Saint Louis College of Pharmacy SSHP
Author: Hubert Kusdono, St. Louis College of Pharmacy SSHP Chapter President
Throughout the Spring Semester of the 2017-2018 academic year, the STLCOP SSHP chapter aimed to build upon and expand its initiatives with regards to community outreach and health-system service, professional development, and networking opportunities for its student members.
To kick off its Community Outreach Initiative, STLCOP SSHP introduced a new fundraising event called Pants with a Purpose – an event which would eventually be an outstanding highlight in the chapter’s many successes throughout the semester. This fundraising event was publicized to STLCOP students and faculty, in which for every pair of sweatpants purchased, another pair would be donated to the St. Patrick’s Center for the Homeless. Other essential items and basic necessities were also donated to help improve the health of the less fortunate in the St. Louis community. Through this community outreach event, the chapter was able to donate about $1800 in clothing and household needs. The Ronald McDonald House Community Outreach Event was another fundraising opportunity for STLCOP SSHP members, which was held in collaboration with SIUE SSHP. During this event, students volunteered their services to cook and prepare meals for patients’ families at the Ronald McDonald House. Blankets for Cancer Patients was another health-system service and volunteer opportunity for students to make tie-knot blankets for oncology patients in St. Mary’s Hospital. The Sweet Babies Volunteer event was an opportunity for students to volunteer at St. Mary’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, as well as take a tour of the facility. Cancer Care Packages was another well-received, recurring event where students were able to make cancer-care packages and hand-deliver them to patients at Siteman Cancer Center. This provided students, who haven’t already done so already, with the opportunity to tour Siteman’s outpatient infusion center and learn about oncology pharmacy from the pharmacists who worked there.
As part of the Community Outreach Initiative, the STLCOP chapter held numerous health and vaccination clinics throughout the spring semester, where students were able to talk to patients regarding their medication adherence, diabetes, asthma, hypertension management, and vaccination history. These series of health clinics was a great opportunity for students, who were learning about how to administer blood pressure in some of their classes, to implement and enhance their skills by obtaining blood pressure from real patients in the community. Additionally, the chapter held a series of vaccination clinics and training sessions for students who wanted to practice administering vaccines. These clinics were held across various Shop N’ Save and Walgreens pharmacies throughout the greater St. Louis area, and students were given the opportunity to promote the importance of yearly flu shots and timely vaccinations, such as the Shingrix vaccine for Shingles. Students were thus able to implement what they had learned regarding how to administer vaccinations in a real-life setting, where they were able to interact with patients while doing so and impart their knowledge to the community.
As part of the chapter’s spring semester initiatives for professional development, STLCOP SSHP held a Residency Preparation Program which included a CV Review event and Mock Interview. Students were able to have their CV’s and resumes reviewed and critiqued by various faculty members. STLCOP SSHP believes that it is important for students to develop their CV’s and resumes early in their professional years, as it can only benefit them as they may apply to various jobs and internship opportunities throughout their years in pharmacy school. During the Mock Interview Practice Sessions, students were able to partake in a residency, fellowship, or job interview simulation conducted by various pharmacy practice faculty. This gave students the opportunity to sharpen their interviewing skills and know what kind of questions to expect in a potential residency interview. Faculty provided feedback to students and also answered questions regarding their potential career path into different pharmacy specialties.
STLCOP SSHP also aimed to continue providing students with ample networking opportunities with practicing pharmacists. During the Practice Advancement Initiative (PAI) Week in February, the chapter expanded its yearly series of health-system panels by introducing a Residency Director's Roundtable for the first time. Students were able to network and connect with directors from residency programs and hospitals throughout the St. Louis area. This provided students with a unique opportunity to learn about what residency programs seek and expect from their candidates. The chapter also arranged a Clinical Roundtable networking event, where students were able to learn about the daily duties and roles of a clinical pharmacist, the impact that clinical pharmacists make in patient-centered care, and the different pharmacy specialties that students can pursue in pharmacy. The chapter also hosted several panels, seminars, and Lunch N’ Learns, where students were able to hear about interesting and important topics in healthcare such as hypertension management, skin cancer, and home infusion pharmacy.
Overall, the STLCOP SSHP chapter was successful in introducing new events and expanding upon previously successful ones in light of its new initiatives for community outreach and service, professional development, and networking. The chapter hopes to build upon every aspect in its ultimate goal to introduce and prepare student pharmacists for the residency preparation process that lies ahead, and hopes that it can continue to serve as a resource for students who seek to develop their knowledge and skills as aspiring pharmacists.
UMKC School of Pharmacy
Authors: Anna Parker and Jordyn Williams, UMKC SSHP Chapter Presidents
The spring and summer semesters at the UMKC School of Pharmacy are a little more relaxed than our fall semester. In February, our Columbia campus teamed up with MMSHP and the Ronald McDonald House to prepare meals for patients and families receiving care at the Women and Children's Hospital. It was a great time serving the local community through the event. The Columbia campus also participated in a pull tab collection competition with local hospitals to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House. All together, they were able to collect over 30 pounds of pull tabs. Aside from that, we held our monthly general meetings during the spring semester with visiting speakers to share their experiences working as health-system pharmacists. Dr. Rachel Howland from Truman Medical Center visited during one of our last meetings and presented a very unique patient case. All of the attendees enjoyed hearing how Dr. Howland handled the case with her healthcare team and was able to provide appropriate pharmacological care. The meeting and case presentation helped show students the vital role a clinical pharmacist can play in patient care.
This summer the SSHP executive team is busy gearing up for our main events that happen in the fall semester. Residency program directors should be on the lookout for their invitation to attend Residency Roundtable, which will take place on September 29th at each UMKC campus. Our Clinical Skills Competition and membership drive will also be taking place this coming fall.
The Kansas City campus would like to extend a warm welcome to Dr. Jeremy Hampton, who will be serving as our new advisor this year. We would also like to thank Dr. Tatum Mead and Dr. Stephanie Schauner for their time serving as advisors in Kansas City. We are thankful for your involvement with SSHP and wish you the best! All three campuses are excited to start the new school year in August and are ready to see our chapter grow, serve, and learn.