The American Pharmacist Association-Academy of Student Pharmacist (APhA-ASP) held its Mid-Year Regional Meeting, or MRM, for Region II in Somerset, New Jersey from October 21st to 23rd 2016. It was composed of students from all over the world representing twenty different schools and colleges of pharmacy from the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. The APhA-ASP officers, Shelly Ray, the Regional Meeting Coordinator from Rutgers University, Nimit Jidal, the Regional Delegate from Rutgers University, and Laura Byrd, the Regional Member At-Large from the University of Maryland Eastern, directed the conference through multiple programs. Some of the programs included speakers on leadership, networking, Generation Rx, and medication safety.
One of the highlights of the conference was an impassioned speech about the past of a former drug user from the recovery program of the College of New Jersey. This talk helped us realize the importance of health care providers in society, and the impact we as pharmacists can have on drug abusers. Then, the CEO of Walgreens and Manager of Walmart shared their experiences and challenged us to improve our leadership skills and shared their advice on how to become successful leaders in the pharmacy profession. Another CEO and successful owner of many pharmacies flew in from California to come and share advice regarding how to become a successful owner of a pharmacy, as well.
A career expo offered opportunities for attendees to meet with representatives from all over the country and learn more about different fellowships and post-graduate opportunities. Raffle tickets were given out along with games which added some excitement, levity, and encouraged networking with our fellow attendees through competition. Throughout the meeting, members who have contributed to the success of their home APhA-ASP chapters were recognized, and our own Rachel Peaytt, President-Elect, was recognized for her hard work for the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy APhA-ASP student organization. This meeting also provided an opportunity for various student chapters to propose their ideas on new policies which were then discussed and voted upon to be brought to attention at the national APhA-ASP with the intention to improve the field of pharmacy. This meeting allowed connection between APhA-ASP members, promoted the development of essential pharmacy skills, provided a chance to learn from successful leaders, and encouraged members to continue to contribute to the pharmacy community all while perpetuating the APhA message: “Together We Can.”