12 posts categorized "Community"


USciences students get a lesson on alcohol abuse prevention, public safety

Philadelphia Police Officer #1Approximately 200 University of the Sciences students discussed the ramifications of drug and alcohol abuse, noise violations, underage drinking and the use of fake IDs at a meeting with an officer from the Philadelphia Police Department last month hosted by the Office of Student Engagement.

On Wednesday, October 26th, Lt. Derek Hawkins, commanding officer at University City District, spoke to USciences students involved in fraternities and sororities about hot topics that impact college students. Following Lt. Hawkins' presentation, a question and answer session was held giving students the opportunity to ask questions pertaining to the topics discussed.

Each semester, fraternity and sorority life hosts one educational event that is mandatory for 80% of each chapter to attend.


Student Physical Therapists Recognized at Patricia Leahy Memorial Lecture

JDP-3271Coinciding with Physical Therapy Month in October, more than 150 physical therapists, faculty, and students attended the 15th annual Patricia Leahy Memorial Lecture at University of the Sciences on Thursday, Oct. 15.  This year’s topic, “New Advances in the Management of Persons with Balance and Vestibular Disorders,” featured Dr. Susan Whitney, a Philadelphia born and raised physical therapist who is now a world-renowned researcher and specialty clinician in the area of vestibular rehabilitation.

 “The Leahy seminar is always a highlight of the year for the Department of Physical Therapy, and this year, we had a record number of alumni return for the evening event,” said Gregory Thielman, MSPT, EdD, associate professor of physical therapy and director of the Patricia Leahy Research Lab at USciences.

Each year, this on-campus event recognizes former USciences physical therapy professor Patricia (Patti) Leahy, who passed away Oct. 9, 1995, after a hard-fought battle against breast cancer.  Her areas of specialization were in teaching rehabilitation and neuroscience, and she was an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the Neurology Section.

Before her death, Leahy established a scholarship fund to financially assist USciences’ physical therapy students during clinical education, and proceeds from this lecture benefit this fund. She felt that it was important to enable students to expand their horizons by seeking clinical sites outside of the Philadelphia region.

JDP-3276Student physical therapists Tara Farnitano DPT’16 (above right) and Christine Kettle DPT’16 (left) were selected as the recipients of this year’s Patricia Leahy scholarships based off their impressive academic performance and passion for helping patients in neurological rehabilitation clinical settings.

“This evening consisted of two things that Patti enjoyed—learning and socializing, and we are honored to keep the memory of Professor Leahy alive on campus,” said Thielman.

Click here to see the 2015 Leahy Lecture photo gallery.


Alum's Pharmacy Nationally Recognized for its Service to Community

HealthMart_Tepper_093015Pharmacy alumnus Craig Lehrman P’89, a second-generation pharmacist who learned the business from his father, was recently honored for consistently providing care and services that add measurable value to patient healthcare and community wellness. His independently-owned Tepper Pharmacy, located in Wynnewood, Pa., is one of 10 pharmacies across the country to receive the Health Mart Community Healthcare Excellence Award.

After graduating from Philadelphia College of Pharmacy in 1989, Lehrman gained most of his pharmacy experience working for others before he achieved his goal of owning a pharmacy in 2011. Over the past four years, Lehrman and his staff have continued to build upon Tepper Pharmacy’s rich 30-year history of delivering personalized care to the community.

“I was interested in the business aspect of pharmacy, but it was my father that guided me into the profession of pharmacy,” he said. “I was looking for a store to buy and even considered opening a new store from scratch, until the perfect opportunity arose to take over Tepper Pharmacy.”

In this new era of chain pharmacies and mail order prescriptions, one of the hallmarks of independent pharmacies, like Tepper, is their ability to understand and cater to the unique needs of their community.

“I want the service that we provide to make us unique,” Lehrman said. “The personal interactions we have with our customers is what makes us stand out and it is an important part of what makes Tepper Pharmacy a successful business.”

Beyond the traditional services most pharmacies offer, Tepper Pharmacy’s staff includes an employee who specializes in fittings for compression stockings and sleeves and is also an expert in durable medical equipment and wound care, a pharmacist who specializes in managing the medications for long-term care facilities in the area, and a pharmacy team that services local dialysis centers.

To help the community stay healthy, Tepper Pharmacy administers vaccinations, offers free delivery anywhere in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, and makes every attempt to fill all prescriptions by stocking a large inventory. These specialized and personalized services are just a few examples that exemplify the concern Lehrman and his pharmacy staff have for the community.

The Health Mart Community Healthcare Excellence Award program is a component of the Health Mart Healthy Living Tour, which is on the road to celebrate and recognize community pharmacists for the important role they play as trusted healthcare providers in their communities—helping to educate and counsel on a variety of conditions that can be better managed with the help of a pharmacist.  

“Health Mart pharmacies fill a gap in today’s busy healthcare system by providing broader access to clinical services and medication counseling, and our pharmacists often serve as the first point of care for everyone from new parents to grandparents,” said Chuck Wilson, vice president of Health Mart. “We recognize that issues like diabetes and obesity are serious epidemic affecting millions of Americans, and these 10 pharmacists have proven themselves as go-to resources for those in their community managing these diseases.”


Health Policy Prof's Joint Research on Homeless Vets Featured in JAMA

MetrauxDr. Stephen Metraux, professor of health policy and public health at University of the Sciences, has done extensive research on homelessness and housing, mental illness and community integration, prison reentry, and other aspects of urban health. In fact, he is working with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as part of their commitment to ending homelessness among veterans by 2015.

The Journal of the American Medical Association [JAMA] on Aug. 25 published the results of research1 that he took part in to explore the association between misconduct-related separations and homelessness among recently returned active-duty military service members:


1. Gundlapalli AV, Fargo JD, Metraux S, et al. Military Misconduct and Homelessness Among US Veterans Separated From Active Duty, 2001-2012. JAMA. 2015;314(8):832-834. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.8207.


PCP Students Provide Faith-Based Healthcare to Underserved Philly Residents

SMI_20151Five 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.


College-Bound Students: Don’t Forget to Pack These Necessities, Says USciences Prof

Hewitt-3189Thousands of students across Greater Philadelphia will soon start the next chapter of their lives as they begin their college journeys away from home. But with their new freedom comes the exposure to millions of germs while living and studying in close quarters with others, said Stacey Gorski, PhD, assistant professor of biological sciences at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.

“Because students share many of the same spaces and items in places such as residence halls and dining areas, many germs can spread quickly and easily,” said Dr. Gorski, who specializes in immunology. “It’s scary when you think about it, but the more you know about their risks, the better you can protect yourself.” 

So as students pack their bags with necessities like clothing, bed linens, accessories, and electronics, Dr. Gorski also encourages them to remember to pack the following items to help minimize their contact to germs:

  • Flip flops for the shower. Communal bathrooms in residence halls—thanks to their generally moist nature—are breeding grounds for germs, such as fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Shower sandals can help protect students from catching viruses that can cause warts and fungi that commonly cause athlete's foot.
  • Laundry detergent. Students are probably unaware that they are sharing their bed with bacteria, yeast, and other fungi that can lead to skin infections and respiratory issues. Regularly washing bed linens, changing pillows, and showering at night can help reduce the number of germs in a student’s bed. Students should also avoid using their beds as seating areas for guests.
  • Disinfectant wipes. Viruses like the norovirus—commonly associated with gastrointestinal disease on cruise ships, but also a rising cause for concern on college campuses—can live and potentially infect a person for up to 7 days after being deposited on a surface. That’s why it is a good idea to wipe down shared objects, such as eating areas, desks, doorknobs, and keyboards, daily with disinfectant wipes.
  • Hand sanitizer.  Although soap and water works best for killing germs, alcohol-based hand gels can work in a pinch, especially for individuals who use public transportation, or do not have access to a sink for extended periods of time.

On a more serious note, Dr. Gorski also urges college-bound students to consider getting the HPV and influenza vaccinations. Both males and females should receive the three-dose HPV vaccine to protect themselves against preventable cervical, mouth, and throat cancers. She also added that flu shots are the best way to protect students against influenza and possibly missing weeks of class due to the highly-contagious virus. 


HealthAug. 21, 2015:
Add Germ Fighters to College Packing List


Jamaican a Difference: PCP Students Complete Interprofessional Medical Mission Trip

Left to right: Pharmacy students Joellen Friedman, Brie Kassamura, Nitin Bagga, Julian Kam, Grace Park and Monika Cios.

Pharmacy student Nitin Bagga PharmD'16 observed closely as a middle-aged Jamaican woman—with teeth rotted well into her gum line—underwent an oral exam at a free health clinic in Kingston. Until that day, the woman had no means of getting medical attention or hope that the pain would come to an end.

Stories like this highlighted all of the reasons why nearly a dozen pharmacy students and professors from University of the Sciences made the journey to Jamaica last month to participate in an interprofessional medical mission trip.

It was a mission to help others, to learn about a culture 1,500 miles from Philadelphia, to gain work experience, and to come away better people. It was a mission to give back.

“This trip was a humbling experience to say the least…seeing the poverty in different parts of the world and being able to help so many in need was extremely rewarding,” said Bagga. “Working with the different healthcare professionals on the trip has prepared me to be the best pharmacist I can be.”

Bagga was accompanied on this trip by his classmates Joellen Friedman PharmD’16, Brie Kassamura PharmD’16, Julian Kam PharmD’16, Grace Park PharmD’16, and Monika Cios PharmD’16; and pharmacy professors Drs. Shelley Otsuka, Jessica Adams, and Yvonne Phan.

The pharmacy group from USciences joined a large team of healthcare practitioners and professional students from Nova Southeastern University and Women of Health Occupation Promoting Education (H.O.P.E.) to provide essential medical services to Jamaicans in critical need of quality medical and dental care, health awareness education, and pediatric care.

By the end of the trip, the team had provided care to more than 3,000 patients at prisons, churches, schools, and hotels across rural and urban communities in Jamaica. In fact, the USciences pharmacy team filled more than 5,000 prescriptions for these patients.

The Philadelphia College of Pharmacy students had many responsibilities before, during, and after the mission trip, said Dr. Otsuka. They prepared for the trip by updating the medication guide-use tools, reviewing the medication formulary, developing patient education pamphlets, creating a continuing medical education presentation handout, and constructing a research project that included a protocol. In addition, they held disease-state topic discussions with their instructors to help review treatment guidelines.

Joellen Friedman PharmD’16 provides patient counseling to a mother and her young daughter.

The students also collected donations from pharmaceutical companies, alumni, and local businesses, such as SunRay Drugs and ACME Savon Pharmacies. As a result of their efforts, approximately 75 different medications were used to treat a variety of patient conditions in Jamaica. They also held fundraisers in the spring to offset their housing expenses for the trip and to raise money to purchase medical supplies, including gloves, hand sanitizer, and Ziploc bags—which functioned as the medication vial.

During the trip, the students had the opportunity to work alongside healthcare practitioners and students in the fields of medicine, physical and occupational therapy, and dentistry. They also managed a closed formulary system and maintained an accurate medication inventory system, as well as filled, compounded, and labeled medications, and counseled patients on new medications—all under the guidance of their professors.

When the students returned to Philadelphia, Dr. Otsuka said they took stock of their inventory, wrote self-reflection essays, and gathered and analyzed data for a scholarly project. She said they plan to submit an abstract and research poster for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists' Midyear Clinical Meeting, and share their experience with peers and underclassmen this fall.

Throughout the trip, each healthcare profession interacted with pharmacy in a unique and collaborative way, said Park.

“Pharmacy was truly an equally integrative part of the healthcare system and care of the patient,” Park said. “Being able to be a part of that and see it occur in one room was an unforgettable experience.”



Future Physician Assistants Gained Invaluable Experience in Honduras

HondurasAspiring physician assistants Aisha Malik PA’17, Emily Coraci PA'17, and Emily Kobayashi PA’17 were among a team of physician assistant students who recently traveled to Honduras with Philadelphia University’s Global Medical Brigades chapter to provide free medical services to those without access to quality healthcare.

“These students served Honduran communities that truly relied on them for their medical necessities,” said Joan Ward, MS, PA-C, chair of the physician assistant studies program at USciences. “They undoubtedly left a positive impact on a culture where access to medical care and equipment is limited, while also gaining invaluable experience in their field.”

Malik, Coraci, and Kobayashi worked closely with doctors, physician assistants, dentists, pharmacists, and community members to provide direct medical care for patients in rural, underserved communities that would otherwise have no access to medical care. More particularly, they were able to to take vitals and patient history in triage, shadow licensed doctors in medical consultations, and assist in a pharmacy under the direction of licensed pharmacists.

Honduras2Coraci said the trip served as a learning experience across all aspects of life, not just her profession. For instance, the students learned a new culture and interacted with patients of all ages who did not speak English. During a visit to a community outside of San Lorenzo, Honduras, Coraci said a local family welcomed her medical brigade into their home and even taught them how to make tortillas.

Honduras is ranked as the third poorest country in the Western Hemisphere after Haiti and Nicaragua, and has been designated as a “priority country” by the Pan American Health organization/WHO Strategic Plan. The basic needs of education, healthcare, and clean water are luxuries for most Hondurans, but in the rural communities where the team of students served, these luxuries are even harder to find.


Kappa Phi Gamma Sisters Raise Hundreds for Cancer Research

Care weekThe sisters of Kappa Phi Gamma Sorority, Inc. at University of the Sciences hosted their third annual C.A.R.E. (Cancer Awareness: A Real Effort) Week on March 16-19—raising nearly $1,000 for cancer research. As part of a nationwide tradition that occurs at every chapter of Kappa Phi Gamma, C.A.R.E Week at USciences commemorated the sorority’s national philanthropy, cancer awareness. All proceeds collectively raised across the United States benefited the Bite Me Cancer Foundation.

“We thank everyone who came and supported us during our C.A.R.E. Week,” said Rebecca Vayalumkal PharmD’18, a sister of Kappa Phi Gamma. “Through the campus community’s cooperation, we will be making a significant difference in teens who have cancer.”

The Virginia-based nonprofit, Bite Me Cancer Foundation, was established in September 2010 by Nikki Ferraro after she was diagnosed with a rare form of thyroid cancer at the young age of 17. Within the two weeks following her diagnosis in April 2010, Ferraro led a Relay for Life team called “Bite Me Cancer” and experienced immediate success with the team's name. When Ferraro decided to create a foundation, she chose to continue the legacy of her team's name to raise awareness and research funds for thyroid cancer.

C.A.R.E. Week at USciences started off with a kick off rally on Monday, March 16. The sisters of Kappa Phi Gamma shared Ferraro’s story and discussed the purpose of C.A.R.E week with guests, as well as hosted games at six different stations. Participants had opportunities to win raffle tickets at each station, and prizes included gift cards to City Tap House, Olive Garden, Honest Toms and Royals. Guests also enjoyed a nacho bar provided by Qdoba. (The photo booth was a big hit at this event!)

A candlelight vigil united several members of sororities and fraternities across campus on March 17. Members of the audience also shared their personal stories of how cancer has affected them and their families.

“We shared what our philanthropy is with the rest of the audience and why it is so near and dear to our hearts,” said Vayalumkal. “After we informed everyone about cancer awareness, we had a moment of silence to honor all those people that either had cancer or are currently battling it.”

Members of other sororities and fraternities also joined Kappa Phi Gamma in making cards for children battling cancer during a service event on March 18. Participants were able to use their creativity to make cards that will hopefully put smiles on the faces of children with cancer.

C.A.R.E Week wrapped up on March 19 with a Big/Little Competition, featuring duos from different Greek organizations at USciences. Members put together lists of questions to ask both the big and little duos representing their respective sororities or fraternities. Depending on how many of their answers matched up, participants would get points. The first-place winners received two $25 gift cards to MadMex restaurant. In addition to proceeds raised throughout the week from selling buttons across campus, the sorority also hosted fundraising opportunities with Insomnia cookies and Copabanana.

Taste of India

3by Maitri Patel PharmD'18 is the Public Relations chair for Kappa Phi Gamma Sorority Inc.

On April 9, 2015, Kappa Phi Gamma Sorority Inc. at USciences held a cultural event called “Taste of India.” Sisters of the sorority made a popular dishes from various states of India that exemplified the different spices and crops famous to that region.

Following a short presentation on India’s culture and food, attendees were encouraged to walk around the room and “taste” a part of India. Each station had a poster board of the state, which included the state’s population, an interesting fact, and the food they are most known for. The poster also included information on what the main dish was made from. Several of the attendees enjoyed experiencing different foods and were very interested in their origin. Over 50 people attended the event, and the sorority hopes to make this an annual event.

Kappa Phi Gamma held this event in order to promote cultural awareness, as it is one of their eight principles which are: Character, Leadership, Scholarship, Sisterhood, Service, Culture, Womanhood, and Self. This event highlighted an important fact that although India is one nation, each state has a different dialect, food, and culture, that makes each of them unique. Although India is a very diverse country, its uniqueness is forged together by common bond, and similar passions by its people. In the same way, Kappa Phi Gamma hopes to promote an understanding of cultural diversity on campus, as well as unity between different people of different backgrounds.

The sorority also recently hosted its annual C.A.R.E. Week, where we were able to raise over $800 for Bite Me Cancer.


My Photo

© 2011 University of the Sciences in Philadelphia • 600 South 43rd Street • Philadelphia, PA 19104 • 215.596.8800