Vial of Life program benefits UNTHSC geriatric patients

December 2, 2013


Joe Godwin, TCOM ’16

As a paramedic, Joe Godwin always was relieved when he was called to an emergency and spotted a Vial of Life decal on the home’s front window.

It meant that even if the resident was unconscious, he would be able to easily find medical information on them.

Today, geriatric patients at UNT Health Science Center are benefiting from the same Vial for Life program. Godwin, a medical student at UNT Health Science Center’s Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, led a volunteer effort to bring the free program to campus.

This fall, teams of interprofessional UNTHSC students delivered Vials for Life to almost 300 senior mentors in the SAGE program. Student volunteers have signed up 33 patients at the Geriatric Clinic with plans to add more.

The concept is simple: An over-sized medicine bottle stuffed with information about the person’s medical history, medications and allergies is kept in the refrigerator. A decal on the front door or window tells responders where to look for the vial.

During an emergency, having access to the person’s medical information can help first responders determine the cause of the problem and how to treat it, said Godwin, TCOM ’16. People living alone often are found by friends or relatives who are unable to explain what has happened, he said.

"This simple idea helps make care more effective, efficient, and less wasteful," he said. "I saw my patients in Arlington benefit from it, and I felt that the populations we serve here at the UNTHSC could as well."

Heath Fc
Protecting her daughters’ generation from Alzheimer’s

By Alex Branch Janet Heath has a deeply personal interest in Alzheimer’s disease. Her mother suffered from it, as did her grandmother. Heath spent the last 10 years of her mother’s life trying to coordinate high-quality care as the disease took its terrible toll. That’s why Heath and ...Read more

Jul 17, 2018

Sid Fc
A blood test that IDs Alzheimer’s earlier, easier and cheaper

By Jan Jarvis   The first study of a blood test to detect Alzheimer’s disease within a primary care setting soon will be conducted at UNT Health Science Center. The simple test could be a game-changer in the diagnosis of early Alzheimer’s. If successful, it would be possible to ide...Read more

Jul 12, 2018

Dr. Taylor
New Provost: Let’s ‘unleash our strengths and ignite our future’

By Jeff Carlton Charles Taylor, PharmD, who has presided over a number of critical academic milestones as Dean of the UNT System College of Pharmacy, will become Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs at UNT Health Science Center. Dr. Taylor said he was “excited, honore...Read more

Jul 11, 2018

campus FC
UNTHSC to close July 4 for Independence Day

The UNT Health Science Center, all clinics staffed by UNT Health physicians, and the Fitness Center will be closed on Wednesday, July 4, 2018, for the Independence Day holiday. The Lewis Library will be open, with abbreviated hours on July 3 and 4. Have a safe and healthy Independence Day!...Read more

Jul 3, 2018