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International Self Care Day is on July 24. By Our Student Pharmacist, Torie VonSeggern.

Since 2011, July 24 has been celebrated as International Self Care Day.

This date (7/24) was selected to represent the importance of everyday self-care and signifies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

What is Self-Care?

Self-care can be defined in a variety of ways. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “self-care is the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a health worker.”

According to Oxford Languages, self-care is “the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health… protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.”

Although there are a variety of definitions, overall self-care consists of caring for oneself in order to maintain health and wellness.

The Seven Pillars of Self-Care

The International Self-Care Foundation created the ‘Seven Pillars of Self Care’ to express the various aspects of self-care. When utilized together, the Seven Pillars will result in overall wellbeing and consist of:

1. Knowledge and Health Literacy
2. Mental Wellbeing
3. Physical Activity
4. Healthy Eating
5. Risk Avoidance
6. Good Hygiene
7. Rational and Responsible Use of Products and Services
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What Do the Seven Pillars of Self-Care Mean?

The ability to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make health decisions.
The definition varies, but overall includes the feeling of belonging and support, improved self-esteem, feeling in control of one’s life, satisfaction and purpose with life.
Participating in moderate physical activity on a regular basis which leads to improved health, fitness, and mood.
Eating a nutritious, balanced diet consisting of an appropriate amount of calories. A healthy diet consists of fruits, vegetables, protein, and whole grains. Unhealthy eating is a leading cause of diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular (heart) disease, diabetes, and others.
Avoiding actions that may increase the risk of disease or death which include: quitting tobacco, limiting alcohol use, getting vaccinated, using sunscreen, practicing safe sex, etc.
Preventing the spread of disease by washing hands regularly, brushing teeth, and washing food.
Safely and effectively managing one’s health such as taking medications as prescribed, understanding proper use of over-the-counter medications, using devices such as blood pressure monitors, and more.

Why is Self-Care Important?

Self-care has so many benefits which can be noticed daily and long-term. Overall self-care leads to:

Improved daily performance
Improved quality of life
Boosted self-esteem and self-confidence
Improved resilience (handling challenges better)
Increased energy, sleep, and clarity
Reduced stress and anger

Although self-care may seem a bit selfish, taking care of yourself leads to a better quality of life which can be shared with others!

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Ways to Care for Yourself Every Day

There are so many small activities that help to promote self-care!

Here are a few ideas to incorporate some self-care activities into your daily routine.

Drink water first thing in the morning
Go outside or take a walk
Watch the sunrise or sunset
Take 5 minutes each day to just breathe and reflect on the day
Write down 5 positive things that happened during the day
Listen to music
Go to bed early
Play a game
Try a new hobby
Practice positive self-talk
Read or write

These are just a few of the countless activities to incorporate into a daily routine to help improve overall wellbeing.

In general, it is important to find activities, whether big or small, that bring joy and relaxation. Setting aside just 5 minutes a day for yourself can be beneficial to your overall wellbeing.

Sometimes it may seem difficult to fit self-care into a daily schedule, but there is no better day to start than today!  Take a moment today, and every day, to do something that makes you feel better.

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References:

1. International Self Care Day – July 24, 2022. National Today. https://nationaltoday.com/international-self-care-day/ Accessed July 20, 2022.
2. International Self-Care Day. International Self-Care Foundation. https://isfglobal.org/international-self-care-day/ Accessed July 20, 2022.
3. Pillar 1 Knowledge & Health Literacy. International Self-Care Foundation. https://isfglobal.org/practise-self-care/pillar-1-knowledge-health-literacy/Accessed July 20, 2022.
4. Pillar 2 Mental Wellbeing, Self-Awareness & Agency. International Self-Care Foundation. https://isfglobal.org/practise-self-care/pillar-2-self-awareness/ Accessed July 20, 2022.
5. Pillar 3 Physical Activity. International Self-Care Foundation. https://isfglobal.org/practise-self-care/pillar-3-physical-activity/ Accessed July 20, 2022.
6. Pillar 4 Healthy Eating. International Self-Care Foundation. https://isfglobal.org/practise-self-care/pillar-4-healthy-eating/ Accessed July 20, 2022.
7. Pillar 5 Risk Avoidance or Mitigation. International Self-Care Foundation. https://isfglobal.org/practise-self-care/pillar-5-risk-avoidance-or-mitigation/Accessed July 20, 2022.
8. Pillar 6 Good Hygiene. International Self-Care Foundation. https://isfglobal.org/practise-self-care/pillar-6-good-hygiene/ Accessed July 20, 2022.
9. Pillar 7 Rational and Responsible Use of Self-Care Products & Services. International Self-Care Foundation. https://isfglobal.org/practise-self-care/pillar-7-rational-and-responsible-use-of-self-care-products-services/ Accessed July 20, 2022.
10. Self-Care Bingo Game. Albemarle Hopeline. https://www.albemarlehopeline.org/get-connected/blog.html/article/2020/07/07/self-care-bingo-game  Accessed July 22, 2022.
11. Self-Care: Develop a Routine That Works for You. SoundGirls. https://soundgirls.org/self-care-develop-a-routine-that-works-for-you/  Accessed July 22, 2022.

World Brain Day is on July 22. By Our Student Pharmacist, Torie VonSeggern.

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World Brain Day is celebrated every year on July 22 to raise awareness of the importance of both mental and neurological brain health.

This event is hosted by the World Federation of Neurology (WFN). Each year focuses on a specific topic, such as: Epilepsy, Stroke, Migraines, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and many others.

This year the focus is on “Brain Health for All”!

What does “Brain Health for All” mean?

“Brain Health for All” can mean something different to everyone, but the WFN states that the focus this year is on the five following messages:

● Showing the importance of brain health for mental, social, and physical well being.
Preventing the many brain conditions that are preventable.
Engaging the world in the efforts needed for optimal brain health.
Educating – the key for brain health.
Accessing (for everyone) resources, treatments, and rehabilitation for brain health. 

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Keys to a Healthy Brain:

There are five key parts that impact brain health. These include:

  • Exercise (physical and mental)
  • Sleep
  • Environment
  • Diet
  • Access to Care

How does this Impact Brain Health?

Exercise (physical and mental)

  • Slows age-related decline and maintains brain function
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Decreases risk of stroke
  • Maintains healthy blood supply to brain

Sleep

  •  Maintains function of the brain
  • Improves immune system
  • Allows time for brain to optimize memory
  • Allows body to process and dispose of waste

Environment

  • Long term exposure to large amounts of toxins in environment can lead to brain/nervous system problems.
  • Examples of toxins: metals such as lead, aluminum, copper, arsenic, and cadmium
  • Repetitive or major head trauma from accidents or sports can also lead brain cell damage.

Diet

  • Processed foods, salt, and refined sugars can promote inflammation and vascular disease. This can lead to tissue damage to the body and brain.

Access to Care

  • Ability to catch problems early
  • Proper treatment
  • Prevention of other health problems

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Although there are uncontrollable barriers to improving brain health such as environmental (clean air, water, and nutrition) and access to care (lack of resources, cost of care, global pandemics), there are many things that can help brain health that can be incorporated into everyday life.


Ways
to Celebrate World Brain Day

Here are some ideas on ways to celebrate World Brain Day and ways to continue to incorporate healthy brain activities on a regular basis.

Physical exercise:

There are many ways to exercise such as playing sports, going to exercise classes, or going to the gym. Walking is a great way to increase your physical activity every day.

Some examples to incorporate walking include:

  • walking instead of driving if possible.
  • taking the stairs instead of elevators.
  • parking farther away and walking.
  • going on after dinner family walks.

Another way to increase activity includes yard or house work such as cleaning and repairing.

Some additional ways to increase activity include using free exercise videos and dancing at home or exploring new physical activities.

Mental exercise:

There are many ways to exercise your brain such as completing puzzles, playing cards, crosswords, chess, and Sudoku.

Learning and teaching new skills/hobbies are also a great way to exercise the mind.

Some other ideas include meditating and learning new languages.

Keeping your brain active is important for maintaining health.

Sleep:

Sleeping is very important for the body and the brain. Although the amount of sleep needed varies, it is recommended to sleep at least seven to nine hours every night. Sleep allows the brain and the body time to recover from the stress and activity from everyday life.

Diet:

Although cost can be a barrier to a healthy diet, there are a variety of ways to incorporate the necessary factors of a well-balanced diet. A balanced diet consists of fruit, vegetables, protein, and whole grains.

Meat, which provides protein, is often expensive; another way to incorporate protein includes dried beans, peas, and lentils.

Fruits and vegetables vary in price. Some ways to reduce cost include buying fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season. Although pre-cut produce is convenient, this may also increase the cost.

Canned and frozen options may vary in cost, but allow for a longer shelf life; when looking at these options try no salt and no sugar added options.

Other alternatives include buying bagged produce such as apples and potatoes instead of individually packaged items.

Take some time today to care for yourself. Keep your brain sharp by exercising your mind and body, getting some extra sleep, and maybe trying some new recipes!

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For more fun and free brain puzzles: https://krazydad.com/

Additional budget friendly resources from The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: https://www.eatright.org/food/planning-and-prep/eat-right-on-a-budget

References:

1. Amazing Facts You Didn’t Know About Your Brain. Cleveland Clinic HealthEssentials. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/brain-teasers-infographic/ Published December 28, 2020. Accessed July 16, 2022.
2. Bondy SC, Campbell A. Water Quality and Brain Function. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017;15(1):2. Published 2017 Dec 21. doi:10.3390/ijerph15010002
3. Budget-Friendly Tips to Feed Your Family. Eat Right Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. https://www.eatright.org/food/planning-and-prep/eat-right-on-a-budget/budget-friendly-tips-to-feed-your-family Published May 8, 2020. Reviewed March 2021. Accessed July 20, 2022
4. Introduction to Brain Health. World Federation of Neurology. https://wfneurology.org/brain-health-initiative/introduction-to-brain-health Published January 11, 2021. Accessed July 20, 2022.
5. Easy Sudoku Puzzles by Krazydad, Volume 1, Book 1. Krazydad. https://krazydad.com/sudoku Accessed July 20, 2022.
6. Tips for Getting Active. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/get-active/getting-active.htm Reviewed February 13, 2013. Accessed July 20, 2022
7. What Happens When Brains are Not Healthy. World Federation of Neurology. https://wfneurology.org/brain-health-initiative/what-happens-when-brains-are-not-healthy Published January 11, 2021. Accessed July 20, 2022.
8. World Brain Day – July 22, 2022. National Today. https://nationaltoday.com/world-brain-day/ Accessed July 1, 2022.
9. World Brain Day 2022. World Federation of Neurology. https://wfneurology.org/world-brain-day-2022 Accessed July 16, 2022.

World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day was July 11. By Our Student Pharmacist, Torie VonSeggern.

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World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day was observed on July 11 to educate patients on some of the dangers of long-term use (greater than four weeks) of benzodiazepines (BZDs). This day has been observed since 2016, when a group of people who had been injured with BZDs joined together to educate others on the risks.

What Are Benzodiazepines?

BZDs are sedative-hypnotic medications (to induce calm and sleep) that are used for a variety of health conditions, such as anxiety, insomnia, and seizures.

In almost all health conditions BZDs are not the first choice of treatment due to the risks that are associated in comparison to other treatments available. When a BZD is selected for treatment of a health condition, the shortest length of treatment possible should be selected to reduce harm.

There are many BZDs available and they are typically classified by the length of time that the drug is active in the body. This classification is defined by the half-life (length of time necessary for the amount of active drug in the body to decrease by half) and is divided into three categories:

  • short (2 to 5 hours)
  • intermediate (6 to 24 hours)
  • long (greater than 24 hours)

Short-acting BZDs have an increased risk of withdrawal symptoms as the drug leaves the body much faster than long-acting BZDs which stay in the body for a longer time.

Short (2 to 5 hours)

★  Midazolam (Nayzilam)

★  Remimazolam (Byfavo)

★  Triazolam (Halcion)

Intermediate (6 to 24 hours)

★  Alprazolam (Xanax)

★  Estazolam (Prosom)

★  Lorazepam (Ativan)

★  Oxazepam (Serax)

★  Temazepam (Restoril)

Long (>24 hours)

★  Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)

★  Clobazam (Onfi; Sympazan)

★  Clonazepam (Klonopin)

★  Clorazepate (Tranxene-T)

★  Diazepam (Valium)

★  Flurazepam (Dalmane)

★  Quazepam (Doral)

What Are the Dangers of Long-Term Use?

BZDs are often associated with physical dependence and misuse even when taken for a short period of time and in small doses.

Some risks associated with BZDs include side effects and withdrawal symptoms (caused by physical dependence) when stopping the medication.

Some possible side effects include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Memory impairment
  • Irritability
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in weight

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There are a variety of withdrawal symptoms ranging from mild to severe that may occur when discontinuing BZDs.

Mild (2 to 3 days)

★    Anxiety

★    Insomnia

Moderate (2 to 14 days)

★    Sleep disturbance

★    Anxiety and Irritability

★    Tremors

★    Nausea/Vomiting

★    Headache/Poor concentration

★    Weight loss

★    Palpitations

★    Muscle pain and stiffness

Severe (2 to 14 days)

★    Seizure

★    Psychosis

When discontinuing a BZD it is important to work with your healthcare provider to create a plan to slowly discontinue the medication. The dose should slowly decrease by about 25 to 50 percent every one to two weeks over about six to ten weeks.

Some risk factors that may increase the risk of seizures include previous brain damage and alcohol misuse. In some cases, discontinuation may need to be done inpatient (hospital or other care facility) if the patient has not been able to discontinue in the past or has risk factors for severe withdrawal.

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Why is Awareness Important?

Based on a study between 2015 and 2016, over 30.6 million adults in the U.S. reported BZD use over the past year; that was nearly 12.6% of the U.S. population. Since such a significant percentage of the population takes BZDs, it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms that may occur with BZD use along with signs and symptoms of dependence. It is also important to recognize that due to some of the risks with withdrawal it is important to consult a healthcare professional before discontinuing.

 What can you do with this information?

Although BZDs can be beneficial in short-term use, there are many concerns and dangers of long-term use. Being informed about the risks and the signs of misuse is one of the best ways to protect yourself and those around you. Understanding the best steps to take when discontinuing a BZD is important to prevent withdrawal symptoms such as slowly stopping the medication by taking smaller doses over a period of time with the direction of a healthcare provider.

If you have questions or concerns please reach out to your pharmacist or primary care provider!

If you would like some additional information, medlineplus.gov is a reliable resource for health related information regarding health conditions, drugs and supplements, and other medically related topics.

References

  1. Craske, Michelle, Bystritsky, Alexander. “Generalized Anxiety Disorder in Adults: Management.” UpToDate, 12 November 2021, https://www.uptodate.com/contents/generalized-anxiety-disorder-in-adults-management?search=benzodiazepines%20anxiety&source=search_result&selectedTitle=1~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=1#H3281817958
  2. Greller, Howard and Gupta, Amit. “Benzodiazepine Poisoning and Withdrawl.” UpToDate, 20 October, 2020, https://www.uptodate.com/contents/benzodiazepine-poisoning-and-withdrawal?search=benzodiazepines&source=search_result&selectedTitle=2~145&usage_type=default&display_rank=1
  3. Lembke, Anna. “Benzodiazepines: Our Other Prescription Drug Epidemic.” STAT News, 22 February 2018, https://www.statnews.com/2018/02/22/benzodiazepines-drug-epidemic/comment-page-3/
  4. Mohsin, Haroon. “World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day – July 11, 2022.” National Today, 3 June 2022, https://nationaltoday.com/world-benzodiazepine-awareness-day/.
  5. Neubauer, David. “Pharmacotherapy for Insomnia in Adults.” UpToDate, 18 May 2022, https://www.uptodate.com/contents/pharmacotherapy-for-insomnia-in-adults?search=benzodiazepines%20insomnia&source=search_result&selectedTitle=1~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=1#H2498605024
  6. O’Keefe Osborn, Corinne. “How Long Does Withdrawal from Benzodiazepines Last?” VeryWell Mind, 5 November 2021, https://www.verywellmind.com/benzodiazepine-withdrawal-4588452
  7. Park, Tae Woo. “Benzodiazepine Use Disorder.” UpToDate, 5 July 2022, https://www.uptodate.com/contents/benzodiazepine-use-disorder?search=benzodiazepines%20long%20term%20use&source=search_result&selectedTitle=1~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=1#H3665649057
  8. Schachter, Steven. “Antiseizure Medications: Mechanism of Action, Pharmacology, and Adverse Effects.” UpToDate, 25 April 2022, https://www.uptodate.com/contents/antiseizure-medications-mechanism-of-action-pharmacology-and-adverse-effects?search=benzodiazepines%20seizures&source=search_result&selectedTitle=2~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=2#H1
  9. “What are the Signs Someone is Addicted to Benzos?” Cornerstone of Recovery, 3 March 2020, https://www.cornerstoneofrecovery.com/what-are-the-signs-someone-is-addicted-to-benzos/

Take a Walk on July 7 for National Father Daughter Take a Walk Day or Walk Any Day with Dad. By Our Student Pharmacist, Sarah Jicomelli.

July 7 was National Father Daughter Take a Walk Day and, as a daughter who often goes on walks with her father, I can attest to the benefits of participating in this holiday. The bond between a father and a daughter is very special and has been shown to have a large impact on a woman’s life.

Dr. Linda Nielson, professor of Adolescent and Education Psychology at Wake Forest University, has researched the topic extensively (she created the first university class on the father daughter relationship!) and has concluded that a positive relationship while growing up leads daughters to get better grades, make more money, and have more emotional resilience as adults compared to those that do not have that positive relationship. Her research states that fathers play a distinct role in the development of how a daughter assesses risk, approaches challenges, and forms relationships with confidence.

That developed ability to assess risk leads women to land higher paying roles and careers (often ones in STEM), and decreases their risky behavior involvement in things like binge drinking and recreational drug use. Women with good father figures also tend to be more assertive and self-confident – not seeking validation from an outside source – and can demonstrate self-regulation in stressful situations which can show up as lower reports of anxiety and depression!

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That being said, walking is obviously not exclusive to just fathers and daughters – it is an activity everyone can participate in! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, people who partake in physical activity, like walking, have a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, depression and some cancers. It has also been shown to help you live longer!

There are multiple benefits to taking a walk:

  • It can help strengthen your heart!
    • According to research conducted at Harvard School of Public Health, women who take just a 30 minute walk a day can significantly lower their risk of stroke by 20%.
  • It can help improve your mood!
    • A study out of California State, Long Beach concluded that people’s mood correlated to the amount of steps they took: the more steps, the better their mood!
  • It can slow down mental decline and lower the risk of Alzheimer’s!
    • A study conducted by University of California, San Francisco researchers that included 6,000 women showed that age-related memory decline was lower in women who walked more. In addition, a study from the University of Virginia Health System found that men between the ages of 71 and 93 who walked more than 0.25 miles a day had about half the incidence of Alzheimer’s and dementia compared to men who walked less!
  • It can help you maintain a healthy weight!
    • Going on a walk burns calories, and there are ways to increase that caloric burn: walking at a brisker pace, choose a path with some incline, and focus on proper form to maximize muscle use

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, the recommendation is 150 minutes of aerobic activity (like brisk walking at 3-4 mph) a week. This comes out to 30 minutes a day for five days out of the week. That being said, sometimes a busy schedule makes it hard to dedicate those 30 minutes at one time, so the CDC suggests breaking it up throughout the day into smaller bouts of activity that are at least 10 minutes long.

If you want to get outside and walk, here are some great areas to walk around the Plain City area:

  • Pastime Park
    • ½ mile walking trail!
  • Indian Run Falls
    • Waterfall feature!
  • Glacier Ridge Metro Park
    • Try the Glacier Ridge Loop or the Ironweed Trail!

The best part about walking is it is free! It takes no special clothes, equipment, or environment, and almost everyone can participate. You can use it as a time to listen to your favorite music, podcast, or just the sounds of nature, spend time with your beloved pet, or have a conversation with someone you love – maybe your father!

Father And Daughter Walking Dog Along Suburban Street

Father And Daughter Walking Dog Along Suburban Street

References:

  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicolefisher/2020/06/21/strong-father-daughter-relationships-lead-to-healthier-happier-women/?sh=64e5ca0c2b06
  2. https://www.istockphoto.com/photos/father-daughter-walking
  3. https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/healthy-living/physical-activity/walking/12-benefits-of-walking
  4. https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/this-is-what-happens-to-your-body-on-a-walk/
  5. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/walking/art-20046261
  6. https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/walking/index.html#:~:text=Adults%20need%20at%20least%202,level%20of%20weekly%20physical%20activity.
  7. https://nationaltoday.com/national-father-daughter-take-walk-day/
  8. https://www.alltrails.com/us/ohio/plain-city
  9. https://www.plain-city.com/copy-of-parks-pool

Please Welcome Sarah Jicomelli Our Student Pharmacist for the Month of July.

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This month, we are joined at Plain City Druggist by Sarah Jicomelli, a fourth-year pharmacy student from The Ohio State University’s College of Pharmacy.

Sarah will graduate in May 2023 with her PharmD degree and will then take the test to become a registered pharmacist. Sarah will be with Tayler and the gang here in Plain City throughout July, so please stop by and meet her while she is here.

Here is what Sarah tells us about herself:

Hello! My name is Sarah Jicomelli and I am currently a fourth year student at The Ohio State University’s College of Pharmacy, planning to graduate in May of 2023. I am very excited to be helping at Plain City Druggist for the month of July and learning more about independent pharmacy and the incredible impact it can make on communities.

I am originally from Canonsburg, a small town right outside of Pittsburgh, PA, but I have been in Columbus since 2015 when I started my undergraduate studies at The Ohio State University.

I started college knowing I wanted to be a pharmacist because of my cousin who introduced me to the profession when I was a sophomore in high school. At that time, she had just graduated from University of Pittsburgh College of Pharmacy and accepted a position as a community pharmacist. She urged me to look into the career due to the blend of two of my favorite things: science and working with people! I took her advice, and fell in love with pharmacy and the many paths you can take with a PharmD degree – I even did my senior project on the topic!

My major in undergrad was Pharmaceutical Sciences, and in my sophomore year I started working as a pharmacy technician at Giant Eagle Pharmacy. I had such an incredible time learning from the pharmacists, my coworkers, and the patients, so when it was time to choose a pharmacy to work as an intern at the beginning of pharmacy school, I knew I had to stay at Giant Eagle Pharmacy and continue learning! I still work there and am very grateful for all of the positive experiences I have had and continue to have.

While in pharmacy school, I have been an active member of APhA-ASP as both a member of the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF) committee and as the International Vice President. With both of these positions I was able to bring in international and domestic pharmacists to speak about their practice, help advocate for certain health campaigns like Tobacco Awareness, and host blood drives. In addition, I also worked closely with the Class of 2023 officers as the Social Coordinator and sat as the Social Chair on the Interprofessional Council’s Sustainability Committee.

After graduation, I would love to move to Chicago and work as a community pharmacist. I have been so inspired over the years at the amount of reach a community pharmacist can have in a patient’s life, and I really want to be that positive influence for people.

Outside of pharmacy, my passion is music! I love to play guitar and go see my favorite artists in concert. Every summer, my dad and I make it a point to go see our favorite band at least once – no matter where they are playing around the country. He is my favorite concert buddy and we have seen them over 15 times together!

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