Pharmacists show health benefits at Capitol

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Trenna Weathers, a first-year pharmacy student at Roseman University, administers a blood test. (Karma Hammouz)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah pharmacists celebrated their profession by lining the state Capitol rotunda with stations to check for diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol during the fifth annual Pharmacy Day on Capitol Hill.

This event was sponsored Thursday, Feb. 26,  by the Utah Pharmacy Association in conjunction with Utah Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Roseman University of Health Sciences and University of Utah, colleges of pharmacy.

This public event, is a day long-event focusing on pharmacy as a profession. It features pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy students from the two pharmacy schools.

The event featured the work of many students including one BYU graduate Justin Livingston who is a first-year pharmacy student at Roseman University.

Livingston joined his university’s team at the Capitol to present a poster and advocating for pharmacy as a profession.

“I am here to present to legislators what I found in my academic research regarding pharmacy and the role of immunization,” he said.

Livingston completed both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in microbiology at BYU.

“As a pharmacy student I think it is really helpful to take part in such an event, you really get to make a difference going forward, this is the beginning of my career here, but I can impact how I am going to be able to practice for the rest of my life,”  Livingston said.

The event included various stations designated for health screenings, such as, asthma education, blood glucose and pressure screening, cholesterol screening as well as immunizations.

Livingston expressed said he was excited to participate in Pharmacy Day

“Getting to know how the legislative process work I will be able to help influence it as oppose to just be subject to it,” said Livingston.

Adam Johns, the executive director of the Utah Pharmacy Association expressed how important such an event is for both the profession of pharmacy.

“Doing such an event here at the Capitol gives us an opportunity to talk to legislators about some of the current issues that are going on in regards to pharmacy.”

Johns later explained the significance of the event for the public.

“Anytime the public could  get more information about being healthy and finding ways to be able to increase your health is always a beneficial thing,” Johns said.

Johns also added the benefits students participating could gain from while volunteering in such events.

“For students this is a great opportunity for them to meet their legislator and tell those making the laws relating to their profession what needs to happen in it, it is also a chance for students to be involved in the process and experience it first hand,” he said.

Gloria Lee, a University of Utah third-year pharmacy student said even after three years of attending the event she was still excited to participate.

“You get to interact with a different group of people, from students and pharmacists, and also get the chance to counsel people on their general health and a great way to apply what you learn in school and most definitely helps me improve my communications skill and practice to interact with real people,” Lee said.