The College of Pharmacy's mission includes a commitment to “excellence in education, service, and research with the ultimate goal of enhancing the health and quality of life of the people of the State of Michigan, the nation, and the international community.”
Our strong culture of service can be seen in course-related service experiences, student-led extracurricular activities, and the many ways in which our students and faculty choose to volunteer their time.
- A New Perspective -- Kurtis Lee
A New Perspective
My service with Community Action Network (CAN) as part of the Interprofessional Service Learning course was an eye opening experience. In pharmacy school, it can be easy to lose sight of the world around you. There is just not enough time in the day to fit studying and extracurricular involvement, so it is easy to forget about life outside the College. We see pharmacy students day in and day out. That is exactly why the service learning course is an invaluable experience for pharmacy students.
At my service placement, I along with three kinesiology students interacted with first and second graders at Bryant Elementary School – one of four CAN sites. There I met a child who taught me a lesson in empathy. During play time, reading time, and homework time this child had a tendency to drift toward me and became quite comfortable. A few weeks into volunteering, he tried to read a book to me but struggled reading the words. I tried helping him sound the words out, but then he just got quiet. He proceeded to become emotional and expressed that he did not have any friends to play PlayStation with him. He leaned his head on my shoulder and asked if there was something wrong with him.
Many of the kids I worked with just wanted reassurance that they were doing something right. These children are at such a critical point in their life and it is tough that their parents often have to work long, inflexible hours to provide for them. Though I initially did not see the connection between my placement and the course, the experience really helped me put life in perspective. The next time I encounter a busy parent in a pharmacy setting, I will be better able to empathize with their hectic schedule and communicate more effectively knowing the difference it may make for them and their child.
-- Kurtis Lee, PharmD ‘18
- College Receives $25,000 to Expand Service-Learning
Modern day health care requires collaboration across the health disciplines. That’s why the College of Pharmacy partnered with other U-M health schools to transform its service-learning course into an interprofessional course for health profession students. After garnering $25,000 from the Transforming Learning for a Third Century grant, the project was a go.
Students from the College of Pharmacy, the School of Dentistry, the School of Social Work, the School of Nursing, and the School of Public Health now work in interprofessional teams exploring issues of health disparities, poverty, and the medically -underserved through an inter-professional lens. Outside of the classroom, each student completes service hours with one of the area’s health safety net providers or at a social service agency in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, or Detroit. Students have recently served:
Catholic Social Services
Community Action Network
Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels
and many others
“It’s a rewarding feeling to work with patients who are often overlooked or forgotten,” says PharmD student Mariam Hamady. “I really enjoy giving back to the community, making the difference that one person can make, and contributing to the community that has sustained me.”
- Students Create Low Literacy Health Games - Nancy Lewis, PharmD, MPH
Tic-tac-toe may seem like child's play but seven University of Michigan College of Pharmacy students took this simple game and turned it into a health education tool for people with low literacy skills. An article published in Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy describes the evaluation of four common games that were re-engineered to raise awareness about medication problems and increase interest in seeking pharmacist advice. The games are excellent tools for creating teachable moments and breaking down communication barriers between the public and health professionals.
Made possible by a grant from the University of Michigan Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning, the games are now used by pharmacist and student pharmacist organizations across Michigan at health fairs and community events. The games were developed in collaboration with the Voices of Detroit Initiative IMPACT program, which is part of the Kresge Foundation's national Safety Net Enhancement Initiative.