ImProving Health Among Rural Montanans in Sidney Sept. 25


ImProving Health Among Rural Montanans (IPHARM) is a traveling health screening program designed to provide wellness screenings to those who are unable to access healthcare as well as provide health professions’ students with interdisciplinary experience in screening and counseling patients.IPHARM is a partnership between the UM Skaggs School of Pharmacy and the Montana Geriatric Education Center (MTGEC).

At an IPHARM screening event, health professions’ students administer screening tests including bone density, hemoglobin A1c (average blood sugar), cholesterol and blood pressure. The cholesterol screening tests require 9 to 12 hours of fasting for complete results. It is important however to drink plenty of water. Screening tests are conducted and results are reviewed with patients immediately. Students provide counseling on diet, exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Students are supervised by university pharmacists and other health profession faculty. Some patients may be referred to a health care provider for further testing and follow-up.

Rachael Zins, IPHARM Clinical Pharmacist, says “IPHARM is a great interdisciplinary experience for students, faculty and the community. Identifying health risks and early intervention are important in maintaining health as we age.” She adds, “It is really exciting that we can take students into rural communities and have them practice the skills and techniques they will need in their careers.Some students go on to practice in communities where they have participated in screenings.”

IPHARM travels to sites across Montana and has logged over 100,000 miles and counting. The upcoming IPHARM screening event will be held in Sidney at the Richland County Health Department on Wednesday, September 25th from 9 AM to 12 PM. The cost will be $15.00 per screening test. Please contact the Richland County Health Department at (406) 433-2207 to schedule an appointment.


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