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Climbing mountains together

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FROM YOUR NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Together We Can ... get work done during a snowstorm. The 2016–17 APhA–ASP National Executive Committee (from left): Dylan Atkinson, Elissa Lechtenstein, Kelsea Gallegos, Michael Murphy, and Scott Brewster.

I have always believed more can be accomplished by working together than could ever be achieved alone. This year, APhA–ASP proved that sentiment to be correct.


Inspirational moment

Along this journey, I have met student pharmacists who are some of the most passionate, caring, and inspiring individuals. One of these moments occurred on a warm June day in Utah at the inaugural year of the APhA Institute on Alcoholism and Drug Dependencies. At this meeting, I witnessed the most inspiring act of kindness I have ever seen by student pharmacists, an act that I will never forget. 


Tired and short of breath, attendees were hiking up the mountain that is a tradition for the APhA Institute; a sort of physical and spiritual aspect of an already overwhelmingly amazing meeting. As I was climbing, I looked ahead and saw two student pharmacists helping a third make the trek to the summit. 


Now, this hike is difficult enough for even the healthiest student pharmacist, so I admired this act of support involving three people that I assumed knew each other prior to the meeting and were making the climb together. What I did not know was that these three people were strangers before the hike. Three student pharmacists from different schools, one who suffered from Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease, a disease that makes everyday activities like walking, navigating stairs, and even standing still, much more difficult. And there she was, climbing a mountain. But she wasn’t alone. Two meeting attendees made the commitment to work together to reach the top of this mountain. Together, they climbed a mountain and without knowing it, inspired Together We Can!


I share this to remind you that regardless of what trials and tribulations lie ahead, you have a family of more than 64,000 APhA members ready to help you climb your mountains. A family that will be a foundation for you throughout your pharmacy career. 


Coming together

This past year, APhA–ASP Chapters have shown the power of working together to achieve even more. For some, it was collaborations with other chapters or organizations. For everyone, it was an opportunity to grow their community outreach, and create better care for patients.


By working together in 2015–16, APhA–ASP Chapters across the country conducted 10,725 events, screened 279,822 patients, provided health and wellness services to 518,366 patients, and reached more than 22.5 million people through public relations activities. I have no doubt that student pharmacists did even more this past year and will continue to do even more in the upcoming years. This year alone: 


  • Washington State University worked with the Spokane County Health Department to provide more than 1,300 vaccinations in only 2 weeks in response to the Mumps Outbreak.
  • 
Hampton University School of Pharmacy APhA–ASP Chapter collaborated with Healing with CAARE (Case Management of AIDS and Addiction through Resources and Education) to provide health education to patients.
  • 
Heather Walser, the APhA–ASP GenerationRx chair at the Idaho State University College of Pharmacy, showed that an individual’s vision for collaboration and change in the community can be accomplished. She began a collaboration with DrugFree Idaho to promote a Drug Take Back Day at local pharmacies and was awarded the 2016 Outstanding Coalition Member Award by the DrugFree Idaho Coalition for embracing the mindset of Together We Can!


Thank you

Thank you for what you have done to contribute to the Academy’s success over the past year. I will leave you with the African proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Together, we can, we will, and we have, achieved greatness and pushed pharmacy forward. 


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