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VCU School of Nursing students teamed up with School of Pharmacy students on Thursday, April 10 for the Virginia State University (VSU) Cares Mission of Mercy (M.O.M.) event held at the VSU campus in Petersburg, Va. Mission of Mercy was launched by the Virginia Dental Association in 2000 in order to promote oral hygiene and provide free dental care to underserved populations. The VCU nursing and pharmacy students completed pre-procedure screenings, and health education and triage services prior to patients receiving their dental work.

“Volunteering at these events gives students the opportunity to bring their nursing training, especially the emphasis on health promotion and prevention, into the community,” said Michael Duckwall (B.S. ’12/N), a graduate student in the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) concentration who has volunteered at four Mission of Mercy events, including this most recent one. “These events have helped foster my understanding and appreciation for interdisciplinary education and team-based care.”

The health care team was able to assist more than 150 patients with completing dental care and cholesterol checks for at-risk patients. The team also provided education on healthy lifestyle choices and self-management techniques for hypertension and diabetes. In addition, they participated in a workshop aimed at addressing interprofessional teamwork and collaborative care.

“Our goal is to take a team of pharmacy, nursing and hopefully other medical students to all M.O.M. events in order to facilitate ancillary services,” said Genevieve Beaird, assistant director of the School of Nursing’s Clinical Learning Center. Beaird has been facilitating Mission of Mercy trips with Evan M. Sisson, Pharm.D., associate professor in the Department of Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Science at the VCU School of Pharmacy, for the past two years. She began organizing these trips with Sisson when she served as an adjunct faculty member at the School of Nursing. Beaird said she took her first group of nursing students to a Mission of Mercy event in 2012.

VCU School of Nursing and School of Pharmacy students at VSU Cares M.O.M.
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