STLCOP Students Reach Out to the Community in a Big Way
April 9, 2014, marked one of the biggest student outreach days in the College’s history.
More than 300 STLCOP students traveled to Jefferson City and participated in Missouri Pharmacy Association’s Legislative Day, making it MPA’s largest Legislative Day ever. Locally, over 800 STLCOP students participated in the College’s Outreach and Advocacy Day, giving free health screenings at Missouri Botanical Garden, Saint Louis Science Center and more than a dozen pharmacies.
“Outreach and Advocacy Day is on its way to becoming another successful school-wide event such as STLCOP C.A.R.E.S.,” says Francisco Franco, fifth-year student and president of the College’s chapter of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists, who helped organize the event. “The relevance of the event lies in the importance of teaching the general public how pharmacists play a key role in their daily lives.”
Students performed diabetes, blood pressure and bone density screenings. They also discussed the safe use of medications, asthma, and how patients can utilize pharmacists to help achieve their health care goals.
“As part of the yearlong celebration of the College’s 150th birthday, we wanted this to be the biggest day of service in the College’s history,” says Kilinyaa Cothran, RPh., director of professional student affairs at the College and Outreach and Advocacy Day organizer.
Meanwhile, in Jefferson City, students, faculty and staff were lobbying state legislators about Missouri congressional bills that affect the profession of pharmacy. They also advocated legislators for provider status, as a provider bill was recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Pharmacists, now more than ever, are filling the gaps that exist with regard to primary care throughout the country,” says Franco. “Currently, there are not enough physicians and nurses to fulfill this unmet need. We, as pharmacists, have the preparation, knowledge and skills to help the health care team with part of the primary care services. For example, we can assist with chronic disease state management such as diabetes, hypertension, and HIV. We are doing our part trying to educate lawmakers about the relevance of pharmacists as part of the health care team.”
For more photos from the day, go here.