The University of Charleston School of Pharmacy to Deliver Medication Safety Pilot Program to Kanawha County Pre-Kindergarten Programs

3/29/2018

Charleston, WV – University of Charleston School of Pharmacy (UCSOP) has partnered with Murphy Media, Kanawha Communities That Care, and Kanawha County Schools to deliver a medication safety pilot program to pre-kindergarten classes throughout Kanawha County. During the week of April 9, 2018, UCSOP student pharmacists will present to seven pre-kindergarten classrooms in five Kanawha County schools.

Similar to UCSOP’s involvement with Generation Rx – an evidence-based medication safety and prevention curriculum UCSOP student pharmacists have been delivering to Kanawha County third-graders – the program aims to teach pre-k students about medication safety including how to properly store medication and dispose of prescriptions (with the help of a trusted adult). The pre-K program will also include the use of an interactive, educational platform. 

Using a character developed by Murphy Media, Rex™ the Rx, student pharmacists will talk to the children about medication safety using an educational coloring book designed to demonstrate three easy curriculum objectives: Cap Him, Know Him, and Throw Him. Rex™ is a live-action, real time generated avatar (a pill bottle) operated by face recognition in a live streaming platform. This innovative approach to educating students about the dangers of misusing prescription medications provides opportunities for both in classroom and distance education.  In addition to the presentation and interactive media, UCSOP will be providing school counselors with an allotment of medication disposal systems. A letter will be sent home to parents informing them of this resource.

“In March 2018, a study published in the journal, Pediatrics indicated that the annual rate of hospitalizations for opioid poisonings in children doubled between 2004 and 2015,” explained Dr. Susan Gardner Bissett, UCSOP assistant dean for professional and student affairs.  “Additionally, we know that the average age of prescription or illicit drug (mis)use is between nine and twelve years old. This makes early education about medication safety so important—especially in West Virginia where we are ground zero for the nation’s opioid epidemic.”

“An alarming amount of WV preschoolers were born with neo-natal abstinence syndrome as a result of being exposed to drugs in the womb. Many more are living with addicted parents and an even higher number are living with aging grandparents giving them unprecedented access to prescription drugs,” said Joe Murphy, CEO of Murphy Media. “Reaching young children before they normalize addiction and drug use is essential. A healthy home, for the most part, should have an empty medicine cabinet. Rex™ is no one you’d want to have hanging around in your home for long.”

The presentation schedule is as follows:

  • Tuesday, April 10, 2018 – 1:00pm – Piedmont Elementary
  • Wednesday, April 11, 2018 – 11:00am – Bridgeview Elementary
  • Wednesday, April 11, 2018 – 12:30pm – Chesapeake Elementary
  • Wednesday, April 11, 2018 – 2:30pm – Marmet Elementary
Thursday, April 12, 2018 – 10:00am, 11:00am, 1:30pm – Bridge/Clendenin Elementary