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Pharmacy fair returns to McIntosh

The Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNphA) will be hosting the second annual health fair in the McIntosh activities room Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The event will boast a large number of pharmacy groups offering free health screenings and education to campus and the surrounding community.

This year’s health fair offers free health testing including cholesterol screens, and blood glucose tests, as well as information about certain diseases. A number of campus organizations such as Open Doors, the Counseling Center and most campus pharmacy organizations will be present at the fair. 

The goal of the event is to offer visitors vital information about their health and promote the prevention of disease, while also offering pharmacy students an opportunity to introduce themselves to real world experience. 

"The health fair is a great way for attendees to receive these tests, especially when they might not get screened routinely at their doctor," Kristen Finley, the director of outreach for the pharmacy college and adviser for SNPhA, said. "The hope is to prevent progression of disease by detecting it early."

Each student organization at the event is responsible for a particular health topic, for example, taking blood pressures. Pharmacy students from that organization volunteer their time to sit down with the attendees and perform the exam, while also explaining the results. Patients can take the results with them to follow-up with their health care providers.

"The event gives students the opportunity to re ne patient interaction. Younger students who might not have much experience can learn how to relate to patients, while older students can continue to gain confidence with their skills," Joshua Blackwell, the Pharmacy Council representative for SNPhA, said.

This confidence with skills is what young, aspiring pharmacy students might be looking for to expand their abilities outside the workplace. These skills include communication with patients, using health care equipment properly and interpreting test results.

"This gives many an opportunity to communicate with people in a relaxed setting, whereas it might be more intimidating across a counter in a pharmacy," Beth Roediger, a P4 and outreach coordinator for SNPhA, said.

Participation in the event is not limited by experience, so any pharmacy student who wishes to contribute can have the option through their organization. Training is offered through each organization so that each student is fully capable of interacting with attendees. 

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