UW School of Pharmacy E-news
February 2010  |  Return to issue home

Students Take Outreach Local, National & Global

Recent outreach efforts by pharmacy students include a citywide pro-pharmacist ad campaign, elections to regional and national association positions, and a fundraiser for an Ethiopian pharmacy school.

Student-created bus ad
This student-created ad hung inside Seattle Metro buses in October.

Taking their message to the streets
For American Pharmacists Month (APhM) this past October, pharmacy students arranged for 90 King County Metro buses to carry internal advertisements that contained the message: "Know your MEDICINE. Know your PHARMACIST." The ads asserted that pharmacists are a great source of health information and encouraged people to get to know their pharmacists and medicines better.

To pay for these full-color, 11x17-inch interior ads, the students used money from the United Professional Pharmacy Organizations of Washington and a School of Pharmacy community-outreach and patient-advocacy center called Bridges to Health. The Washington State Pharmacy Association also contributed money, and the company that created the ads, Titan, provided half of the ads at no cost to support the students' outreach efforts.

This year's APhM theme aimed to educate the public and policymakers about how improved medication awareness can save the health care system money. It also sought to demonstrate how pharmacists play a key role in helping prevent medication errors.

In addition to the bus campaign, students created APhM T-shirts for pharmacy students, staff and faculty to wear on the same days throughout the month. They also organized a health fair at Husky Stadium on Homecoming. And they successfully requested that Gov. Christine Gregoire sign a proclamation emphasizing the important role pharmacists play in providing immunizations.

The students’ goal for the education campaign was to help change the public perception of pharmacists, said Karen Craddick, second-year pharmacy student and junior liaison to the Washington State Pharmacy Association.

Getting their voices heard on a larger stage
Students Karen Craddick and Steven Larson have recently been chosen for leadership roles in national pharmacy organizations.

Craddick was elected a regional delegate for the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP). In this role, she is promoting policy and advocacy activities in APhA-ASP Region 7, which encompasses Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah and Washington. She works with chapter members from that region to increase their awareness and get them involved in issues that affect pharmacy practice. 

She also got to take her voice to a national stage in January when she joined other delegates and national officers in Washington, D.C., to discuss proposed resolutions and decide what priorities student pharmacists will vote on at the APhA Annual Meeting in March. The proposed resolutions ranged in topic from patient safety to advancing pharmacy practice.  

Larson has the special distinction of being a first-year student on the Meetings and Programming Advisory Group for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). In this role, he is responsible for ensuring that the information shared at the Midyear Clinical Meeting—the ASHP-run educational event for pharmacists and pharmacy students—is contemporary, interesting, relevant and easily accessible to students.

His main goal is to find ways to help first-year pharmacy students feel more comfortable at the mid-year meeting. Because a primary focus of the meeting is a residency showcase for third- and fourth-year students, he recognizes that some first-year students feel intimidated. He wants to help change that by better educating them about the meetings, and perhaps even by helping implement lectures geared toward first years.

Helping pharmacy students abroad
UW students are also reaching across borders to make their impact, thanks to the International Pharmaceutical Students' Federation (IPSF) UW student chapter. This past October, it hosted a trivia night to raise funds for much-needed pharmacy textbooks for students at Jimma School of Pharmacy in Ethiopia.

The textbook donation was coordinated through IPSF’s Pharmabridge program, a program that facilitates the worldwide sharing of educational materials for colleagues in need. More than 70 people participated in the trivia night at a Seattle pub. They helped raise more than $1,100 through a matching grant provided by the School of Pharmacy’s Bridges to Health fund. Local businesses and pharmacy student organizations donated the prizes.

Ultimately, fourteen textbooks were purchased with the money raised. Faculty members Don Downing and Peggy Odegard delivered them personally to Ethiopian pharmacy students when they traveled to Jimma, Ethiopia, for a conference in November.

The Jimma students were so grateful that they sent an effusive letter to the UW School of Pharmacy. Among other things, it said: “We thank your visionary students who have international vision toward the international community of pharmacy students and pharmacy profession. We loved the books….Our double gratitude goes to you for organizing and communicating fundraising activities.”

IPSF hopes to make this an annual fundraising event to benefit various international programs.

Paul Algeo, ’11, Karen Craddick, ’12, Dayl Eccles, ’13, Steven Larson, ’13, Assistant Director of Communications Melinda Young and Jeannette Zimmer, ’11, contributed to this story.

February 2010  |  Return to issue home

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