January 08, 2018

The American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) at the UI College of Pharmacy plays an integral role in keeping the UI campus and surrounding communities healthy. APhA-ASP members coordinated a comprehensive Operation Immunization campaign this fall. The nationwide initiative is designed to increase the public’s knowledge about immunizations while increasing the number of adults receiving vaccinations. 

Between Sept. 7 and Nov. 17, over 100 UI College of Pharmacy students administered a record amount of flu vaccinations: 6,885! The immunizations were given during 70 clinics throughout campus and the community, with 5,671 given to UI employees, 532 to the general public and area business employees, and 682 to UI students from the Colleges of Pharmacy, Dentistry, and Medicine, as well as the Hawkeye Marching Band.

Jillian Ginger
Jillian Ginger
Operation Immunization
Coordinator

...Operation Immunization is a platform that allows students to get out in the public and healthcare settings to provide immunizations and education which continues to show the value of pharmacists. I am so happy I got to be a part of it, and am proud of the work that all the student-lead patient care projects have accomplished.

The number of vaccinations given in this annual campaign continues to increase with 800 given in 2014-2015. The overall success of the program is largely due to the hard work and passion of its student pharmacist coordinators:  Jillian Ginger, third-year Doctor of Pharmacy student and Caprisse Honsbruch, second-year Doctor of Pharmacy student.

Planning for this year's campaign began early, in July, and responsibilities as the campaign's coordinator (Ginger) were extensive. Ginger collaborated with campus and community partners, such as UI Student Wellness, UIHC and local pharmacies/businesses, to schedule the clinics. In addition, she coordinated student pharmacists to administer the vaccinations, assisted with necessary clinical paperwork, and helped prepare the co-coordinator (Honsbruch) to take over next year.

Although a big job, it is one Ginger is greatly passionate about. When asked why she wanted to be part of the Operation Immunization campaign and why it is important, Ginger said, "I have a passion for population and public health and saw Operation Immunization as the patient care project that was the perfect fit for me. Operation Immunization is a wonderful way to engage my fellow student pharmacists with our growing profession. If we are interested in advancing our profession, we must advocate for the services we can provide, and one of these many services is providing immunizations and education..."

Ginger comments that additional campaign initiatives are in the works for the spring semester. To learn more about the Operation Immunization, please contact Jillian Ginger at jillian-romanco@uiowa.edu