Posted May 20, 2008

Community service is a passion for pharmacy grad

Doctor of pharmacy

Photo by Kelly & Massa
Sejal Patel has helped address the healthcare needs of the North Philadelphia community by volunteering for blood drives, health screenings and working with organizations like Prevention Point. Patel says her work has helped make her a more well-rounded healthcare provider.
Sejal Patel wants you to know that today’s pharmacist doesn’t just stand behind a counter and dispense pills. Today’s pharmacist gets involved in many aspects of patients’ health.

Patel knows all about getting involved. Community service has been a tremendous part of her life since before she came to Temple.

“I’ve always been interested in community outreach, since middle school,” Patel said. “I looked for opportunities to help wherever I could.”

Since coming to Temple, Patel has found several opportunities to help improve the health of people in the North Philadelphia community. She has been heavily involved in the American Pharmacists Association’s Academy of Student Pharmacists and was president of the Temple chapter of Phi Delta Chi, the professional pharmacy fraternity.

In addition, she’s also been instrumental in helping with blood drives and health screenings involving diabetes, immunizations and heartburn, and coordinating Temple activities for National Pharmacy Week.

But throughout her time at Temple, her passion has been volunteering with Prevention Point Philadelphia, a public health organization that delivers a range of services such as needle exchange, vaccinations and medical and family planning counseling services to underserved populations in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas.

“Working with Prevention Point opened my eyes to a whole population in need of care,” Patel said. “Volunteering with an organization like this gave me a completely different experience than what is found in a classroom, and it’s a great opportunity for students to make a difference in the lives of people who need help.”

As she prepares to graduate from Temple’s School of Pharmacy, she hopes to stay in touch with Prevention Point, and put her experience to use by administering vaccines and medications to people in need. Her next stop is the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for a two-year pharmacy practice residency.

“Pharmacists have the great ability and opportunity to make a difference in their community,” Patel said. “By interacting with different populations, it helps make for a better, more well-rounded healthcare provider.”