Wilkes Student Wins Public Health Pharmacy Practice Award

MAY 11, 2015
Meghan Ross, Associate Editor
The US Public Health Service (PHS) recently awarded a Wilkes University pharmacy student the Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Practice Award.

Nicholas Stauffer’s school campaigns were aligned with the PHS’s Healthy People 2020 initiative, which has objectives for numerous diseases and conditions, such as cancer, dementia, and arthritis.

The work Stauffer implemented at his school contributed to the PHS’s goals related to smoking, which include reducing tobacco use and initiation, increasing access to smoking cessation services, and decreasing secondhand smoke.

In a press release, Wilkes noted the pharmacy student implemented a smoke-free initiative in fall 2014 to stop students and faculty from smoking in designated areas around campus. He also collected around 640 signatures from students and faculty on a petition to reduce tobacco use.

Stauffer placed cigarette butts in a glass display to relay his anti-smoking message, which was heard by his school administration. The president’s cabinet and student life and media committees worked to prohibit smoking at entrances to buildings, and they are working on formal smoking cessation programming for students and faculty.

Stauffer also took advantage of campus resources, such as the newspaper and TV station, to raise awareness about secondhand smoke. He also rallied support among other pharmacy students to embrace the smoke-free initiative and continue it through fall 2015.

In addition to his tobacco cessation campaigns, Stauffer also created an online medication synchronization program and adherence tracker, which notifies providers when a patient changes his or her medication regimen.

Stauffer received the award this spring from Lt. Yvon Yeo of the PHS. Wilkes noted this is the second consecutive time a student from its campus received the award.