Category: Health and Health Care
Purpose: During the largest opioid epidemic this country has ever seen, senior citizens are often overlooked. Opioid overdose-related deaths in the District have nearly tripled in two years — from 83 in 2014 to 231 in 2016. Capitol City Pharmacy Medical Reserve Corps (CCPMRC) is a group of local pharmacy volunteers in Washington, DC focused on improving the health and safety of their community. Under the organization, the MEDIServe initiative has two main objectives: to educate the elderly in order to raise awareness of prescription drug abuse, and to increase the amount of healthcare providers trained in the treatment and management of prescription drug abuse.
Methods: In order to equip volunteers with the necessary skills to conduct outreach events, a training symposium was held. Our keynote speaker, Dr. Jasmine Carpenter, PharmD hosted a Naloxone-Administration training and an Emergency Preparedness for Health Professionals training was conducted. Volunteers were also provided with MEDIServe specific training.
Results: A total of 70 volunteers were trained (12 pharmacists and 57 student pharmacists). After the training symposium, volunteers were awarded Naloxone-Administration certifications and volunteers have participated in MEDIServe outreach activities.
Conclusions: When considering prescription drug abuse, the issue lies both in the patient and the provider. Raising awareness in both sectors of the healthcare field is important in order to impact this public health epidemic. Now that volunteers have been trained, the program is being actively implemented. Currently, data is still being collected until the end of the fiscal year (June). It is anticipated that these results will be reflective of an increase in health literacy and proper pain medication management techniques.
Casey Walker– Student, Howard University, Hyattsville, Maryland
Tamara McCants– Professor, Howard University College of Pharmacy, Washington, District of Columbia
Nneka Soribe– Student Pharmacist, Capitol City Pharmacy Medical Reserve Corps (CCPMRC), Hyattsville, Maryland
Casey Walker is a rising 3rd year pharmacy student from Howard Univeristy. He serves as the Chief of Community Resilience for the Capitol City Pharmacy Medical Reserve Corps. Based at Howard University, CCPMRC is the first pharmacy-based medical reserve corps. Casey is responsible for organizing community outreach events in the DC Metropolitan Area. Upon graduation from pharmacy school, he aspires to become a medical science liaison.
Howard University College of Pharmacy
Washington, District of Columbia
Faculty coordinator and director of experiential studies at Howard University College of Pharmacy.