SNPhA Has a “Prescription for Service”

Published on 22 May 2013

Using paper bag puppets and a little creativity, the College’s Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA) chapter won a $2,500 grant from Walmart.

The grant will be used to create a mobile service initiative in which pharmacists and student pharmacists travel around St. Louis, providing blood pressure, blood glucose, and medication reviews for free. The services will be provided at the Saint Louis Science Center on Wednesday, April 10 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; the Walmart Superstore in Ferguson on Saturday, April 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and True Runner in Brentwood on Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The STLCOP chapter of SNPhA won the grant through the Prescription for Service Competition, a national scholarship competition established in 2012 to grant SNPhA student teams the funds needed to make an impact in underserved communities. The STLCOP chapter was one of five chapters to win a $2,500 grant.

As part of the competition, SNPhA chapters were asked to create a three-to-five minute video explaining how they would advance the profession of pharmacy and reach underserved populations. The STLCOP chapter, including fourth-year students Dainielle Fox, Kelly Plach, and Britteny Keller, and fifth-year students Bethanne Carpenter and Annie Rogers, filmed a five-minute clip featuring paper bag puppets they created from construction paper, ribbons, pipe cleaners, and a little ingenuity.

Fox says they got their video idea from the movie ticket site Fandango, which has made several commercials that reenact famous scenes from movies using paper bag puppets instead of actors. The five students “camped out” in the Residence Hall conference room for hours shooting the video, she adds.

The video explains the students’ outreach idea – dubbed “RX Express” – in which pharmacists and student pharmacists travel to underserved areas in St. Louis to give health screenings. The idea for RX Express came to Rogers at work one day. “We saw it as an awesome opportunity to give back,” Fox says. “That’s part of SNPhA’s purpose – to represent the poor and less privileged.”

The STLCOP chapter of SNPhA will bring its results and findings to the NPhA National Convention in New Orleans in July, where it will be in the running for an additional scholarship of $10,000. According to NPhA’s Web site, the team that has the greatest impact in their community will be awarded the scholarship to aid in their education as future pharmacists.

“We’re going for gold,” Fox says. “Our whole goal for the project is to serve as many patients as we can. Outreach and hands-on patient care are what we want to do.”

Click here to watch the STLCOP chapter of SNPhA’s grant-winning video.

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