SNPhA Chapter of the Year
UHCOP Secures National Organization's Chapter of the Year Award; Students Earn National Scholarships, 4th Consecutive Office
Perseverance has paid off for the UH College of Pharmacy chapter of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association, which claimed the SNPhA/Rite Aid Chauncey I. Cooper Chapter Excellence Award at the organization's 2015 Annual Meeting July 24-27 in Orlando, Fla.
The chapter not only won the Overall National Chapter of the Year title, but also the top-ranked Large Category Chapter. There are more than 90 SNPhA chapters across the nation, including 14 Large chapters with more 100 members each. This year's victory is even sweeter as the chapter was a finalist for the Large Category Chapter and Overall Chapter for the prior three consecutive years.
"This award is solely a reflection of all the hard work and dedication put forth from our initiative chairs, officers and members," said third-year Pharm.D. student Tracey Thomas, who served as the 2014-15 chapter president. "We increased membership from 102 members to 159 members, increased our number of events from 135 to 152 and, most importantly, we increased the number of lives we impacted from 4,800 to 6,522. In total, we logged nearly 500 hours of community service.
"Our impact in the community is shown by organizations inviting us back to provide screenings and services at their events every year. Not only do we continue to serve at events we have done in the past, but we are constantly striving to be innovative by seeking out new opportunities to leave a lasting impact in the community."
Among the individual honors, third-year student Marc Tran became the fourth consecutive UHCOP student to be appointed to the Regional Facilitator for Region 4 post on the SNPhA National Executive Committee. In addition, Thomas was awarded a Walmart Health and Wellness Endowed Scholarship and fellow third-year student Chiemeka Ike received a Jonathan and Carmita Mills Book Award.
Among the chapter's specific ongoing and new projects include working through the after-school program at Whidby Elementary, a Houston Independent School District Magnet campus in south Houston, and Angela House, a nonprofit organization that assists women in their transition from the Texas prison/state jail system back into society.
At Whidby, member teams teach students on various disease states related to chapter and national initiatives, such as diabetes, chronic kidney disease and stroke awareness. One of the diabetes-education activities involved using magnets and petri dishes containing metallic sand to illustrate the different actions of insulin in the body of a healthy individual vs. those with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. The more recent collaboration with Angela House included development of the first health fair for the facility as well as introduction of a smoking cessation program.
"Over these past four years, I have seen this chapter grow tremendously," Thomas said. "We have amazing student pharmacists in this organization who all have a common passion: to serve the underserved."
The chapter's faculty advisor, UHCOP Associate Professor Louis Williams, Ph.D., praised the members for their perseverance.
"We could have folded our tents and decided to stop trying to be the best, but you all made a personal commitment to work harder to demonstrate our excellence in all that we do and you did it," he said. "Now you can say you have earned your reward of being designated as the best chapter in the country. I am so proud each one of you."