The Wilkes University Nesbitt School of Pharmacy was awarded the 2018-2019 Generation Rx National Award from the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Academy of Student Pharmacists. The award recognizes a student chapter of Generation Rx that increases public awareness of prescription-medication misuse, a key factor in the opioid epidemic. It encourages health care providers and community leaders to partner with college students to bring awareness to the issue.
During the award year, the Wilkes chapter of Generation Rx was chaired by Dylan Fox, Denver, Pa., and co-chaired by Harrison Ferro, Berwick, Pa. The program is advised by Thomas Franko, associate professor of pharmacy practice.
This is the first time Wilkes has received the national award. It was announced during a live, virtual ceremony on Sunday, April 26. The school received a $1,000 cash prize.
“These students demonstrated a passion for educating others about substance use disorder. Many of the programs that they helped to develop required time and effort well above and beyond what is expected from our students. At no point did they see any of this as a burden or added work, but as a method of professional development, and service to the public,” said Franko.
The Wilkes chapter of Generation Rx hosts numerous community outreach events on naloxone use, proper medication disposal and stigma reduction. Many are hosted through partnerships with various community organizations, including the Wilkes-Barre Department of Health.
- Generation Rx Radio, a weekly radio show on the Wilkes radio station, WCLH. Hosted by Fox, Ferro and Franko, the show tackles educational topics related to the opioid epidemic including safe medicine disposal. The program is student run and operated.
- Local Scout Outreach, a day-long program for local Scouts organizations so that they may earn the MedWise award and their first-aid merit badge, a requirement for Eagle Scout. Over 100 scouts attend and more than 30 pharmacy students and pharmacists participate.
- Opioid Awareness Walk, an annual event that brings awareness to the lives lost from opioid induced breathing issues. Funds raised during the event are donated to the Wilkes-Barre Fire Department for the purchase of naloxone. So far, over $800 has been raised.
In addition, Generation Rx helps plan and organize the University’s Pennsylvania Pain and Addiction Summit.
Learn more about the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy at Wilkes University at www.wilkes.edu/pharmacy.
About APhA Academy of Student Pharmacists
The mission of the APhA Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) is to be the collective voice of student pharmacists, to provide opportunities for professional growth, to improve patient care and to envision and advance the future of pharmacy.
About Wilkes University
Wilkes University is a private, independent, non-sectarian institution of higher education dedicated to academic and intellectual excellence through mentoring in the liberal arts, sciences and professional programs. Founded in 1933, Wilkes is on a mission to create one of the nation’s finest doctoral universities, offering all of the programs, activities and opportunities of a large university in the intimate, caring and mentoring environment of a small college, open to all who show promise. The Economist named Wilkes 25th in the nation for the value of its education for graduates. In addition to 46 majors, Wilkes offers 24 master’s degree programs and five doctoral/terminal degree programs, including the doctor of philosophy in nursing, doctor of nursing practice, doctor of education, doctor of pharmacy, and master of fine arts in creative writing. Learn more at www.wilkes.edu.