Mississippi Society of Health-System Pharmacists
Best Practice: Student Involvement
The Mississippi Society of Health System Pharmacists has had a long-standing relationship with the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, the state’s only pharmacy school. Through this relationship, MSHP has supported many student events including a residency showcase, a graduate luncheon, recognizing a student with high-achievement, and many others. In the last 3 years our student membership has grown from approximately 30 student members to well over 100, and it continues to grow.
Primary Intended Outcome(s)
- Increase student involvement at the state level in health-system pharmacy
- Increase student involvement at the national level in health-system pharmacy
About Our Event/Service
In 2011-12, one of our students was appointed to the ASHP Pharmacy Student Forum Executive Committee. This brought a lot of recognition for the organization from a school, state, local, and national level. Our organization and key faculty members worked with this student to ensure that she had the necessary support from the school and state organization to be successful in her role. The organization also began working with other leaders within the student chapter to assist in developing their leadership skill and mentoring them as they began applying for other positions within ASHP. This mentoring relationship is something that developed organically between members of MSHP and the School of Pharmacy. Given the growth seen by having students involved at a national level, MSHP took an active step towards ensuring that students were aware of deadlines for application and benefits of involvement. MSHP then worked with a student to develop a student level PPMI Task Force. These students were paired up with the state affiliate PPMI Task Force and were charged with contacting the directors and pharmacy managers in their hometown to assist in getting higher completion rates on our hospital self-assessments. The goal for this task force is to achieve at least 50% completion, and they are still actively working to achieve this goal.
Key Elements for Success
- Maintain key partnerships with schools/colleges of pharmacy
- Be willing to share your time to mentor student leaders
- Allow flexibility in your state affiliate committee structure to include interested students
How Promoted to Members
Again, this process developed organically through relationships of the MSHP Board and the School of Pharmacy. As students began to become more involved in national and state level positions, their involvement was promoted through our newsletter, social media outlets, and through the School of Pharmacy. Additionally, MSHP fully supports travel for up to 20 students to our Annual Meeting to allow for networking amongst the students and our membership.
Tools and Resources Used
- Personnel: MSHP Board, School of Pharmacy Faculty Advisors to SSHP, and SSHP Executive Committee Members.
- Marketing: Newsletters and social media
- Supply Expense: No monetary expense beyond time invested in mentorship
- Return on Investment: Significant increase in the number of active student members (30 to over 100)
Outcomes/What Will Change?
- Creation of student PPMI Task Force
- Increase in student involvement at a national level (one student on the Pharmacy Student Forum Executive Committee, nine students appointed to Pharmacy Student Forum Advisory Groups)
Invite key members from your local colleges/schools of pharmacy to your board meetings, and listen to their thoughts and opinions as it relates to student membership. Delegate tasks to students and allow them to take ownership of certain projects within the organization.
Suggestions for Other State Affiliates
- Create partnerships with local schools/colleges of pharmacy
- Be open to input from faculty and students
- Provide opportunities for students to get involved at a local level
- Encourage students to seek involvement at a national level
- Provide mentorship to those students who are seeking involvement at a local, state, or national level
Future Plans and Goals
- Continue mentorship of current leaders and encourage future leadership
- Consider creating a travel grant to support student travel to ASHP events
Joshua W. Fleming,Pharm.D., BCACP
Student Relations Chair
University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy
2500 North State Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39216