In the fall of 2012 a group of ambitious APhA-ASP student pharmacists at UTCOP decided to “be the change” by taking on the growing problem that is Alzheimer’s disease. As future pharmacists, we are well aware of the lack of effective treatments for the disease. On a personal level, these student pharmacists had experienced first hand the toll Alzheimer’s disease can have on the patients and families of Alzheimer’s victims. It was this passion that inspired the creation of Race for the Summitt.
The race has two purposes. First and foremost, it raises funds for The Pat Summitt Foundation, an organization created by Coach Pat Summitt and her son Tyler that advances research for prevention and a cure, provides hope, care, and critical support for patients, caregivers and families, and educates the public on the impacts of Alzheimer’s disease and the urgent need for a cure. Second, the race allows us as student pharmacists to educate the public on how pharmacists can be crucial in the fight against Alzheimer’s. From detecting drug-disease and drug-drug interactions to being a phone call away when a family member just needs some support, pharmacists can play a key role in helping families and patients suffering with this disease.
The inaugural Race for the Summitt 4-Miler was held in Memphis on Saturday, March 23, 2013. We raised over $7,000 for the beneficiaries! In addition, the race gave our students the opportunity to speak at an Alzheimer’s caregivers workshop about the current medications used for the disease.
This year we will be expanding our efforts to two cities: Memphis and Knoxville! We are thrilled to be bringing the race to Knoxville and excited to watch the movement grow in Memphis.