Patient Care Projects

Get involved with caring & advocating for patients in your community.

Find out more details below on the patient care project that fits you best!  Then, contact the corresponding project director to get more info on how YOU can participate!

Asthma Awareness

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that affects millions of people worldwide. Without effectively managing the condition, the quality of life is greatly diminished. The Asthma Awareness project focuses on asthma education and how to properly use asthma medications for best results. Patient education is provided at health fairs and at the JWCH Weingart health clinic, and demonstration of the use of the different inhalers is available at all sessions. For the upcoming year, Asthma Awareness is expanding to reach out to children, a subset of the population that pharmacy students rarely have a chance to work with. The project is constantly growing and is always open to new ideas.

In addition to patient education, Asthma and COPD training sessions are provided to the students at the USC School of Pharmacy. There is also the annual Asthma Counseling Competition where students have the opportunity to practice their counseling skills.

Those who are interested may apply for the Asthma Awareness Committee in Fall Semester to participate at these events. Committee members must be a member of both APSA and AMCP. Please contact the Directors of Asthma Awareness, Michelle Ta and Ellen Lee, at usc.asthma@gmail.com for any questions you may have.

Arthritis Awareness

Arthritis, in the simplest definition, means inflammation of the joints. However, it is used to describe multitude rheumatic conditions and is considered one of the most common causes of disability among adults for the past 15 years in the U.S. Today, approximately one in five of the U.S. population has reported to be diagnosed with arthritis. Furthermore, one in four of the U.S. adults are predicted to have physician-diagnosed arthritis by 2030, while nearly one in two people may develop symptomatic knee osteoarthritis by age 85.

The goal of Arthritis Awareness project is to educate the public about the common forms of arthritis, methods to alleviate the symptoms, and strategies to prevent arthritis. Because of high prevalence of arthritis in the U.S. population, it becomes important for the public to be aware about this debilitating condition and how to self-manage, especially since arthritis can affect almost anyone. Although there is no cure for arthritis, proper education about nonpharmacologic/pharmacologic therapies used to treat the associated symptoms can benefit medication adherence, improve patient understanding, and improve patient’s quality of life. Nevertheless, the best medicine for arthritis is prevention, which is the core goal of the project. Promoting healthy lifestyles can help delay or even prevent the onset of arthritis.

If you are interested in becoming part of the education committee or would like addition information, please contact the Directors of Arthritis Awareness at dirarthritis@gmail.com.

Body Fat Analysis

Body Fat Analysis is a screening project under Operation Heart that offers body fat screenings and education to participants at health fairs. The purpose of the Body Fat Analysis Project is to provide health fair participants with individualized advice for their body fat percentage and empower them to make healthy lifestyle changes. Body fat percentage is often invisible, so detecting levels early and making lifestyle adjustments is very important for preventing serious health complications in the future.

Please contact the project directors at usc.bodyfatanalysis@gmail.com if you want to know more about the project or get involved. Level 1 Representatives for Body Fat Analysis must be an APSA and NCPA member.

Co-Directors of Body Fat Analysis: Harrison Tu and Shufei (Sophie) Ding

Cancer Awareness 

The Cancer awareness project is dedicated to raising awareness and providing education for this major health problem that affects numerous lives around the world. As the Director of Cancer Awareness, the mission is to equip individuals with accurate information on cancer prevention and available screenings at APSA Health Fairs and community events. Furthermore, a lung cancer presentation is provided at a Smoking Cessation clinic for the underserved communities of Los Angeles. The hope is to also raise money for cancer research by participating in local cancer walks and coordinating fundraising events. The ultimate goal is to raise awareness and reiterate the importance of early detection and prevention to free the world from this deadly disease.

Cholesterol Awareness

The mission of the Cholesterol Awareness Project is to increase and strengthen the perception of cholesterol, and to contribute to healthier lifestyles by reaching the community through health fairs and information sessions. The Directors of Cholesterol Awareness attend health fairs to train and supervise student screeners, to educate health fair participants about high cholesterol prevention, and to collect screening values for future studies. In 2015-2016, USC School of Pharmacy was able to identify approximately 20% of health fair participants with risks of developing dyslipidemia. Each participant at health fair will be given a brochure which includes a brief introduction to cholesterol and counseling points for high cholesterol prevention. These take-home brochures will remind participants of the key counseling points that can be applied to their everyday life, which ensures better lifestyle modifications. Cholesterol Awareness provides opportunities for students to gain hands-on experiences and utilize their clinical knowledge outside of the classroom, and is a great way to get involved in giving back to communities. For questions regarding the project, please contact the Directors of Cholesterol Awareness at usc.cholesterolawareness@gmail.com.

Educational Programming

The Director of Educational Programming invites guest speakers and collaborates with different organizations to host a variety of workshops for the student body. Some workshops include the residency, board certifications, work and life balance, and language workshops.

Emergency Preparedness

Emergency Preparedness is a an education campaign designed to promote emergency preparedness to the student body as well as the general public. The Director of Emergency Preparedness invites guest speakers and attends health fairs for further education of emergency preparedness.

Generation Rx

gen rx logo

The Generation Rx project raises awareness for drug abuse and misuse by setting up drug take back days and providing presentations alongside with the police department. During the drug take back days, students will collect any expired or unwanted medications and will provide knowledge, to the public, on how to properly dispose of medications. There will be presentations to teach the adults and parents how to properly store the medications as well as the dangers of leaving it lying around. In addition, these presentations will also teach teenagers the effects of misuse and abuse as well as teach children how similar medication can be to candy. Overall, drug take back days are geared to inform the public about medication abuse and the proper disposal of unwanted medications.

Geriatric Care

Geriatric Care’s mission is to enlighten and empower the older adult community by providing helpful health information and guidance so that seniors can live healthier and happier lives. The Geriatric Care projects offer a wealth of opportunities to serve the community. Some of the major projects conducted include health education board presentations during health fairs about diseases that may occur with advancing age such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease and the annual Medicare Part D enrollment where pharmacy students help USC retirees enroll in Medicare Part D plans that are most cost effective and beneficial for the participants. During these events, students can improve their counseling and educating skills and also feel the satisfaction of making a difference in a participant’s or patient’s life. Geriatric Care is supported through SAM (Skull and Mortar Service Fraternity) and ASCP (American Society of Consultant Pharmacy). Become a member of ASCP (which is free!) to get the most up to date information on geriatric medication management at www.ascp.com.

Participating in Geriatric Care is a very rewarding and educational experience whether you choose to be on the committee or not. As a Geriatric Care committee member, you will have the opportunity to work directly on the mentioned events, help design up-and-coming patient care projects, build your leadership skills, and most importantly serve the older adult population in the Greater Los Angeles area. You must be an APSA member to join.

For questions regarding the geriatric care committee and projects, please contact Liana So at USCGeriatricCare@gmail.com.

Healthy Living/Alternative Medicine

The Healthy Living and Alternative Medicine project is a patient care project under Operation Heart that emphasizes the importance of non-prescription therapy, lifestyle modification, and dietary supplements in preventing as well as treating ongoing ailments. The project mainly focuses on patient education by utilizing a Healthy Living poster board to teach health fair participants, holding diet education and exercise workshops at local elementary schools, and collaborating with other APSA patient care projects to educate at clinics. The Healthy Living and Alternative Medicine project aims to take on patient education through new ideas and activities while also continuing to raise awareness of the impact that proper diet, physical activity, and nutritional supplementation can have on the community’s overall health.

For questions regarding the project activities or interest in participating, contact Stephen Ea, the Director of Healthy Living/Alternative Medicine at sea@usc.edu.

HIV/AIDS Awareness

The HIV/AIDS Awareness initiative seeks to educate people about the realities of HIV/AIDS– from causes and symptoms to treatment options and prevention techniques. This project is dedicated to providing health education at health fairs, juvenile halls, and other places in the community, as well as dispensing free condoms and educational pamphlets and providing information on how to obtain free, confidential HIV testing. The mission is to encourage people to take steps to prevent becoming infected with HIV and to empower those who already have HIV to take charge of their health and to prevent transmitting the disease to others.

Interdisciplinary Care

The main focus of this project is to create networks between the different health disciplines and bring awareness of what each discipline actually does. Along with hosting networking socials, this project also has a yearly Interdisciplinary Health Education event in which another HSC school is invited to collaborate with putting on an interdisciplinary health education event for the community.

Medication Safety/Script Your Future

The Medication Safety and Script Your Future project provides information on medication adherence to students and the community, and seeks to spread awareness about the importance of taking medications as directed. During the school year, the project hosts insightful information sessions about important topics in the field of pharmacy, including medication adherence, medication reconciliation and medication therapy management. The project directors also attend health fairs, where they provide Brown Bag services, and host a Script Your Future health fair, where they collaborate with students from pharmacy and other fields to provide screenings and other services to the community.

Mental Health

The Mental Health Project promotes education and awareness of mental health issues on campus as well as in the community. The mission of the Mental Health Project is to promote the intellectual, professional, and clinical development of student pharmacists and to serve and educate the public by providing screenings, presentations and educational materials to different populations who are in need. The goals of this project include the following:

  1. Train and equip student pharmacists with the skills to effectively communicate the clinical disease presentation and treatment of mental health disorders

  2. Provide opportunities for student pharmacists to gain a deeper understanding of how to provide optimal patient care by integrating empathy for those with mental health disorders with the clinical knowledge of such diagnoses

  3. Increase awareness of mental health issues by educating the public, especially those who are medically underserved, through health fairs, presentations at clinics and by distributing educational materials to the community

  4. Provide mental health screenings and refer patients who need further evaluation and consultation

 Operation Diabetes

Operation_Diabetes
Operation Diabetes is a national APhA-ASP patient care project dedicated to battling the growing diabetes epidemic. Every year, Operation Diabetes coordinates the diabetes screening services at health fairs as well as diabetes education for students and the local community. The goals of Operation Diabetes are to increase overall awareness of diabetes in addition to identifying individuals in the community with previously undiagnosed diabetes and those that are at risk. One of the ways Operation Diabetes has reached out to the community is through involvement with the Indian Revival Church in Bell Gardens, CA. This consistent involvement empowers the community with knowledge while creating awareness of the services offered by pharmacists and student pharmacists. This project is an excellent way to give back to the community while gaining experiential and hands-on knowledge on a wealth of topics relating to diabetes.

Operation Heart

Operation_Heart

Operation Heart is a patient care project that includes Project Hypertension, Smoking Cessation, Cholesterol Awareness, Healthy Living and Body Fat Analysis. This project seeks to raise awareness of heart health through screening and education in the community.

The goals of Operation Heart are to:
1. Raise public awareness of CVD and its associated risk factors;
2. Help patients identify and understand their risks for CVD;
3. Provide patients with prevention strategies for reducing their risk of CVD and if necessary, refer them to their primary care provider;
4. Educate patients already receiving pharmacotherapy for CVD; and,
5. Promote the profession of pharmacy and the role of pharmacists in the prevention and management of CVD

For more information, please contact the Directors of Operation Heart, Ryan Hays and Duyen Pham, at usc.operationheart@gmail.com.

Operation Immunization

Operation_Immunization

Operation Immunization is a national APhA-ASP patient care project committed to increasing public knowledge of immunizations, as well as raising the number of vaccinations in the surrounding Los Angeles community. By pairing with community pharmacies and USC health fairs throughout Southern California, Operation Immunization empowers student pharmacists to increase awareness, as well as raise immunization rates through administration opportunities. More information can be found at http://www.pharmacist.com/apha-asp- operation-immunization.

Operation Self-Care

The mission of Operation Self-Care is to empower students and members of the community with the knowledge needed to live a healthier lifestyle through self-care. This project provides an opportunity to educate community members and students on the proper and safe use of over-the-counter items available to them. Additionally, Operation Self-Care focuses on the prevention and management of self-care conditions such as heartburn, GI wellness, healthy lifestyle, common cold and flu symptoms, and pain.

For more information, please contact the project director Negin Sazgar at nsazgar@usc.edu.

Pain Management

An astounding 25% of people have chronic pain. Americans make up 5% of the world’s population, yet they consume 80% of its opioids. Because almost every disease is accompanied by pain, it is crucial for all health care providers, pharmacists included, to understand the intricacies of pain and how to alleviate it. The Pain Management Project educates at health fairs and geriatric homes on the proper use of prescription medications, over-the-counter remedies, and lifestyle changes. The project is dedicated to community outreach, and focuses on common pain conditions such as headaches, lower back pain, arthritis, and neuropathies. Students interested in developing their knowledge, sharpening their clinical skill set, and actively participating in community education on the most common symptom that patients experience, are encouraged to join the project commitee.

PharmSC

The PharmSC Clinic is a student-run clinic that provides free screenings to the underserved population situated around HSC-USC. This project also provides fellow students with clinical and counseling experience as well as IPPE credit. Students will have the opportunity for more interactive application of their knowledge by screening, counseling, and performing brown bagging of medications. Unlike health fairs and other volunteering events where participants come and go, volunteers at the PharmSC Clinic will interact with patients in the community who rely on students’ care and regularly come to them for follow-ups.

Poison Prevention/AWARE

The primary goals of the Poison Prevention Project are to raise overall awareness of poison and the importance of poison prevention. The Poison Prevention Project reaches out to children and adults in the Los Angeles area, especially among low literary and underserved population, to educate them about how to distinguish medications and potentially dangerous substances from candy and other common foods/drinks. By participating in the school visits, pharmacy students will have the opportunity to work interactively with children from pre-kindergarten to third grade, engage them in the topic with fun activities in addition to educating them about poison prevention.

For more information regarding the Poison Prevention project and how you can get more involved, please contact the Directors of Poison Prevention, Phuong Tran and Hao Dieu, atapsa.poisonprevention@gmail.com.

Project Hypertension

Project Hypertension is a subcommittee of Operation Heart, which aims to help individuals identify and understand the risks of cardiovascular disease through community outreach, screenings, and education on cardiovascular risk factors. Project Hypertension oversees blood pressure screenings at health fairs for local community members in hopes to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease. The project also gives pharmacy students the opportunity to perform blood pressure readings and educate health fair participants on lifestyle modifications as necessary in order to achieve optimal readings based on the JNC guidelines. For more information, please email usc.projecthtn@gmail.com.

Sexual Health Awareness – HepB/STDs

The Sexual Health Awareness project aims to promote and educate the community about Hepatitis B & C as well as sexually transmitted infections (STIs).  This project not only assists in organizing and recruiting participants for VAPSA health fairs, but also assists and participates in other organizations’ health fairs.  In addition, the project organizes lectures on Hepatitis B & C and STIs at USC as well as local community colleges.

First year student pharmacists can join a HepB/STDs committee to shadow the current directors (must be both APSA and VAPSA members to join).

SHARE Program

As part of the American Pharmacy Student Alliance (APSA), Students Helping And Receiving Education (SHARE) is a project that offers USC student pharmacists with opportunities to volunteer at Federally Qualified Health Centers for underserved populations located throughout Los Angeles.  There are three components to the project: a year-round ambulatory care clinic student volunteer program, medication reconciliation done by student pharmacists (SC MedWatch) and various brown bag events, and a series of speaker events that cover topics related to safety-net clinics and ambulatory care pharmacy. For more information regarding the SHARE program, please visit the SHARE website or contact usc.share.program@gmail.com

Sleep Hygiene

Sleep plays a vital role in the health and well-being of an individual, but its importance is oftentimes overlooked by old and young alike. The Sleep Hygiene project is a patient care project designed to educate the community about the importance of healthy sleep, the more common sleep disorders that occur, and the possible sleep aids that can be used to get a good night’s sleep. In addition to educating the local community, the Sleep Hygiene project also allows pharmacy students to learn pertinent information regarding sleep disorders and sleep aids, and allows students the valuable experience of practicing their counseling skills on these topics. This patient care project is under the umbrella of the American Pharmacy Student Alliance (APSA) and the Chinese American Pharmacy Student Association (ChAPSA). Must be a member of APSA and ChAPSA to join the Sleep Hygiene Committee.

First year pharmacy students are encouraged to join the Sleep Hygiene Committee. For more information regarding the project, please contact the Director of Sleep Hygiene, Kevin Lo, at chapsa.sleep@gmail.com.

Smoking Cessation

The Smoking Cessation initiative strives to educate and empower individuals to lead a healthier, smoke-free life. The project’s main focus is the USC Smoking Cessation Program at the JWCH Weingart, safety net clinic. The Smoking Cessation Program is a 10-week program that is designed to provide the pharmacological tools and social support necessary to aid individuals to quit smoking. The Smoking Cessation program is held in the heart of downtown Los Angeles at a safety net clinic, which primarily serves individuals of low income status and who may have chronic diseases, mental illnesses, and substance abuse disorders. The goal of this project is to reduce barriers to smoking cessation interventions among vulnerable populations by providing the education on health related topics, nicotine replacement therapies, counseling, cessation management strategies, and support that will enable individuals to quit smoking and allow them to make better choices to live a healthier, smoke-free lifestyle.

For more information, please email the Directors of Smoking Cessation at smokingcessation.usc@gmail.com

Women’s Health

The goals of the Women’s Health project are to promote health awareness, education and empowerment for the members of our communities. These goals are achieved through health fairs and educational workshop sessions that focus on multiple health issues including breast cancer awareness, contraception and osteoporosis. At health fairs the Women’s Health project provides free bone density screenings and counseling to qualified health fair participants. By participating at health fairs, pharmacy students will be given the opportunity to screen patients with a bone densitometer and provide counseling. For those students interested in participating with the Women’s Health project during health fairs for this school year it is required to have attended and completed an osteoporosis training session. For more information regarding the Women’s Health project and how to get involved please contact the project at usclkshf@gmail.com.