Sharing our passion for policy
Emma Meyer, PharmD, is a 2023 graduate, and Courtney Self is a final-year PharmD candidate, at UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
As recent policy vice presidents at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill APhA–ASP Chapter, our goals were to expand collaboration efforts with other organizations at our school and create new events that engaged chapter members. We planned events that were directed at reaching these goals by including incentives for attendance, incorporating interactive elements in events, and collaborating on patient care projects. We worked to create events and campaigns that would share our passion for policy with both the chapter and our community, and this mission led us to receive the Chapter Policy and Legislative Award at the 2023 APhA Annual Meeting & Exposition in Phoenix this March.
“I’ll take ‘Get First-Year Students Involved’ for $100”
One event, Policy Postcards, involved highlighting ways that policy has affected our patient care projects. Student pharmacists engaged with the presenters to discuss local and federal policies.
Another engaging event we held was a Jeopardy-themed event for first-year student pharmacists. Before playing the game, we gave a brief introduction to key policies and related terms so everyone could understand the topic. Student pharmacists were then able to use this information to participate in the game.
Another key aspect of APhA–ASP that we focused on was the policy process. In the fall, we held an event for first-year student pharmacists to discuss the overall policy process. We walked student pharmacists through the process of brainstorming proposed resolutions, writing resolutions, and voting on proposed resolutions at the Midyear Regional Meeting (MRM) and APhA–ASP House of Delegates (HoD). We also defined the role of local chapter members, regional delegates, and the national policy standing committee to encourage student pharmacists to become further involved in the policy process. Throughout the year, we used various in-person and social media platforms to gather feedback from chapter members and to determine how our chapter delegate voted during MRM and HoD.
For American Pharmacists Month (APhM), we started off the first week with a kickoff event in which candy, APhM stickers, keychains, and pens were distributed. The chapter also received a proclamation of APhM from the North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper and Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger. In honor of National Pharmacy Technician Day, the chapter had a “goodie bag” assembly day; as a result, 218 bags with candy, snacks, and thank-you notes for pharmacy technicians were donated to the UNC Medical Center. To end the month, the chapter hosted a White Coat Picture Day to show the chapter’s support of APhM.
Back the PAC
Finally, our main events in the spring semester focused on fundraising for the APhA Back the Political Action Committee (PAC) Campaign. We continued a previous initiative, Pie the Presidents, in which student pharmacists donated to the PAC and voted on which class president they wanted to see “pie’d” in the face. We also implemented a new initiative, Denim Week, in which we worked with our lab professors to determine a date when student pharmacists could wear jeans to patient care labs instead of professional attire if they donated to the PAC. Overall, these events continued to engage student pharmacists who contributed to the APhA PAC.
Of the course of the year, we engaged more than 150 members to advocate for the profession and have a positive impact on the future of pharmacy.
Our hope is the chapter will continue its tradition of making its mark in the policy arena!