Pharmacy students help rural patients understand Medicare

Story contributed by the College of Pharmacy | December 16, 2009

Workshop photos

The slideshow above features images from a recent Medicare Part D workshop hosted in Beatrice by members of the UNMC College of Pharmacy's Rural Pharmacy Students Association. Double click on the images to see more information.

Members of the College of Pharmacy's Rural Pharmacy Students Association (RPSA) helped rural patients better understand the effects of Medicare Part D during a November workshop in Beatrice.

Nine RPSA members and one fourth-year pharmacy student conducted the workshop at the Pamida pharmacy in Beatrice.

A half-hour before the workshop -- a service-learning project for the group -- patients started to line up to receive help from the students. In all, about 30 patients received help at the workshop.

"These students provided an invaluable service for the patients and they displayed great professionalism and compassion while they did so," said Charles Krobot, Pharm.D., associate dean for student affairs in the College of Pharmacy. "Their efforts make the college proud."

The workshop was designed to:

  • Provide patients with individualized Medicare Part D plan comparison print-outs based on their drug utilization; and
  • Help patients understand the costs associated with each plan.

RPSA president Peter Vu conceived of the workshop and the group worked and planned for months to set up the event.

During this service learning project the RPSA students:

  • Came to better appreciate the needs of their patients;
  • Achieved a better understanding of how Medicare Part D works;
  • Further developed listening skills;
  • Practiced patient counseling talents;
  • Provided therapeutic drug information during medication reviews; and
  • Worked together as professionals to meet a common objective.

Besides Vu, other student participants in the workshop were:

  • Austin Lucht;
  • Stephanie Meisinger;
  • Allysa Zoucha;
  • Emily Matthews;
  • Megan Hrnicek;
  • Beth Mckevley (Smith);
  • Zach Davis;
  • Alisyn Hansen; and
  • Mary Venteicher.