Student Chapter Ranks No. 2 in Nation for Second Year in a Row
The UH College of Pharmacy Chapter of the National Community Pharmacists Association took home its second consecutive First Runner-up finish for the Chapter of the Year competition at the NCPA’s 115th Annual Convention & Trade Exposition Oct. 12-16 in Orlando, Fla.
In addition, UHCOP chapter member Esther Thomaswas among 32 students recognized as the NCPA Student Chapter Outstanding Members of the Year. The chapter award, which includes $1,000 in support, and outstanding member award are presented by the NCPA Foundation with support from McKesson.
The UHCOP chapter has undergone a major resurgence in recent years, including having three consecutive students elected to two-year terms on the Student National Leadership Council – one of whom was elected National SLC President.
Chapters vying for national honors are evaluated based on such critieria as program originality/innovation, number of chapter members involved, impact on the community, benefit to student chapter members, and collaboration with independent pharmacies and health care organizations.
“Being named first runner-up two years in a row is a huge accomplishment for us,” said current Chapter President Ally Thrall. “It goes to show how involved our students are and it definitely feels good to be recognized for all of our hard work. The past few presidents Zeke Medina, Bobby Clay and Tam Nguyen have set a standard of excellence for our chapter and I have big shoes to fill this year.
“In my opinion, independent pharmacy is the life of pharmacy. I think UHCOP students are passionate about all of the different opportunities within pharmacy and are interested in learning about all of the different options they have in the future.”
The UH chapter’s 2012-13 academic year activities — upon which the awards are based — included hosting its 3rd Annual Meet and Greet to connect students with independent pharmacy owners; offering dual membership in the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists and NCPA; participation in the Day at the Dome/TPA Leadership Symposium; and organizing a three-part Legislative Workshop Series featuring speakers from the Texas Pharmacy Association and Texas Pharmacy Business Council and covering such topics as how to communicate effectively with lawmakers.
In addition, NCPA members provided health education and wellness screenings at several large health fairs throughout the year, including the Diabetes Awareness Day at a south Houston YMCA; Well Woman Extravaganza, UH Health Awareness Day/Drug Take-back and Frontier Fiesta events at UH; and the Festival of Life Stroke Education and Health Fair at the Houston Zoo.
“The UHCOP NCPA Chapter’s ranking is a direct reflection of the strong work ethic in our membership and support from our independent pharmacists,” said Tam Nguyen, 2012-13 chapter president. “Our ranking helps build momentum and excitement for the new school year, especially for our new officers and incoming P1 students. Being ranked First Runner-up two years in a row is a validation that we got it ‘right’ here at UHCOP.”
“My term as the 2012-2013 Chapter President was a blessing due to the support of our alumni and other independent pharmacists. For example, Mr. Bruce Biundo, co-chair of the Dean’s Advisory Council and immediate past chair of TPA PharmPAC, has been one of our strongest supporters. He reached out to NCPA members and officers to be more involved with Texas pharmacy legislation and sponsored us to attend conferences. Last but not least, I have to mention the support from Dr. Lynn Simpson, NCPA chapter advisor and UH alumna. Her passion and enthusiasm for students involvement in organization are contagious.”
Thrall credited Nguyen for the development of the “Daily Dose,” a biweekly addition to the UH NCPA email, that discussed issues facing independent and Texas Pharmacy.
“Not only did this help promote independent pharmacy, but it also spread political awareness of on going issues that were very important to our profession as a whole,” Thrall said. “We are continuing to implement the Daily Dose into our emails this year to keep encouraging interest in independent pharmacy as well as political advocacy.”
The Chapter of the Year honorees were congratulated at the event by Sharlea Leatherwood, PD, NCPA Foundation president.
“NCPA student chapters help future pharmacists become future pharmacy owners through entrepreneurial-based programs during their collegiate experience,” Leatherwood said. “Amazingly, many of our 2013 honorees were recipients of the same awards in 2012, which is clearly an indication of the ongoing commitment to excellence of these schools. We applaud all the NCPA student chapters for their dedication to community pharmacy.”