Wilkes Pharmacy Student Eileen Friery of Kenosha, Wis., Wins U.S. Public Health Service Award
Wilkes University second-year pharmacy student Eileen Friery of Kenosha, Wis., was the recipient of a United States Public Health Service Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Award. Friery was recognized for her work in initiatives that help achieve unmet needs of local and global underserved populations.
Friery successfully targeted several Healthy People 2020 goals through her involvement in extracurricular activities at Wilkes. Healthy People 2020 is a government program aimed at promoting a healthier lifestyle. In an effort to make a local impact on supporting women in need, she served as a volunteer during her pre-pharmacy years at Ruth’s Place, a women’s shelter in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. She also facilitated and coordinated over-the-counter medication safety presentations to more than 200 fifth and sixth grade students. The sustainability of the project is evident as she secured three additional elementary schools to conduct the program this semester.
Her commitment to promoting a healthy lifestyle is further reflected in her contributions to the Wilkes Running Club, where she led and organized the “Relay for Heat” that raised money for local families who cannot afford heat in the wintertime. She was also actively involved in a weekly “Catch the Colonel” activity where members of the running club assisted with an after-school program for children from underprivileged families.
Friery says that she wants to, “Make a positive impact and inspire those whom I encounter, while furthering my own development in addition to the development of those whom I serve.” Her involvement with various global health initiatives and her study abroad immersion in Spain helped her to achieve this objective. Friery earned a Spanish minor and Spanish concentration in pharmacy at Wilkes. She volunteers at a clinic for the underserved in Wilkes-Barre, where she offers translation services for hundreds of patients seeing pharmacists during weekly counseling sessions and collaborates with a hospital to translate pharmacy education materials for Hispanic populations.
This past summer, she volunteered for a medical mission trip in Guatemala to support interventions for poor isolated villages in the mountains of Chiquimula. During her time there, she assisted with translation, scribing for providers, and educating patients at the pharmacy. She will return to Guatemala again this spring with Bernard Graham, Dean of the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy, to continue her efforts to improve global health by providing access to healthcare and teaching those in underserved areas how to maintain their health in the absence of the clinics.
Pictured, from left: Bernard Graham, dean of the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy; Lieutenant Commander Yvon Yeo, United States Public Health Service; Eileen Friery, Wilkes University pharmacy student; Jennifer Malinowski, assistant dean of academic affairs, Wilkes University.