The pain and discomfort associated with arthritis can cause even the most ordinary task to be hard to complete. As part of the Healthy People 2020 initiative, a group of student pharmacists from the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy helped local residents learn more about managing pain and arthritis, while also providing information about improving their bone health.

“Pain and stiffness that are caused by bone and joint problems can greatly affect a person’s quality of life,” second-year pharmacy student Jordan McPherson said. “Think about some of the simple tasks you do each day. What if you couldn’t open a door or answer your phone because the joints in your hand were swollen and stiff? What if you couldn’t bend down and pick up your child or grandchild because your back was weak or hurt?”

According to the National Arthritis Foundation, almost one in five adults in America has arthritis, and half of those who have arthritis don’t think there is anything that can help them with the condition.

“Our goal of having this event was to help the residents of The Village at Heritage Point know where to seek help for any pain, joint or bone discomfort they have, how to manage those conditions if they currently have them and how to ease or prevent future injury,” McPherson said. “The residents lead very busy, active lifestyles. We would like them to know that these common issues should not prevent them from continuing to do just that.”

Terry Schwinghammer, Pharm.D., professor and chair of the WVU School of Pharmacy Department of Clinical Pharmacy, was the guest speaker for the event. He presented information about arthritis and bone health and then answered specific questions residents had about these health conditions.

Residents were also offered free bone density screenings. These screenings provide information to participants about their bone health and if they are at risk for osteoporosis.

The presentation was one segment of a series of health presentations the student pharmacists will be hosting at The Village at Heritage Point. Other presentation topics include heart health, vision care and a health fair.

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 Experiences (IPPE) curriculum, which promotes service to the community.


Renee Chieco performs a bone density screening

Renee Chieco, Pharm.D., resident with the WVU School of Pharmacy-Rite Aid Community Pharmacy Practice Residency, performs a bone density screening after the arthritis and bone health presentation at The Village at Heritage Point.

For more information: Amy Newton, School of Pharmacy, 304-293-7192