The first "Meet the Pharmacist Day" hosted by St. John the Baptist Parish, Entergy, Gem Drugs, and the YMCA was held on Saturday, January 29th at the River Region YMCA in LaPlace. Pharmacists and Pharmacy students from Xavier University, Gems Drugs, and CVS were available for free, private consultations with seniors age 55 and older. Each participant received individual counseling regarding their prescriptions, vitamins, or herbs and possible interactions. They also received specific directions for taking medications and safety precautions. "As a pharmacist, I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to sit one-on-one with patients, and play a vital role in their health and wellness education. Many patients were thankful for the opportunity to sit down with the many health care professionals present and discuss their current medications and health conditions," said Randy Mire, pharmacist for Gem Drugs located in Reserve and Gramercy.
Throughout the event, speakers presented information on a variety of health topics. The Dean of the Xavier University College of Pharmacy, Dr. Kathleen Kennedy provided opening remarks for the event with information on drug interactions and overall health and wellness. Abbott Diabetes Care presented information on nutrition and diabetes. A representative of Family Care Home Health discussed health and exercise for older adults. "The speakers were informative and the feedback from my medications was helpful," stated one participant. Exhibitors from local health facilities and businesses were also on hand for the event. Health screenings, door prizes and lunch were available for everyone in attendance.
Each participant was provided a "Vial of Life", which contained critical information regarding current medications, allergies and pertinent diagnoses. This "vial" will be accessible to first responders in the event of an emergency involving a non-responsive patient. The local fire department was trained to look for the "Vial of Life" notice upon arriving for an emergency call.
St. John the Baptist Parish looks forward to hosting another "Meet the Pharmacist Day" in future years. "Entergy was pleased to be involved as a sponsor of this much needed event. I commend St. John Parish for being proactive when it comes to the health of its residents and this event was a very good start," said Entergy Customer Service Manager, Sheila Butler. If anyone is interested in participating or joining the committee, please contact St. John the Baptist Parish office, 985-652-9569.