Category Archives: Uncategorized

December 4 – 10: National Influenza Vaccination Week

This week is National Influenza Vaccination Week!

This awareness week serves to inform the public of the importance of the flu vaccine for those who are eligible to receive it, especially those who are at high risk of developing complications with the flu. The influenza vaccine protects against 3 to 4 different strands of the flu virus, so even if you have already come down with the flu, you can still benefit from receiving this shot. It should be noted that for the 2016-2017 season, the CDC recommends the flu shot and the recombinant influenza vaccine, and NOT the nasal spray flu vaccine. Although the numbers show that fewer people are receiving the flu shot around the holiday season, as long as the flu is spreading influenza vaccines should be administered. Have you received your flu shot this year?!

Applications are open!!

Attention students! The applications for the VCU Acceleration Program, the Summer Academic Enrichment Program, and the Allied Health Career Exploration are now open!!

You can apply to all programs here.

VCU Acceleration

A program for incoming VCU freshmen who are interested in Pre-Health concentrations. Students participate in a four-week summer residential summer program prior to their first year and live together in a living-learning residence hall during their freshman year.  This program is designed to help students acquire the math and science skills necessary to pursue a career in health sciences, as well as learn more about various health specialties.

Summer Academic Enrichment Program

An intensive, six-week inter-professional academic enrichment program designed to help junior and senior undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students develop academic skills to help them become competitive for admissions into a health professions track of their choice. Students may choose a concentration from among the following disciplines: dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, and physical therapy.

Allied Health Career Exploration

A two-week, non-residential summer program designed to expose college freshmen and sophomores to the diverse professional programs available at the VCU School of Allied Health Professions.

Come join our Pipeline family!

November: National Diabetes Awareness Month

More than 29 million Americans have diabetes, and 1 in 4 do not know that they are diabetic. It is National Diabetes month, and here are some things you need to know about the seventh leading cause of death in the United States in 2010. Diabetes is an issue that causes higher blood sugar (glucose) levels than is normal. There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and is often called juvenile diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, and in this form the body does not correctly use insulin. To control diabetes, a balance is needed between medication, proper nutrition, and exercise. Type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented by maintaining a healthy weight, staying active, and eating well. Know the risks, and take care of yourselves.

Explore Healthcare Careers: Nurse Anesthetist

Have you ever been under any form of anesthesia, in or out of a hospital setting? If your answer is yes, then you have already met a Nurse Anesthetist! These are the health professionals that put you under general anesthesia, and bring you out of it safely. As a nurse anesthetist, you can work virtually anywhere where anesthesia is used, such as dental offices, critical care units, delivery rooms, surgery rooms, ambulatory units, plastic surgery offices, and even within the armed forces. Although the task itself may seem daunting, the nurse anesthesiologists work in a team with other healthcare professionals to ensure that the patient is as safe as possible.

Important Qualities: Strong communication skills, ability to pay close attention to detail, good judgement

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Has the idea of putting someone under anesthesia ever been of great interest to you?
  2. Are you looking for a career where you can easily switch workplaces if necessary?
  3. Do you want to be a part of a process that involves surgery without actually having to perform the surgery?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, a career in Nurse Anesthesiology might be for you.

Andacia Rhyne: The Journey to MD

Andaciaa7 Rhyne’s interest in the health sciences was clear since she was a child. She was influenced by her pediatrician and other health professionals in her life, who treated their patients equally no matter what their socioeconomic background was. This sparked an interest in Andacia.

“As I got older, I started to pay more attention to the health disparities of people from lower income backgrounds. I feel like something such as money shouldn’t stop them from getting the care that they need.”

In middle school Andacia attended a nursing camp at Bon Secours which solidified her passion for the health sciences. Her interest in VCU’s program sprung from a family connection. Her sisters were a part of another DHSD program “From Jump Rope, to Stethoscope”. This led to her doing her own research into Pipeline programs and becoming interested in the Acceleration program during her sophomore year of high school.

Once she was eligible to apply during her senior year of high school, she knew it was the right path for her to figure out what she wanted to become.  

“VCU nurtures their students. Most universities don’t have things like the Acceleration program. If they do, it’s after you’ve already started school and that doesn’t really help.”

The most inspiring moment for her was the student panel, where former students talked about their unique paths to their health sciences career. She credits the Acceleration program for broadening her perspective on the professional world of the health sciences and helping her narrow down what career she wanted to pursue during the next four years at VCU.

On her blog, she talks about the word “sacrifice” and how the Acceleration program helped her realize the true meaning.

“The word sacrifice is usually used with a negative connotation, but I feel it ultimately signifies a contribution to something. In my case, my sacrifices will serve as a contribution to my success at a huge university.”

Her future goals include pursuing a major in sociology at VCU and eventually going to a highly accredited professional school after graduation, whether that be for public health or medicine.

Explore Healthcare Careers: Toxicologist

Toxicologists study the presence and level of toxins in human beings, animals, plants, and the environment. They are the people that assess the effects of chemicals on the human body. Essentially, they are the reason that we have warning labels on things such as cleaning supplies and hair products. Toxicologists work to make sure we keep the toxins out and the good things in. If interested in toxicology, be prepared to spend plenty of time doing lab work, and being the brains behind the scenes to prevent the next big health toxin scare.

Important Qualities: Meticulous, Experimental, Compassionate

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Have you always wondered how toxic chemicals affect the human body?
  2. Do you thoroughly enjoy laboratory work?
  3. Do you often find yourself in doing searches about the chemicals that you come across in your everyday life?
  4. Do you ever wonder about the chemicals in our everyday products and how they affect us, animals, plants, and our environment?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then becoming a Toxicologist might be the right career path for you.

Explore Healthcare Careers: Biomedical Equipment Technician

Think of a  medical grade cable guy. Who do you call when your cable is going wonky? The cable guy. When medical equipment is going bonkers who do the doctors and nurses call? A biomedical equipment technician! They are the brains behind the most simplistic and the most intricate medical equipment. These are the people that repair, inspect, design, and calibrate medical equipment for hospitals, health systems, and medical equipment retail centers. Their skill levels are vast and you can often choose what equipment you want to specialize in and eventually master. The world of medical tech is your oyster.

Important Qualities: Resourceful, Patient, Innovative, Creative, Technologically advanced.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Do you desire to work in healthcare, but in a manner that is more behind the scenes?
  2. Are you interested in engineering and technology?
  3. Do you enjoy taking pieces of technology apart and putting them back together or fixing broken technology on your own?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then becoming a Biomedical Equipment Technician might be the right career path for you.

October: National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer can be a frightening topic, but it’s important to know the facts so you can be proactive about your health!

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. Be sure to educate your family, friends, coworkers and others you may cherish about breast cancer so they have the opportunity to prevent or detect it early. According to the National Cancer Institute, 1 in 8 women will contract breast cancer in their lifetime. It’s a reality for a lot of women, so it shouldn’t be treated as a bad word. One of the easiest ways to keep your breasts in check is to do a breast self exam. Here is a great resource to figure out how to properly do a breast self exam!


It’s Health Professions Week!

Happy Health Professions Week, Rams! We have two upcoming events this week that we are excited to share with you. We hope you can be there!

Discover Health Careers Fair
Wednesday, September 28, 2016, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Larrick Student Center, 900 Turpin Street

VCU has an extensive list of health science degree programs, resources, and organizations related to healthcare that can be of interest to you! Come learn more about all of these things at the Discover Health Careers Fair, and network with professionals in your field of interest!

The Discover Health Careers Fair is perfect for you if you:

  • Are interested in healthcare
  • Do not know exactly what field you want to go in
  • Want to get more involved in student organizations related to healthcare
  • Want to network with healthcare professionals and students
  • Would like to learn how to utilize resources offered by VCU for your healthcare goal

Mini Medical Family Day
Saturday, October 1, 2016, 12:00 – 2:00pm
Larrick Student Center, 900 Turpin Street

Come join us on October 1st for an afternoon of fun on Mini Medical Family Day! On this day children between the ages of 3 and 10 will have the chance to communicate with physicians to help reduce the anxiety that often comes with doctor visits, while having a ton of fun! First enjoy being greeted by Rodney the Ram. Then, have a blast with activities such as story time, caricatures, balloons, face painting, blood pressure check, and a basketball activity (ages 8-10 only), along with giveaways and snacks! Backpacks will also be given away until we run out. It is a requirement that parents remain with their children at all times. Come and enjoy this FREE event! There will be guest parking in the Eighth Street Parking Deck, with tickets validated.

Although the event is free we ask you to register at

For questions or more information contact Jenae Harrington at

Alumni Profile Update: Dr. Timothy Pierce

Timothy Pierce is newly graduated from the PharmD program at the VCU School of Pharmacy and has begun his career as a community pharmacist.  Employed by Walmart Pharmacy Neighborhood Market in Central Virginia, Pierce has the opportunity to serve not one but multiple locations, increasing the range and diversity of patients that he sees.  Within this profession Pierce continues to stay involved with local communities and the variety of responsibilities it brings.


During my day I’m verifying prescriptions that were written by physicians while monitoring for any drug interactions or therapeutic duplications that the patient might experience. My position also requires me to vaccinate adults ages 18 and over. Vaccinations range from influenza to hepatitis series immunizations. Patient counseling plays a huge role in my job description. It is the obligation of a pharmacist to first do no harm to the patient, and educating patients on different medication regimens will help to enforce that policy.”

Now that his days are filled with professional practice, Pierce is relishing how pharmacy has turned out to be the rewarding career he thought it would be.

“Being a practicing pharmacist is an awesome feeling. Having the opportunity to practice pharmacy in a community environment and playing an integral role in the well-being of patients is extremely gratifying. It’s been a dream of mine to [meet] the medical needs of society, and now I’m living my dream.”

In case you missed Timothy’s journey through the VCU Pipeline, check out his original profile here!