Hallie Lauer | Staff Writer
When most people think of October, they think of Halloween, Columbus Day and Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but it is also American Pharmacists Month. In celebration of that, the Mylan School of Pharmacy at Duquesne hosted their fourth Health and Wellness Fair.
The fair, which was free and open to the public, took place Oct. 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Downtown’s Market Square. Alongside people doing Zumba and receiving free blood pressure screenings were 25 informational booths educating passersby on health issues.
“Part of our mission is to educate our students to improve health outcomes to help our patients and communities,” said Assistant Dean for Student Services in the Pharmacy School, Dr. Janet Astle.
Four years ago, the annual fair began at the Allegheny County Courthouse and moved to Market Square after the first year to increase community visibility, according to Astle.
“We want to meet people where they are,” said Astle.
The goal of the fair is to help give out health information to those who don’t have the access to it and to make information more readily available, she explained.
“The Health and Wellness Fair allows us as students to interact with our community and actively make a difference,” said Kristen Cirbus, a fifth year pharmacy major and vice president of patient care of the American Pharmacist Association’s Academy of Student Pharmacists.
“We do this through point-of-care testing [including] blood glucose screenings … and educational programs,” Cirbus said.
There were approximately 100 Duquesne students and faculty pharmacists at the fair. Their theme for this year was “Together We Can Create a Healthier Pittsburgh.” The focus of the fair was outreach and providing basic care to as many people as possible.
“Many of the participants at the fair have not seen a healthcare professional all year long — meaning the pharmacists and student pharmacists present might be their only interaction with a health care provider this year,” Cirbus said.
Cirbus hopes to keep helping out those who need it.
“Our goal continues to be to provide patients with information and screenings they need to jump-start or continue to live a long and healthy life,” she said.
She expects the event to continue improving.
“My hopes for the future [are] that we continue to grow each year with our participation with the public and continue to provide health information to the underserved areas of our community, and to create a healthier Pittsburgh,” Cirbus said.