College of Pharmacy hosts free flu clinic
It’s that time of year again
With the onset of winter, a new flu season is once again upon us. Every year, over 10,000 Canadians are hospitalized due to influenza. The best prevention to keep from getting sick is the flu vaccine.
Dr. Dana Turcotte, Assistant Professor with the College of Pharmacy, says the flu clinic is part of the College of Pharmacy’s efforts to reach out to the community.
“This was a project I started when Dr. Neal Davies, Dean of the College, presented his vision to me of the potential for public outreach opportunities like this for the College of Pharmacy,” she says. “As we now have a licensed pharmacy within our College we are able to offer services like mass immunization clinics, which not only benefits the populations who will be receiving these services but also provides our students with valuable practical experience.”
Turcotte presented the idea of a flu vaccination clinic to the U of W’s Klinic on Campus where it was enthusiastically received. She hopes that up to 300 people will get their flu shot over the two day clinic.
Alexis Wanner is one of the 22 pharmacy students who are volunteering at the flu clinic. Now in her fourth year, Wanner believes this initiative is beneficial for her and her colleagues.
“It’s a good way to get practice under our belts,” she says. “It’s definitely something of value to offer our patients out in the community. Pharmacists are very accessible so I think the more practice we have the better able we are to implement that experience as professionals.”
Turcotte adds that she hopes that this will mark the beginning of many more outreach endeavours from the College of Pharmacy.
“Once we have this pilot project off the ground and get feedback from students as well as from patrons of the clinic, I will take that information and use it to inform the planning of future clinics,” she says. “It is our hope that next flu season we are able to coordinate our efforts so that more of our third and fourth year students will have the opportunity to volunteer at these clinics and that we will be able to reach further into the community.”
The flu clinic is taking place November 19 at Riddell atrium from 10:00 to 4:00pm. On November 20 the clinic will be held in Riddell atrium and the UWSA Boardroom in the Bulman Student Centre.