The APhA Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP), supported by Rite Aid, Cardinal Health and Amgen, hosted leadership and professional development programming in Washington, D.C., for 240 pharmacy students. Running Friday to Sunday, the event launched with 223 student pharmacists visiting 125 congressional offices to advocate for the recognition of pharmacists as health care providers.
The APhA-ASP Summer Leadership Institute (SLI) is designed to help APhA-ASP chapter officers hone their leadership skills. The SLI provides interactive leadership sessions along with discussions focused on team building and how pharmacy students can connect with their communities.
“As a constituent and a student pharmacist, meeting in-person with Congressional representatives and/or their staff is the most effective way to promote pharmacy-specific legislative issues and develop relationships with lawmakers,” Keith Marciniak, senior director of student and new practitioner development for APhA, said in a statement.
“Members of Congress and their staff know that an issue is important when their constituents and voters take the time to travel all the way to Washington, D.C., to meet with them in person and share their personal stories,” Marciniak noted. “These same offices also tend to put more stock into messages and opinions from those with whom they have relationships. Capitol Hill visits are that initial step toward developing those relationships.”
Also during the weekend, the APhA New Practitioner Network (NPN), supported Walmart Pharmacy, held its second annual “A Day of NP L.I.F.E,” with drew 60 new practitioners. The programming, for pharmacists within their first five years of graduation, included personal and professional workshops and networking opportunities during dinner at APhA’s headquarters and at a Washington Nationals baseball game.