Pharmacy Students Send Care Packages to Troops

February 9, 2015
Meghan Ross, Associate Editor

Troops, not patients, were the focus of University of Maryland Eastern Shore pharmacy and physical therapy students on January 28, 2015.

Troops, not patients, were the focus of University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) pharmacy and physical therapy students on January 28, 2015.

UMES students organized care packages full of personal care items for American troops, according to WMDT. These packages contained items such as aftershave, toothpaste, and hand soap, all of which were donated by McKesson. The pharmaceutical company teamed up with the United Services Organization (USO) to put the event together.

Students also wrote letters to the troops to add a special note of thanks for their service.

The event really hit home for 1 doctor of physical therapy student. Danielle Pedersen told WMDT that her dad served in the Navy for 27 years, and her uncle flies Blackhawk helicopters in the Army. Pedersen said she knows just how much the care packages and notes will mean to the troops.

For others, the event placed an emphasis on the importance of seeing someone who walks into a pharmacy as not just a patient, but also a person.

“Right now what we’re trying to do is, we’re trying to bring the pharmacists up on the learning curve and letting them see where pharmacy is headed,” Jeff Sherr, RPh, the president of Apple Discount Drugs in Salisbury, Maryland, told WMDT. “…It’s becoming much more patient-centric rather than talking just about dispensing.”

Steve Emerson, vice president of sales with McKesson in the Virginia area, explained why the company wanted to get involved in the charity event.

“By being a member of the community, it's all facets of it,” Emerson told WMDT. “One in particular we like to focus on is the men and women in active duty service who are out there serving and defending our country.”

This is not the first time McKesson has provided supplies for care packages. A McKesson press release from 2011 regarding donations to the troops said that care packages were meant to “lift morale, bring a smile to a service member’s face, and provide troops with a little piece of home while they are away.”

The care packages will be taken to a USO facility in Fort Lee and distributed to armed service members.