Pharmacy's Student Chapter Receives Innovation Award

The Wayne State University (WSU) Chapter of the American Pharmaceutical Association’s Academy of Students of Pharmacy (APHA-ASP) immunized more than 1,100 faculty and staff campus-wide during a six-day flu clinic this past October. In addition, the student chapter also immunized approximately 400 medical students from the WSU School of Medicine in November.

“We are not aware of any other pharmacy college in the United States whose students were engaged in an immunization program of this breadth,” said David J. Edwards, PharmD, chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice, WSU Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

He added, “This project demonstrates that pharmacists are fully capable of providing immunizations on a large scale. Given the accessibility of pharmacists in the community, this can be important in ensuring that a high percentage of the population is vaccinated against key infectious diseases.”

Acknowledging the student pharmacists’ community service, the Southeastern Michigan Society of Health-System Pharmacists honored the WSU Chapter of APHA-ASP with the Innovation Award. The award was presented during the Society’s annual Awards and Installation Banquet on Nov. 12.

The WSU Department of Human Resources chose the APHA-ASP members to collaborate with WSU Total Compensation and Wellness and the University Pharmacy. Following an extensive all-day workshop on immunization protocol, 75 student pharmacists were certified to inoculate against this year’s flu strain. Another 60-plus student pharmacists assisted their peers with paperwork, observation, and education on diabetes, smoking cessation, heartburn and Hepatitis C.

“While a few of the student pharmacists signed up for this project as their required community service, the majority of the student pharmacists dedicated their time and hard work to make this a success,” said Carol Bugdalski-Stutrud, RPh, FAPhA, director, Community Experiential Education Programs, Department of Pharmacy Practice. “That dedication speaks volumes of the caliber of student we have in the college.”

In addition to Bugdalski-Stutrud, five pharmacists/preceptors volunteered from one to three days to provide protocol support to students at the clinic sites.

“I am proud of the effort that our Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has organized to assure timely, professional administration of influenza vaccine at the beginning of this influenza season,” said Stephen Lerner, MD, professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, WSU School of Medicine. Dr. Lerner worked with the students on the flu vaccine protocol.

“The importance of influenza immunization is not only to protect the individuals whom we immunize from acquiring a serious infection that can complicate their lives and occasionally hasten the end, but it can thereby also reduce the risk of influenza among those around us,” Dr. Lerner explained. “Furthermore, by preventing influenza infections and thus reducing the level of respiratory infection during the flu season, immunization reduces the likelihood that we will be treated unnecessarily with antibiotics for a viral infection, thereby protecting our antibiotic lifeline for the times when we will need antibiotic therapy for a bacterial infection.”

The Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, a founding college of Wayne State University, is committed to advancing the health and well-being of society through the preparation of highly skilled health care practitioners and through research to improve health care practices and treatment from the urban to global levels.

Wayne State University is a world class institution of higher education offering more than 350 academic programs through 12 schools and colleges to more than 31,000 students in metropolitan Detroit.

Media Contact: Kathleen J. Karas, APR
Voice: (313) 577-2312

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