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Caring for the community

Students from the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (CPHS) continued to strengthen the connection between Drake and the community at the third annual Drake University Health and Wellness Fair on February 11. The fair took over Southridge Mall in Des Moines to offer free health information and screenings for community members.

“The College is committed to developing pharmacists who are dedicated to serving their clients, patients, profession and community,” says Raylene Rospond, dean of the college. “The health fair is a wonderful example of the service that can help members of our community live happier and healthier lives.”

CPHS students offered free health screenings, including blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol and bone density tests. Grip strength tests and flexibility screenings were also available. A total of 87 students administered 352 screenings to 71 patients.

Spike gets a checkup at the CPHS Health and Wellness Fair

But patients weren’t the only ones reaping rewards from the event.

“Students are learning how to properly conduct preventative health screenings, counsel on the results of those screenings and send patients in the right direction to improve their well-being,” says Brian Wall, a pharmacy student and member of the fair organizing committee. “Having direct patient contact with members of the community reinforces what is learned in the classroom and improves the skills needed to interact with their future patients.”

The 2012 fair included an exhibition area for student organizations to display poster presentations and provide information. Topics at the booths covered proper drug disposal, over-the-counter medication safety, acetaminophen safety, immunizations and poison prevention. The area also featured a local chiropractic clinic offering free spinal scans.

Participants and passersby were also treated to a surprise: The Psi chapter of Phi Delta Chi at CPHS staged a flash mob. The dance — performed to the tune of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” with revised lyrics — aimed to promote awareness about the possibly dangerous combination of over-the-counter medications. Click here to watch a video of the performance.

“In the end, patients gained critical information on their health and well-being and have hopefully become more active in improving their own health,” says Wall.