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Archive for January, 2014

Baseball and Warm Thoughts. By Our Student Pharmacist, Ken Hecht, Who is Dreaming of Wrigley Field Covered in Grass, not Snow.

As my rotation draws to a close here at Plain City Druggist, I want to say thank you to the community for helping to make this a GREAT month and for warmly (unlike the weather) welcoming me to the community.

With temperatures well below freezing, I thought I would try to leave you with some warm thoughts.

When I am not in the pharmacy, one of my favorite pastimes and ways to relax is baseball. My dad grew up a Chicago Cubs fan. He raised me to be a fan of the sport. We would often head to the ballpark during the summer months to watch the games. Home of the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field, also known as the “Friendly Confines,” is the best ballpark to take in a game.

As January quickly turns to February, there is one major date I always look forward to  – the start of Major League Baseball spring training – February 132014!

Growing up, baseball was always my favorite sport. Living through the cold winters of Chicago, it was this time in February, when pitchers and catchers reported to camp, that reassured me warmer weather would be here soon!

So here is my warm thought to help get through the cold…

Picture the day. It is 75 degrees with clear skies. Smell freshly cut green grass below the wall ivy in full bloom. You are sitting under the warm sun, soaking up the rays, while around you echo the cheers of other fans. Hot dog in one hand, Pepsi in the other (sorry, Coca Cola fans), you bask in the refreshing breeze off Lake Michigan. Life could not be better! And, if you’re just lucky enough, the Cubs will close out the 9th inning with a “W” and you’ll get to sing along with the rest of the city “Go Cubs Go!”


It is the memories of those warm, summer days, such as this one, that help me bear through the sub-zero weather.

Travel Healthy. By Ken Hecht, Our January Student Pharmacist, Who Will Soon Be Traveling on to Other Pharmacy Rotations.

There are numerous ways your local pharmacy can help you–probably some ways you’ve never even considered.

Our pharmacists and interns have a wealth of knowledge that we want to share. Typically, we answer questions about prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, insurance concerns, and immunizations – by the way, it is not too late to stop in and get your annual flu vaccination!

However, I wanted to share a topic with you where we can help answer questions and provide guidance that you might not have thought about—preparing for International travel. Having recently had the opportunity to travel outside the country, I thought I would discuss how I used my pharmacy and healthcare resources to help prepare for my vacation.

When traveling, with regard to medications, you want to make sure you will have enough of both prescription and over-the-counter medicine for the duration of your trip. In addition, depending on what part of the world you are traveling to, checking your vaccination status is important to help ensure that you stay healthy throughout your travels.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a spectacular website devoted to travel health information (http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel). While this information can be essential, you may want the help of a healthcare provider, such as your pharmacist, to aid you in making sense of the vast amount of information provided.

First, the CDC recommends that you begin preparations 4 to 6 weeks in advance of traveling. This allows ample time to plan a visit with your healthcare providers to get any prescriptions, vaccinations, or vacation overrides for insurance plans, as well as take care of other logistics prior to departure.

On the CDC travel site, there is a “For Travelers” section. Here you can indicate your destination and even some additional information about yourself, such as if you are traveling with children, any chronic diseases you have, whether you will be aboard a cruise ship, if the trip is an extended stay/study aboard, if you are immune compromised or pregnant, if the trip is for mission/disaster relief, and if you are visiting friends or family.

For example, if I were traveling to Haiti and checked off that I were on a mission/disaster relief trip, the following information would be provided under “Vaccines and Medicines”:

All Travelers: Routine vaccinations (http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/diseases/routine)

Most Travelers: Hepatitis A vaccine, anti-malarial medication, Typhoid vaccine

Some Travelers: Hepatitis B, Rabies, Yellow fever vaccinations

With this information in hand, I can now look and see if there are any gaps in my vaccination history or any preventative medications I would need prior to my trip.

In this example, if I were up-to-date on my vaccinations, I would only need prescriptions for anti-malarial medications and a Typhoid vaccination (Fun Fact: for those of you who have a fear of needles – the Typhoid vaccination has a capsule formulation that can be taken orally and your local pharmacy can order).

Since I would need prescriptions from my physician, I would probably need to schedule a doctor’s appointment. This is why the CDC recommends preparing 4 to 6 weeks ahead of a trip. It gives you time to make appointments and allow your body to build up antibodies if you do receive a vaccination.

The information continues with the following sections:

Stay Healthy and Safe” – highlights safe behaviors while traveling.

Travel Health Notice” – lists pertinent health warnings.

After Your Trip” – provides suggestions on managing illness after your trip and when to see a doctor.

Healthy Travel Packing List” – provides a comprehensive list of prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as medical supplies that might be helpful to have while traveling. Furthermore, it is this section where your pharmacist will be able to help you with your medication checklist to ensure you travel safely.

The information shared in this example is only a fraction of the information available on the CDC website. The CDC travel site contains more on travel and vaccination and I recommend, whether you are preparing for a trip to a foreign country or are simply interested in a certain part of the world, that you take a closer look at the website. If you have any questions about travel and how your pharmacy can help – please do not hesitate to ask!

With the help of resources such as the CDC Travel website and my local pharmacy, my wife and I were able to enjoy safe travels on our honeymoon cruise in December 2013.

I wanted to share a couple of photos from that trip. First, is the two of us in front of our ship – Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas – in Labadee, Haiti. Second, is a pharmacy storefront in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.

Happy, healthy travels!

Give Kids A Smile. By Our January Student Pharmacist, Ken Hecht.

I was talking with my wife, a future dentist, about some of the community activities she has been able to participate in throughout her dental career. One activity that stood out in her mind was “Give Kids a Smile.”

With a “Give Kids a Smile” event scheduled in early February at The Ohio State University’s College of Dentistry, I thought it would be fun to share some information about this program and the benefits for kids able to attend.

February is national “Give Kids a Smile Month,” and on Saturday, February 8, 2014, The Ohio State University’s College of Dentistry will be hosting “Give Kids a Smile” Day.

“Give Kids a Smile” is a program that is sponsored by the American Dental Association. The event is open to underserved children without dental insurance or who are part of a government program such as Medicaid. By participating in this program, kids receive free dental care, including oral exams, x-rays, fillings, extractions, stainless steel crowns, and cleanings. After the child receives their oral exam, he or she will either receive a cleaning or any restorative work that needs completed.

Date: February 8, 2014

Time: 8:00AM-4:00PM

Location: The Ohio State University’s College of Dentistry, Postle Hall, 1st floor clinics, 305 W. 12th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210.

Who: Children under 18 years of age who are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian (who will remain with the child throughout the event).

How: Appointments will be scheduled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Cost: FREE!

Phone number: 614-688-1470 (call to schedule)

Parking: Free with provided vouchers in the 12th Avenue garage on the OSU campus.

Questions: 614-688-1470

Websites for more information:

http://dentistry.osu.edu/gkas/patients.php (Site about the local event at OSU)

http://www.ada.org/givekidsasmile.aspx (National American Dental Association site)

It is very important to help your child maintain good oral health. According to US Public Health, dental and oral disease affects over half of the children in our nation and is very preventable. If a child has a tooth infection or decay, this may affect your child in numerous ways, including not being able to sleep, eat, or learn at school due to constant pain. Problems with a tooth affect a child’s overall health, as well. Fever may be a result of a tooth infection that has spread throughout the body. If preventative measures are taken, however, dental decay and infection are easily preventable.

Please take the time to allow your children the opportunity to establish good oral health.

Meet Our Student Pharmacist for January (Who is Trying to Keep Warm!), Ken Hecht!

We’d like to introduce you to our student pharmacist for the month of January, Ken Hecht. Please make him feel warmly welcomed during this very cold and snowy month.

Here is what Ken has to say about himself:

“Hello, my name is Ken and I am Plain City Druggist’s fourth year pharmacy student for the month of January from The Ohio State University’s College of Pharmacy.

“I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. Growing up in the city, I enjoyed spending time at famous landmarks such as Navy Pier, Michigan Avenue, and watching my favorite sports team – The Chicago Cubs – at Wrigley Field. I also got to visit the many wonderful museums in Chicago.

“I grew up in a medical family. My mother is an oncologist and my father is an orthopedic surgeon. For as long as I can remember, I have pictured myself in a healthcare profession.

“For my undergraduate education, I attended Case Western Reserve University where I studied chemistry. While at Case Western, I met my wife, Amy. We recently were married here in Columbus and are both excited to graduate in May from Ohio State with our doctorates in pharmacy and dentistry, respectively.

“Looking back at how I arrived at pharmacy, I graduated from Case Western Reserve University and accepted a research position studying pharmacogenomics at The University of Chicago. The lab I was working with examined how genetics impacted a patient’s response to chemotherapy. During this time, I learned a great deal about medications. While working with a few physicians in the chemotherapy clinic, I was first able to see the pharmacist interaction with the medical team and with the patients. It was at this point, I saw a profession where I could apply my chemistry background and provide a valuable service to patients. Furthermore, I was in need of a transition from the lab bench to a position where I could interact with more people. This need for change, desire to apply my chemistry background, and continue my education were the driving forces that moved me into pharmacy.

“As I move forward in my pharmacy career and transition from an intern to a pharmacist, I will look for a position that allows me to be involved with my community and make an impact on my patients’ care.

“I look forward to meeting many of Plain City Druggist’s valued customers over this month! Happy New Year!”