Vietnamese Health Screening
In late October, thirty-three first- and second-year students made the five-hour drive to Edinburgh, Texas, in order to conduct a health screening for underserved populations in the Rio Grande Valley. The Mexican American Association of Pharmacy Students (MAAPS) coordinated the event with help from the faculty, staff, and pharmacy students from the UT Pan American (UTPA) campus. This was the fourth year that MAAPS has held this event, and it was yet again a huge success.
Joining them there were numerous third- and fourth-year students who are currently at UTPA, as well as seven students from the Mexican American Pharmacy Students Association (MAPSA) at the University of Houston College of Pharmacy. At the event, students took blood pressure, BMI measurements, blood glucose, and cholesterol levels of the attendees. Together, these students screened over 85 patients and referred many of these to physicians for follow-up. The third-year students in attendance also gave 84 immunizations and conducted brown bag medication reviews. These reviews allow a patient to bring all of the medicines they are currently taking to be looked over by the pharmacy students to check for duplications, interactions, incorrect dosages, etc. Over 300 interventions in various areas were conducted throughout the day.
This health screening was also assisted Dr. Veronica Guerra from the UTPA Cooperative Pharmacy Program in her research, which aims to asses the local population's knowledge of chronic diseases, perspective of pharmacy, and perspective of the health care system. Students were excited to be a part of research that will be presented at major conferences once completed.
Overall, students felt that they had a large impact on the community that day. Sun Seo, a representative of MAAPS, commented on the benefits of the event: "Students got to interact with a diverse population in a distinct region than what they were accustomed to. They were able to practice a different language, learn new ways to interact with patients and provide indispensable health care services." Second-year student Liz Fry detailed the events, saying, "throughout the day, we were able to reach out to many individuals in the community that would not normally have access to health care. It was a truly enriching experience." The Rio Grande Valley screening has become a tradition at the College, and students are already looking forward to next year.
College of Pharmacy
The University of Texas
2409 University Ave.
Austin, TX, USA
Email Address: pharmacy
About Project Collaborate
During the 2010-2011 academic year, the first year of the collaborative venture, the student organizations collectively provided 15 health screenings that served almost 1,500 patients. Since then, Project Collaborate has coordinated over 46 events, reaching out to over 4407 patients.