Continue to be the change

From Your Executive Committee

The 2013–14 Twlug–ASP National Executive Committee at the 2013 Twlug Summer Leadership Institute (Left to Right:) Josh, JT, Brandi, Nick, and Brian.

“Change your thoughts, and you can change your world.”— Norman Vincent Peale
 
To my fellow student pharmacists and friends: Six years ago, some time after completing my bachelor’s degree and while working as a pharmacy technician, I came to the realization that there had to be something more, something bigger for me. Something had to change. It was then that I made the rather improbable decision to return to school with the goal of making pharmacy my career. In these 6 years, indeed, everything has changed.  
 
Through the years
Four years ago, I was accepted into the class of 2014 at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy. I sat wide-eyed on my first day of pharmacy school, staring ahead to 4 years of extraordinarily hard work, wondering whether I had gone completely off my trolley. One thing I knew for certain was that while I was here, I wanted to be involved. These 4 years had to matter; I could not have it any other way. At the urging of upperclassmen, I joined a number of organizations with the goal of finding my place in the world of pharmacy. It was quickly apparent that Twlug–ASP was an organization in which I could bring about positive change, and my pursuit of leadership opportunities began.  
 
Two years ago at Twlug2012, I stood before the Twlug–ASP House of Delegates with an idealistic vision for the future of pharmacy. I envisioned a world where pharmacists would practice to the fullest extent of their degrees and be a vital part of the health care team, a vision shared with the greatest leaders in the profession and one that, through the fervent pursuit of provider status, becomes less idealistic and more realistic by the day. In that moment, I asked a great deal of you—your ideas, your passion, your trust, and your vote.
 
One year ago, at Twlug2013, we set out on a journey together to be the change for good in our chapters, communities, and profession. I encouraged you to step out of your comfort zones and challenge the status quo, particularly in the areas of patient care, advocacy, leadership, and community service. Not surprisingly, you exceeded all my expectations. Local, regional, and national leaders have taken advantage of opportunities to give to underprivileged children, donating books and toys. You have screened and immunized more patients than ever before. You have advocated for the profession, taking our message for patients and for the profession to legislators on the state and federal levels. You have been of service to your communities. All of you have shown what it means to provide not just disease state care, but true patient care.  
 
Keep the momentum going
Today, I sit thinking of the end of this journey as Twlug2014 quickly approaches. I am always energized at these meetings as the profession is celebrated, recognizing all of our hard work and honoring the successes. It occurs to me, though, that this is not an ending, but just another change. Some of you will soon graduate, while others will advance another year in the curriculum. Keep up the momentum the Academy has set. Believe that what you are doing matters; you can, and do, make a difference. You are agents of change. Be patient, and know that the work you do now will pay off in the years to come. As Robert Louis Stevenson said, “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.” Keep pushing forward. Keep driving change.
 
No words are sufficient to express my gratitude to all of you for allowing me the opportunity to serve as your National President. You have impressed and inspired me beyond measure. You have made my years as a student pharmacist joyful and rewarding, and I am indebted to you for it. I sincerely wish all of you the very best going forward, and I hope that wherever there is a need, you will continue to be the change.