Written By: Sean Kim, third-year student pharmacist and president of the Student Government Association
Pharmacists have proven their essential role as health care providers within their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, with many working under enormous pressure and strain to meet the demands for vaccinations. During national American Pharmacists Month (APhM) in October, the School of Pharmacy’s Student Government Association (SGA) organized celebrations and appreciation events for the School community, to recognize the tremendous efforts of our faculty, staff, and student.
APhM kicked off in the first week of October with an appreciation event. Faculty, staff, and students were invited to stop by a table in Pharmacy Hall to pick up grab and go apples and caramel dipping sauce. More than 100 snacks were distributed, with recipients also being invited to write thank you notes to pharmacists and other School professionals they appreciate and admire. More than 120 notes were then delivered faculty and staff.
In the second week of October, we focused on mental health and wellbeing. A mental health survey was sent to students and 120 responses were received. Anonymous results will be shared soon with School leadership.
Throughout the month, leaders from various SGA organizations interviewed their faculty advisors to spotlight the profession and the wide variety of specialties within pharmacy. Short videos were shared on the SGA’s Instagram page. The initiative also helped bridge the gap between faculty and students who had only interacted virtually during the 2020-2021 academic year.
We also advocated for the pharmacy profession as a group. A panel session with four pharmacy experts focused on national and state issues affecting the profession, advocacy opportunities in Maryland, and the importance of student involvement in the development of policy.
For our finale, the SGA hosted a virtual fireside chat on Oct. 27 with University System of Maryland Chancellor Jay A. Perman, MD, who spoke about his leadership journey and expressed his appreciation for pharmacy.
Despite APhM being contained to the month of October, our passion for the profession and our goals of appreciation and involvement exist every day. The SGA thanks everyone for participating in our celebrations and events. It was so meaningful to recognize the School of Pharmacy community – faculty, staff, and students – as a whole.