New Schweitzer Fellows To Expand Blood Pressure Management Services to the Underserved

Emily Keeler
05/02/2014
Abbey Strazar, Mary Vincent

The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy’s Abbey Strazar and Mary Vincent have been named 2014-15 Columbus-Athens Schweitzer Fellows. The rising third-year pharmacy students will focus their project on blood pressure management and education for underserved and underinsured people of greater Columbus.
 
Schweitzer Fellows choose a year-long project that focuses on social factors that impact health, while developing lifelong leadership skills. Strazar and Vincent’s project will expand upon outgoing Schweitzer Fellow Kriss Petrovskis’ project. During the 2013-14 year, Petrovskis worked with the Helping Hands Free Clinic to address blood pressure management. The two women worked the past year with Petrovskis, and have chosen to expand his project to an additional clinic, Grace in the City - Hardin Clinic.

“We’ve had a great experience at Helping Hands helping with Kriss’ project,” said Vincent. “We wanted to expand to another clinic and help more people.”
 
High blood pressure is a common, yet deadly condition. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in every 3 adults has high blood pressure, with only about half of those affected having their condition under control. Additionally, more than 348,000 American deaths in 2009 included high blood pressure as a primary or contributing cause.

“As I learned about blood pressure in school, I was surprised how much it can impact other diseases like heart attack and stroke, said Strazar. “Working at the clinics, it is very rewarding to educate patients and be able to see a difference in their health.”

In addition to the expansion, Strazar and Vincent will work on improving work flow and record management to provide a consistent patient experience.
 
The 18 Columbus-Athens Fellows will join approximately 230 other 2014-15 Schweitzer Fellows across the United States. Upon completion of their Fellowship year, the fellows will become Schweitzer Fellows for Life.