Fulfilling our mission
Julie Jeong, PharmD, is a 2023 graduate of, and Anyelis Rosario is a final-year PharmD candidate at, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy.
As an organization, APhA–ASP has the mission of improving patient care, fostering professional development, and advancing the future of pharmacy. Our school received the Chapter of the Year Award at the 2023 APhA Annual Meeting and Exposition in Phoenix, which means that we have fulfilled our mission and are helping fellow student pharmacists become well-rounded professionals while supporting our community to improve their quality of life and access to care.
This past year, we placed a heavy emphasis on collaboration to better amplify our patient outreach and increase participation and engagement. We fostered existing partnerships while also forming new relationships with organizations within the community. By the end of the year, our chapter worked with 35 unique organizations and hosted 73 collaborative patient outreach events, including vaccine clinics, patient education events, and more!
Here is a recap of our chapter activities.
Focus on women’s health
Our chapter introduced a new patient care operation, Operation Reproductive Health, to expand the focus from women’s health to encompass a wider, more inclusive definition of reproductive health. For example, the committee provided education and awareness on various topics surrounding reproductive health to the community and its chapter members, including a training event about gender pronouns.
Career development training
We also provided professional development to student pharmacists via committee events focused on career development and research opportunities. By collaborating with Rho Chi and Phi Lambda Sigma (PLS), we introduced a new event: the Pathway Information Session. This information session explored four pathways available to students, including research, entrepreneurship, palliative care, and pharmacotherapy. The event provided first- and second-year student pharmacists with the information they needed to apply to additional curriculum options offered by the university.
The power of advocacy
Additionally, our chapter strengthened its relationship with the Maryland Pharmacists Association (MPhA). Pharmacists were invited as guest speakers to general body meetings, sharing MPhA opportunities and benefits with student members. We continued our partnership with the Maryland Pharmacy Coalition (MPC) to coordinate Maryland’s second virtual Legislative Day.
We also worked to provide activities that were both educational and engaging to help student pharmacists become involved in legislative advocacy during American Pharmacists Month. One new initiative the chapter introduced was the Provider Status Bill Signing Wall for Pharmacy Legislative Week. This campaign was held in collaboration with Student Government Association (SGA), PLS, and the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP). Throughout the week, we provided printouts of the official APhA statement on the Medicare Provider Status Recognition, and chapter members educated student pharmacists on the provider status bill.
Finally, we worked with SGA, PLS, and ASCP to organize a new, collaborative event: Advocacy Hour, a panel that addressed the importance of student pharmacists’ involvement in advocacy during Pharmacy Legislative Week. There, speakers introduced the MPC and state- and federal-level advocacy efforts. They spoke about the importance of advocacy in pharmacy, and the ways they performed and experienced it in their own respective careers thus far. Both initiatives facilitated student pharmacists’ understanding of advocacy by providing tangible means to promote the profession of pharmacy.
Proud of our chapter
It was an absolute honor to receive this award, and we feel extremely proud to see the hard work of the current and past executive board officers recognized! We hope that they feel the same way about their achievements as leaders and future pharmacy professionals.