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Pharmacy students share their passion with 10,000 high schoolers

Author cupharmacy | Publish Date June 30, 2017

Thousands of high school students interested in health care careers descended upon Disney World and became more acquainted with pharmacy during International HOSA's (Health Occupations Students of America) annual conference in Orlando. CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy featured prominently in various activities, including a popular interactive exhibit and five workshops.

The conference attracted 10,218 students, advisors, judges and guests with 7,446 competitors in 57 health science-related competitive events, offering 128 health-related workshops, 5 general sessions and hosting 84 exhibitors.

According to National HOSA's Associate Director Nancy Allen, "Nearly 400 attendees took advantage of the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy's workshops with each session filled to capacity. Attendees comments included: very interactive, fun and engaging, great presenters, super informative, fantastic and interesting information!"

Workshops included presentations by third-year pharmacy students and CU Pharmacy Ambassadors Dianne Kitt, Mackenzie Poole and Wendy Serrano, and fourth-year student Karly Powell Bergquist, and faculty member Danielle Fixen, PharmD.  All presentations were interactive and included the following topics:

  • Hashing It Out: Marijuana - A Cause or Cure for Migraines? Dr. Fixen
  • Bugs and Drugs: Will "Super Bugs" Rule the World? Karly Powell Bergquist
  • Painkillers -- Are They Killing Us?  Dianne Kitt, Mackenzie Poole and Wendy Serrano

For Bergquist, "Informing students on the importance of safe antibiotic use and ways they can prevent resistance from occurring was a very impactful experience."

When the students were not presenting they were assisting with the school's interactive booth along with Drs. Cathy Jarvis and Julia Rawlings, and the marketing team of Dana Brandorff, Jaron Bryant, Carson Haney, and Justin Rowe. The booth allowed students and advisors to test their knowledge, math skills and compounding ability. Serrano, who oversaw the acetaminophen activity where conference attendees were provided with a potential over-dose scenario and were tasked with calculating if the "patient" had taken too much of the over-the-counter medication, was impressed.  She said, "The students were inquisitive. During the acetaminophen activity, a lot of them asked questions about real life over dosing scenarios beyond the numbers.  Many students, even the younger ones, were able to correctly perform the activity without extensive guidance."

Allen is "proud to partner with CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy as we work together creating awareness and engaging our membership in the benefits of considering professions of pharmacy. "

Check out how much fun the kids had during this year's HOSA International. Video provided by ThnkbackILC Video. The video shows great action video from our exhibit space. http://www.thinkback.com/hosa.html