Wednesday, February 6, 2013

HU Pharmacy students visit, advise at General Assembly

HU School of Pharmacy students and faculty  stand outside the General Assembly Building on Virginia Pharmacy Day.

HU Pharmacy students visit, advise at General Assembly

Twenty-four Hampton University School of Pharmacy students traveled to Richmond, Va. Jan. 30 to participate in Virginia Pharmacy Day at the General Assembly Building. The event is hosted annually by the Virginia Pharmacist Association and is a combination of a health fair, and legislative visits with state representatives, to discuss pharmacy-related issues.

HU School of Pharmacy Drs. Antonio Carrion, Carl Tullio and Ebony Andrews took the trip with students. Members of HU’s National Community Pharmacist Association (NCPA) developed informational brochures on diabetes, high cholesterol and blood pressure, to disseminate to legislators. The group was honored as guests of HU Liberal Arts Dean and United Sates Senator, Mamie Locke D-Hampton, during the Senate session.

The trip was an opportunity for students to see the power of their voices, Andrews said.

“Meeting with the legislators and sitting in on the House and Senate sessions allows them an opportunity to voice their concerns and hopefully assist in the passage or denial of laws that impact the profession, and the provision of care to the patients we serve,” she said. “I want them to see they have the power to make a difference if they take the time to get involved.

Pharmacy Student Brittany Lowe was able to perform blood pressure checks on various people, including legislators, during the General Assembly visit. She also gave advice to politicians, as she witnessed them in the rush of their workday.

“I noticed that this population … traveled from room to room in a very hasty manner. I detected that their blood pressures were running very high,” she said. “Being in health care, I strongly believe it is imperative to be able to interact with patients that have different careers, and take into consideration the flow of their everyday work environment.”

The health fair consisted of cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure screenings. This year, a booth to take back expired and unwanted medications was available to both legislators and the public.

This experience can help students become well rounded, Andrews said.  

“I hope this trip inspires our students to become more involved in the laws and regulations that affect not only their profession as future pharmacist, but healthcare as a whole,” she said.

Lowe said the experience was eye opening to the health field’s political side.

“It gives students the opportunity to learn about the different health care laws and bills that are passed and can have an appreciation for health care from a political view instead of only as a clinician,” she said.

-Leha Byrd