LECOM pharmacy students meet with state legislators

School of Pharmacy well represented at Florida, Pennsylvania state government events

LECOM School of Pharmacy Bradenton students participated in Legislative Days in Tallahassee, Fla. Pictured, from left, are LECOM Bradenton students Michael Berns, Cassandra Karish, Rebecca Nelson, James Le, Jayme Dinsmore, Parijat Ali, Sara Lammers and Rochelle Forsyth; Fallon Enfinger, PharmD, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice; and Dr. Karen Whalen, President of the Florida Pharmacy Association.

LECOM School of Pharmacy students in Erie, Pa., and Bradenton, Fla., took advantage of a unique opportunity to visit with their respective state legislators recently.

In Harrisburg, Pa., a group of student pharmacists and faculty from LECOM demonstrated how pharmacists can save healthcare dollars and improve public health outcomes at a special Legislative Day. The day included screenings, displays, and information provided by Pennsylvania’s seven schools of pharmacy, and LECOM students distinguished themselves by providing information to attendees regarding poison prevention.

Participants met individually with legislators and staffers to discuss important issues of the profession focusing on the need for providing fair audits, mandatory mail order and preserving the patient’s freedom of choice, collaborative care and expanding scope of practice, and eliminating the age restriction on pharmacist provided immunizations. This important opportunity for pharmacists to have their voices heard and to stress the significance of issues facing pharmacy today was a crucial step in advancing the practice of pharmacy.

LECOM students who participated in the event included Chanttel Melquist, Celestine Ichoku, Arpit Mehta, Kristina Snyder, Christan Mychajlonka, Lauren Hajdu, Paul Kessler, Nathan Dahl, Lauren Funwela, Benjamin Vroman and Ashley Hartley. Faculty members Sachin Devi, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Hilary Powell, PharmD, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice, also attended the event.

Prior to the students’ Harrisburg visit with legislators, the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association held its third annual Government Relations Advocacy for Student Pharmacists (GRASP) program at its Harrisburg office. LECOM School of Pharmacy students Cory Ulisse and Benjamin Vroman were selected to attend the program.

The GRASP program is a three day legislative conference which focuses on government relations, legislative action, media training, and the regulatory process.  Twenty-three students from six pharmacy schools in Pennsylvania attended the conference, held directly across the street from the state capitol, allowing students to visualize the place their legislative discussions could one day lead them.  Guest speakers from a variety of practice settings addressed the student pharmacists, introducing them to the legislative side of pharmacy.

In Florida, nine LECOM student pharmacists visited with legislatures in Tallahassee to discuss important issues related to the pharmacy profession.  The students also participated in the Florida Pharmacy Association (FPA) health fair held within the capitol building rotunda.

The ninth annual Florida Pharmacists Legislative Days and Health Fair began with a legislative briefing and visits with legislators. The FPA noted that more than 200 pharmacists and pharmacy students registered for the event to provide input on pharmacy and other related health care issues.

LECOM School of Pharmacy Bradenton students and faculty participating in this event included Michael Berns, Cassandra Karish, Rebecca Nelson, James Le, Jayme Dinsmore, Parijat Ali, Sara Lammers, Rochelle Forsyth, Alvana Nicaj, and Fallon Enfinger, PharmD, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice.

April 6, 2010
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