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Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists- (ICHP)

Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists

Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists- (ICHP)

Edwardville, Illinois

Name of State Affiliate: Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists (ICHP)

By Jordan Mendkoff - Student Pharmacist - Class of 2019
Program/Initiative: Student Leadership Retreat
Connecting and empowering student leaders

About Our Event

Every year in late August or early September current Student Chapter Executive Board members as well as other interested student ICHP members are invited to attend a one-day retreat held at one of the colleges of pharmacy in the Chicago area. This includes students from all 6 Illinois colleges of pharmacy including the chapter from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE), which is the lone school outside the Chicago area. An overnight hotel stay is provided for the student(s) in attendance from SIUE. This event is put on with no cost to student ICHP members who attend.

The retreat is kicked off with a leadership topic presentation by one of ICHP’s elected leaders. ICHP’s Executive Director provides attendees with an overview of ICHP and its benefits to student chapters and student members. After there is a best practice sharing session to end the day. The best practice sharing is an opportunity for students to share ideas on any topic they would like to discuss such as recruitment, retention, fundraising, etc.

Following the event, an evaluation survey is sent by email to all attendees as well as group pictures from the event for attendees to share with their colleagues back at their schools. This event is a great opportunity to network with other student chapter leaders, and serves as a chance for students to develop their leadership skills.

This event set out to improve communications between student chapters, and develop better relationships between student chapter leaders and ICHP leadership.

Key Elements for Success

  1. SSHP Faculty advisor encouragement of student attendance and retreat participation.
  2. Frequent communication with attendees and provision of information ahead of time to show value.
  3. Providing meals for all attendees, and lodging for students from SIUE. This removes any financial barriers for students from SIUE to have the chance to share experiences and ideas.

How Promoted to Members

In the spring, all student chapter presidents and faculty advisors are requested to provide a list of the new SSHP Executive Board members to ICHP’s Executive Director. An email is sent out to all of those students and their faculty advisors. This email also lets them know that if any other ICHP student member from their school is interested they are able to attend. Starting mid-summer, follow up is done weekly to make sure the SSHP Executive Board members are planning to attend. ICHP tries to schedule the meeting prior to start of school for all Illinois colleges of pharmacy whenever possible.

Tools and Resources Used:

Personnel: ICHP Executive Director, ICHP Staff, and ICHP Board Members

Marketing: Emails to student chapters and faculty advisors

Supply Expense:

  • $500-600 for food and beverages
  • $200-300 for hotel room for SIUE student(s)
  • All speakers volunteer to give presentation
  • ICHP does the registration and onsite work themselves
  • Space for the retreat is donated by the colleges of pharmacy in the Chicago area

Return on Investment: Attendance at ICHP’s annual meeting, as well as student membership, has increased as a result of marketing both at the retreat.


  1. Several student chapters now communicate between each other to share ideas.
  2. Noted increase in comfort level of students asking for help from ICHP Office.

Other Considerations

Originally the goal of the retreat was primarily to give student chapters a better idea of what ICHP can do for them, which has occurred. Attendance at the end of summer can be difficult if students aren’t at school yet. Word of mouth from previous students who have attended can be also be success for marketing future retreats.

Suggestions for Other State Affiliates

  1. Get out in front of the students early. Get the information on the next SSHP Executive Board members by late April to early May.
  2. Find a site that doesn’t cost anything and is centrally located to host the retreat. Colleges of pharmacy are usually a great resource. If you have great faculty advisors that helps with the process.
  3. Bring in quality speakers who are well versed in areas of leadership. Leadership topics are well received by students.

Future Plans and Goals

In future years, the model that was created for the retreat will be continued as it has been working well. A conscious effort was made to make the retreat more interactive and not as directly pharmacy focused to help students get to know each other better. The meeting has started with an icebreaker each year, and having this personal interaction from the get go, allows students to meet and communicate better. Currently, ICHP is not involved in planning activities between the chapters. The organization may explore doing an annual event bringing all of the student chapters together in the future to further strengthen the student chapter network in Illinois.

Contact Information
Scott Meyers, RPh, MS, FASHP
Executive Vice President
Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists
4055 N. Perryville Road
Loves Park, IL 61111

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