NHPA has as its mission to increase pharmacists presence in Hispanic communities by improving cultural competence in the pharmacy arena and foster better health outcomes for Hispanic patients. UGA’s NHPA chapter members are passionate about bringing pharmacists closer to the Hispanic community by bridging the gap between cultures to better serve minority communities.
The UGA student NHPA chapter was founded last year; however, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was extremely difficult for members to be physically involved in the community. As part of an effort to serve in a safe way, students translated COVID and vaccine information into Spanish and compiled information sheets to hand out to local Spanish-speaking communities.
After vaccines became available, students started regularly visiting a local community grocery store, Los Compadres, to provide customers with blood pressure screenings. In addition, they have also been distributing information sheets that address a wide variety of topics at community pharmacies. “As a diverse group of students who are all focused on serving the Hispanic community, we want to support these minority communities in any way we can,” said Nohemi Martinez, a P3 from Dacula and NPHA UGA Chapter President. “We want to establish relationships and create a comfortable environment so everyone can have access to basic healthcare.”
These students also participated in The Farm Workers Family Health Program this past summer, which allowed NHPA members the opportunity to expand their services on a state-wide basis. For two weeks, members volunteered with students from other healthcare professions – nursing, psychology, dental, physical therapy, and more – to provide basic care to minority families and farm workers living in South Georgia.
During these two weeks, NHPA members visited K12 schools to complete wellness checks on children. When parents picked up their children in the afternoon, they too participated in wellness checks and had prescriptions filled. Many of these children are in school during the summer, because their parents are farm workers from minority communities who didn’t have access to basic child care and healthcare so this program gave them the opportunity to receive these services. Some of the health screenings offered included hearing, vision, and dental; in addition, immunizations were updated.
“During this experience, I had the opportunity to shadow a physical therapy student who was working with a patient injured on the job,” explained Dayana Pimentel-Dominguez, a P2 from Riverdale and NHPA President-Elect. “While she was stretching out the patient’s legs, she found unusual inflammation. At that point, I recommended a simple over–the–counter pain medication. Being able to provide a simple solution to something that drastically affected that man’s life is one of the reasons why I wanted to become a pharmacist.” NHPA plans to continue participating in the Farm Workers Family Health Program this upcoming summer.
For more information on the College’s NHPA chapter or to get involved, contact Dr. William Huang, NHPA faculty advisor, Martinez or Pimentel-Dominguez.