Ms. Sax is a freelance writer based in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
This month's RESPy Award winner, Jared Brown, became interested in pharmacy because of the many avenues the profession offers. "There are so many things you can do with a pharmacy career," said Brown, a student at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Pharmacy. "You can be in education, retail, own your own business, work in a hospital, or as a lobbyist for the profession. The profession of pharmacy offers so many choices—I still do not know what direction I want to take."
Brown is enthusiastic about how the profession will enable him to help others—something he has been focused on for a long time. "Jared has a long history of participation in public service activities," said Charles K. Born, PhD, associate dean for student affairs at the UAMS College of Pharmacy. "As an undergraduate, he participated in a medical mission trip to the Ukraine, tutored first grade students in reading, and worked with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization."
Brown also has participated in a number of professional activities. "His greatest impact has been in the Heartburn Awareness Challenge, where he was vice chair of the project for 2006 and 2007," said Dr. Born. "In addition to scheduling setup, volunteer coordination, and serving as a participant, he also trained his fellow students to screen participants for the different types of heartburn." As a result, he was awarded the UAMS College of Pharmacy Patient Care Heartburn Award in 2006 and 2007. "He was instrumental in our college receiving the National Heartburn Awareness Challenge Award for both years," said Dr. Born.
About the School
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy provides excellent education in a stimulating environment. Stephanie Gardner, PharmD, EdD, dean of the college, said that the school integrates superb pharmaceutical care with nationally and internationally recognized research. In a statement on the college?s Web site, she says, ?In order to achieve our mission, we apply innovative and proven educational methods to produce pharmacists who possess the skills and knowledge they need to serve their patients in an ethical and professional manner.? Based in Little Rock, the school provides medication therapy management care services that are recognized locally and nationally as models of patient care. The school also conducts competitive basic, clinical, and social and administrative science research that translates into improved pharmacy education, direct patient care, and public policy.
It was an experience Brown enjoyed. "I am very interested in running health screening clinics," said Brown. "There is a lot of interaction between you and the patient, and no 2 patients are the same. With heartburn, it is like a puzzle to find out why the patient is experiencing those symptoms. I like the challenge of finding the right way to help that patient."
The drive to see more pa- tients and offer them more testing led Brown to serve as joint coordinator of a cooperative effort to train pharmacy students to provide HIV testing and counseling at a local volunteer health fair. "Working with a faculty member and the state Health Department, he was able to convince 20 students and 3 faculty members to devote 8 hours a day for 3 days—during holiday break—to the program, so that they could become certified to administer the Rapid Response Test and counsel patients about the results," said Dr. Born. The service will be offered again at health fairs in the 2008-2009 academic year.
Brown brought his enthusiasm for the pharmacy profession to a position as a camp counselor in the college's inaugural UAMS Pharmacy Summer Camp in 2007, where he was active in introducing high school students to the profession. "Thirtyeight high school students attended, and Jared spent every waking moment with the students, accompanying them on field trips to practice sites," said Dr. Born. "He assisted them as they did compounding in our laboratories and taught students how to check their blood pressure and blood glucose."
"It is great that these students were interested in the profession at such an early age," said Brown. "We took more students this year than we expected for last year's camp, and this year there is talk of having 2 camps. We must be doing something right if there is that much of a positive response."
Brown couldn't be a more motivating spokesperson for the profession. "I really enjoy helping students start their journey in the profession," he said.