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Student pharmacists aid American Heart Association

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Date: Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 932-7669

For Immediate Release

Student pharmacists from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP) recently collected $1,080 on behalf of the local American Heart Association (AHA) using a “penny wars” fundraiser.

Students from the American Pharmacists Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) organized the week-long event, which culminated with National Wear Red Day on Feb. 6.

“Congratulations and well done to the DKICP students for promoting awareness of cardiovascular disease and taking action to live longer, healthier lives and fight against this silent #1 killer,” said Ann C. Oshiro-Kauwe, AHA regional director. “I want to personally thank the students of DKICP for their fundraising efforts to further AHA’s mission year-after-year.”

The entire DKICP student body contributed to the cause, competing against their classmates to raise the most pennies and spare change. Co-chairs for APhA-ASP’s Operation Heart were Moani-Lehua C. Hagiwara (Class of 2016) and Hannah Meerah Shin (Class of 2017).

“This donation is just one of the ways we as student pharmacists fulfill our obligation to the community in raising awareness for health issues,” said Leilani Isozaki, APhA-ASP president. “With guidance from our faculty, we appreciate the chance to meet many of our fellow citizens face-to-face. Even though we are still health professional students, this is a responsibility we take seriously.”

The students also complete internships, called rotations, at many health care facilities and pharmacies throughout the State, which gives them hands-on experience in their field, said Dean John M. Pezzuto.

“We can all take a lesson from our students, who contribute to their communities on each neighbor island and improve health care through applied learning internships and community projects,” Pezzuto said. “They’re not simply dusting over the top of the heads of our citizens, they are delving into the heart of many of our distinct populations who are underserved medically. We are very proud of the leadership demonstrated by our students. They can show us all how it’s done.”

Many of the student pharmacists plan to join AHA’s 18th Annual Hilo Heart & Stroke Walk on Saturday, March 7 at Liliuokalani Gardens as volunteers to help with health screenings and other activities.

For more information about DKICP, visit For more about the Heart Walk, visit or call 961-2825.

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