SCHNECKSVILLE, LEHIGH COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Saturday is November 9th, which is now National Day of Service.
It’s organized through the Act Pharmacy Collaborative as a way to connect pharmacy students with networks of community-based pharmacies.
If you walked into your local pharmacy on Saturday, you might have seen a group of pharmacy students from Wilkes University offering patient care services. They were there because it’s National Day of Service.
“90 percent of Americans live within five miles of a community pharmacy. Not only that, but on average, our patients are coming to a pharmacy 33 times a year,” Nesbitt School of Pharmacy Director of Community Outreach and Innovation Nicole Pezzino said.
Pezzino says this allows pharmacists to really have an impact on patients’ day to day healthcare. National Day of Service is a way for students to begin practicing one on one patient care as well as give back to the community.
“The experience and building of relationships is the most important thing you can learn as a student,” sixth-year pharmacy student Sarah Ahearn said.
“It’s not just about their medications. It’s actually about taking care of your actual health instead of just dispensing a product, but managing your disease state,” fifth-year pharmacy student Michael Bulkley said.
16 Wilkes University students participated in this year’s National Day of Service, visiting seven different community pharmacies across the region. They offered free blood pressure screenings, glucose screenings, as well as free medication and immunization reviews.
Last year, Wilkes University piloted Pennsylvania Day of Service. This year, over 60 different pharmacy schools are participating in what is now called National Day of Service.
“I’ve seen tweets and I’ve seen Facebook posts from Mississippi, from North Carolina, from California of all these different schools and pharmacies participating, which is really exciting,” Pezzino said.
Pezzino says they will also collect data from Saturday’s events to track how many people nationally schedule follow-ups with their pharmacists.