The University of Charleston sits directly across the river from the WV State Capitol, but next week UCSOP student pharmacists will cross the river and invade the capitol for the annual Pharmacists’ Day at the Legislature 2014. Every year students gather at the capitol building to advocate for issues that are important to the profession of pharmacy and patient care.
This week students at UCSOP and the other pharmacy schools in the state (Marshall University and West Virginia University) have been preparing for their trip to the capitol on Monday, January 27. UCSOP students received a briefing on Tuesday at convocation to get them oriented regarding what will happen during the day. Shuttles will run between the School of Pharmacy and the capitol all day so parking is not an issue for students and faculty. Students groups have been set up that contain students from each school, 66 groups in all, with UC students making up the largest group of students (easier to participate when you are already in the capital city!). UCSOP student pharmacists and faculty will also staff five tables, where they will be performing blood pressure screenings, giving out educational materials, and providing information about the pharmacy school and our residency program.
Technology has been a large part of the preparation for Pharmacists’ Day. Students signed up electronically to show their interest in participating, their groups were assigned through online documents, and on Friday, January 24, students from all three schools conferenced through distance meeting technology for more prep information.
Friday’s “Pizza and Policy” lunchtime event featured speakers from all three WV pharmacy schools, and students in Charleston, Huntington, and Morgantown were all given information about what to expect on Monday, including:
- Why it is important for students to advocate for the profession of pharmacy
- How the state legislature works
- How to talk to legislators
- The goals of the students while visiting with legislators
- Questions that student pharmacists might expect
- Which bills are related to health care, medications, pharmacy, business, and patient care
This year students and pharmacists are visiting legislators and thanking them for their support of last year’s successful Pharmacy Practice Act. So our students are prepared for Monday, and they will put on their white coats and their walking shoes and hit the WV State Capitol building with other pharmacy professionals from around the state, with UCSOP students leading the way!
Advocacy is an important part of the pharmacy education here at UCSOP, and students are excited to jump in and participate. Watch for next week’s post with pictures and quotes from Pharmacists’ Day at the WV Legislature!