Posted on: March 11, 2020
Each year, pharmacy students across the state of South Carolina gather at the South Carolina State House to advocate for their profession. This year, 60 students from pharmacy programs around the state participated in Pharmacy Legislative Day last month. The statewide pharmacy event was organized this year by the South Carolina Pharmacy Association Junior Board.
Third-year UofSC College of Pharmacy student Maya Jenkins believes all pharmacy students should attend Legislative Day at least once. "It provides you with the opportunity to not only network with other students from surrounding pharmacy schools, but to interact with legislators and lobbyists who are fighting for our profession. To know you are having an impact will be something that I will always cherish,” she says.
Abigail Bouknight, fourth-year student in the UofSC COP, has also attended Legislative Day multiple times. “As a Junior Board Member with the SCPhA, we have encouraged students at UofSC to be involved early, so it’s heartwarming to see their passions for advocacy and legislation begin,” she adds.
You all are the future of our profession. Why? Because you’re interested enough that you’re here this morning.
David Shirley, Pharm.D. President, South Carolina Pharmacy Association
Student Legislative Day kicked off with a breakfast hosted on campus by the UofSC COP. SCPhA President David Shirley, Pharm.D., provided words of encouragement. “You all are the future of our profession. Why? Because you’re interested enough that you’re here this morning.”
The students learned from lobbyists, board members, and lawmakers about the legislative process and the importance of effective advocacy. Dialogue included discussions around timely topics such as Medicaid, medical marijuana, vaccines, and women’s health. The main idea emphasized by all presentations was that involved pharmacists help shape the policies that will eventually dictate their day-to-day practice and impact public health.
“Don’t become isolated in your profession. Remain united in what you do, every day in every way,” said Director of Pharmacy for S.C. Medicaid William Wynn, '99 Pharm.D.,, stressed to students. Wynn encouraged the student pharmacists to get to know their elected officials who may consult them in the future as subject-matter experts on pharmacy-related bills.