Wayne State University

Community engagement

The Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (EACPHS) provides Detroit middle and high school students with the opportunity to participate in Apple Days, an initiative through which students learn about health education programs offered by the college. The Office of Student Affairs hosts a minimum of 90 students twice a year for five hours, during which they explore programs through hands-on demonstrations and instructional lectures presented by students and faculty.

The student chapter of the Arab American Pharmacist Association packaged 10,000 nutritious meals to be sent to children in less economically advanced countries as part of Kids Against Hunger. In addition, members served meals to 200 homeless at the Neighborhood Service Organization shelter and provided education on nutrition, poison control (i.e. what plants not to eat) and wellness. The group also raised $800 for the shelter.

The college is a partner of the C2 Pipeline Program, a college and career ready initiative that exposes disadvantaged high school students to health and STEM careers in a project-based, hands-on learning environment. Faculty members representing the college’s various programs facilitate activities to educate students about opportunities, academic requirements, and job responsibilities and encourage them to pursue health care careers.

Community Apple Days is an outreach event aimed at increasing community awareness about the college’s programs and the diversity of applicants in the health sciences. The comprehensive, multigenerational, and interdisciplinary educational experience is a health, wellness, and career fair that educates participants about careers in health sciences while promoting healthy living through good nutrition, physical fitness, and disease prevention. The bi-annual event includes hands-on activities, demonstrations, workshops, and health screenings.

The Community Homeless Interprofessional Program (CHIP) started in late 2013 when a local church, the Cathedral of St. Paul, approached the medical school about providing basic medical services after a weekly breakfast they hosted for people of Detroit who were experiencing homelessness.  WSU health professions programs collaborated to develop an initiative to educate homeless individuals about medical and community resources and provide them with some basic health services. A once monthly clinic program was designed, and the first program occurred in April 2014.  Each college is responsible for providing both a faculty member and students at the monthly clinic.  The Doctor of Pharmacy Program and the Schools of Medicine and Social Work have further developed CHIP and thus have become the CHIP core students and faculty.

Established in 2011, the Diabetes Education and Wellness (DEW) Clinic is an interdisciplinary, student-run free clinic that seeks to enrich the educational experiences of students as well as expand access to health care services for uninsured or underinsured individuals with type 2 diabetes. Students from several disciplines in the EACPHS, including Pharmacy Practice, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Dietetics and Nutrition, Social Work, Clinical Laboratory Sciences, and Medical Practice, work in partnership with the Super All Year (SAY) Detroit Family Health Clinic, which was founded by columnist and author Mitch Albom. With the support of faculty and staff from different departments and through interdisciplinary coordination, the clinic provides well-rounded free education about the many aspects of type 2 diabetes to individuals in the community.

The college, in partnership with the Detroit Catholic Pastoral Alliance, hosted a Health Care Career Night in March. The purpose of the event was to educate young people — with an emphasis on disadvantaged students and underrepresented minorities — about opportunities in the health care industry, expose them to health care professionals and encourage them to pursue health care careers. Panelists included Marquita Chamblee, associate provost for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer;  Jerry Herron, dean of the Irvin D. Reid Honors College; Dennis Parker, associate professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice; and Donald Neal, manager of the College of Nursing’s C2 Pipeline program, an afterschool initiative that engages high school students in college- and career-readiness activities.

The EACPHS hosts a weekend workshop for participants in the College of Education’s GO-GIRL (Gaining Options Girls Investigate Real Life) program, which seeks to expose girls to careers in STEM fields. This year, faculty used interactive presentations and hands-on activities to help participants learn about careers as a clinical laboratory scientist, occupational therapist, pathologists’ assistant, pharmacist, and radiologic technologist

In support of the Health Education Programs at the Latin Americans for Social and Economic Development (LA SED) Senior Center, second-year student pharmacists make health and medical-related presentations to older adults.

The Healthy Initiatives/Detroit Public Schools program encourages elementary school students to lead healthy lifestyles and provides health screenings for faculty, staff, and parents. Student pharmacists make presentations to third through fifth grade students and conduct health screenings. This one-day program takes place during the fall and winter semesters.

Through Housing for the Homeless, second-year student pharmacists provide supervised medical care to approximately 50 men and women who are currently homeless and trying to get their lives back on track. Students take medication histories, perform blood pressure monitoring and other screenings, assess common complaints, make clinic referrals, and provide medical assistance under the supervision of health care providers on site. This community service is held for two-hours in the evenings during the first week in November at St. Fabian Roman Catholic Church, Farmington Hills, MI.

The Interprofessional Team Visit program, a collaboration between WSU's medicine, pharmacy, nursing, social work, physical therapy, occupational therapy and physician assistant programs, serves 450 older adults in the Detroit area annually.

Fourth-year pharmacy students involved in the Michigan Antibiotic Resistance Reduction Coalition teach elementary school students about antibiotics, bacterial and viral infections, and minimizing the spread of germs. Student pharmacists contact schools in the metro Detroit area, schedule sessions, and conduct interactive presentations. The one-day program runs throughout the academic year.

In April, the Department of Pharmacy Practice and the WSU chapter of the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP), in partnership with the Love Detroit Prevention Coalition and Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority, hosted “Medication Generation: Just Say Know,” an event to educate local teens about dangers of the nonmedical use of prescription drugs and underage drinking. Our student pharmacists led a variety of interactive educational activities — including a “Family Feud”-style game, “pharm” party, skits and role-playing scenarios — to help Detroit-area high school students understand risks associated with misuse and abuse of prescription drugs and alcohol and to encourage students to make wise choices. The partnering organizations also facilitated a Key Leaders Roundtable, which brought together physicians, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, students, substance abuse and prevention counselors, and representatives from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and National Institute on Drug Abuse to generate solutions to the problem.

Second-year student pharmacists and first-year medical students collaborate to conduct Older Adult Home Visits with individuals living independently in southeastern Michigan. Students learn about the medical, health and social needs of older adults living independently. Students participate in one visit per team per semester as part of the Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) for student pharmacists.

The physician assistant (PA) studies program has been affiliated with Special Olympics Detroit since 1998. PA studies students work in conjunction with students from the college’s physical therapy and occupational therapy programs and medical residents and staff at Sinai-Grace Hospital to provide monthly pre-sport health appraisals for the underrepresented minority, mentally and physically challenged population in the Detroit Public Schools. The program has enabled approximately 1,200 mentally and physically challenged athletes to participate annually in the Special Olympics Detroit events. The program has received two awards: the Community Based Project Grant from the Physician Assistant Foundation and the 2000 AAPA/PA Foundation/Pfizer Recognition Program.

The Super All Year (SAY) Detroit Physical Therapy Clinic is a free, student-run initiative that offers physical therapy services to medically underserved and uninsured residents at no cost. Its goal is to help students become experienced physical therapists through volunteer experiences that help them develop leadership and other skills. This past April, physical therapy students organized the DEW What You SAY 5K to raise money for the Diabetes Education and Wellness (DEW) Clinic and the Super All Year (SAY) Detroit Physical Therapy Clinic. Students are to be commended for coordinating such a successful first event; there were 120 registered runners, and they raised more than $2,200.

Second-year students in the Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPEs) participate in Underserved Clinical Activities through which they interview patients in 10 Detroit area clinics that serve the underinsured and uninsured. Students learn the value of clinics to provide medical care to the underinsured and uninsured, learn how medical conditions and treatment affect patients’ quality of life, enhance their communications skills in obtaining medication histories, and provide patients with consultation on medications. They also assist clinic staff in dispensing medications and obtaining medications from various prescription programs.

In collaboration with WSU’s department of human resources and the University Pharmacy, the WSU Chapter of the American Pharmacists Association’s Academy of Students of Pharmacy (APhA-ASP) annually conducts WSU Campus Flu Clinics. Student pharmacists administer the flu vaccine to faculty and staff and perform glucose and blood pressure screenings. The APhA-ASP also provides health screenings for the WSU Wellness Warriors program.

Mortuary science adjunct faculty member John Desmond, with assistance from program director Mark Evely, led efforts to ensure the burial of more than 170 individuals, including 13 military veterans, whose remains were unclaimed and held at the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office. The project was coordinated by a coalition of individuals and organizations that included the Jewish Fund and the Michigan Funeral Directors Association.