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Last October, two CAPS committees, Spanish Rx and Operation Diabetes, volunteered at St. Thomas More Latino Health Fair. At the health fair, all students measured the blood pressure and blood glucose of attendees; in addition, Spanish-speaking students educated them on the importance of medication adherence and healthy diet choices to avoid preventable diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. For today’s event spotlight, Sit with Senate’s Jisun Ban interviewed Mariela Burgos, a PY1 (c/o 2022) CAPS member, to share her experience at the St. Thomas More Latino Health Fair.

CAPS is the largest organization at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. CAPS is an umbrella organization which includes two national organizations: APhA-ASP and ASHP, and a state organization, NCAP. The purpose of CAPS is to provide students with opportunities to gain real-world experiences of patient-care, professionalism, and advocacy. On average, CAPS holds 9 events per week.

Jisun Ban: What inspired you to join CAPS?
Mariela Burgos: What I like the most about CAPS is the diversity of activities that are offered. I’m still not sure what I want to do as a future pharmacist, so joining an organization that gives me the opportunity to explore different areas was very important for me.”

JB: What was the most memorable moment you had during the St. Thomas More Latino Health Fair?
MB: “Having the opportunity to use what I learned in the blood pressure and blood glucose training. At first, I was nervous thinking that I wouldn’t know what to do, but with practice, I was able to gain some confidence and actually enjoyed the whole experience.”

 JB: This year was my second time volunteering at this event. As a PY2, I was able to apply additional knowledge at the health fair. Last year, I was afraid that people would come up and ask me questions. This year, I was more confident and glad to see a long line along our table!

JB: Did you think this event was important/significant as a pharmacy student?
MB: “Yes, I believe it is important to participate in activities in order to practice what you have learned in school while also giving back to the community. It was also important because we had the opportunity to interact with people that have different cultural backgrounds, which is something we will encounter a lot as future pharmacists.”

JB: I think that non-Spanish speaking and fluent Spanish-speaking students should collaborate together each year. I only knew a little Spanish, but I was able to collaborate with Spanish-speaking volunteers during the event. Working collaboratively among the students during the health fair made this a very successful event. I believe that this is a wonderful opportunity for students to learn how to work in teams in a healthcare setting. Thank you for taking your time to share your experience with Sit with Senate!






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