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FAMU Pharmacy Students to Host Joshua Hillman Health Initiative
The Florida A&M University (FAMU) chapter of the Phi Lambda Sigma Pharmacy Leadership Society (PLS) will host the 7th annual Joshua Hillman Health Initiative (JHHI) on Tuesday, April 8, from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. The event will be held in the New Pharmacy Building, located at 1415 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. (across from the Frederick S. Humphries Science Research Center).

JHHI is a health promotion outreach program that focuses on providing free screenings to FAMU’s campus and its surrounding communities. It was created in memory of College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (COPPS) student Joshua Hillman. Hillman’s death was related to a misdiagnosis that prevented him from being aware that he was diabetic.

Initiative participants will receive free health screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, oral health, bone density, body mass index (BMI), depression, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), testing for HIV status and more. Once participants receive their screening results they will be provided with educational materials and medical action plans, designed by health professionals, to aid in the management of different disease states. Information about disease prevention and health promotion will also be available. The event is free and open to the public.

“By identifying our risk factors early, we are in a good position to make lifestyle changes in order to reduce risks such as hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes, which are prevalent in our communities,” said COPPS Dean Michael D. Thompson, PharmD. “I want to thank the Beta Sigma Chapter of Phi Lambda Sigma for its leadership in developing this important initiative to improve health services in the places we live and work. Through this initiative, students are not only saving lives, but they are sending a clear message of what FAMU COPPS is all about – caring for and serving the people in our communities.”

PLS faculty advisor Antonio J. Carrion, PharmD, explained that the initiative has a direct impact on the well-being and longevity of the local community.

“There are many preventable chronic diseases and conditions affecting the citizens of Tallahassee and we are very proud to be engaged in an event that positively impacts people’s lives and decreases morbidity and mortality rates,” Carrion said.

According to Kiydra Harris, a third-year professional PharmD candidate and PLS president, the Hillman Initiative provides an opportunity for students to not only get hands-on experience in their respective fields of study, but to also be directly involved with the community and gain a first-hand understanding of the health issues local residents are most commonly affected by.

“Each year we have been given the opportunity to spread awareness through hosting this health fair to benefit our campus and surrounding community. It is my hope that our students, faculty and staff, and citizens from surrounding areas, take advantage of these services and join us for this important event," Harris said.

For more information, contact: Antonio Carrion, PharmD, at (850) 599-3301.

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