University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences: Educating and Assisting the Older Adult 

Community in Buffalo and WNY

University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences students gain vital skills when they take what they've learned in the classroom and labratory and apply it to real-world settings. Advisement to local seniors is a particularly important community outreach program for the school.

Clinical Assistant Professor Robert Wahler and Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences Activities Coordinator Pamela Coniglio have worked with University at Buffalo Doctor Pharmacy students to create medication education and safety programs for local older adults. These programs provide seniors with information on how to effectiviely manage their prescription medications to ensure a healthy and active lifestyle as well as offer other programs to improve health and well-being.

 Medication Education and Safety for seniors (MISuSE)

Through MISuSE, students provide senior citizens with useful information on appropriate and safe use of prescription medications, over the counter drugs and herbal products. The goals is to prevent medications from causing harm to seniors who are especially vulnerable to adverse effects. Students use the STAMP Out Presrciption Drug Misuse and Abuse Program developed by the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists Foundation.

 Medication Therapy Management Falls Risk Reduction (MTM FRR) and Interprofessional Falls Risk Reduction Program

The MTM FRR program provides individualized evaluation of a senior's medications provided by PharmD students under the supervision of SPPS faculty. After the evaluation, the senior receives a personal medication record, a medication action plan and a medication falls risk report card.

Expanding upon the MTM program, Wahler has created an Interprofessional Falls Risk Reduction Program, collaborating with Peter Brody, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Patricia Ohtake, Associate Professor of Rehabilitation Science in the School of Public Health and Health Professions and Assistant Vice President of Interprofessional Education.

Through the program, faculty and students provide senior citizens with balance assessments, evaluate their medication for fall risk-increasing drugs and develop individualized action plans.

"Falls can be devastating to an older person," says Wahler. "We hope this clinic will be a model for future falls prevention programs."

Bone Density Screening

The UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences offers free bone density screening for at-risk individuals using a portable scanner. This service provide patients with quick, noninvasive test immediate results which they can share with their primary care physician for further discussion and evaluation. The screening is often combined with the MTM FRR, giving seniors comprehensive information on preventing hip fractures.

Vial of Life

Students also promote the national Vial of Life project, which allows first responders to assess the medication needs of patients in an emergency situation via Vial of Life forms and patient information materials easily found and recognized in the patient's home.

"At a recent clinic, one of the participants lived alone and said she felt so much better knowing that first responders would know where to find a list of her medications and any other important information about her," says Coniglio.

For more information on any of these programs, please contact Pamela Coniglio at 716-645-4801 or visit www.pharmacy.buffalo.edu/misuse