This past Tuesday, COD’s Future Pharmacists Organization held a Lifesource blood drive. Lifesource is the largest blood center in Illinois and distributes a half-million blood products annually to approximately 60 area hospitals.
They also are responsible for donating 90% of the blood people of Chicago need. Lifesource has been running blood drives at COD for around 10 years now and usually come around four times a year.
At this most recent blood drive, 70 units were collected, which means 210 lives will be saved.
Lifesource conducts an average of 10 mobile blood drives daily. Donating blood helps those who need transfusions, people suffering from anemia, car accidents, burn victims, cancer patients, newborns, and more.
“Blood is especially needed right now because it’s flu season,” commented a Lifesource representative at the event.
Lifesource also provides free cholesterol screenings and free blood typing at their drives, and at this drive held by the FPO, they also had free massages.
Future pharmacy students who helped run the event include Ruchi Thakkar, Bhumi Patel, and Lina Hartnett, all who are officers of the Future Pharmacists organization.
Bhumi Patel, President of the Future Pharmacists organization said, “The course work of Biology and Chemistry have always amazed me.Currently I work as a Pharmacy Technician and a health care professional at the Doctor’s office. I feel joyful helping and building up one on one relationship with patients and their family members during the coursework of treatment. Medication is one of the major components of the treatment and a Pharmacist serve as a link between the Physician and the Patient. From my experiences, my education and my determination I strongly feel that serving as a Pharmacist will allow me to utilize all of above.”
“I was inspired to become a pharmacist just being around my father who owned a medicine factory,” commented 19-year-old Thakkar, who moved to Chicago from India just three years ago. She hopes to transfer to UIC or Midwestern to finish her pharmaceutical education.
“To be able to guide and help people is what I love most about this career,” she added.
The Future Pharmacists Organization is a group of people who support each other as they study to become part of the pharmaceutical industry.
They have guest speakers come in to help them learn more about this field. Last semester that had a speaker from Roosevelt University.
To those interested in pharmacy school, “First of all you have to believe in your self and have to work hard to reach your goals. It is not just about counting pills behind the counter. You must be able to share your knowledge about drugs, their mechanism, benefits and side effects and much more” said Patel.
They hope to expand their organization in the future. Anyone interested can contact their advisor, Mary Newberg. The next Lifesource blood drive at the college will be held by Latino Outreach on April 2.