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REF NO.: 41

SUBJECT: Memorial University pharmacy students kick off Pharmacist Awareness Month

DATE: March 5

Students at Memorial University’s School of Pharmacy have kicked off a chock-a-block schedule of events to mark Pharmacist Awareness Month (PAM).

Activities include topical and timely events designed to educate the public about the role of pharmacists in health care and the range of services they provide every day.

Multiple community events

There will be a public pill drop on Saturday, March 14, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the School of Pharmacy’s Medication Therapy Services (MTS) Clinic at 75 Tiffany Ct., where you can safely dispose of old medications.

A blood pressure clinic for bingo-playing seniors at Kenmount Bingo, 101 MacDonald Dr., will take place from 12-2 p.m. on the same day. 

Other events include a lunch and learn session about the health effects of cannabis, a panel on multiple sclerosis, visits to local schools, volunteering for local charities and an information booth at the Avalon Mall.

“The enthusiasm of our students is infectious,” said Dr. Shawn Bugden, dean of Memorial’s School of Pharmacy. “Students are really keen to show off the expanding role of pharmacists and how they can help improve the health and well-being of people in Newfoundland and Labrador. I encourage everyone to take advantage of one or more of the free events that the students have organized.”

Student-run, student-led

All 30 days of events are planned by the PAM committee, a group of seven pharmacy students on a mission to maintain and build on the school’s reputation as small but mighty, a school that punches well above its population count. 

The School of Pharmacy is the smallest of the country's 10 pharmacy schools with a total undergraduate student body of 160, compared to some of the larger schools with 200 or more students in a first-year class.

In spite of its size, the school picks up a number of significant awards during the Canadian Association of Pharmacy Students and Interns (CAPSI) conference every year, including the coveted Award of Professionalism, which they’ve earned in four of the past five years. 

“I don’t know if it’s because we all know each other well, but we all end up doing well," said Lexi Symonds, a third-year student from St. John’s who is on the PAM planning team and is a senior CAPSI representative. "We make our mark."

“We want people to see their pharmacist as someone more than the person at the counter,” said Sandi Schuhmacher, chair of this year’s planning committee and a second-year pharmacy student. “We want people to see that we are passionate about helping people.”

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For more information, please contact Marcia Porter, communications advisor, School of Pharmacy, at 864-4408 or mlporter@mun.ca.

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