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USciences Alumnus Spearheads Nationwide Children’s Health and Safety Program
Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012
Contact:  Brian Kirschner
Contact Email:  b.kirschner@usciences.edu
Contact Phone:  215-895-1186

Before he put his student days behind him, Mayank Amin PharmD’09 had made a name for himself on the dance scene and the movie screen. Now, he is focusing his energy on promoting children’s health and safety. Although he graduated in 2009, Dr. Amin continues to make an impact on students at University of the Sciences. Dr. Amin founded a local children’s health and safety program that has become a nation-wide program in over numerous cities this year and draws participation from current students.

Photos at left
1. Yum or Yuck picture – Priten Patel PharmD’13, volunteer Priya Ramachandran , Dhaval Patel PharmD’13, Selvin Soby PharmD’13
2. Teaching picture – Kunj Gohil PharmD’13
3. In front of banner – Mayank Amin PharmD’09, Ashvi Chaudhary PharmD’13, Palak Shah PharmD’13, Priten Patel PharmD’13, Experiential Education Liaison Sondra A. Schultz, Jay Patel PharmD’13, Kunj Gohil PharmD’13, Suketu Patel

“While I founded this initiative a couple years ago through a pilot program with a non-profit organization, BAPS Charities, it has since escalated to 15 locations throughout the nation benefiting over 2,500 participants this year,” Dr. Amin said.

The Children’s Health & Safety Day program aims to tackle national health and safety issues such by “spread(ing) the message of healthy living to children and their families to help curb obesity and promote healthy eating habits from the early years of childhood” according to its website.

“We’ve had four events in the Northeast region where our USciences students have been involved and represented the University,” Dr. Amin said. “I am communicating with Dr. Sandy Schultz of the pharmacy department to get our students involved as volunteers, presenters, educators, etc.”

Dr. Amin was also quick to point out that Jay Patel PharmD’13 was an integral part of the national planning team that put the program together.

What they are saying:

“The Youth of America is in real need of this service. I commend Mayank and Jay and all others involved. Keep up the great work and thank you for allowing our students to participate in such a valuable experience. I had the privilege of attending the Levittown, PA, and Cherry Hill, NJ, BAPS Charities events. I cannot remember when a group of individuals was more welcoming to me and genuinely interested in providing a community (youth and adults) with preventive health education. I was impressed by the dedication of the planning committee and their passion in providing this valuable experience. I never expected the large turnout of children and parents. The enthusiasm from the children was palpable. It was obvious that the learning experience was as entertaining as it was educational. The cooperation from the children and parents was another surprising experience. Everyone was interested in participating and learning what was offered. This is a fabulous opportunity for the children, young adults and parents to obtain information on preventive health issues that face the youth of America. It is also an excellent opportunity for those interested in providing service to others. Multiple PCP students participated in these events offering presentations and literature on topics of “healthy nutrition” the importance of exercise (by decreasing “screen time”) and proper hygiene during flu season (to mention a few topics). The students provided ingenious ways on making learning (even about health) fun.” - Sondra A Schultz, Experiential Education Liaison, Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmacy Administration

“I felt that overall it was a great experience. I don't think parents and children understand how crucial their health is even at a young age. I also think we fail to realize how many different things affect out health on a day-to-day basis. It was nice to be able to help children understand the importance of something so simple as not watching too much TV or playing on their iPad and laptop. While preparing my presentation, I realized that I myself need to be more conscious about my health. I think this is a great initiative and I was glad to be able to be a part of it.” – Ashvi Chaudhary PharmD’13

“My experience was very positive and humbling. It was a great way to educate children in the community and witness our activities and presentations unfold in such a successful manner. My experience was educating children from the BAPS Philadelphia community on reducing screen time and getting active. I would like to believe that all children learned something from the presentation. I focused on the aspect of two hours of screen time and minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity. Not only did we reinforce that with our activity, but we met with the children after the program and asked them the significance of the numbers and they remembered. I myself was enlightened on the various topics covered by other students such as eating healthy and dental health. Not only did I learn about those topics, but I learned that many children don't understand the importance of the topics we spoke about and without this session they may not find out until it is too late. Overall, I think the event was wonderful. Interacting with the children in a fun and educational way was great.” – Kunj Gohil PharmD’13

“I thought it was a great experience. Being a student that's ready to graduate, it was nice being able to interact with the children and parents and teach them habits that will keep them healthy and safe. Working with BAPS Charities was nice, everything seemed to flow nicely once we arrived at our booths to setup. A mother came up to me and asked me "Wouldn't giving the flu vaccine every year make the vaccine weaker every time, why should I get my child the vaccine?" It was a great question and I explained to her what a vaccine is and how it basically teaches your body how to fight the virus. I told her it is different than antibiotics, which overtime become weaker. Antibiotics fight the bacteria for you, they do not teach your body how to fight. Whereas vaccines teach the body how to fight, not fight for the body. Another mom came up and asked me all sorts of questions about medications. It was a great discussion about what types of medicines are available over the counter, and what medicines to use for different symptoms. She learned how to read the "active ingredients" in the packaging, and how to pick products that do not contain similar medicine, to avoid overdosing. My booth was targeted more for the parents; however, not that many parents came to the booths. I think even though it is a day dedicated for children, parents MUST be involved in this event. Children can only remember and learn so much from different booths, so it is up to the parents to take care of the children and practice these healthy habits. Many times they do not know either, and there are always new things to learn. So definitely encourage the parents to stay and participate. Educating the parents and children together can keep the family healthy together. – Shiddharth Patel PharmD’13

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