In April 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the number of visits to ambulatory care practices and was reported to have declined by nearly 60%. The extent of this decline is alarming as outpatient visits help manage chronic diseases in patients, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. This trend sparked an interest in pharmacist and student pharmacist, Dr. Cynthia Koh-Knox Sharp and Stephanie Hendricks, respectively, as it offered an opportunity to help serve the Greater Lafayette community. We created Health to the Power of You (HealthYou), which targets two of Lafayette’s neglected populations: community members experiencing homelessness, and members that are 62 years and older living in section 8 housing. Our community health initiative is currently in two facilities, Fairington Apartments of Lafayette and Lafayette Transitional Housing Center, and funded by the Purdue Student Service-Learning Program for Community Service Grant. Student pharmacists conduct weekly home visits and document trends in blood pressure, blood sugars, and blood oxygen levels, as well as facilitate a tobacco cessation program. Additionally, residents are provided health education from a list of 15 health topics, where they select up to three topics to learn over the course of nine weeks. These include, but are not limited to, education on their medications and disease states, vaccines, nutrition, prescription medication insurance, and current events such as COVID-19. Since inception, the program has offered student pharmacists the chance to bridge gaps in transitions of care, assist in the decline of outpatient visits, practice patient-friendly terminology, and motivate patients to take responsibility of their own health. Through this community health initiative, we are mentoring student pharmacists and empowering members of the community to become their biggest healthcare advocates through patient-care services and education.
"A Community Health Initiative: Health to the Power of You,"
Purdue Journal of Service-Learning and International Engagement: Vol. 8
Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/pjsl/vol8/iss1/6
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