Pharmacy Awareness Month (PAM) – March 2020

For pharmacists, March is a month dedicated to awareness of this trusted profession. Due to the global pandemic, this year it was also about resilience, flexibility and creativity.

The theme of this year’s activities at UM was wellness. Following the kick-off “PAMcake” breakfast, a series of wellness-related activities took place. A wellness tree located in the student lounge gave students and faculty a place to write down what the topic means to them. Alongside that, a weekly wellness challenge was posted to the College of Pharmacy community to promote and educate community members on various self-care strategies.

A bake sale was also held in the Brodie Atrium. This gave pharmacy students an opportunity to engage and educate their colleagues in other colleges and disciplines on the current and expanding role of pharmacists on the health-care team while raising money for Rainbow Resource Centre and satisfying their post-lecture cravings with delicious home-baked goods. (Pictured here l to r: Christine Vaccaro, Simran Diocee, Amy Todoruk and Cole Janke.)

In addition, lunch and learns gave students an opportunity to learn about the broadening scope of pharmacy and how to make the best out of opportunities.

Though the in-person events of PAM were cut short midway through March, the flexibility of the planning committee was shown in how the remaining events scheduled for PAM were executed.

PAM 2020 would not be stopped by COVID-19 as many campaigns and awareness initiatives were planned for various social media platforms. The pharmacy social media pages were bubbling with updates on upcoming events, different contests going on, as well as information regarding the modification of the remaining events planned for PAM.

To carry on the momentum from the earlier weeks of PAM, webinars, podcasts and articles relating to the topics which were to be discussed were shared on social media, so students still had the opportunity to learn more about said topics, in spite of the required social distancing practices. Pictured here: Students at the CanU festival. Back row, l-r: Czarina Ariza, Gian Aquino. Front row, l-r: Brenna Stratford, Brittany Cross (front row).

To conclude this year’s PAM, two pharmacists, Kelly Yeo and Tim Smith, were interviewed concerning burnout and their coping strategies.

The unprecedented challenges that occurred during PAM this year stand as a testament to the strength and resilience of the planning committee and student body to make the most of the time and our joint ability to leverage on the pandemic to spread even greater and more focused awareness of the broad, and specific roles of pharmacists. PAM 2020 was truly above and beyond expectations!

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