PCP Students Provide Faith-Based Healthcare to Underserved Philly Residents
Five students from Philadelphia College of Pharmacy collaborated with more than two dozen medical, dental, podiatry, and nursing students from various colleges across Philadelphia during this year’s Summer Medical Institute (SMI) Philadelphia. This three-week health outreach program is sponsored by the Medical Campus Outreach ministry of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia and Esperanza Health Center.
“Teams of health professions students helped address the health and spiritual needs of residents in the Kensington and Hunting Park neighborhoods of Philadelphia,” said Daniel Hussar, PhD, Remington Professor of Pharmacy at University of the Sciences. “This unique experience allowed students to learn how to integrate their faith with their responsibilities as health professionals.”
After initial training sessions, Sherilin Joe PharmD’16, Rebecca Shatynski PharmD’16, Julie Varughese PharmD’16, Megan Pellett PharmD’16, and Christina Besada PhSci’17 joined their peers to conduct door-to-door health outreach in teams throughout the neighborhoods—offering diabetes and blood pressure screenings, as well as nutrition and healthy lifestyle education.
Students also lived together in community, and learned first-hand the impact of social, cultural, emotional, spiritual, and economic factors on individuals’ health. Through interaction with clinicians and staff members at Esperanza Health Center, Dr. Hussar said the students were able to observe an effective model of Christian primary healthcare.
Here’s a break-down of the recorded visits and activities completed by the students during SMI:
- 630 visits to homes were conducted with health screenings provided
- 787 blood pressure screens
- 97 new positives for pre-hypertension were identified
- 117 new positives for hypertension were identified
- 756 blood sugar screens
- 68 new positives for diabetes were identified
- 737 BMI screens
- 130 dental screens
- 68 received in-home HIV testing
- 200 people received asthma education
- 917 people were prayed with
- 87 people requested church follow-up
Following the conclusion of SMI, USciences students made follow-up phone calls to individuals with whom visits were made. They also met with alumnus Neil Pitts P'73, PharmD'04 and visited the Miriam Medical Clinic that he started at Berean Baptist Church in North Philadelphia.