June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month
The College of Pharmacy is devoted to providing a most inclusive environment for all students, faculty, staff and alumni. Through the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee, the college supported several initiatives aimed toward that goal during the past year.
During their first three years, pharmacy students are required to obtain a minimum of two credit hours in DEI activities annually. To help meet that requirement, student organizations stepped up to develop and organize lectures, workshops, and activities. The college’s chapter of Student National Pharmaceutical Association led the effort, coordinating multiple events that focused on gender diverse patients, hearing impaired patients, hormone replacement therapy in the transgender population, and mental health in the LGBTQIA+ community.
In February, as part of Black History Month, the DEI committee sponsored a virtual conversation focused on the pharmacist’s role in addressing health inequity in South Carolina. More than 100 students, faculty, staff and alumni joined the event led by four distinguished College of Pharmacy alumni, including Col. (Ret.) Everett B. McAllister, ’84, Lindsay Cobbs, ’92, Yorika Hammett, ’17, Gerald Isreal, Jr., ’88, and Krishnan Brown, ’17.
The panelists discussed key areas related to health equity, including personal experiences with unconscious bias and microaggressions, health disparities in the Black community, and strategies that pharmacists can implement to improve health equity.
And for his role in helping to organize DEI events throughout the year, fourth-year student Michael Deaney received the United States Public Health Service Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Award this spring. Deaney has participated in countless activities raising awareness for underrepresented groups, including racial minorities, LGBTQ+, disabled, and low socioeconomic status individuals. His efforts have earned internal and national recognition for the college’s SNPhA chapter.