Pharmacy at the Forefront
Student-organized Advocacy Convocation March 13 to Feature TPA President Charlotte Weller, Student Testimonials
UH College of Pharmacy Pharm.D. students will welcome Texas Pharmacy Association President Charlotte Weller, Pharm.D., R.Ph., for an Advocacy Convocation at 1:30 p.m. Friday, March 13, at Agnes Arnold Auditorium 1 on the UH campus.
The event was initiated and organized by the students themselves in an effort to educate their fellow students about the legislative process and how to appropriately and effectively communicate with elected offiicals.
"We decided to organize and plan the advocacy convocation to address a need for education and a source of inspiration for political advocacy," said Katie Williams, one of the student organizers. "Pharmacy is one of the most regulated professions, so it is imperative that pharmacists and future pharmacists are involved in the legislative process both nationally and locally. Now is the time for our profession to stand up and make our voice heard. The greatest goal we wish to achieve with this convocation is to inspire students to be advocates for our profession."
In addition to presentations by Weller and David A. Marwitz, director of Physician Advocacy & External Stakeholders for BlueCross BlueShield of Texas, the convocation will include a discussion of some of the current issues affecting pharmacy practice, a civics "quiz" to test student knowledge about U.S./state government, and testimonials from students about their past advocacy experiences.
"Grassroots advocacy enables pharmacy as a profession the chance to find and express our voice," said fellow organizer Allison Phuc Nguyen. "Many students don’t realize how powerful their voices can be, and how effective that voice could make a change in the legislative process. Through the convocation, we hope to provide an insight of why and how students can advocate for our profession or, to a greater extent, empower them to be future leaders in this field. A successful legislative session is not a result from one individual’s effort; it needs support from our collective voices."