I hope you are all excited for Thanksgiving Break! In the spirit of thankfulness, I wanted to talk about some of the many opportunities that College of Pharmacy members give back to the Columbus community.
As students at the College we are required to do a minimum number of community health service hours every year (but are encouraged to go above and beyond that minimum number). P1s are expected to do 10 hours, P2s 20 hours, P3s 30 hours, and P4s 10 hours. So, what constitutes a community health service event? Any event that provides education or health benefit to a community member (think dispensing at a free clinic or a blood pressure screening) AND is supervised by a licensed pharmacist. These are also wonderful learning opportunities you are able to apply knowledge from the classroom to patient care and counseling.
Spotlighting Some CHS Opportunities:
- Physicians Care Connection: This is an interprofessional free clinic run on Monday nights out of the Columbus Public Health Department. Students help dispense medications off a small formulary and then counsel every single patient that gets a medication at the clinic.
- New Life: This is an interprofessional free clinic run on Sunday mornings out of a nearby Methodist church that includes physicians, medical students and nurses. Students help dispense small supplies of medications, primarily for blood pressure and pain. They provide drug information, help write prescriptions and provide information on other places patients can get access to free medications around Columbus.
- Katy’s Kids: Work with local elementary schools and College Mentor for Kids to teach kids about medication safety. There are 10 stations that kids can go through including Candy vs. Medicine, Poison Control, Counting Pills, Amoxicillin Reconstitution, and Medication Cabinet, and pharmacy students volunteer at one station to run.
- Columbus Free Clinic: This is an interprofessional free clinic run out of a Family Medicine Clinic on High Street. It is a collaboration with the College of Medicine, Social work and Nursing, and all Pharmacist volunteers are Ohio State Wexner Medical Center Residents. Students can either participate as a dispensing or ambulatory volunteer. Dispensing volunteers help with data entry, dispensing and patient counseling. Ambulatory volunteers participate in patient interviews, chronic care monitoring and evaluation, and medication adjustment and prescription writing.
- Faith Mission: This is an interprofessional free clinic on Thursday nights where pharmacy volunteers help gather information from patients including a list of medications (RX, OTC, supplements), and any other pertinent information. Volunteers also fill prescriptions and counsel patients on their medications.
- Charitable Pharmacy: Charitable Pharmacy is run Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays whose mission is to provide affordable and appropriate pharmacy services and coordinate access to health care for patients living at or below 200% of the federal poverty level, are uninsured or underinsured. Volunteers help with filling and inventory and can shadow APPE students during patient encounters.
Though this is just a list of some of the opportunities, I hope it provides you with a little more insight into some of the ways our students give back at the College!