Pharmacy Times

Graduate Tops Off Stellar College Years with RESPy Award Win

Author: Jessica A. Smith

Alina Eisen, who recently earned the PharmD title, is bubbling over with thanks for her parents bringing her from Ukraine to America at age 6, for having "wonderful" professors and mentors at the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and for being honored with the Walmart/Pharmacy Times RESPy Award.

"Throughout pharmacy school, I was able to partake in various leadership roles, summer internship programs, and organizations, which have all tremendously benefited my professional development and have allowed me to make positive contributions," said Eisen. "The RESPy Award makes my contribution to the pharmacy profession ever so much more rewarding."

Among Eisen's many contributions, one stands out the most, she said. As co-coordinator of the annual University at Buffalo Pharmacy School Charity Gala in 2007, she helped raise $8500 for the Children's Hearts Fund, a restricted-gift fund within the Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo Foundation.

In addition, Eisen organized several wellness clinics for senior citizens. Serving as a student ambassador and recruiter for her school, Eisen participated in the National Institutes of Health Graduate and Professional School Fair in Bethesda, Maryland. She also donated 76 hours of service to the Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital in Buffalo and volunteered as a pharmacy student guest on Western New York Tonight, a regional television show.

Having been communications officer for the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York, as well as a member of the American Pharmacists Association and the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, Eisen's involvement in the field did not go unnoticed. Throughout her schooling, she was recognized with a number of honors and awards. The 4-year scholarship winner gained membership into honor societies for her outstanding grade point average, which remained between 3.8 and 4.0.

From the time when she was a teen until her graduation last month, Eisen has had a good handle on her career goals. As a senior in high school, an advanced health careers program at the Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital in Buffalo gave her valuable experience spending time with health care professionals on clinical rotations. The program also provided the impetus for pursuing a pharmacy career.

"I am keenly interested in a career that will combine my clinical experience with my drug information training," said Eisen.

Eisen has no shortage of experience or training. She spent her last year of pharmacy school in nontraditional clerkship programs across the country in order to enhance her experiential training. Working in ambulatory neurology, psychiatric pharmacology, and with HIV/AIDS patients in a clinic setting, Eisen also gained more "behind the scenes" skills in her work for the Consumer Health Information Corporation in McLean, Virginia, and the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Office of Surveillance and Epidemiology, Division of Medication Error Prevention, in Silver Springs, Maryland.

The ambitious academic also completed 3 internships during her years of schooling. Eisen said her greatest accomplishment was the development of an e-learning course on drug quality for the US Agency for International Development's Global Health eLearning Center during her 2008 internship with the US Pharmacopeia in Washington, DC. Eisen's efforts have her poised to embark on a successful pharmacy career. "I plan to contribute to the pharmacy revolution in order to allow pharmacists to focus on more patient-oriented duties and contribute to the national mission of helping decrease medication errors," said Eisen.

About the School
The University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, founded in 1886, is ranked among the top pharmacy schools in the country. The school offers professional, undergraduate, and graduate programs aimed at several areas of the pharmaceutical sciences, and has long been known as an innovator in the field of pharmacy.

The RESPy (Respect, Excellence, and Service in Pharmacy) award is presented to the student who has made a difference in his or her community by demonstrating excellence in pharmaceutical care. For more information, please visit www.PharmacyTimes.com.