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Student Pharmacists Host Health Fair at Homeless Center

Apr 22, 2013

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is much more than choosing what to have at meal time, it requires some education and access to health services. Under the direction of Dr. Kimberly Hoffman '89, 21 Pacific student pharmacists organized the Pacific Outreach Youth Service Education (POYSE) Bakersfield Homeless Center Children's Health Fair.

The purpose of the health fair was to provide the children a fun opportunity to learn more about health and safety education. The children learned about tobacco, sugary drinks, exercise, hygiene and hand washing, sun safety and more.

In the past, a clinic was available for children and families at the center but was forced to close due to lack of funding.

In addition to spending time at their advanced pharmacy practice experience rotation site, the students found time to give back to the Bakersfield community. "It's a great way to shift our minds away from the books and still be involved in patient care and health education," said Nader Tossoun '13, coordinator of the health fair.

Tossoun and the students also provide tutoring service to children at the center through its Champ Camp program every Thursday. Champ Camp provides tutoring services to an average of 20 kids per day ranging from kindergarten through sixth grade.

"We have been able to build good relationships with the kids by helping them learn and being someone they can talk to. The most rewarding part is seeing their expressions every time they see us," commented Tossoun.

Through their service to the center, the student pharmacists hope that they have made a positive impact on the children's lifestyle and academic success. Most importantly, they hope their involvement will "inspire and encourage the kids to believe in themselves, make good decisions in their lives and set high standards and goals."

about the author

Dua Moua   Dua Moua '09 is the Marketing Communications Assistant at the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at Pacific.