Written By: Sarah Brandt, Peter Lamy Center on Drug Therapy and Aging Intern
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series of Helping Hands stories authored by School of Pharmacy faculty, staff, students, trainees, and alumni who stepped up to assist their family and friends, colleagues, and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the School of Pharmacy’s Peter Lamy Center on Drug Therapy and Aging has continued to support its neighbors in West Baltimore. Unfortunately, during this unprecedented time, instructors and students in the School’s Aging in Place interprofessional course cannot physically visit the housing sites that participate in the course. Prior to COVID-19 and the resulting self-distancing, quarantine, and stay at home orders, students in the course were able to go out into the community to work one-on-one with older residents in West Baltimore. They would complete screenings, such as blood pressure, high risk medications, and falls, as well as provide education on ways to stay healthy and active. Throughout this course, the students would give community residents small prizes, including sanitary items, snacks, and pamphlets.
As a result of its recent inability to be physically present in the community, the Lamy Center had many extra supplies and wanted to find new ways to support its older adult neighbors. The Lamy Center stuffed individualized bags with personal hygiene items such as soap, deodorant, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, paper towels, and toilet paper; snacks like granola bars and crackers; and educational pamphlets on exercise and medication safety. We reached out to the UMB Community Engagement Center (CEC), under the leadership of Tyrone Roper, MSW, to deliver the items.
The bags were distributed to 50 older adults in the West Baltimore community to let them know we are here for them during these difficult times. This effort was in addition to ongoing one-on-one outreach for some of our neighbors in Mount Clare, made possible through student support and the leadership of Nicole Brandt, PharmD, MBA, BCPP, BCGP, FASCP, professor of pharmacy practice and science and executive director of the Lamy Center; Daniel Mansour, PharmD, BCGP, FASCP, interprofessional clinical coordinator for the Lamy Center; and Barbara Resnick, PhD, RN, CRNP, FAAN, FAANP, professor of organizational systems and adult health and co-director of the Biology and Behavior Across the Lifespan Organized Research Center at the School of Nursing.
“What an amazing gesture of kindness from the School of Pharmacy’s Lamy Center to donate care packages for the elderly living in southwest Baltimore,” says Roper. “Their contribution helped UMB’s Community Engagement Center reach more people in need of support during this difficult time.”
He adds, “In addition to delivering care packages, we were able to share with more people the importance of social distancing and wearing a mask when out in public. I am very appreciative for the partnership with the School of Pharmacy and the Lamy Center. Collectively we will make it through this.”