St. John’s University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has fully embraced and is strongly committed to addressing unmet community needs through education, practice, and research, especially to the underserved and indigent urban population. The College continues to take pride in and live out the University’s Catholic and Vincentian mission and values.
University Service Day is a University-wide, annual, single day of service that is conducted under the auspices of the Office of University Mission. It is an annual celebration of the feast day of St. Vincent de Paul and spearheads the beginning of St. John’s University’s Founder’s Week.
CPHS has had a long history of participating in USD by partnering with various community organizations to conduct medication brown bags, provide medication education to seniors, conduct blood pressure and diabetes screenings, fundraise, and provide immunizations to underserved and marginalized populations. CPHS sets itself apart from the rest of the University in that all of its service activities were spearheaded and facilitated through the collaborative efforts of the College’s faculty, administrators, and students.
This is particularly noteworthy because those affiliated with CPHS actively pursued and engaged additional unique community partnerships in order to contribute to the University’s overall effort. This past year, more than 195 students, faculty, administrators, and staff provided services at more than 25 community sites in the New York City area. Collectively, CPHS University Service Day participants spent ~1,800 volunteer-hours on various community service projects for this campus-wide initiative.
Pharmacy faculty have been involved in coordinating various health initiatives that emphasize safe medication use, ensuring proper immunization against influenza, and achieving cardiovascular outcomes through hypertension and diabetes screenings and education campaigns, which are generally aligned with Healthy People 2020 goals. This past year they have been involved in 60 community health events, including medication reviews or “brown bags,” Medicare Part D education programs, medication and health education programs, blood pressure or diabetes screenings, health/career fairs, fundraising and community collections, and immunization programs. Approximately 50 percent of the pharmacy faculty participated in one or more of these activities.
Through these efforts, more than 25 community organizations have partnered with St. John’s, including the New York Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities, New York City Department for the Aging, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, New Life Community Health Center, Queens Public Library, as well as the offices of former US Senator Kemp Hannon and US Senator John E. Brooks, to provide health services to community members. More than 600 faculty and students have collectively volunteered more than 15,000 person-hours in service to underrepresented and underserved communities in New York City and on Long Island. Furthermore, nearly 1,600 community members were served just this past year alone.