Pharmacy school seeking volunteers for free health, medication monitoring service

AUBURN – Auburn University’s Harrison School of Pharmacy is seeking community volunteers to participate in its free Health and Medication Monitoring Service.

Participants – people with chronic health conditions or conditions that require multiple prescriptions – meet with student pharmacists at their homes at least once a month to discuss their medications, conditions and any concerns; conduct blood pressure and blood sugar checks; and help refill pill boxes, if necessary.

Valerie Dumas of Auburn would love to reduce the number of medications she needs to take, but until then, she enjoys relying on Auburn’s student pharmacists to manage more than 10 prescriptions. She said the students are professional, courteous and helpful to her and her father, Ben Dumas. He takes less medication that Valerie, but she recalls one time when the students’ work was extremely helpful.

Ben was on a type of cholesterol medication that had an adverse effect. Valerie said he told the student pharmacists on a visit and they returned with recommendations the elder Dumas then discussed with his doctor. Ben’s doctor took what the students recommended and found a drug that helps the patient’s cholesterol without the side effects.

“I thought it would be helpful for someone to come in and give us some more information about our medications, the do’s and don’ts,” Valerie said. “You read what you get from the pharmacist at the drug store, but sometimes you need someone to explain it better.”

Besides the medical assistance, Valerie said she and her father enjoy visiting with the student pharmacists. Ben especially enjoys sharing stories. She believes the interaction is beneficial for the future pharmacists as well.

All first-, second- and third-year student pharmacists participate in the Health and Medication Monitoring Service. Students are placed on patient care teams, supervised by faculty mentors. Teams are assigned patients, volunteers from Auburn and Mobile communities.

With faculty mentors, students determine the best possible methods to provide care for their patients. Working through the Auburn University Pharmaceutical Care Center, teams complete interventions with the patients’ other health care providers to optimize medication use and improve other aspects of their quality of life.

Anyone interested in helping educate future pharmacists can contact Kathy Kyle at 844-8345 or kylekat@auburn.edu. Patients must live within 30 miles of campus.

(Written by Amy Weaver.)

Contact: Kathy Kyle, (334) 844-8345 (kylekat@auburn.edu), or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu)