Written By: Bhavna Jois, Fourth-Year Student Pharmacist and AMCP Chapter Past-President
It’s a wonderful feeling to have won second place in the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy’s (AMCP) 2019-2020 Student Chapter of the Year Award. I am extremely proud of all of the initiatives that my E-board and I developed, improved, and executed this year, as well as all of the hard work we put into achieving this national recognition.
Standing Out in a Tough Competition
The purpose of the AMCP Student Chapter of the Year Award is to recognize all that student chapters across the country accomplish each year. The award also serves to encourage and inspire chapters to strive for new, innovative managed care student programming ventures. AMCP presents awards to the top three chapters that demonstrate the greatest commitment to the vision and mission of the organization: empowering members to serve society by using sound medication management principles and strategies, with the ultimate goal of improving health care for all.
To apply for this award, each chapter must detail its top three events from the previous year, provide a short essay to explain the subjective aspects of programming, and complete supplemental submissions that include photos, documents, promotional materials, and videos that provide a more complete view of the programming conducted by the chapter. My peers and E-board members Karen Nguyen, Andrew SyBing, and Griffin Sauvageau and I put together an application package that truly highlighted our dedication and commitment to providing quality programs that aimed to educate others about and promote managed care pharmacy.
Submissions are judged based on a thorough review of the material that occurs over two stages. Phase 1 is quantitative and involves grading the applications using an established rubric that determines the top three chapters. Phase 2 allows for the judging committee to qualitatively discuss and evaluate the top three chapters’ submissions holistically. The winning chapters were announced at AMCP NEXUS on Oct. 21, held virtually and shared through the organization’s Instagram page. All three winners received a personalized trophy and a grant to help further support the chapter’s ongoing initiatives.
Highlights from Our AMCP Student Chapter of the Year Application
The School of Pharmacy’s AMCP student chapter is committed to imparting knowledge, disseminating resources, and providing opportunities for professional growth. We empower our students and strengthen education in managed care pharmacy, a field that works to develop and apply evidence-based medication use strategies that enhance individual and population health outcomes, while also optimizing health care resources. As a result of students’ growing interest in unconventional pharmacy careers, particularly within managed care, our chapter enjoyed a substantial increase in membership and participation this year. Chapter leadership evaluated student feedback from last year to help us achieve three new goals: (1) enhance understanding of managed care, (2) foster collaboration through local and national networking opportunities, and (3) advance professional development by incorporating mentoring opportunities into programming. We surpassed our objectives while exemplifying AMCP’s mission and vision of improving health care for all.
In our application, we highlighted our inaugural Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference (MARC), collaborative seminar series, and innovative Virtual Managed Care & Industry Roundtable. Held Sept. 21-22, 2019, MARC truly showcased AMCP’s core values, empowering students to analyze accessibility, affordability, and quality of patient care. To expand our knowledge-based opportunities, we revamped the seminar series to dive into key managed care concepts like medication therapy management (MTM) and pharmacy and therapeutics (P&T) committees. Because managed care spans almost every field of pharmacy practice, we partnered with organizations such as the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP), the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR), and the Industry Pharmacists Organization (IPhO) to engage a broader audience and foster the collaboration skills essential for managed care professionals. Lastly, our virtual roundtable held on April 9, 2020, provided students with networking opportunities even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through these initiatives, students gained the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in managed care roles, while also strengthening their confidence to seek experiences beyond the walls of pharmacy school and fostering meaningful professional connections.
Artistic recap videos created by third-year student pharmacist Karen Nguyen further accentuated our application. We submitted a recap of the entire year, along with a video that showcased the learning, networking, and fun that our chapter experienced at AMCP Nexus 2019 as we reconnected with our chapter alumni. Our chapter remains dedicated to fulfilling the mission and vision of AMCP, and as we continue to expand our initiatives, we hope to keep shaping future managed care professionals committed to delivering effective care.
Reflecting on Our Success
“If I have seen further, it is by standing upon the shoulders of Giants.” – Isaac Newton
When I started pharmacy school in 2017, the School of Pharmacy’s AMCP student chapter, led by former student pharmacist Chuka Udeze, won first place in AMCP’s Student Chapter of the Year Award. I assumed the role of president-elect later that year, knowing I would have big shoes to fill. My goal was to not only build off of what my predecessors had established, but also create novel initiatives to further enhance learning about managed care, the pharmaceutical industry, and overall professional development. I am delighted that we have remained a leader among AMCP student chapters over the past three years, crediting our alumni for helping to pave the way for us to reach our true potential.
I am also happy to share this recognition with the AMCP student chapters at Wilkes University, which received first place, and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), who achieved third place. With COVID-19 throwing a wrench into the second half of our school year, I hope all AMCP student chapters take pride in the impact they have had on others, no matter how large or small. This accomplishment is not about the award or title, it’s about what it represents – creativity, dedication, and friendship throughout it all.
I encourage all pharmacy students to look into joining AMCP on a national and/or local level. No matter what area of pharmacy you end up pursuing, knowledge of the health care system you are working for is crucial, and the managed care sector is a key player. Managed care pharmacists have the ability to impact the care of millions of people and this field is at the forefront of health care reform.
It was an honor serving as AMCP student chapter president at the School of Pharmacy this past year, and I am excited to see how the organization progresses in the years to come!