JOHNSON CITY (Feb. 23, 2016) – Students at the Gatton College of Pharmacy at East Tennessee State University have garnered national recognition for holding a Legislative Advocacy Week on campus late last month.
During the special week, members of the American Pharmacists Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) chapter at ETSU, in collaboration with the National Community Pharmacy Association student chapter, hosted events to encourage other students in health-related fields to become knowledgeable about the legislative process and support a measure that would give pharmacists healthcare provider status. Currently, pharmacists are not recognized as healthcare providers.
Events during Legislative Advocacy Week at ETSU included a health care policy debate featuring video clips of U.S. Presidential candidates discussing healthcare topics, a voter registration drive and letter writing effort.
The Legislative Advocacy Week at ETSU was featured in a February campaign update from APhA CEO Tom Menighan and emailed out to all APhA members. In the email, Menighan dubs the ETSU APhA-ASP chapter as this month’s student pharmacist champions for their efforts.
“Student pharmacists at ETSU are supporting provider status by educating themselves and the community on services pharmacists can provide, making connections with local and state leaders in policy, developing resolutions within our Academy to reshape pharmacy robbery preparedness and raising money to continue are campaign for the (APhA’s) Back the PAC Campaign,” said Scott Brewster, a third-year student pharmacist and APhA-ASP chapter president.
Jessica Robinson, also a third-year student pharmacist at ETSU and NCPA student chapter president, added to Brewster’s sentiments.
“As health care providers, we must become a single, united voice to advocate on behalf of our patients,” she said. “Educating ourselves is the first step.”