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SSHP Grassroots Advocacy Efforts

ASHP Leadership Agenda Item

Ensure that pharmacists are leaders in implementing all medication-related changes to the health care delivery system.

Background

In order to ensure pharmacists are recognized as medication experts within the healthcare system, it is essential for pharmacists to be engaged in policy and advocacy initiatives taking place both locally and nationally. These initiatives are key to facilitating the implementation of medication-related changes in health systems. With a changing health care system and pending reform, all pharmacists must have an active voice to continue to develop the profession in the right direction.

As the future of the pharmacy profession, student pharmacists must take an active role in policy development and legislative advocacy. SSHPs are strongly encouraged to design and implement a project dedicated to policy and legislative advocacy.

Objectives

  • To encourage participation in policy and legislative activities at the local, state or national level;
  • To generate opportunity for pharmacy students to better understand policy and legislative issues relating to health-system pharmacy;
  • To increase awareness of policy and legislative initiatives;
  • To promote grassroots efforts within SSHPs, partnering with their local and state affiliates.

SSHP Project Ideas

  • Start your own Letter Writing Campaign;
  • Create a Policy and Advocacy Committee at your SSHP;
  • Identify student related issues and discuss among your general membership. What are their thoughts on the issue? What is your collective voice?
  • Contact and send timely letters to your legislator throughout the academic year;
  • Create a relationship with your local and state representatives and invite them to your school-Let them see the medication experts in action as well as our educational experience;
  • Publish an SSHP Newsletter regularly updating students on legislation and policy in medicine and, more specifically, the practice of pharmacy;
  • Create a Policy and Advocacy Committee at your SSHP;
  • Assign an Editor-in-Chief of the SSHP Newsletter;
  • Give student members the opportunity to research, develop, and write stories or editorials for the publication revolving around Policy;
  • Share with your local and state affiliates. Invite them to weigh in with an article;
  • Coordinate a “Bring your legislator to work” day;
  • Contact your state representatives to invite them to see pharmacy practice in action;
  • Lead them on a tour of your academic facilities, health center, and show them how a pharmacist can impact a patient's life for the better;
  • Give your representative some on-the-job training. Show them all the critical services that occur within you respective pharmacy departments;
  • Invite your representative to meet with your SSHP and local practitioners for a discussion on timely issues;
  • Partner with your State Affiliates to coordinate a “Legislative Day” visit to your state capitol;
  • Meeting with your representatives or their staff can make a great impact. What a great way to increase health-system pharmacy visibility in your state legislature!
  • Coordinate regular discussion sessions with your State Affiliates Political Action Committee (PAC). Discuss efforts to keep students up-to-date regarding pharmacy policy and legislative issues and ways to encourage students to find ways to get involved;
  • Keep your student members informed about local, state, and national happenings. Draft position papers or start a letter writing campaign;
  • Form committees to handle such work within you SSHPs.

Resources

Advocacy For Students
ASHP Advocacy and Issues
For bills and legislator contact information: US House and US Senate

Letters to a Young Pharmacist

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