PharmCamp has been an extremely successful community outreach program conducted by the University of Arizona (UA) College of Pharmacy continuously every summer since 1997. More than 300 middle school aged students from Tucson and from Yuma, Arizona, 75 students since 2009, have been engaged in a one-week experience of supervised workshops, laboratory exercises, discussions, field trips, tours, and activities. Each full day the campers are introduced to an array of carefully planned opportunities to help with developing and nurturing their learning skills and abilities. The orientation and learning activities are intended to raise the students’ awareness and interest for the exciting aspects of pharmacy and the health sciences. The activities are guided by student pharmacists serving as camp counselors and directed by College faculty. The target of many of these activities is focused on what the opportunities are in becoming a pharmacist or to be engaged in the pharmaceutical sciences. The experience helps the student camper to recognize what the aptitudes and attributes needed are to address the rigorous academic preparation and challenges they will encounter someday as they aspire to become a successful member of one of the health professions. PharmCamp selects its student campers with the assistance of the staff from UA Office of Early Academic Outreach with the teachers from the respective middle school districts and charter schools identified as serving neighborhoods that represent the inter-city where many families experience socioeconomically challenged conditions. PharmCamp does not charge tuition; lunches are provided to all campers during the week.
Camp activities have included:
Meeting pharmacists and learning from them what they do; visiting different types of pharmacy practice sites and observing how pharmacy services are provided by pharmacists and other pharmacy professionals; experience how scientific inquiry is conducted (“race to find the cure”) and the history of drug discovery and traditional medicine; conducting pharmaceutical compounding exercises (lip balm; anti-itch lotion, hand sanitizer, antiperspirant); learn skills that require the use of calculation and pharmaceutical tools and measurement; orientation to cardiopulmonary resuscitation and use of ADE; learn about protection against transmission of germs, sun exposure hazards and hypothesis testing; poison prevention, home and environmental safely; learn how to safely disposal of unused medicines; facts about venomous critters of the Southwest; the dangers of tobacco use; discussion of common disorders: i.e., asthma, diabetes; what is healthful nutrition; participate in group and team projects that require homework, preparation for display and oral presentation.
Participants have included:
- Tucson:UA College of Pharmacy, Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center (APDIC); Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology; Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center (SWEHSC) ; El Rio Health Center Pharmacy; Walgreens Pharmacy; University Medical Center Inpatient Pharmacy Service; UA Sarver Heart Center; UA Nutrition Sciences Club; International Pharmacist Student Federation (IPSF); BASHAS’ Pharmacy; The Wildcat Charter School; UA Office of Early Academic Outreach; Tucson Unified School District; Sunnyside School District; UA Intercollegiate Athletics Department; UA Hispanic Chicano Center.
- Yuma: Yuma Friends of the Arizona Health Sciences Center; Crane Middle School District; Cibola High School; Yuma Regional Medical Center Pharmacy Department; Katchina Pharmacy; Sunset Community Health Center Pharmacy; Walgreens Pharmacy; Yuma Fire Department; APDIC; SWEHSC; Regional Center for Border Health; San Luis Health Center-Santa Theresa Pharmacy, UA Sarver Heart Center; UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; UA College of Pharmacy.
- Sierra Vista: The Pre-pharmacy Club at Cochise College(CC) Department of Science CC; Walgreens Pharmacy; UA College of Pharmacy; Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center; Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center (SWEHSC). See media coverage at http://www.svherald.com/content/community/2012/12/06/342491.