Warhawk education session: Chronic kidney disease


ULM’s Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA) chapter had the opportunity to reach out and educate students on campus Tuesday.

Organization members had a booth set up to educate students on Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). The event was open to all students, faculty and bystanders.

SNPhA is a professional organization dedicated to serving underserved populations through wellness promotion and health education.

At their event, members of SNPhA’s Chronic Kidney Initiative educated participants about risk factors of chronic kidney disease and general information concerning the function of the urinary system and kidneys.

Members like Craig Lavespere, a P3 pharmacy student, and the Chronic Kidney Co-Chair stressed the importance of Chronic Kidney Disease education because of the large number of people affected by it.

“There are over 460,000 Louisiana residents living with it. Because the early stages are usually asymptomatic, most don’t even know they have it,” Lavespere said.

According to Lavespere, the major risk factors for CKD are high blood pressure, diabetes, old age and a family history of kidney disease. People of African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease.

“Our goal is to help people prevent kidney damage. The best ways to do that are by maintaining a healthy weight, diet and exercise and keeping blood pressure and blood sugar under control,” Lavespere added

Participants received informational packets and pamphlets and had the opportunity to fill out a questionnaire screening that scored their health in relationship to the risk of developing CKD.

Students involved in the session were asked to place an orange hand print on a white board in acknowledgement of CKD. Members of the organization saw this as a good way to promote discussion of an often-ignored topic.

Elizabeth Reiley, a P2 pharmacy student, who helped in the event said seeing the handprints served as an “attention grabber” for people walking by.

“The posters with handprints were definitely a fun way to grab the attention of students,” Reiley said.

Courtney Smart, a P2 pharmacy student and Chronic Kidney Disease Co-Chair, also noticed the positive reaction students had to them.

“It was very rewarding to see how involved the students were on campus. It is definitely an event we hope to host again at ULM. I’m proud to be a part of an organization that promotes awareness of health issues to the community,” Smart said.

The members of SNPhA expressed gratitude at being given the opportunity to visit the main campus and educate their fellow Warhawks. According to them, they are hoping to put on more educational events on the main campus throughout the school year.