October is American Pharmacists Month

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Educator, researcher, counselor and friend. Pharmacists may hold many roles, but here’s one of the more important: They are an integral part of the healthcare team.

During October, American Pharmacists Month, pharmacists across the country will be educating members of their communities about their roles in helping people manage their medications and their health.

“The role of a pharmacist is changing,” said Patricia Chase, Ph.D., dean of the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy. “We are meeting the changes occurring in healthcare systems to ensure our patients are receiving the highest quality healthcare. Pharmacists dispense and counsel patients about their medications, but they also educate future pharmacists, research and develop medications and monitor the health outcomes of their patients.”

The WVU School of Pharmacy is home to many faculty members who strive to improve the health and well-being of West Virginians. Pharmacy faculty do research to develop medications and improve their delivery methods, collaborate with the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center and the West Virginia Cancer Registry to advance cancer research, work with physicians in hospitals to determine the best course of treatment for patients and monitor the outcomes of these treatments.

“Pharmacy is one of the most trusted professions and has been for decades,” Chase said. “Pharmacists are medication experts. By speaking with a pharmacist, community members can ensure they are receiving maximum health benefits and avoiding harmful medication interactions.”

Pharmacists are also providing a higher level of healthcare service to meet the needs of their patients. Not only can pharmacists provide patients with expert information about medications, but they can also provide some patient testing such as cholesterol screenings, glucose monitoring, blood pressure checks and, after certification, certain immunizations.
“The WVU School of Pharmacy Health Education Center hosts and participates in numerous health screening events throughout the year,” Chase said. “Through these free events, we are able to alert patients to a potential health issue and provide them with information about managing their health. For some members of our community, especially low-income and those who live in rural areas, the screenings may be the only way they can obtain or afford information about their health.

“We encourage patients to speak with their pharmacist, as well as their physician, with any medication or healthcare concern. Improving a patient’s health and empowering them to take control of managing their health are our ultimate goals.”

About the WVU School of Pharmacy

For almost 100 years, the WVU School of Pharmacy has been a leader in pharmacy education, research and patient care. It is one of only 12 pharmacy schools in the United States affiliated with a comprehensive academic health center. For information about the WVU School of Pharmacy see www.hsc.wvu.edu/sop/.


For more information:
Amy Newton, School of Pharmacy, 304-293-7192
an: 09-28-09

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