Dear fellow student pharmacists,
The leaves are beginning to turn colors in some states and fall festivities are beginning like apple picking and hayrides. As the fall semester is well underway, I hope your classes are going well and APPE rotations are engaging and exciting. This is a great time to set your foundation for the year. Whether that be engaging first-year students at your first SSHP meeting, passing your first therapeutic exam, or having a few APPE rotations under your belt. For each of these stages and more, ASHP has a plethora of resources to help you reach your goals for the year.
September was an exciting time at ASHP headquarters because of Policy Week. During ASHP’s Policy Week, appointed ASHP members from across the country come together to discuss important topics in today’s healthcare landscape to initiate ASHP professional practice policies. ASHP has 5 Councils focused on different aspects of pharmacy such as public policy, management, education and workforce, pharmacy practice, and therapeutics. It was very rewarding to see leaders in pharmacy express their viewpoints and debate about solutions to various issues. In addition, each Council member brings a different background of pharmacy to the table, so it was interesting to learn from their individual experiences. Each Council and Commission has a specific seat for a student member, which I encourage you to apply by November 15 for the 2020-2021 term if you are interested in this unique opportunity!
During Policy Week, ASHP holds Legislative Day in Washington, D.C. where ASHP members meet their state members of Congress to discuss important issues within healthcare. Overall, ASHP members conducted 159 meetings with Congressional representatives. Members of the Pharmacy Student Forum Executive Committee had the opportunity to participate and share their stories from a student perspective. For a summary of Legislative Day, here is a News Story with more details on the advocacy issues that were discussed.
To bring into light one of the advocacy issues affecting our student members, it is that pharmacy residency programs are currently being jeopardized by decreased funding from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Policy and advocacy efforts from students is therefore important because these regulations will impact us as future practitioners, and voicing your concerns is one step closer to making a change. As students, you have the opportunity to educate yourself on the current issues and further contact your state members of Congress by e-mailing them a customizable ASHP pre-drafted template to ask Senators and Representatives to support you and the profession. We hope you can continue to educate and encourage your SSHP members to make a difference with professional advocacy.
Pharm.D. Candidate 2020
Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED)
Chair, ASHP Pharmacy Student Forum Executive Committee