Student Pharmacists Garner 3 National Awards from American Pharmacists Association

By Karmen Robinson

The Division AA Chapter Achievement Award topped the list of honors for the UAMS chapter of APhA-ASP, and the group also earned National First Runner-Up accolades in two patient care projects: Operation Diabetes and Operation Heart.

“This is a tremendous accomplishment for our students,” said College of Pharmacy Dean Cindy Stowe, Pharm.D. “The impact they’ve had in our communities exemplifies their dedication to the pharmacy profession as well as their patients.”

The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) recognized the award winners during its annual meeting in March.

With more than 120 chapters across the country, the chapter achievement award recognizes the second, third and fourth most well-rounded chapters in the nation. The UAMS College of Pharmacy students received the award for their various service in the community, including the expansion of a patient education-centered social media campaign and working with the UAMS MammoVan to host free mammograms for women.

“It is great to be recognized at the national level for the work that we are doing locally for the pharmacy profession and for our patients,” said UAMS ASP president Ashlyn Tedder, a third-year pharmacy student.

The student pharmacists also addressed health care trends in underserved populations, and they were recognized for implementing a new policy certification in addition to restructuring the chapter’s APhA-ASP policy committee. The chapter’s efforts increased membership by 185%.

As a chapter with 216 members, the students were able to broaden their reach in patient care through a series of initiatives for Operation Diabetes and Operation Heart.

Since Arkansas ranks among the top-five states in diabetes prevalence, the chapter hosted an online interview and screening demonstration that attracted nearly 40,000 viewers. They discussed diabetes management, risk factors and lifestyle modifications for prevention.

“The ultimate goal is to make the largest impact possible in our state, and being selected for these awards will continue to push us to be more innovative as a chapter to better serve Arkansas,” said Tedder.

In Operation Heart, the chapter created interactive presentations for more than 250 elementary schools across the state, helping young students develop healthy lifestyles to avoid heart disease and hypertension.

In both patient care projects, the UAMS students screened more than 1,300 patients in Arkansas communities.