Students Advocate in Annapolis for the Pharmacy Profession
During the 2013 session of the Maryland General Assembly, student
advocates from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy had
an extraordinary opportunity to encourage legislators to support the
rapidly expanding role of pharmacists in health care. Maryland is a
leading state in adapting to the provisions of the new federal
Affordable Care Act, paving the way for more patient access to
An energetic delegation of 20 student pharmacists from the School
traveled to Annapolis to "drive home" that opportunity during their
2013 Legislative Advocacy Day on Feb. 26 for group and one-on-one
discussions with their state delegates and senators.
They were accompanied by Natalie D.
Eddington, PhD, FAAPS, FCP, dean and professor of the School.
"This is a day when we bring our students to Annapolis to expose them
to the legislative process in our state and to help them understand
their significant role in advocating for their profession as well as
for their education," said Eddington. "We have them discuss pertinent
issues that will impact the way they practice."
The student pharmacists advocated, for example, for legislation to
expand state authorization of the now-limited kinds of immunizations
pharmacists can provide. Student pharmacist Lisa Hutchins said, "All
the studies have shown that instead of cutting into the doctors' and
nurses' [piece of the] pie when it comes to who you vaccinate, we are
expanding our [practice] borders and reaching more patients than ever. Now the pharmacist can reach a wider subset of people that don't go
to the doctor for that preventive service."
Several legislators took time from their duties to meet with the School
of Pharmacy group and offer advice to the young professionals on
career, life, and community service.
Delegate Keith Haynes of Baltimore City said, "I absolutely commend the
University, the dean, and staff for their advocacy, for coming down and
letting your voices be heard and your presence be seen. You are
actually engaging in the [legislative] process. Your University and the
School of Pharmacy are tremendous in this effort."
The students found that the legislators had an understanding of how the
Affordable Care Act paves the way for pharmacists to further
demonstrate their value by expanding patients' access to a pharmacist's
services, such as medication therapy management.
Student pharmacist Jasmine Ebron, after meeting the
legislators, senses that more collaboration is needed to best help
advance the services. "I felt it was important for some of the
legislators to understand the value we place on things like our
programs of managing chronic diseases." She also wanted the legislators
to appreciate that "the benefit of pharmacists taking a more active
role in chronic disease management is that by adequately managing
patients, [we can] reduce some of the recurring [hospital] admission
rates and reduce some of the financial burdens on the health system."
To view a video of 2013
Advocacy Day, click
A larger group of students and faculty from the School also
participated in the Maryland Pharmacy Coalition's annual Advocacy Day
in Annapolis on Feb. 14.
|Posting Date: 03/01/2013
|Contact Name: Steve Berberich
|Contact Phone: 410-706-0023
|Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org