Providing APPE pharmacy students rural health assessment experience following wildfire event in western Montana

Cristi A.L. Migliaccio, Sarah Ballou, Mary Buford, Ava Orr, Christopher Migliaccio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background and purpose: We describe a novel, interprofessional, experiential training involving pharmacy students in response to a health emergency in rural Montana (MT). Educational activity and setting: Fourth-year pharmacy students on clinical rotations were recruited to participate in screening events assessing effects of wildfire smoke in Seeley Lake, MT. Students were required to fulfill at least two hours of supplementary training in addition to education on human research guidelines. Students assisted with patient surveys (demographics, health, and respiratory), physiological testing with biomedical researchers, blood pressure and medication counseling, and spirometry specialists. Findings: At least 20 pharmacy students have participated in this project in addition to nursing (n = 8), public health (n = 1), and social work (n = 1) students. In initial and subsequent screenings, students worked alongside a team of biomedical researchers and faculty from the University of Montana. An initial cohort of 95 patients was recruited. This unique experiential training opportunity has afforded pharmacy students access to rural community patient interaction and exposure to and performance of a variety of tests in response to an environmental health emergency. Furthermore, it enabled health professionals and researchers to assess individual and overall community health following an extreme wildfire smoke event, providing the groundwork for utilization of pharmacy students in healthcare responses to public health emergencies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)560-565
Number of pages6
JournalCurrents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021


  • Health screening
  • Interprofessional
  • Wildfire


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