SIUE School of Pharmacy Blood Pressure Screenings Help Madison County Employees Stay Well
More than 30 Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy (SOP) students helped the Madison County Employee Wellness Committee meet its May wellness goals by providing important blood pressure screenings and education to 176 Madison County employees.
On Friday, May 3, the students, along with nine faculty pharmacists, visited nine Madison County facilities to provide the screenings. Facilities included the County Health Department, Animal Control, Special Services, the Criminal Justice Center, Juvenile Detention Center, Administrative Building, Madison County Courthouse, Highway Department and the Hillsboro Ave. Annex.
“Hypertension is many times the first chronic illness to affect people’s lives, and it most often presents with no symptoms,” said Chris Lynch, PharmD, SOP director of clinical programs and professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice. “Community screenings are important to not only detect undiagnosed hypertension, but also educate people about what their numbers mean and healthy lifestyle options they can adopt to prevent or delay the onset of hypertension.”
“Employee wellbeing is a win-win for our community,” added Cheryl Reynolds, Madison County safety and risk management benefits manager. “Our employees work hard, and often in stressful jobs. It is important that we reinforce that they are valued and their health is important.”
Reynolds notes the screening event demonstrates to taxpayers a small part of ongoing efforts to manage employee benefit program costs.
“If this event prevents one heart attack or directs one employee to their physician for preventative care, we all come out winners,” she said. “It was very rewarding to see 176 employees, 20 percent of the county’s workforce, participate in the event. I would like to thank everyone who helped make this event a huge success.”
According to Lynch, this type of outreach service also provides SOP student pharmacists an amazing opportunity to interact with real people and practice the physical assessment skills they have learned in the lab.
“By going to the places where busy people work, our students are able to quickly and accurately measure blood pressures without requiring employees to take too much time out of their schedules,” Lynch said.
“The SIUE School of Pharmacy is committed to improving the health and welfare of our region,” he added. “We are proud to give a little something back to the community that does so much to support us.”
Photos: SOP Class of 2021’s Tyler Clover measures the blood pressure of Madison County Safety and Risk Management Benefits Manager Cheryl Reynolds.
SOP Class of 2019’s Nicole Wheeler explains blood pressure results to a patient.