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. Come join Asthma Awareness and help provide Patient education at health fairs and at JWCH Weingart health clinic as well as many more opportunities. Demonstration of the use of the different inhalers is available at all sessions. 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. Please contact the Director of Asthma Awareness Timothy Lew, at usc.asthma@gmail.com for any questions you may have.

Body Fat Analysis

Body Fat Analysis is a screening project under Operation Heart that offers body fat screenings and education to health fair participants and community members. The purpose of the Body Fat Analysis Project is to provide participants with individualized advice for body weight management and empower them to make healthy lifestyle modifications. 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!

Co-Directors of Body Fat Analysis: Shannon Cao and Victor Kao

Cholesterol Awareness

The mission of the Operation Heart’s 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. Cholesterol Awareness aims to provide key counseling points that patients can apply to their everyday life to ensure 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.

As a committee member, you will work with the Directors during health fairs in managing the screenings and to bring ideas to help improve the project. To carry out a successful cholesterol screening takes a lot of skill and attention and through the committee you will gain these skills to carry on the success of the project.

For questions regarding the project, please contact the Directors of Cholesterol Awareness, Melisa Li and Esther Eo at usc.cholesterolawareness@gmail.com.

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. For more information, please contact Nathan Nguyen at nathankn@usc.edu.

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.

Members of this project’s committee will be able to take their prior knowledge of healthy living and readily apply it towards health education. However, much of the supplemental information will be provided in the form of the poster board and handouts, so no prior knowledge is required to join.

For questions regarding the project activities or interest in joining this project’s committee,
please contact Kevin Chau, the Director of Healthy Living/Alternative Medicine at
chaukevi@usc.edu.

Infectious Disease Awareness

The Infectious Disease Awareness initiative seeks to educate people about the realities of STI’s and 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 STI’s/HIV and to empower those who already have an STI/HIV to take charge of their health and to prevent transmitting the disease to others. Please contact Calvin Songveera at songveer@usc.edu.

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. Please contact usc.operationdiabetes@gmail.com and CC Beatrice Nguy (bnguy@usc.edu) and/or Shirley Cheung (shirlemc@usc.edu) for more information.

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 Director of Operation Heart, Ryan Murakami, at rmmuraka@usc.edu.

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. Please contact Marvine-Carsten Soleta and Jamie Thuy at op.immunization@gmail.com for more information.

OTC/Medication Safety

OTC/ Medication Safety project was launched as an official APhA-ASP National Patient Care project in 2015. Members of OTC/ Medication Safety project will get the chance to visit elementary schools to educate students as well as their parents and caregivers how to properly read and follow OTC medicine directions, measure medications, safely store medications, and dispose medications. In fact, Medicine errors due to improper use of Over-The-Counter medications results in over 10,000 ER visits yearly for kids younger than 18. We also participate in several health fair events where we educate the public about certain common diseases where people tend to self-treat such as heartburn and Influenza. Additionally, Members of this committee will be able to apply the knowledge that they gain in the Non-Prescription Therapies class. For more information and questions regarding this project, please constant Yervant Malkhasian, the director of OTC/Medication Safety at malkhasi@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. For more information, please contact Stefan Gorham at sgorham@usc.edu.

Poison Prevention

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, Sarah Gong and Emily Nguyen, at apsa.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 Akeem Faustino and Diane Luu at usc.projecthtn@gmail.com.

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 Emily Taing at usc.share.program@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 contact Arthur Chen and Jessie Zhou at smokingcessation.usc@gmail.com.