Opening up: Duq Pharmacy gets new home

Zoe Stratos | opinions editor. Services and locations changed from the Muldoon Building to the Duquesne University Pharmacy in the Hill District. Services offered at the Muldoon Building include vaccinations, Medical Therapy Management and Wellness visits.

Zoe Stratos | opinions editor

Sept. 30, 2021

There is no typical day at the Duquesne Center for Pharmacy Care for resident pharmacists like Rachel Hay. Some days are filled with vaccine appointments; some days are full of clinical appointments for faculty; some days are dedicated to working with current pharmacy students on rotation. 

One of the most important days recently was dedicated to moving the entire center out of the Student Union.

Earlier this month, the university made the decision to move the Center for Pharmacy Care from the second floor of the Student Union to the Muldoon Building on Fifth Avenue with no time to waste.

“It was a really quick turnaround,” Hay, 25, said. “I first heard about it in the middle of August. And then within a couple of weeks, the day after Labor Day, we were moved in. I helped with moving boxes and packing and trying to figure out where stuff was going to be. It was a little challenging because we went from having one exam room and one office to now having a full building.”

Over the years, there has been a few changes and moves within the Center for Pharmacy Care. Back in 2009, the Muldoon Building was announced as the new location for services, according to a news release from the university.

In 2016, services and the location changed from the Muldoon Building to the Duquesne University Pharmacy in the Hill District, and a second location on the second floor of the Union building.

All clinical services offered at the Muldoon Building location, including vaccinations, the Medication Therapy Management (MTM) Waived Co-Pay Program, Know Your Numbers, Wellness Visits and Point-of-Care testing, were available at both of the locations. 

But the Union location proved to be too small for appointments, and with Covid-19 in the mix, the Muldoon Building became the home for testing and clinical services once again. Still yet, the Hill District location receives and fills student prescriptions and delivers them to campus.

“Another big reason we moved is because, once the school year started, they wanted the Center for Pharmacy Care to start offering employees Covid testing,” Hay said. “That would have been basically impossible in our old building because we only had one exam room, and we were supposed to be giving vaccines and doing visits on top of that.”

With the larger location, the center is able to hold more students and faculty at once: rotation experience for pharmacy students, appointments for students in need of vaccines and faculty in need of appointments on Duquesne’s health insurance.

“I graduated in April, so it’s kind of fun to work with students. I feel like I’m able to relate with them well because I was just in their shoes, less than a year ago,” Hay said.

Hay’s favorite part of her residency has been working with the rotation students doing topic discussions and helping with vaccines. One of those students is Emily Jurczyk, professional year four pharmacy student.

“[The resident pharmacists] are all great. They were so welcoming from the start and have helped integrate us into all of the services they provide through the Center for Pharmacy Care. They have also given us helpful advice for studying for the NAPLEX as well as guidance for interviews,” Jurczyk said.

Although she was not part of the rotation in the Union, Jurczyk is impressed with the amount of space she and three other students have been able to work with.

With the addition of more student involvement, the building also allows for more cooperative work between employees at the center, too.

Before, offices were spread out across campus, according to Hay, but with the whole building now belonging to pharmacy faculty, employees are able to walk upstairs to the offices to ask questions or receive feedback from administration.

“Something else that has changed, because we have a bigger space, is we’re able to have TA’s (teaching assistants) come and they’ve been super helpful,” Hay said. “They’re basically like a receptionist: they greet patients, they give them consent forms, they get the insurance and they enter the insurance into the computer for us. That’s such a huge weight off of our shoulders.”

With the new help from the TAs, residents like Hay are able to focus on examinations in the building’s four exam rooms, while they handle the front work.

For students and faculty looking to receive services from the Center for Pharmacy Care, their hours are Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The center is closed on the weekends.

Elizabeth Bunk, manager for pharmacy center care, could not be reached for comment.