APhA-ASP Chapter at UTHSC Wins National Chapter Achievement Award in Patient Care

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The American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) Chapter at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) recently received the National Chapter Achievement Award in Patient Care.

The APhA-ASP National Chapter Achievement Award in Patient Care recognizes the single chapter that most improves the relationship between the pharmacist and patient through direct patient care.  Chapters report on activities that involve direct patient interaction in a manner consistent with the patient-physician-pharmacist triad. Such activities include health fairs, patient screenings, patient education programs, and medication therapy management programs.  The award consists of a framed certificate and a $100 honorarium.  The award was bestowed during the APhA Annual Meeting and Exposition in New Orleans, from March 9 to 12.  The APhA’s award series is pharmacy’s most comprehensive recognition program.

“This National Patient Care Award from APhA-ASP is a significant award for our students to receive,” said Marie Chisholm-Burns, PharmD, MPH, FCCP, FASHP, dean and professor of the UT College of Pharmacy.  “It recognizes their hard work and clearly demonstrates how committed they are to high quality patient care.  I was with the students when we received the award, and all of us cheered with great enthusiasm.  I am very proud of them!”

UTHSC’s APhA-ASP chapter, which comprises both Memphis and Knoxville students, has a current involvement of 456 student pharmacists.  This year, the College of Pharmacy had more than 135 students in attendance for the APhA Annual Convention in New Orleans, which is the largest contingency the chapter has ever sent.  Patient care projects are always particularly strong for the college.  It has 13 different committees that focus on a range of health care challenges facing communities in Memphis and Knoxville.  For example, the Operation Immunization committee holds an annual Boo Flu event where student pharmacists are present to vaccinate the entire UTHSC campus – faculty, staff, students and retirees — against influenza.

Another annual project of the UTHSC APhA-ASP chapter — Project Heart —  organized a health fair at a church where all of the committees were present to provide care and advice to patients from an inner-city neighborhood.  Throughout the past year, UTHSC pharmacy students counseled more than 12,511 Memphis and Knoxville residents at events like this.  Additionally, pharmacy students on the college’s Knoxville campus have a very strong Medication Disposal committee, which encourages area residents to drop off unused medications.  Pharmacy students collect the unused or expired products and, with the help of local law enforcement, they properly and safely dispose of the medications.  Last year, College of Pharmacy students in Memphis and Knoxville disposed of 1,509 pounds of unused medication.

The APhA-ASP Chapter Achievement Awards Program was established in 1974 to recognize outstanding activities of APhA-ASP chapters at the schools and colleges of pharmacy in the United States and Puerto Rico.  The program is an extension of APhA-ASP’s mission to provide opportunities for professional growth and improve patient care while advancing the future of pharmacy.  The award’s structure is designed to recognize superior programming among chapters that envision the future of pharmacy by creating opportunities for student participation.  The awards program also embraces the core ideas of APhA-ASP’s mission to create new standards of leadership, professionalism, membership, patient care, and legislative advocacy among student pharmacists nationwide.

The American Pharmacists Association, founded in 1852 as the American Pharmaceutical Association, is a 501(c)(6) organization, representing more than 62,000 practicing pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and others interested in advancing the profession.   APhA, dedicated to helping all pharmacists improve medication use and advance patient care, is the first-established and largest association of pharmacists in the United States.