At some point, the student society will need to determine if it will seek affiliation with the state and/or local health-system pharmacy society or if it will be an independent organization. As a new Student Society, one of the major resources you can take advantage of is the State Affiliate. Your State Affiliate is more than willing to aid in the development or strengthening of your Student Society. They have the experience of managing an organization and the working knowledge of additional resources available to you within your state. Your ASHP Student Liaison or Student Society President should initiate communication with your State Affiliate and be responsible for all communication between the two organizations. Your State Affiliate may designate a specific member to serve as a liaison to your Student Society.
The student and state society governing documents may have to specify the nature of the relationship between the state and student society, and the specifics of the affiliation. The state society may have to change its own governing documents to allow for the affiliation of student societies. Although it is the intent of the ASHP Pharmacy Student Forum to be closely associated with and supportive of local student societies of health-system pharmacy, ASHP bylaws do not currently provide for a direct affiliation between ASHP and student societies. ASHP recognizes student societies who have completed specific criteria outlined in the ASHP-SSHP Recognition Program.
Assistance from Your State Affiliate
Take advantage of the resources that are at your fingertips. The first is the Clinical Skills Competition. It is the responsibility of the Student Society to work with their faculty and State Affiliate to deliver a valuable experience to the students participating in the competition. The student society will need to organize their resources and communicate with the State Affiliate throughout the competition process.
Your State Affiliate can also provide you with information on educational sessions and local opportunities. They can point out local sessions that may be of interest to the students. In return you can keep them updated on any special programming at your college of pharmacy. The most valuable role your State Affiliate plays is as a source of practitioners who are available to speak about health-system pharmacy with individual students. Encourage student society members to contact members of the State Affiliate for informational interviewing and professional networking. If you want a professional's view on a particular area of practice, the value of residencies or summer employment opportunities, look to your State Affiliate.
It is important to remember to inform your State Affiliate of all student society activities. They will either report the student news in their newsletter or request that a student society officer write up a short report for their publication. If you are beginning a new project, check to see if your State Affiliate wants to become involved in its implementation. Work with your State Affiliate to design programs or educational sessions valuable to both students and practitioners. This could include workshops on anything from financial planning to improving communication skills. In addition, you can invite State Affiliate members to speak at your meetings about their particular area of practice, their involvement with the state or national society, or the pharmacy profession in general.
State Affiliate Membership
State Affiliates typically have reduced membership rates for students; consult with them to see what the current dues are. It is a good idea to become a member of your state society. This will help build good relations between the student and state chapters, and it will also keep you up-to-date on the issues and trends affecting pharmacy practice in your state. View a complete list of ASHP State Affiliates.