University of Maryland Resident and Fellow Class Assembles Winter Survival Kits for Those in Need

Written By: Irene Ruiz, PharmD, PGY-2 Pediatric Pharmacy Resident

Every year, the University of Maryland resident and fellow class participates in a service project to aid our community. On Dec. 15, we worked with the Maryland Society of Health-System Pharmacy (MSHP) and Health Care for the Homeless to create winter survival kits for those in need.

The outreach was organized by Seferina Kim, PharmD, the PGY-2 ambulatory care pharmacy residency program coordinator, and myself and my co-chief resident/fellow – Emily Von Bulow, PharmD, PGY-2 emergency medicine pharmacy resident.

Prior to the event, donation boxes were set up in the School of Pharmacy and in the University of Maryland Medical Center’s downtown campus. Monetary donations were also accepted and used to purchase additional items. After all the donations were collected, the resident and fellow class met to assemble the kits.

The kits consisted of winter necessities including hats, gloves, socks, and rain ponchos, and personal hygiene items like toothbrushes, shampoo, soap, lotion, hand sanitizers, feminine hygiene products, wet wipes, and more. They also included granola bars and gift cards for food. Lastly, each kit contained a handwritten note wishing the recipient a happy holiday season.

This event was so incredibly successful because of the generous donations by the resident and fellow class, University of Maryland Medical Center employees, and University of Maryland School of Pharmacy faculty, staff, and students. We were able to assemble more than 100 kits, which were provided to St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore and several shelters and food pantries, including Greenspring Men’s Shelter, Hannah More, Innterim, and Sarah’s Hope Family Shelters.

“Putting together kits with our co-residents and fellows was an enjoyable way to give back to our community,” said Bobbie Nguyen, PharmD, PGY-2 cardiology pharmacy resident. “It was also humbling to put items into a kit that most of us have easy access to on a daily basis. I’m grateful for this experience.”

Being able to contribute to the community during the holiday season was a great way for the resident and fellow class to complete their service project while serving those in need. We hope to have more opportunities to work alongside MSHP to support the local Baltimore community.

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