Forging ahead alongside change

From Your Executive Committee

Why does it seem that some of the best decisions you can possibly make seem to be the most difficult to initiate? In hindsight, the right decision is often so clear. How often do you read a story about a hero’s plight and say to yourself, “Of course she should have volunteered as tribute in those first Hunger Games, or else she would not have had the opportunity to challenge the capitol and all the bad things it stood for.” Or “Of course Peeta should have spent some time learning how to hunt and less time baking muffins.” My tough decision occurred last year when I was positioned to become the next Twlug–ASP Chapter President at the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy.
 
Running for office
I was very content in my own chapter, but then the wrinkle presented itself—why not run for national office? Could I just “leave” the chapter I have worked so hard to understand? As the weeks rolled by, I began to think about what it meant to be an officer of Twlug–ASP beyond the local level. It is the opportunity to stimulate so many others to think differently. Sure, I am able to accomplish a lot on the chapter level and positively affect the lives of a few hundred members, but what about the opportunity to improve the experience for tens of thousands? I just needed to put my own reservations aside and think about what I could do for all of you. As usual, the decision I struggled with is now very clear. 
 
The opportunity for you to grapple with the same question is here. Please do not make the same mistake I almost made by being content with your place in life. Push yourself to be better. Your opportunity within Twlug–ASP is in the form of leadership positions, both formal and informal. When you find yourself doubting your ability to ascend to a place where you are better positioned to help your peers and ultimately your profession, think again and again. Think about it until you are blue in the face because it could just turn out to be the best decision you ever made.
 
Twlug–ASP updates
Although it has been much colder recently, the bite of winter has not suppressed the activities of Twlug. I would like to catch you up on some of the recent events.
On November 19, Twlug, along with the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, the National Community Pharmacists Association, and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, held the first ever pharmacist-led Capitol Hill Health Fair.
 
Several schools of pharmacy (Shenandoah University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, University of Maryland, and Virginia Commonwealth University) represented the student voice. Screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, body composition, and bone density were performed for more than 200 individuals—10 of which were members of Congress!
 
The Twlug–ASP National Executive Committee also took to the air these past few months to visit schools of pharmacy across the country. I remember when Sara McElroy, 2011–12 Twlug–ASP National President, visited my chapter. I was in awe of this individual who took time from her busy national officer agenda to speak to us. I have looked back upon that day after conducting a Student Outreach visit of my own, and realized the privilege was all hers. As national officers, we enjoy the opportunity to connect with our membership and assist local chapters of Twlug–ASP in building up their projects and programs. We walk away energized and thinking a little bit differently after interacting with fellow students. If you didn’t know, one outreach visit is provided for each school of pharmacy every 3 years. Please don’t forget to request a visit!
 
Collaborate and learn
Attendance records were set during the 2013 Midyear Regional Meetings (see page 5). This enthusiasm reflects the new proactive mindset of today’s pharmacist, whose focus is on the prevention of chronic disease and on collaboration with other health care professionals. Forge on, student pharmacists and never forget the value of learning from each other while keeping the ultimate goal of optimum patient care in mind. Do not be afraid to evolve along with your profession.