Written By: Joanna Shaju, second-year student pharmacist
On Oct. 30, Operation Diabetes from the School of Pharmacy’s American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) organized its annual Healthy Halloween fair for middle school students from the Baltimore community. It’s a collaborative event with other organizations from the School of Pharmacy’s Student Government Association, including the Pediatric Pharmacy Association, the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists, Rho Chi, the Student National Pharmaceutical Association, the Student Section of the Maryland Public Health Association, and Students Promoting Awareness.
At the weekend event, organizations presented various heart healthy content for the more than 40 children who attended the fair. One station focused on proper hand washing, emphasizing why hand hygiene is important to overall health. Students applied Glo Germ, a tool for teaching proper hand washing, and were also given mini packets of hand sanitizer to take home. Another popular activity was making stress balls, which also included a discussion surrounding mental health.
“Participating in Healthy Halloween and educating middle school students about heart health was an enjoyable experience and a great way to spend my Saturday,” says Alena Abraham, a second-year student pharmacist working with APhA-ASP’s Operation Heart. “We educated children on the impact of exercise on heart rate. We first measured the student’s heart rate at rest and then again after one minute of exercise. Most students showed the expected increase in heart rate at a level above 100 beats per minute. We then educated students on the relationship between heart rate during exercise and cardio fitness. We had great participation at our event and truly felt that we made an impact within our community as students left motivated to live a healthier lifestyle.”
Being able to host the event in person again after holding it virtually in 2020 was a great reminder of the impact student pharmacists can have on the community of Baltimore. We look forward to Healthy Halloween in 2022!