White Coats Across Montaño
Herman Trujillo, a student in the University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy, greets morning commuters during the 2015 White Coats Across Montaño event. More than 100 pharmacy students gathered on the pedestrian walkway of the Montaño Bridge at the Rio Grande to mark American Pharmacists Month.
Credit: Furhana Afrid

Students from University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy hoped to bring more visibility to their profession by creating a sea of white for morning commuters this week.

“White Coats Across Montano” took place Oct. 1 on the pedestrian walkway of the Montaño Bridge at the Rio Grande in northwest Albuquerque.

The event marks October’s American Pharmacists Month and is aimed at increasing awareness of pharmacists' important role in health care.

“We want to encourage patients to talk to their pharmacists and ask questions about their medications,” says Gabriela Cabanilla, a pharmacy student and organizer of the event.

Cabanilla says with growing concerns over the abuse of prescription drugs, pharmacists are qualified to counsel patients on the safe and appropriate use of medications.   

Students will continue to promote their profession on Oct. 7 – UNM College of Pharmacy Community Outreach Day – when they fan out across New Mexico to provide free health screenings, flu shots, poison prevention and prescription drug abuse education. Students will visit schools, senior centers and nursing homes throughout the day in several New Mexico cities including Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces and Clovis.