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02/19/2014

Pharmacy Student Values MLK Day of Service Experience

Mlk dayAditi Bhogal PharmD'17 shares her experience from the University’s MLK Day of Service on Jan. 20.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Day commemorates a national leader who helped our overcome segregation, ignorance and prejudice. This year was the first year Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, and the entire University, celebrated MLK Jr., Day, by cancelling classes and encouraging students to develop and/or participate in volunteering events. Generation Rx, a patient care initiative developed by The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy and funded by the Cardinal Health Foundation, is an educational program that increases public awareness of prescription medication abuse and encourages health care providers, community leaders, parents, teens, and college students to actively work to prevent abuse.  APhA-ASP partners with Cardinal Health on this educational program to expand the breadth and depth of this important initiative to the communities surrounding our nation’s schools and colleges of pharmacy. 

At our PCP-APhA chapter of Generation Rx, we tried to carry on the message of MLK. Jr., of overcoming segregation, ignorance, and prejudice by having an interactive workshop with pharmacy students and faculty about prescription drug abuse. The workshop was titled “Be Part of the Conversation.” The workshop included a presentation, which presented facts, ideas about preventing drug abuse, pharmacist roles in preventing prescription drug abuse, and the importance current trends and data surrounding this. This was followed by an interactive activity including drug abuse questionnaires and pretend patient counseling. The purpose of this was to get the conversation going about the unique position pharmacists are in to help prevent prescription drug abuse.


The most rewarding activity in this workshop was the discussion component. We discussed important questions such as policy changes that could be needed, efforts that could be taken at a nationwide, local, and campus level. One of the primary activities we found needed to be focused on was just an awareness of the physiological and medical effects of the body when prolonged drug use occurs. Another issue we focused on was the stigma attached to mental illnesses and addiction, as opposed to conditions like diabetes and heart disease.  One of the key components we realized we could do on a campus level is to have presentations/awareness on the pathophysiology of addiction, both mentally and on the body and how that ties into the most commonly abused drugs. Another idea we had was to integrate conversation and steps towards intervention in our Pharmacy jobs/rotations/volunteering. The Generation Rx “Be Part of the Conversation” workshop was the perfect way for students and faculty to come together, discuss, and take steps towards a more knowledgeable, cohesive, and tolerant society, much like the vision Martin Luther King, Jr., had for our society.

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