Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2007-10-03

Samford University's McWhorter School of Pharmacy will help the public better understand new vaccines for shingles and cervical cancer during the Southern Women's Show this weekend (Oct. 4-7).

About 70 pharmacy students and 10 faculty members will provide information about Zostavax (for shingles) and Gardasil (for cervical cancer). Both drugs received Food and Drug Administration approval in 2006.

According to "Operation Immunization" co-chair Leigh Fordham, student volunteers, supported by McWhorter faculty members and other registered pharmacists, will answer questions and distribute printed information.

On Thursday, representatives of the Alabama Poison Control Center will share information on how to respond and who to contact in case of a poison emergency.

Also during the four-day show, pharmacists with Southern Pharmaceutical Services will discuss their specialty of women's health and infertility treatments, and community pharmacists will discuss their role in the profession.

The booth is sponsored by the McWhorter chapter of the Academy of Student Pharmacists (ASP). October is American Pharmacists month, which emphasizes "Know Your Medicine, Know Your Pharmacist."

We felt like this was an excellent opportunity for our chapter to provide education to our community," said project co-chair Andrea Gerwin. "We want to represent our profession, not as the ordinary behind-the-counter pharmacist, but as educators for quality health information."

Fordham and Gerwin are both third-year pharmacy students and ASP members.

They have received support from the American Pharmacy Cooperative, Inc., Southern Pharmaceutical Services, and MERCK and McKesson drug companies.

The Southern Women's Show, featuring about 200 vendors, is held at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.