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Shedding a New Light on Medication Safety

Left to right: Assistant Professor of Clinical Pharmacy Dr. Laura Bio, Annette Lista PharmD'14, and Meghan Tolan PharmD'14.
By Annette Lista PharmD’14

The Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group (PPAG) student organization, recognized by the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, is one of the first student chapters that is a branch of the national pharmacy organization.

One of the organization’s objectives is to provide medication safety education to student pharmacists, patients and their caregivers, and pediatric practitioners. By working with the faculty advisor, Dr. Laura Bio, the organization was able to coordinate its first community outreach program with the Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper University Hospital and the Cooper Medical School at Rowan University.

In honor of National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month on May 31, Cooper’s Asthma Care Committee held its sixth annual Asthma Care Health Fair for 80 students from Lanning Square School in Camden, NJ.  The health fair consisted of 10 booths, ranging from asthma education to exercise activities.

Annette 3The PPAG student organization’s goal was to educate the students about medication safety through a fun interactive game at their booth. The game consisted of 10 scenarios in which the students responded what they would do if put in that situation. For example, one scenario consisted of sharing a classmate’s asthma inhaler, and the discussion was to never take someone else’s medication as it can be harmful. With take home prizes and worksheets, our organization encouraged students to discuss these scenarios with their parents, guardians, and teachers at school. By teaching the students the basics of medication safety at a young age, the foundation was built to prepare them for situations in the future.

FairAt the end of the day, all of the students gathered for lunch and were asked about one thing that they learned.  It was a proud moment for the PPAG student organization when one student raised her hand and said, “I learned not to share my friend’s medication.” With this being the first of many future outreach events that the PPAG student group will be participating in, the organization can truly see the impact it’s already made.


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