Choosing to become a pharmacist represents a dedicated commitment to healthcare. And with that commitment comes the responsibility to provide optimal care to every patient. Concordia’s School of Pharmacy teaches students how to apply their skills and compassion by volunteering in communities. Developing pharmacists that are servant leaders is actually in our mission statement. Our pharmacy students participate in volunteer work from orientation week until graduation.
Pharmacists help others
It’s clear from the title of this elective class, Servant Leadership, that we get pharmacy students to engage in the community. This pharmacy class is taught by Professor James Lokken who is a Concordia alumnus. Dr. Lokken has established relationships with Milwaukee area non-profit organizations that serve underprivileged communities and are in need of pharmacy-related services.
This class also requires students to support a cause important to them or even help launch a new healthcare-related program. Dr. Lokken wants to develop gratitude and empathy in the students which will benefit their pharmacist careers and personal lives.
The pharmacy students in this servant leadership class go to City on a Hill every second Saturday of the month. At this time, they provide services and support during the monthly neighborhood health outreach. City on a Hill is on a mission to end poverty in all its form; currently, 20% of the individual they serve are homeless. This non-profit organization wants to restore hope, strengthen families and neighborhoods, and work for justice.
While there, comprehensive medical services are available to the individuals that visit. Everything from doctor visits to pharmacy services, dental screenings, and more is on-site. This service project is giving our students first-hand pharmacy experiences, and a deeper understanding of the healthcare challenges for underserved and mostly unreached populations.
How we help
Concordia’s pharmacy students assist with the inventory and quality control of medications. This involves verifying the safety and effectiveness of donated or expired pharmacy drugs. Students also get to practice therapeutic interchange where they evaluate prescribed medications to see if they can be utilized in a different way. They are working to expand the scope of the medications and help more people.
Our students also provide consultations and answer questions at a designated pharmacy table. They ensure patients are utilizing their medications safely and understand dosages. They are treating medical conditions and diseases in individuals with limited access to healthcare, and also helping provide preventative care.
More volunteer opportunities
This servant leadership class also offers pharmacy services and care to the Rohingya American Society which is located in Milwaukee. This organization serves Burmese and Rohingya refugees that fled Myanmar. One of the biggest challenges when helping this underserved population is that English is their second language. Concordia’s pharmacy students work with Hayat Pharmacy and translators to provide pharmacy-related services. The students also educate the refugees about our country’s complex pharmacy and healthcare systems through videos and printed materials.
We are proud to have a focus on servant leadership that is developing pharmacists that do more for humankind through healthcare.