Pharmacy Students Go One-on-One at Riverbank State Park Fair

Blood Pressure, Blood Glucose, Bone Density Screenings Provided to Hundreds at Housing Authority Event

October 02, 2013

Touro College of Pharmacy students, faculty, and staff turned out at Riverbank State Park in upper Manhattan recently to help seniors living in city housing with medication and health counseling. A total of 34 Touro volunteers spent a beautiful fall day at a medical pavilion in the park providing blood pressure, blood glucose, and bone density screenings - along with counseling on medication management - to some 270 seniors.

Organized by the New York City Housing Authority, the event was the NYCHA’s 9th Annual Senior Benefit and Entitlement Fair. The occasion was geared toward providing the approximately 2,200 attendees from throughout the five boroughs with health information, screenings, nutrition counseling, exercises and a chance to enroll in entitlement programs.

“We started at 10 and were there until 3:30,” said Shana J. Young, CPhT, practice experience program director at Touro College of Pharmacy, who helped coordinate the event. “The hottest station, where people were lined up and waiting for hours, was bone density scanning. The majority were women. The scans are not readily available to everybody or many people don’t know about them. Also, they are expensive.”

Using a heel scanner, the Touro volunteers measured bone density for osteopenia or osteoporosis and afterward explained the meaning of the scores. “We did 73 scans in five hours,” said Ms. Young, who estimated at the end of the day, the cost of all the screening and counseling services provided by Touro amounted to $22,400.

"Most pharmacies don’t have the time or staff to sit down with every patient and go over all of their medications,” Ms. Young added. “This was a great opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation with a pharmacist or pharmacy student to talk about side effects and interactions of medications, and nutritional supplements as well.”