LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 24, 2015) -- University of Kentucky fourth-year Pharm.D. student Teia Brandenburg of Irvine, Ky., received the United States Public Health Service Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Practice Award at a ceremony at the UK College of Pharmacy earlier this month. Brandenburg was presented the award by Henry Nettling, a UK College of Pharmacy alumnus and clinical pharmacist at the Federal Medical Center in Lexington.
According to the U.S. Public Health Service, the program was created to encourage pharmacy students to become active in public health. The annual award recognizes pharmacy students who have demonstrated a commitment to public health and public health practice.
“Pharmacists are healthcare providers, public health professionals and each community’s trusted access to the health system,” said Rear Admiral Scott F. Giberson, U.S. Assistant Surgeon General and Chief Professional Officer for Pharmacy in the U.S. Public Health Service. “I encourage you to continue your passion and dedication in public health throughout pharmacy practice, to be leaders for the profession, not of the profession, and most importantly to lead with integrity, service and excellence.”
Brandenburg was recognized for her efforts to reach out to improve health care access in Eastern Kentucky. Over the past two spring breaks, Brandenburg led an Operation Heart outreach effort in the eastern portion of the state. During Spring Break 2013, UK College of Pharmacy students, faculty and alumni provided free health screenings at locations throughout the city of Hazard. During the three days spent in Hazard, Operation Heart student volunteers and preceptor advisors were able to screen about 300 patients for high blood pressure and elevated blood glucose. They provided total cholesterol and HDL readings for about 75 at-risk patients.
In March 2014, Operation Heart was at it again. This time, a team of students, pharmacy preceptors and alumni conducted blood pressure, blood glucose, and cholesterol screening in Morehead, Ky.
“As impressive as Teia’s leadership was for health outcomes in Hazard, it was her dedication to learning from and bettering the program that shows her real potential for being a change agent,” said UK College of Pharmacy Dean Tim Tracy. “In addition, I hope all pharmacists applaud her efforts to demonstrate the role that pharmacists and pharmacy students can have in disease prevention through community involvement, by providing counseling and education to all patients that were screened and many other individuals.”