Students Partner with Charitable Pharmacy

Cedarville University pharmacy students give up their Saturdays to volunteer at Charitable Pharmacy of Central Ohio in Columbus.

Cedarville University pharmacy students give up their Saturdays to volunteer at Charitable Pharmacy of Central Ohio in Columbus. Photo credit: Scott L. Huck/Cedarville University

by Nathan Pilling, Public Relations Writer

March 22, 2013

It’s eight o’clock on a Saturday morning and most college students are still sound asleep. But not so for 45 Cedarville pharmacy students. They’re up and traveling to provide valuable service at a charitable pharmacy in Columbus, Ohio.

This trip isn’t for a class or graduation credit. These students are freely giving up the majority of their day to help the pharmacists at the Charitable Pharmacy of Central Ohio (CPCO). CPCO provides free medications to those who cannot afford them and offers health screenings, education and counseling to those who need it.

Like many charitable ministries, CPCO relies on volunteers, a service Cedarville pharmacy students are willing to provide. The pharmacy regularly receives pharmaceutical donations from hospitals and other charitable sources, and because of the large volume of donations, significant amounts of manpower are needed to sort the drugs for use. Without volunteers like these Cedarville students, pharmacists at CPCO would have to take time away from their patients to do this work.

“It’s so encouraging to see the students giving up their free time,” said Jeff Huston, director of student and professional development for the school of pharmacy. Huston also served as the advisor for this particular service project. “That’s a nine-hour Saturday that they gave up to help other people.”

The Charitable Pharmacy provides affordable and appropriate pharmacy services and coordinates access to health care for people who are vulnerable in the Columbus area. As these students serve there, they are helping to further this critical ministry. Along the way they are also getting a taste for their future profession while serving alongside and learning from pharmacists and their fellow classmates. “The students can see firsthand how they can help patients who are in need,” Huston said. “It’s a great experience for them.”

The students that are serving see this experience as an opportunity to put their studies into practice with a uniquely Christian focus. “As Christians, we are called to love others,” said Lauren Petry, a senior student who served at the pharmacy. “The Charitable Pharmacy is a ministry where we can help those in need and answer the call that we’ve been given.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,400 undergraduate, graduate and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Celebrating 125 years of inspiring greatness, Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at www.cedarville.edu.