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Project Collaborate Celebrated
At Basketball Center Court

Project Collaborate, the pharmacy student initiative designed to provide free health screenings to underserved populations, drew applause and cheers when its leadership was introduced at center court during halftime of a recent UT Longhorns men's basketball game.

Student leaders accompanied by their faculty sponsor Sharon Rush, Dean Lynn Crismon and Mark Newberry, an alumnus whose Tarrytown Pharmacy has been a major contributor to the effort took the center court spotlight during halftime of the Jan. 26 game that saw the UT men's basketball team successful against Texas Tech.

The student-led Project Collaborate provides free health screenings for blood glucose, blood pressure, total cholesterol, body mass index, weight, and body fat percentages.  In addition, free education booths are presented on a variety of disease states and health care topics.  Students provide the screenings and educational programs under supervision of a licensed preceptor.  Project Collaborate was named the November 2012 Outstanding Student Organization of the Month from the UT Volunteer and Service Learning Center.

The project was established in 2009 under the student leadership of Julieta Scalo.  Her goal was to organize the various student organizations that were conducting health screenings into one structure.  Project Collaborate was born with a budget that year of $1,500 that was used to provide a little more than 500 screenings.

The program continued to build over the course of the next few years with an increased budget to support increased numbers of screenings. 

By 2011-2012, the organization came under the direction of college's Pharmacy Council.  A Project Collaborate chair was named and each of the participating student organizations was allocated two representatives to serve on the planning committee.  The UT Association of Nursing Graduate Students and the students within the School of Social Work began participating in the program.  San Antonio, El Paso and Pan Am campuses received screening kits to provide care to their communities.  Forms and protocols were developed for the collaborative screenings, and the budget was expanded to $16,000. 

A total of 21 events were conducted during 2011-2012 providing almost 4,800 screenings to approximately 1,600 patients.  The Texas Exes Parents Association presented Project Collaborate with its Community Service Award.

Darlene Nguyen and Christina Chang serve as 2012-2013 co-chairs for Project Collaborate.  Goals for the year include screening 3,000 community members in underserved areas across the state including two screenings per year at each of the satellite campuses.  All Pharm.D. students are now required to perform two hours of community service in each of the fall and spring semesters for Project Collaborate.  Training for the entering class is integrated into activities for new student orientation week. 

For more information concerning Project Collaborate, contact Sharon Rush.

Last Reviewed: January 29, 2013

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