Reflection #1: Anahit Tivriktsyan, PharmD Candidate 2020
Dr. Chew kept the seminar very interesting to listen to. He is from Orange County and works for County of Orange Health Care Agency as a public health pharmacist. I have always been interested in helping people that are having difficulty getting off drugs, people that are living in areas where the food and water are not clean, or preventing diseases. Dr. Chew is very involved with this type of work and with his explanation I might go into this field. It is an important factor to prevent diseases, control adult and child mental health, stop alcohol and drug abuse, provide methadone programs, dental programs, STD and HIV programs and many more. The public health pharmacist’s role is to procurement, disposition, formulary monitoring and maintenance, policy and procedure reviews, patient drug information, clinical quality improvement, and provide regulatory compliance. Public health emergencies include natural disasters (weather-related) and man-made disasters (weapons of mass destruction and biological) and pharmacists must be ready to help during such situations. During natural disasters, the pharmacy will get cut off from physicians, facility and from supply chain and we would have to have a “plan” to handle these situations. These are things that I had never considered and did not know that a pharmacist can play such a great role in the community during natural disasters. My role right now during an emergency will be determined by the type of event that has occurred, the role of my program or section according to a plan, and my specific skill set, knowledge and abilities. This was an engaging topic and I will read more articles regarding this field to get a better idea of what we can do as intern pharmacists and later as a pharmacist.
Reflection #2: Christine Wong, PharmD Candidate 2020
On Wednesday, 4/5/17, Dr. Mark Chew from the Orange County health department taught us about disaster management and the role of pharmacists in emergency situations. He went through various examples about public health crises in which the health department responded and united healthcare professionals to help the community. Pharmacists take a proactive role in resolving emergencies through helping set up medical supplies and medications, administering vaccines, and providing first aid. For example, pharmacists can volunteer to set up PODs or points of distribution where people can get vaccines in the comfort of their vehicles using little resources. He also showed us how simple it is to make emergency packs in the event of a disaster. Dr. Chew encouraged us to utilize the knowledge and skills we have as student pharmacists to act as trusted sources of help for the public.