HSOP Mobile Students Impacting Their Community With PAWS

HSOP students at the PAWS Clinic.

October 19, 2015

By Samantha Taylor

AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. – The demand for health care is crucial in a community that is underprivileged and those who recognize this need in Mobile are actively seeking solutions. Oct. 10 marked the grand opening of University of South Alabama’s Student-Run Clinic, a student run initiative to provide care to the underserved community in Mobile. Auburn pharmacy students collaborated with USA students in order to develop a pharmacy discipline branching off the clinic, called Providing Access to Wellness Services (PAWS).

RELATED: Photos from the Grand Opening / Ribbon Cutting | Auburn Pharmacist Spotlight: Josh Francis

Every Saturday students offer free consultation to improve the wellness of those who need it the most at the 15th Place Homeless Shelter in Mobile. Auburn pharmacy students were inspired to create PAWS after learning about a similar program called Equal Access Birmingham.

The clinic supports the basic needs of its patients by an assortment of services. These services include blood pressure and blood glucose monitoring, basic vital reports (height, weight, temperature, pulse) and basic physical exams. Patients can also receive educational materials and advice on their current conditions.

“Our primary functions are to determine the patient’s current medical condition and refer them to fully licensed clinics for further treatment options if necessary,” said Josh Francis, a P2 on the Mobile campus and current president of PAWS. “In the future, we plan to incorporate more physicians willing to prescribe medications on-site. Having a dispensary in the same facility would better optimize the care we are able to provide to this population.”

Students benefit from the clinic as well as the patients seeking the care. The clinic is run by USA medical students, nursing students, other health care students, and Auburn pharmacy students. The pharmacy students get a unique opportunity working alongside a variety of health care students by developing professional relationships with their peers and gaining real world experience that will carry over into their career.

“Having this early clinic exposure at the start of their academic career is very beneficial in developing a practice-ready pharmacist,” said Francis. “This is a great opportunity for us to demonstrate the wide array of skills we have learned and show we can do more than ‘count pills’ and check prescriptions.”

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About the Harrison School of Pharmacy
Auburn University’s Harrison School of Pharmacy is ranked among the top 20 percent of all pharmacy schools in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report. Fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), the School offers doctoral degrees in pharmacy (Pharm.D.) and pharmaceutical sciences (Ph.D.) while also offering a master’s in pharmaceutical sciences. In 2014, the school adopted the slogan, “Making Medications Work Through Innovative Research, Education and Patient Care.” For more information about the School, please call 334.844.8348 or visit http://pharmacy.auburn.edu.

Last Updated: October 19, 2015