UK Pharmacy Students to Spend Spring Break Teaching Heart Health

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Updated: 3/08/2013 1:39 pm

Lexington, Ky. - Nine University of Kentucky Pharmacy faculty and 24 students will spend part of their spring break in Eastern Kentucky promoting heart health at "Hearts for KY," one of their "Operation Heart" community service events.

Through public awareness, community outreach, and patient-specific education on cardiovascular risk factors, student pharmacists involved in Operation Heart hope to empower patients to take control of their health and prevent cardiovascular disease before it starts. This Operation Heart event is sponsored in part by the UK HealthCare Gill Heart Institute.

"Heart disease accounted for 30 percent of all deaths in Kentucky in 2009, ranking us 8th highest in the country," said Tracy Macauley, cardiology specialty pharmacist and Operation Heart faculty advisor. "We hope that 'Hearts for KY' screening events help teach Kentuckians about prevention, and that we start to see improvement in the heart health of Kentucky."

The screenings will take place on March 11-13 at:

  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Food City, 50 Morton Blvd., Hazard
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Perry County Public Library, 289 Black Gold Blvd., Hazard
  • 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., ShoeMax, 117 Corporate Dr., Ste. 104, Hazard

Participants will be screened for cardiac risk factors, including blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol.

"As a student pharmacist, my goal is to provide optimal patient care," said Teia Brandenburg, a second-year PharmD student. "Providing screenings for cardiovascular risk factors in easily accessible areas allows us to make an impact on a large portion of the community. If we can improve the health of one person, my spring break will have been a success."

"I am from the small town of Tollesboro and am excited to travel to another rural community in Kentucky," said second-year PharmD student Gavin Howington. "Participating in the Operation Heart health fair provides me the opportunity to see a different area of the state and to help improve the heart health of its citizens."

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