By Lori Maricle, College of Pharmacy
SPOKANE, Wash. – In response to an outbreak of mumps in the area, 64 Washington State University College of Pharmacy students helped conduct 17 immunization clinics at schools and organizations in January and February.
“During the first clinic at Salvation Army, we served 156 patients and administered 294 vaccines,” said WSU student pharmacist Tram Huong Pham, class of 2018, who spearheaded the coordination of student volunteers for the clinics.
“I’m proud that student pharmacists were able to promote immunization and increase awareness of the important role pharmacists play in public health,” she said.
The role of pharmacists has grown from traditional dispensing of medications to a patient-centered, administrative and public health focus, she said: “The importance of patient care during a disease outbreak is vital. I am glad I’m in a profession that prepares and allows me to perform these crucial public health functions.”
WSU student pharmacists are taught to give immunizations at the beginning of their second year of pharmacy school. The College of Pharmacy teamed with the Spokane Regional Health District and Walgreens to conduct the clinics.
Pham worked closely with classmates Natalie Tucker and James Kent, with whom she serves on the WSU Operation Immunization team. Operation Immunization (http://www.pharmacist.com/apha-asp-operation-immunization) is a nationwide educational and service campaign to increase awareness of immunizations and the number of adults receiving them.