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UMKC Pharmacy Student Organization Wins Top National Award - Again

Outstanding community service and leadership

The legacy of outstanding student service and leadership continues at the UMKC School of Pharmacy. Student pharmacists at UMKC have once again been recognized as recipients of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists Chapter of the Year award.

It is the third time in the past nine years that the UMKC chapter has received the highest national award. Each year since 2012, UMKC student pharmacists have been recognized as one of the organization’s top chapters in the country.

Typically announced at the organization’s annual meeting in March, this year’s awards were announced through a Facebook Live presentation because of the Coronavirus pandemic. The APhA-ASP Chapter Achievement Awards program honors schools and colleges of pharmacy in the United States and Puerto Rico. More than 140 chapters compete for the honors that recognize superior programming to create opportunities for student participation and set standards for leadership, professionalism, patient care and legislative advocacy among student pharmacists.

In addition to national Chapter of the Year honors, UMKC students were also second runner up for the organization’s Generation Rx Award for creating public awareness of prescription medication abuse.

"This award is only possible because of the student pharmacists who are active members of APhA-ASP at UMKC," said Jordan Thoman, who served as UMKC chapter president. "It says a lot about their passion and excitement for pharmacy and helping the community. APhA-ASP has a wide variety of opportunities for students in areas such as heart disease, diabetes, mental health and policy. It was fun to see our students dive into areas that they really love."

The awards recognized the combined efforts of students at the UMKC School of Pharmacy’s three campuses in Kansas City, Columbia and Springfield. 

“We are super proud of them and proud of all their advisors who have worked hard guiding and mentoring them,” School of Pharmacy Dean Russell Melchert, Ph.D., said.

Faculty sponsors of the UMKC chapter are Cameron Lindsey, Kathryn Holt and Jordan Rowe of the Kansas City campus; Angela Brownfield and Sarah Cox of the Columbia campus; and Lisa Cillessen and Heather Taylor of the Springfield campus.

"This really reflects on the great guidance and support we get from the School of Pharmacy faculty and staff," Thoman said. "We have some incredible APhA-ASP advisors across all three campuses, and I will be forever grateful for all that they did for us over the year. We have the perfect combination of excited, passionate student pharmacists and supportive, impactful advisors and faculty."

In the past reporting period, UMKC’s APhA-ASP chapter reached more than 228,205 individuals through social media alone, increasing education and awareness on a wide variety of health- and pharmacy-related topics.

The student organization led two large projects, Operation Self-Care and Operation Immunization, that reached large numbers of patients.

"Student pharmacists at UMKC are passionate about giving back to the community and making a difference," said Afaq Alabbasi, a May graduate of the School of Pharmacy. "Our chapter organizes a variety of events that reach out to different patient populations, from the elderly to children. When we plan our events, we focus on the quality of the events rather than the quantity. Our main goal for each event is to reach patient populations that will benefit the most from our services, even if that means reaching out to only 10 people." 

Operation Self-Care partnered with the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP) to create a new mental health screening protocol. The questionnaire included screenings for anxiety and depression. Operation Self-Care reached 10,625 patients through public relations and patient care events. Operation Immunization saw students across the three campuses participate in 58 events in which they provided influenza immunizations for more than 800 patients and immunization education to 5,412 patients.

Students also made 18 Generation Rx presentations, reaching and educating nearly 3,000 people about prescription drug abuse, proper medication storage and disposal. Generation Rx partnered with FirstCall to provide drug disposal kits to patients at DEA Drug Take Back Days across the state. More than 8,000 pounds of unused/unwanted prescription medications were collected. Generation Rx also reached nearly 16,000 individuals through public and media relations initiatives. 

 UMKC School of Pharmacy APhA-ASP Winners

  • 2020 APhA-ASP Chapter of the Year (No. 1 in the U.S.)
  • 2019 APhA-ASP 1st Runner Up in Chapter Achievement (Top 7 in the U.S.)
  • 2018 APhA-ASP Chapter of the Year (No. 1 in the U.S.)
  • 2017 APhA-ASP 1st Runner Up in Chapter Achievement (Top 7 in the U.S.)
  • 2016 APhA-ASP Chapter Achievement Award (Top 4 in the U.S.)
  • 2015 APhA-ASP Chapter Achievement Award (Top 4 in the U.S.)
  • 2014 APhA-ASP 1st Runner Up in Chapter Achievement (Top 7 in the U.S.)
  • 2013 APhA-ASP Chapter Achievement Award (Top 4 in the U.S.)
  • 2012 APhA-ASP Chapter of the Year (No. 1 in the U.S.)

Learn more about School of Pharmacy

Published: May 7, 2020

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