The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) is encouraging pharmacy students and its Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) chapters to help demonstrate the importance of speaking with pharmacists and understanding medications.

At the month’s halfway mark, students attending pharmacy schools across the country have educated their communities about adherence, prescription drug abuse and diversion, poison control, diabetes, and other important topics. To advocate for the profession both on and off campus, pharmacy students have organized and participated in health fairs, hosted health screening and vaccination events, and reached out to various patient populations.

Student pharmacists from Midwestern University’s APhA-ASP chapter plan to bring attention to pharmacy within their community. On October 18, 2014, the group will walk a banner carrying the motto of American Pharmacists Month, “Know Your Medicine, Know Your Pharmacist,” throughout high-volume areas of Chicago to raise awareness about the many benefits pharmacists offer to their patients.

Pharmacy students of the Marshall University School of Pharmacy will also reach out to their community this month. Members of the school’s APhA-ASP chapter will visit a local high school to speak about the dangers of prescription drug abuse as part of the Generation Rx initiative. The organization is also hosting an Operation Immunization event, in which students will educate their non-pharmacy peers and professors about different vaccines. In addition, the school’s Student Societies of Health-System Pharmacy is offering blood pressure screenings and other wellness tests at their Health Check event.

Students of the Lake Eerie College of Medicine School of Pharmacy have planned similar events. The students participated in a health fair within the community, held a diabetes awareness health fair on campus, and will host another community health fair later this month. Students will also speak about poison prevention methods during a Halloween event at a local mall.

The APhA encourages pharmacy students to think creatively when planning outreach and awareness events throughout the month. Unique ideas for APhA-ASP chapter activities include:
  • Holding a chapter fundraiser
  • Serving healthy snacks and beverages along with pharmacy information
  • Hosting a pharmacy hour or day at a local coffee shop
  • Working with the school’s athletic teams to speak with athletes and coaches, and to spread awareness at games and events
  • Creating a YouTube video about pharmacy
  • Co-hosting events with artistic, cultural, and other non-pharmacy groups on campus to reach more students

The organization also encourages students to share the daily #APhM2014 facts on the APhA-ASP Facebook and Twitter pages and to promote American Pharmacists Month across social media.