Since she was in high school, third-year pharmacy student Kennedy Freeman has been interested in pediatrics and spent much of her spare time serving in volunteer roles with charities that support children. For her dedication and contributions to pediatric pharmacy, she has been honored as a recipient of the John Dice Scholarship award at the National Pediatric Pharmacy Association Annual Meeting.
Each year, two students nationally are selected by the PPA board and committee to receive the John Dice Scholarship, which includes a monetary award and national recognition. The scholarship is available to students who have demonstrated dedication to pediatric pharmacy practice and have expressed an interest in pursuing a career as a pharmacist specializing in pediatrics.
When she was just 14 years old, Freeman took on the role of Teen Coordinator for Sisters on a Journey, a philanthropy that funds pediatric cancer research and helps the families of children who have cancer. Freeman served on the Ronald McDonald House Teen Board and later as a member of the Yellow Shoe Crew. Throughout her undergraduate career, she continued to participate in pediatric philanthropic events.
Kennedy is a wonderful example of our students' commitment to pharmacy and serving our collective community.
Christina Cox, Pharm.D. Associate Professor
Associate Professor Christina Cox, Pharm.D., emphasized Freeman’s deservingness of this award. “Kennedy is a wonderful example of our students' commitment to pharmacy and serving our collective community.”
As president of the Pediatric Pharmacy Association at UofSC, Freeman accepted the Student Organization Service Award for the 2020-21 school year. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, PPA held 16 successful events and made a profound impact on the community through their donations, fundraisers and service activities.
Freeman began working on a research project, “Evaluation of Proton Pump Inhibitor and Histamine Receptor Antagonist Use and the Incidence of Clostridioides difficile Infections in Pediatric Patients,” with faculty members Christina Cox. and Bryan Love, during her first year of pharmacy school. She obtained a Magellan Grant from the UofSC Office of Undergraduate Research to fund the project, and in May 2020 presented her research at the 29th Annual PPA Meeting.
Freeman says that though pharmacy school may be difficult, her pediatric patients have given her a renewed outlook and optimism. “These experiences and my overall goal of becoming a pediatric pharmacist motivate me to push through difficult times and to challenge myself, so that in the future I will be able to provide the best possible care for sick children when they need it most.”
She credits the Pediatric Pharmacy Association with preparing her for a future pharmacy career by providing the opportunity to present research on a national level, network with pediatric pharmacists across the country, develop leadership skills, serve the community, and nurture a love for pediatrics.
Freeman, a native of Savannah, Georgia, plans to pursue PGY-1 and PGY-2 residencies to further her knowledge in her chosen specialty after graduation.
“This goal will require a lifelong dedication to learning,” she says. “Even so, I am overjoyed to pursue a pediatric pharmacy career. I cannot wait to see where this passion leads me.”