The Pharmacy Technology program at Vance-Granville Community College has continued its tradition of community involvement with a pair of recent service projects during the fall semester.
First, Pharmacy Technology faculty and students, with help from their colleagues in other VGCC Health Sciences programs, spearheaded a relief drive to help people in the Caribbean who had been affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Pharmacy Technology Program Head Dr. Erica Fleming grew up on the Caribbean island of Anguilla and has family there. Students and faculty set up stations at each of VGCC’s four campuses on two days in late October, where they collected various items and accepted cash donations.
“I would like to thank all of the Health Sciences students who participated,” Fleming said. “We brought all the bags of collected items to the Pharmacy Tech lab on Main Campus, where we sorted and packaged them to provide food, clothes, personal care items and household items to four families in the ‘NC for Puerto Rico’ relocation support network. Cash donations will go to provide support for families on my home island of Anguilla.”
During the hurricane relief drive, Fleming said, her program also forged a new community partnership with Granville County Schools’ Center for Innovative Learning (CIL) in Oxford. “Students at the CIL donated items they collected in their own drive to support our event,” Fleming noted. “The CIL supplied us with new books, folders and school supplies, winter items, socks, undergarments and household cleaning supplies. We want to say a very special ‘thank you’ to Mrs. Louise Terry, school counselor, for coordinating the drive at CIL.” She added, “To everyone who gave to this effort, we say ‘thank you’ for showing our neighbors both here in North Carolina and in the Caribbean that you care.”
The Pharmacy Technology program also partnered with the Creedmoor Police Department and Walgreens of Creedmoor on “Operation Medicine Drop,” a drug collection event, on Oct. 28. Within four hours, 6,377 dosage units/pills of non-controlled substances and 365 dosage units/pills of controlled substances were collected, according to the police department. The collection consisted of outdated or unused prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, syringes and veterinary prescription drugs.
“This is the third year that the Pharmacy Technology program has participated in the event, and the fourth year for me,” Fleming explained. “Each year, we have collected numerous ‘C-II’ controlled medications and have safely disposed of thousands of prescription and no prescription medications. The community is reminded that flushing of medications is never advised, because we want to avoid contamination of our local water sources.”
For more information on the VGCC Pharmacy Technology program, call Dr. Fleming at (252) 738-3482.
Above: From left, in front, Center for Innovative Learning student Anthony Dixon, VGCC Pharmacy Technology student Tommy Hicks, Pharmacy Technology Program Head Dr. Erica Fleming, Pharmacy Technology student Malissa Chandler and CIL student Jonathan Manzo; and from left, in back, CIL Principal Calvin Timberlake, CIL student Eric Sapp and School Resource Officer Elliott Carver of the Granville County Sheriff’s Office.
Above: Seated, from left, VGCC Pharmacy Technology students Tommy L. Hicks of Franklinton and Malissa S. Chandler of Durham use smartphones to identify and classify medications while Pharmacy Technology program head Dr. Erica Fleming (standing at right) sorts through medications during the “Operation Medicine Drop” event at Walgreens in Creedmoor.