The marathon quest to hold 28 health education events in 28 days earns a team of student pharmacists, physicians, nurses and therapists a national award.
The National Consumers League just announced that the interprofessional team comprised of students from St. Louis College of Pharmacy, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College won a 2014 national Script Your Future Award. This is the second consecutive year a team of students from these schools has won the award.
This year, the competition focused on three chronic diseases: diabetes, asthma and cardiovascular disease. During the month of February, team members educated the public about these diseases by hosting and participating in an array of events throughout region, including Central West End neighborhood talks, Walgreens heart health and blood pressure screenings, and Health Protection Education Services' free health clinic in University City.
"We made every attempt to address all three chronic diseases targeted by the national Script Your Future campaign, and tried to meet residents of all walks of life in our city, regardless of age, gender, socioeconomic status, geographic location, sexual orientation, or ethnicity," says Matt Siu, team leader and fifth-year student at St. Louis College of Pharmacy. "Our patients were of all races, multilingual, rural and urban, gay and straight."
Drawing on inspiration from the national initiatives, the team came up with the campaign slogan "Let's Talk, St. Louis."
"We wanted to emphasize the importance of talking with health care professionals, as we felt that was a crucial step often overlooked when combating the problem of patients not remembering to take their medication, or taking it incorrectly," Siu says.
As part of its outreach campaign, the St. Louis team devised a clever and useful mnemonic device: H.E.L.P., which stands for "How to take medicine; Expectations for your medicine; Living a healthy, longer life; and Paying for medicine." The team created H.E.L.P. flyers for the three chronic diseases and handed them out at their events and speaking engagements. They also created three public service announcement videos, one for each disease state.
"This team made a significant impact on the community in a very short period of time," says faculty advisor Amy Tiemeier, Pharm.D., BCPS, assistant professor at St. Louis College of Pharmacy. "The future of health care in America is moving toward team-based, interprofessional care. It's something we're emphasizing at the College. These students will be future leaders in our community."
Organizations and places visited included the Saint Louis Science Center; First Baptist Church of Maryville, Ill.; Christian Friends of New Americans; the International Institute of St. Louis; SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders) St. Louis; Siteman Cancer Center; Confluence Academy; First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood, Mo.; Casa de Salud; Legacy/Faith Countryside Homes; and Providence Place.
"We can say with confidence and pride that our 2014 campaign efforts have truly left a mark on our future practice as health care professionals, as well as the city that has helped us grow as people," Siu adds.
As part of the victory, team members will travel to Washington, D.C., in November to accept the award at the national Script Your Future Meeting.
St. Louis College of Pharmacy