A student organization in the University of Florida College of Pharmacy proved to be best in the nation by winning the 2017 APhA-ASP Chapter of the Year award. The honor is given annually to the chapter of the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists, or APhA-ASP, that excels in areas including, patient care projects, legislative advocacy, standards of leadership and advancing the pharmacy profession amongst its members. This marks the first time that UF has won the APhA-ASP Chapter of the Year award.
“All of us at the University of Florida College of Pharmacy are extremely proud of the student pharmacists and faculty advisors who have demonstrated excellence by winning the APhA-ASP Chapter of the Year award,” said Julie Johnson, Pharm.D., dean and distinguished professor of the UF College of Pharmacy. “Our student organizations make significant contributions to our local communities every year, through health screenings, medication education events and other activities. This honor is a tremendous recognition for all the ways that Gator student pharmacists are making a difference in the world.”
The UF chapter, which comprises of nearly 600 students at the four College of Pharmacy campuses in Gainesville, Jacksonville, Orlando and St. Petersburg, competed alongside more than 125 other APhA-ASP chapters for the nation’s top honor. Throughout the year, UF student pharmacists connect with patients and their communities in many ways through projects within APhA-ASP. From visiting local schools to promote safe medication practices to providing patient care at community health events, UF student pharmacists are improving the health of others by volunteering in these ways. The UF APhA-ASP chapter also devotes significant time to advocating for the pharmacy profession, including more than 40 UF student pharmacists who visited the state capitol in Tallahassee for Pharmacy Legislative Days in March.
In addition to the chapter of the year award, UF APhA-ASP won the Back the PAC Challenge award for the sixth consecutive year. The challenge is a fundraising campaign to support APhA’s political action committee that advocates for the pharmacy profession, and UF raised more than $6,000 this year.
Karen Whalen, Pharm.D., an assistant dean for clinical education and a clinical professor of pharmacotherapy and translational research, was selected for a two-year appointment on APhA’s Governmental Affairs Committee, or GAC. The purpose of GAC is to provide guidance to APhA staff on key legislative and regulatory activities. The GAC engages in policy discussions and is instrumental in providing the government affairs staff timely feedback as they work to implement APhA’s advocacy agenda and address issues or policies affecting pharmacy at the federal level. Whalen is one of 14 members to serve on the committee.
APhA-ASP is the student section of the American Pharmacist Association representing more than 36,000 students at colleges of pharmacy in the United States and Puerto Rico. The student group presented its national awards at the American Pharmacists Association Annual Meeting, which was held March 24-27, in San Francisco.
Faculty Advisors for APhA-ASP
- Carinda Feild, Pharm.D., assistant dean and campus director and clinical associate professor, St. Petersburg advisor
- Shannon Miller, Pharm.D., assistant director of the Orlando campus and clinical associate professor, Orlando advisor
- Carol Motycka, Pharm.D., assistant dean and campus director and clinical associate professor, Jacksonville advisor
- Sven Normann, Pharm.D., clinical associate professor, Gainesville advisor
- Karen Whalen, Pharm.D., assistant dean for clinical education and clinical professor, Gainesville advisor