After settling into the hotel, 46 students representing 46 different pharmacy schools from across the nation gathered together and sat at round tables. There was a faculty leader also seated at each table. Table 5’s faculty leader was Hannah Fish. Hannah recently graduated from the University of Toledo College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and now works for Pharmacy Quality Alliance. She was very well spoken throughout our discussions and encouraged us to really take advantage of the experiences we were going to have the following day on Capitol Hill.
There were seven other students, including myself that sat at Table 5. Here is a picture of us all together! They represent pharmacy schools from Michigan to Alabama back to Massachusetts.
Our first day consisted of a few speakers and then some role playing to practice what we were going to say the following day on The Hill! Read on to learn more about the different speakers!
My name is Katie Alfond and I’m originally from Ashby, MA. I went to North Middlesex Regional High School for three years but transferred for my senior year and am a proud graduate of Littleton High School. Northeastern University was my first choice for college ever since I toured the school my sophomore year and lucky for me, they happened to have a great pharmacy program.
I wanted to become a pharmacy major so that I could do research with Alzheimer’s Disease but along the way, I have developed passions in other aspects of the profession as well.
My freshman year, I decided to join APhA-ASP which is where my journey starts. I found myself surrounded by student leaders who already knew so much and worked so hard to promote the field of pharmacy, that I could not help but want to get involved. I ended up joining the Policy committee and the Generation Rx patient care project which promotes awareness and education on the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs. Why did I pick this organization and these committees? I felt like these topics were all encompassing of the profession and I did not want to specialize my knowledge in a section of pharmacy, like Alzheimer’s, before learning about the profession better as a whole.
The Spring of 2014 is when I attended my first Face of Pharmacy Day at the State House. I remember being nervous the weeks leading up to this day and researching the legislation as thoroughly as I could so that I would be able to speak intelligently at our meetings with representatives. At the time, we were advocating for student pharmacists to be able to administer immunizations and provider status for pharmacists.
After this initial visit to the State House with other student pharmacists from around the state, pharmacists of all different jobs, and faculty from my school, I felt as if I was a part of something bigger and this ignited my passion for policy.
Since then, I have continued to follow the bills that I researched so thoroughly as a young pre-professional student and am over joyed that student pharmacists can now give immunizations in the state of Massachusetts! But, pharmacists are still yet to be considered healthcare providers under the Social Security Act (SSA).
And so here I am in my first professional year of pharmacy school still advocating for pharmacy rights and better patient care!
Thank you for taking an interest in “the blog”! My name is Katie Alfond and I’m currently in my first professional year of pharmacy school at Northeastern University. I recently had the opportunity to participate in The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) RxIMPACT day on Capitol Hillto help push pro-pharmacy legislation through to law. It was an incredible experience and the inspiration for this blog.
The conference was held March 16th- March 17th. The first day was training for all of the student pharmacists and the second day was our venture to Capitol Hill with other pharmacists from all titles and backgrounds.
I have broken my blog up into different pages for anyone to quickly reference the diferent things I write about in case it helps them to participate in their own legislative days.
The cool thing about policy is that it is never stagnant. It’s always changing, I’m always learning more and meeting people who add to the story. I wanted to get the start of this blog published, but it’s something I’m hoping to continue adding to for a while so keep checking back!