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Bringing Substance Abuse Education to High School Students

Note: This post by second-year student pharmacist Anoopa Poovathodi was originally published on Inside SOP, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s blog. It is reprinted here with permission.

Recently, I volunteered to assist with an event organized by Generation Rx, a branch of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) chapter at the School of Pharmacy. The mission of Generation Rx is to promote safe medication use among members of the local community. To help fulfill this mission, student pharmacists who volunteer with this group visit high schools each semester to deliver presentations about marijuana and opioid use. Last semester, presentations were held  Nov. 30 at Gaithersburg (Md.) High School.

Tackling a Hot-Button Issue

I offered to volunteer for this event given the relevance of the topic to the broader opioid abuse epidemic that is rattling nearly every state in the country. It is important for teenagers to be aware of the epidemic, because research has shown that the younger students are when they first become aware of the problem, the more vigilant they will be about taking steps to prevent drug and opioid abuse in their own lives. Our presentations provide students with important scientific data, which can help them understand the serious consequences associated with drug and opioid use.

Our group delivered multiple presentations to students throughout the day. The presentations began at the start of the school day and ended after students’ last class. Students from across the School of Pharmacy volunteered to assist third-year student pharmacist Larissa Nguy and second-year student pharmacist Michael Ho, co-chairs for Generation Rx at the Universities at Shady Grove, with presenting the talks. Each presentation lasted about 40 minutes and was followed by a question-and-answer session.

Having the Important Conversations

It was great to see the students become actively engaged during the presentations, sharing their knowledge and asking questions. Although they appeared to know a lot about the opioid abuse epidemic, it had not necessarily “hit home” enough to  make them think about the seriousness of the problem. In fact, many students didn’t think that using marijuana or opioids could lead to problems with addiction. They also were unaware of the health problems that could occur as a result of abusing these substances. It was truly an eye-opening experience.

At the end of each presentation, we could see changes in the attitudes of many students.  It was a very gratifying experience to have this opportunity to interact with young, active minds and to help plant new ideas within them that hopefully will help them lead healthy lives. It feels great to know that our words can make a lifelong impact on these students since we are presenting them with scientific facts from reliable sources.

Getting Involved with a Good Cause

Generation Rx is always looking for new volunteers for this event. As student pharmacists, it is our responsibility to make our communities — and especially our young people — aware of the substance abuse problem that is looming in our area. As an APhA-ASP member, I urge other student pharmacists to take part in this event and others like it. Let us work together to make a positive impact in our community by educating future generations about this nationwide epidemic.


Anoopa PoovathodiEducation, University Life, USGAFebruary 15, 20180 comments
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School of Nursing Accepted to Maryland Green Registry

The University of Maryland School of Nursing has been accepted to the Maryland Green Registry, a free, voluntary program that offers tips and resources to help businesses and other organizations set and meet their own goals on the path to sustainability.

Members are required to demonstrate that they have shared information about a minimum of five environmental practices at their facility and must provide a measurable result for at least one of the practices. For example, in fall 2006, UMSON instituted a pay-for-print system in student computer labs and dropped the number of student computer labs from four to one, decreasing the school’s monthly use of printing paper from 1.5 cases per week to three reams per week. And in 2017, UMSON adopted a desktop printer policy for faculty and staff that has reduced toner cartridge use from 500 per year to 35. Also in 2017, the school implemented an online, interdisciplinary elective course on climate change, thanks to a grant from the MADE CLEAR organization. Additionally, UMSON implemented water bottle-filling stations about four years ago.

“At our institution, we are doing what we can to improve the environment and create sustainability, both through education and action,” said Robyn Gilden, PhD ’10, MS ’01, RN, assistant professor and chair of UMSON’s Climate Change Committee. “We are focused on reducing UMSON’s negative impact on the environment, and it is important to show that the nursing profession is leading the way toward safer and healthier communities and workplaces.”

As a registry member, UMSON has the opportunity to increase the visibility of its environmental efforts through the registry’s website, to have access to free information and technical assistance for implementing new environmental best practices, and to receive information about webinars and conferences to help continue its greening efforts. Additionally, UMSON is eligible for the annual Maryland Green Registry Leadership Awards.

Kevin NashBulletin Board, Education, For B'more, People, UMB News, University Life, USGAFebruary 13, 20180 comments
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Free Seminars in Columbia Will Discuss Pediatric Health Issues

Join physicians from the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital and University of Maryland Eye Associates as they discuss common health concerns affecting children and available treatment options as well as answer your questions. Registration is required and lunch will be served on these dates:

  • Friday, March 2, noon to 1 p.m.: “Persistent Pain: When It’s More Than a Belly Ache.”
  • Thursday, March 8, noon to 1 p.m. “Snoring and Nighttime Breathing Problems in Children.”
  • Thursday, March 22, noon to 1 p.m. “Keep Your Kids in Focus: Common Pediatric Eye Problems.”

All three Lunch & Learn seminars will be held at the Sheraton Columbia Town Center Hotel, 10207 Wincopin Circle, Columbia, MD 21044

Visit this link or call 1-800-492-5538 for more information

Merideth MarrBulletin Board, Clinical Care, People, University LifeFebruary 13, 20180 comments
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Wear Red Day

2018 Heart Gala Planned for Feb. 23

Don’t miss the Heart Gala planned by the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) Operation Heart committee.

The event is being held Feb. 23, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the SMC Campus Center to raise awareness of women’s cardiac health to improve health outcomes in women and the entire community. Students can come and show off their red outfits and compete in a fun, heart-healthy trivia/pageant style show where a winner is selected by a group of judges. The event also will include a speaker from the American Heart Association, heart-health trivia, and raffles to win prizes. At the end, “Mr. and Mrs. Heart” will be selected.

RSVP or sign up to compete in the Heart Gala here.

All funds raised from the event will be donated to the American Heart Association.

Michael ObinemeContests, University Life, USGAFebruary 13, 20180 comments
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UMB Police Force Officers Make Two Arrests in One Day

Chances are, you see them on your way to class or as you head toward your office. The men and women of the University of Maryland, Baltimore Police Force (UMBPF) work hard to keep our campus safe. Their watchful eyes and quick thinking often lead to arrests. And that was the case recently when their dedicated service led to the arrests of two men in one day Feb. 8.

In the first incident, which occured around 8:20 a.m., Cpl. Thaddeus Baker saw a man in the 100 block of North Pine Street acting suspiciously near an EZ parking meter. Campus police have been noticing an increase in individuals obtaining EZ parking meter tickets by fraudulent means. Baker interviewed the man, who admitted to trying to use a stolen debit card to get an EZ parking ticket. The man provided Baker with a false name, but assisting Police Officer First Class Kelli Blackwell noticed a hospital bracelet around his wrist, and he was identified correctly.

As a warrants check was being conducted, the suspect tried to run away but was quickly caught and arrested.

In the second incident, which occurred around 4:40 p.m., UMBPF Officers Tia Marie Taylor and Tremell Jones, Security Officer Katarius Brown, and Sgt. Matthew Johnson responded to the 200 block of Arch Street to investigate a possible theft after it was reported a man was seen stealing a package from a FedEx dropoff box. When police caught up with the man not far away on West Lexington Street, they found a package with a dress inside, addressed to a female UMB employee who had placed the package in the FedEx dropoff box earlier that day. The dress, valued at more than $200, was returned to the employee. The suspect was placed under arrest and found to be wanted on two outstanding warrants from the Maryland Transit Administration.

The UMB community is grateful to the men and women who protect our campus and have our safety as their top priority. The next time you see an officer, share your gratitude and thank them for a job well done!

— Mary T. Phelan

Mary PhelanBulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, People, UMB News, University LifeFebruary 12, 20180 comments
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Need a Poster for Graduate Research Day?

Students preparing for the annual Graduate Research Conference on March 15 are discovering the value of the Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL) in the research process.

The HS/HSL offers poster printing services to all UMB faculty, students, staff, and University of Maryland Medical Center staff. Posters are printed on up to 42-inch-by-60-inch glossy paper ($50) or canvas fabric ($60) and are available for pickup within two business days after submission.

The library’s Presentation Practice Studio is ideal for practicing oral presentations. Taping your presentation for later review is an option, too.

Each school’s faculty librarian can meet with students to retrieve relevant articles from quality databases and demonstrate efficient management of these references using RefWorks or EndNote. In addition, any student, staff, or faculty member preparing to present at a professional meeting or table clinic or to defend a dissertation is encouraged to contact their school’s faculty librarian.

Everly BrownCollaboration, Education, Research, Technology, University Life, USGAFebruary 12, 20180 comments
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Women’s Health Seminar on Innovative Treatment for Cysts and Fibroids

Spend your lunch hour with May Blanchard, MD, associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, at the second Ladies Who Lunch: Women’s Health Seminar.

The event will be held Feb. 23 at noon in the Gladhill Board Room at the Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL). Blanchard will discuss the latest treatments on uterine fibroid and ovarian cysts. Learn more about how to live your life free from monthly pain.

For more information or to register for the Ladies Who Lunch seminar, click here.

Erin RummelBulletin Board, Education, University LifeFebruary 9, 20180 comments
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Fun Additions to the Parking and Transportation Services Website

The Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) website has been updated with several fun, informative enhancements. Visit the PTS website to see these new features.

The Do You Know section, located in the center of the home page, is a hot spot to get answers to some of your commuting questions. Pointers change monthly. Likewise, take our weekly poll (located in the far left column) to give feedback to help us enhance your commuter experience. The questions are multi-layered and will change each Monday morning.

We care about your commuter experience and your opinion!

Dana RampollaUniversity LifeFebruary 9, 20180 comments
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United Students of African Descent Hosting Welcome Back Social

United Students of African Descent (USAD) is holding a Welcome Back Social on Feb. 15 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the SMC Campus Center.

The event provides an opportunity for students across the campus to interact and network. Come and learn about the organization and black culture. The event will offer information about USAD’s upcoming events and ways to get involved, and refreshments will be provided!


Temitope Foleyson University LifeFebruary 9, 20180 comments
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Million Hearts Month Cholesterol Management Relay Day

Support the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists’ Operation Heart and Operation Diabetes in a competitive way to celebrate the American Heart Association’s Million Hearts Month.

Team up with your classmates and race to win the top spot in this challenging relay. Freshen up on your cholesterol and heart healthy facts, then lace up for an athletic activity. Teams are encouraged to dress alike so they look unified. You could win bragging rights for your class as well as prizes!

The event will be held Feb. 19, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the SMC Campus Center, Elm Room 208A.

Tickets are $3 and include raffles, refreshments, and prizes. For details and to register for Million Hearts Month Cholesterol Management Relay Day, click here.

Caroline TitusContests, Education, UMB News, University LifeFebruary 8, 20180 comments
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Call for Heart Gala Contestants

Sign up by Feb. 16 to be a contestant at this year’s interprofessional Heart Gala event to help raise awareness for cardiovascular health. Dress up in your best red attire and take part in heart-related trivia for a chance to win prizes and become this year’s Mr. or Ms. Heart.

This is the second year for the Heart Gala, which will include a speaker from the American Heart Association, raffles, trivia, and the pageant where a “Mr. and Ms. Heart” will be selected at the end by a group of judges.

The event is held raise awareness about women’s cardiac health to improve health outcomes in women and the entire community. All funds raised from the event will be donated to the American Heart Association. You can sign up for the Heart Gala pageant here. The Heart Gala will be held Feb. 23, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at  the SMC Campus Center.

Michael ObinemeBulletin Board, University Life, USGAFebruary 8, 20180 comments
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