May 4, 2021
Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (BSPS) students are training to become empathetic health care providers thanks in part to Outreach Rx, an undergraduate student organization at the College of Pharmacy.
Outreach Rx provides community support through volunteer opportunities and collaborative efforts with Central Ohio partners. Student members typically participate in two organization activities per week – a volunteer activity and a presentation from a health care professional.
In presentations, professionals talk about a variety of health care issues such as addiction, drug safety concepts and COVID-19. All presentations are created to develop empathetic communication skills, patience and understanding among students.
“Most of our organization members are freshmen, so it’s great that they are learning these skills early in their education,” said Katy Xia, a third-year BSPS student and president of Outreach Rx. “It’s really exciting when students tell me how a speaker opened their eyes to an issue or gave them a different perspective.”
Students in Outreach Rx also support Central Ohio health-centered charity events. Two of the biggest events include:
Chili Cook-Off – a competitive event that challenges student groups to create the best recipe. Winners of the event choose where fundraising dollars go. Outreach Rx represents the Charitable Pharmacy of Central Ohio (CPCO) for the Chili Cook-Off.
Chocolate 5k – a race that raises money for the St. Jude Children’s Research Center. Outreach Rx helps with event set up and promotion.
Volunteer opportunities occur at the CPCO, Helping Hands and the Columbus Health & Wellness Center, where students complete administrative tasks or support patient experience. If a volunteer position warrants it, the group assists students with their resumes and interview preparation.
"This organization provides us with a tangible way to help patients before we receive our licenses, Xia said. "It reminds us why we wanted to go into health care in the first place – to help others."
All photos were taken prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.