A new group of “day campers” recently experienced Camp FutuRx: Adventures in Pharmacy at California Health Sciences University (CHSU) College of Pharmacy. Madison Lasswell (P4), past president for CHSU’s student chapter of Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA), and President, Kenya Covarrubias (P4), hosted the camp for high school and undergraduate college students for the third year.
SNPhA partnered up with Richele Kleiser, VP for Marketing and Communications at CHSU, and the CHSU/CVS Health Próspero program to create a sustainable program so SNPhA members can continue the camp tradition in the future at CHSU.
“The camp is designed for students to understand how their unique skills of being bilingual and culturally competent have the potential to positively impact their future patients and communities,” stated Kenya Covarrubias (P4), President for SNPhA at CHSU. “Our goal is to show these students how needed and wanted they are in the health professions and to inspire them to pursue these careers.”
Camp FutuRx: Adventures in Pharmacy was held June 22-23, 2019 at the CHSU College of Pharmacy campus. Seventeen new day campers checked in for their day of fun exploration and learning. All but three of the campers were high school students from the Fresno Unified School District Migrant Education Program and most of the attendees were of Hispanic/Latino decent. The campers were also joined by six Próspero participants who served as camp leaders and twelve SNPhA pharmacy students who guided the campers during to learn about the diverse profession of pharmacy.
The students attended presentations on the opioid epidemic and experienced hands-on learning activities in compounding, medication therapy management, blood pressure monitoring, and stroke warning signs. The highlight of the day was when the students boarded the historic Clovis Trolley to visit a local CVS store to learn about community pharmacy, over-the-counter medication safety, and to meet the pharmacist in charge. Sami Mitri, PharmD, spoke to the students about his role in a community pharmacy and how his favorite part of this job is helping his patients, especially when he can come outside of the pharmacy to help people with their ailments and to stay healthy.
“We would like to express our deepest gratitude to Dr. Mitri, Dr. Havard, Dr. Lafi, Dr. Pattipati, Mrs. Kleiser, and all of the volunteers who helped host this life-changing experience for these local students, many of whom have never met a pharmacist nor visited a University,” said Madison Lasswell, Camp Director and past President for SNPhA.
Thank you to our CHSU pharmacy students and Próspero students who served as mentors, presenters, and translators to guide the students throughout the camp experience:
Kenya Covarrubias (P4), Madison Lasswell (P4), Vu Nguyen (P4), Parvi Boyal (P4), Thor Enggaard (P4), Raymond Alcaraz (P3), Karen Pelham (P3), Justin Gallaher (P3), Ryan Penn (P3), Sarah Graham (P2), Kaywan Sepassi (P2), and Rebecca Jimenez (P2), Sierra Berger (PP3), Shyanne Berger (PP3), Dana Garcia (PP2), Sreypech Lam (PP1), Soukmanpreet Kaur (PP1), and Emily Petrosyan (PP1).
Campers were also inspired by some of the faculty from CHSU. Sree N. Pattipati, MPharm, PhD, Associate Professor of Pharmacology, led the students in a fun and interactive suspension compounding activity. While Yousef Lafi, PharmD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Sciences, and Patty Havard, PharmD, Associate Dean for Interprofessional Community Engagement and Professor, and spoke about their own personal paths and careers in pharmacy. Additionally, Dr. Havard and pharmacy student Ryan Penn, conducted an information session about the opioid epidemic and prescription drug abuse awareness.
With our focus on team-based learning and health providers working collaboratively on teams, it was appropriate to have the students work in teams to create posters on an aspect of the pharmacy profession that inspired them.
On Sunday, the students brought their families with them to Camp FutuRx: Adventures in Pharmacy and together they conducted the Medication Therapy Management (MTM) activity, learned about the pathways to pharmacy and CHSU, and options in scholarships, financial aid, and colleges. The students also participated in a poster presentation showcase to impress their families with their understanding of the pharmacy profession.
The camp concluded with a photo slideshow recap and a graduation ceremony with cake that the students really enjoyed.
Overall, Camp FutuRx: Adventures in Pharmacy was a huge success again this year and it couldn’t have been made possible without support from the CHSU/CVS Health Próspero program and the time, talent, and dedication of those who made it happen. Special thanks to Francisco Fregoso, Counselor Migrant Education, from the Fresno Unified School District Migrant Education Program, for his assistance in helping to promote attendance for the camp with the students in his program.
We look forward to seeing some of this year’s campers join the CHSU/CVS Health Próspero program and for Camp FutuRx: Adventures in Pharmacy to continue to grow and prosper in the coming years.