LECOM APhA-ASP chapter visited by national association
American Pharmacists Association Associate Director visits School of Pharmacy; invites Pharmacy students to join local chapter

School of Pharmacy students from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie were paid a visit by American Pharmacists Association (APhA) representative Crystal Atwell, PharmD, associate director for student development at APhA, on Monday, Sept. 13.

Dr. Atwell’s student outreach marked the first time a representative from the organization visited LECOM’s Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) chapter and met with LECOM School of Pharmacy faculty, staff and students.
Crystal Atwell, PharmD, associate director for student development at the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), met with students who are interested in joining LECOM’s local APhA-ASP chapter on  Monday, Sept. 13.
“I couldn’t have been more pleasantly welcomed by both the students and the faculty,” said Dr. Atwell, who has traveled to nearly 50 schools during her four years at APhA. “Everyone was very kind and there was a lot of good discussion.”
When Dr Atwell was pharmacy student, her enrollment and involvement with APhA later led her to a career within the organization she explained to pharmacy students who attended her presentation regarding APhA membership Monday evening.
According to Atwell, pharmacy students who join APhA open the door to opportunities, such as networking at the APhA Midyear Regional Meeting and the APhA Annual Meeting and Exposition; becoming advocates for pharmaceutical policy; joining patient-care projects and community service; as well as developing leadership skills.
“It sounds like you’re adding one more thing, but honestly involvement in APhA is a great break from everything else that you’re doing. For me, as a student, it reinforced why I was there,” said Dr. Atwell. She added that opportunities through APhA take students outside the sphere of the classroom where the application of that lecture-based knowledge is used in real-world situations.
Dr. Sohini Sarkar, PharmD, assistant professor of Pharmacy Practice, presented Dr. Atwell with a LECOM polo shirt.
“It’s hard to know whether the patients who you help go home and make that change or not, but you see that they had grasped it while you were there; so, what you had in the classroom you were able to then transfer it to someone else. It’s just makes the APhA experience very rewarding.”
In addition to meeting with potential APhA-ASP members, Dr. Atwell met with current chapter officers, discussing ways to improve membership, as well as the election of new leaders to continue the local chapter’s legacy at LECOM.
The mission of the APhA is to provide information, education and advocacy to help all pharmacists improve medication use and advance patient care. The APhA represents the third largest health profession and is composed of more than 50,000 members, including practicing pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and others interested in advancing the profession.
The APhA-ASP represents student pharmacists as their primary voice in their chosen profession. Each school or college of pharmacy in the United States and Puerto Rico has an APhA-ASP chapter. The association is responsible for providing timely information on pharmacy practice issues, association programs, services and benefits to chapters for use in their operations. Chapters and their members are eligible for numerous awards, grants and scholarships available through ASP, APhA and the APhA Foundation.
Currently, the LECOM Erie APhA-ASP chapter maintains a membership of 295 students. The LECOM Bradenton chapter in Bradenton, FL, has a membership of 89 students.

he Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and LECOM School of Pharmacy offer innovative and affordable education in osteopathic medicine and pharmacy. From campuses in Erie, Pennsylvania, Greensburg, Pennsylvania and Bradenton, Florida, LECOM provides student-centered pathways to prepare the next generation of healthcare professionals. Prepare yourself for medicine as your life’s profession.

September 16, 2010
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