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Student pharmacists volunteering time, skills as part of community’s COVID-19 response

College of Pharmacy student pharmacists, faculty and alumni are using their knowledge to help on COVID-19 frontlines

Kim Chaudoin  | 

Student sitting at desk manning phones.

As numbers of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nashville climbed over the last few weeks, student pharmacists in Lipscomb’s College of Pharmacy used their knowledge and skills to serve the community by volunteering with local organizations who are on the frontlines in the fight against the virus.

A team of student pharmacists have volunteered their time at the Tennessee Coronavirus Public Information Line. The information line was launched by the Tennessee Department of Health in partnership with the Tennessee Poison Center. Dr. Nena Bowman, a Lipscomb College of Pharmacy graduate, is the managing director of the Tennessee Poison Center at Vanderbilt University and has served as a preceptor for several student pharmacists.

Four people in nasks

The Pharmacy Task Force included Micah Cost, Lucy Adkins, Kevin Hartman and Tom Campbell.

Over the last few weeks, a group of student pharmacists have worked at the information line answering questions from callers and connecting them to additional information and resources in their community. Some of the students are there as a part of their academic work, while others have just volunteered to help out as needed. 

Read more about how Lipscomb's dietetic interns are serving the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other Lipscomb alumni are also playing significant roles in the community’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

Last week a pharmacy task force worked with the U.S. Corp of Engineers on the possible Music City Center conversion to a 1,000 bed COVID-19 overflow facility. Included on the task force is Dr. Micah Cost, Lipscomb alumnus and executive director of the Tennessee Pharmacists Association, Dr. Kevin Hartman, Lipscomb alumnus and owner of NPS Pharmacy and Dr. Tom Campbell, dean of Lipscomb’s College of Pharmacy.

Gabrielle Givens, Lipscomb P4 student, served as the student pharmacist representative for the walk-through following the conversation to evaluate the set up for proper patient flow, triage, medication reconciliation and facility organization.

Pharmacy owner and College of Pharmacy graduate Dr. Jade Bushong Fricks supplied the Milton, Florida Police Department with hand sanitizer, and several other alumni pharmacy owners have compounded hand sanitizer for health care workers.  

People getting a check

Jade Bushong Fricks

“Pharmacists play a significant role in the health and wellness of a community and are on the frontline with patients during a time of crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic we are experiencing now,” said Campbell.

“It is particularly rewarding to see many of our alumni on the front lines in leading the city’s response to this health crisis as leaders in the industry. This is a particularly unique learning opportunity for our students to experience first-hand a community’s response to a pandemic and to be a part of it through their work at local organizations who are in the middle of the response effort. A key value of the college is service, where knowledge and acquired skills are utilized to enhance the lives of others. Our student pharmacists, faculty, staff and alumni have certainly risen to the occasion in response to this pandemic.” 

Read more about how Lipscomb's nursing students are fighting on the front lines of the pandemic.

Lipscomb University’s College of Pharmacy was established in 2007 and was Middle Tennessee’s first College of Pharmacy. The college has the #5 NAPLEX Pass Rate in the nation at 98.3 percent for the Class of 2019.

The NAPLEX®, the national licensure exam, also includes a Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination, a standardized exam created to assess competency and knowledge of pharmacy law and ethics. Lipscomb’s Class of 2019 achieved a 94 percent first-time pass rate, the highest of all colleges of pharmacy in Tennessee.

The college also boasts a 100 percent job placement rate for its graduates.

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