP) one of the largest pharmacy organizations in the state. Total attendance was more than double the previous year and the goal of this tremendous congregation was to advocate for the betterment of the profession and public health through legislation.

The 4th Annual CSHP Legislative Day started with a short continuing professional education program centered around legislative and grassroots advocacy led by CSHP lobbyist Holly Fraumeni. The central issue, Assembly Bill 377 “Reducing Medication Errors in Hospitals” proposed by Assemblyman Solorio of Anaheim, was then reviewed by CSHP Director of Government Affairs Philip Swanger. The preliminary meetings then concluded with a keynote address by Assemblyman Richard Pan of the 5th District near Folsom. With talking points memorized and confidence bolstered by an excellent training program, all 175 attendees made their way to the capitol building to meet with their respective officials. During each of the 53 meetings with assemblypersons and senators, constituent pharmacists and students discussed the important role of the pharmacist in providing accessible healthcare to their community and requested support for AB 377.

Many of the attendees were student members interested in shaping the future of pharmacy. Student pharmacists make up a significant portion of the profession as a whole (an estimate of up to 20 percent nationwide) and it’s never too early to make sure the profession takes the shape we want it to take in the future.

University of the Pacific, in collaboration with California Northstate School of Pharmacy, hosted a health fair on the north steps of the capitol . The health fair provided free screenings to the public along with consultations from pharmacists regarding proper drug use and lifestyle changes. Diabetes screening (blood sugar measurement), cholesterol measurement, and blood pressure screenings were available in addition to free flu shots. The pharmacist volunteers worked fast outside the capitol and in only two and a half hours they were able to conduct 40 cholesterol screenings, 23 diabetes screenings, 40 blood pressure screenings, and administer three flu shots.

The Legislative Day activities ended with a reception hosted by the Pharmacy Professionals of California Political Action Committee. The reception was held at the CSHP headquarters in downtown Sacramento and included refreshments and drinks. The reception was a way to thank those that participated and was an opportunity for pharmacists and students to network and meet the CSHP leadership.