Student-led Program Named Recipient of National Pharmacy Award

Emily Keeler
Photo from Orientation to Pharmacy Services

An Ohio State student-led program for refugees has been named one of four recipients of the Student Community Engaged Service Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP). This award recognizes student‐led community engagement projects conducted either as a component of the curriculum or as an extra‐curricular program.
“The community engagement programs we recognize this year demonstrate the broad and deep connections between our members and vulnerable communities,” said AACP Executive Vice President and CEO Lucinda L. Maine, PhD, RPh. “This is consistent with our vision that we will jointly work to create a world of healthy people. The focus on serving vulnerable populations and creating a diverse pipeline of future learners is remarkable.”
The program, “Orientation to Pharmacy Services” (OPS), began in 2013 through the collaboration of the Ohio State University College of Pharmacy’s Partner for Promotion (PFP) program, Kroger Pharmacy, and US Together Inc., a refugee resettlement agency. The program is run from the Kroger Pharmacy on Morse Road where staff pharmacists help oversee the program and the pharmacy students.
OPS is integrated into US Together’s refugee orientation sessions to provide education regarding the U.S. healthcare system and familiarize the refugees with the operations of a community pharmacy. With the help of an interpreter, the attendees learn about a variety of topics such as understanding the difference between over-the-counter and prescription medications, refills, and the medication labels. While the attendees feel more comfortable in the pharmacy, students learn valuable skills such as cultural sensitivity making it a positive experience for everyone.
To date, the presentations have been provided to over 175 refugees in the greater Columbus area; 40 students from the College of Pharmacy have worked to provide this service.
An award will be presented to the student leaders, Eric Chau and Natalie Fiorilli, this July at the AACP Annual Meeting in Anaheim, CA. The OPS program will also receive a $5,000 team prize to be used exclusively to support the program.
For more information about OPS, contact Helen Kim at kim.2566@