WVU Pharmacy students provide heart health information at The Village at Heritage Point

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – When you think of the month of February, you may think of cupids, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and Valentine’s Day messages. Students from the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy are also promoting a message of love — love your heart.

In honor of American Heart Month, the student pharmacists will be providing a seminar on Heart Health at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 17 to the residents of The Village at Heritage Point.

Hannah Chambers, Pharm.D., a pharmacy resident at WVU Healthcare, will present information on common heart diseases, the signs of these diseases — that if noticed, could save your life — and how these signs differ between men and women. Dr. Chambers will also discuss blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as different ways to keep your heart healthy.

Residents will be able to participate in a question and answer session with a panel of experts, led by Betsy Elswick, Pharm.D., clinical associate professor at the WVU School of Pharmacy. They will also have a chance to try various brands of blood pressure monitors and learn more about over-the-counter medications, general information about prescription medications and how to communicate with both their doctor and pharmacist.

“We often ignore taking care of our hearts because we don’t see or think we are in any urgent danger, but heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S.,” second-year pharmacy student Jordan McPherson said. “Part of the problem is not knowing what can be done to prevent it. It’s important to talk to your doctor and local pharmacist for information on healthy habits, common medications and warning signs for heart disease.”

Through educating The Village at Heritage Point community members about heart health, the student pharmacists hope to reinforce the objectives of Healthy People 2020, a nationwide initiative that aims to improve the public’s health by working towards various objectives, including the health of older adults and heart disease, over the next 10 years.

The student pharmacists were partnered with The Village at Heritage Point through the WVU Center for Civic Engagement as part of their Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience course, which promotes service to the community.

For more information: Amy Newton, School of Pharmacy, 304-293-7192
an/ap: 02-08-11