UAMS Pharmacy Students Recognized for Community Effort

By Nate Hinkel

The award recognizes student-led community engagement projects that are conducted as either a component of the curriculum or as an extra-curricular program. The UAMS College of Pharmacy won on the strength of its health screenings provided by students at the Mexican Consulate in Little Rock. Student leaders of the project will be highlighted at the AACP Annual Meeting in July in Kissimee, Fla., and will present the successes of the program during a special session during the meeting.

“I am very excited not only about the impact of this project on the community, but the impact it has on our students who are learning to meet community needs through many avenues,” said Stephanie F. Gardner, Pharm.D., Ed.D., dean of the UAMS College of Pharmacy. “They are learning about garnering support, health screening, disease management and patient education. They are also learning about inter-professional teamwork and are gaining an appreciation for the needs of culturally diverse populations.”

The recognition comes with a $16,000 award to be used to support the project’s expansion and to sustain its mission, for other community efforts, and for student travel to promote and present their project at professional meetings.

In partnership with the UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, the Mexican Consulate in Little Rock offers limited health care services through its Ventanillo de Salud, or Health Window Program. The pharmacy students’ goals for the project include increasing knowledge and utilization of health care resources by those served by the Consulate, to improve the health of the local Latino population and to strengthen their health promotion and disease prevention behaviors.

“The early success of our partnership is evident,” Flowers said. “Over the past year, our students have screened more than 200 people for hypertension, diabetes and cholesterol. They have also administered more than 700 flu vaccines and have provided patient education and triage, as needed.”

Flowers said the project has also benefited the third-year students who have provided services by fulfilling some of their Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience hours as they learn about the values, beliefs and health care needs of the Latino population.

The cash award will allow students to expand services for those visiting the Mexican Consulate and to help pay for supplies such as glucose and cholesterol strips, lancets, and patient education materials to help reach more people. Additional equipment, such as cholesterol monitors and glucometers, will give students the opportunity to screen multiple patients simultaneously. Some tests are more costly, like cholesterol screening, and have been offered in a limited amount because of financial restraints.

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Related Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute, the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and the Translational Research Institute. Named best Little Rock metropolitan area hospital by U.S. News & World Report, it is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has more than 2,800 students and 775 medical residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including about 1,000 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. Visit or