RESPy winner Eliza Dy uses her pharmacy skills to help her community and motivate her classmates.
Eliza Dy, the winner of the October Walmart and Pharmacy Times
RESPy award, chose pharmacy because it allows her to put a human touch on her love of the sciences. A 2011 PharmD candidate at Butler University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (COPHS), Dy has had a big impact on her campus community and the community surrounding Butler’s Indianapolis, Indiana, campus.
Dy was cofounder of the Smoke Free Butler Initiative, a student-led drive to limit smoking on the university’s campus and improve the health of the college community. She helped gather more than 750 signatures in support of the measure and met with university officials to implement the plan. Dy saw smoking restrictions from the Smoke Free Butler Initiative implemented in the fall 2010 semester.
The creation of the Butler University Community Outreach Pharmacy (BUCOP) also stands out among Dy’s accomplishments. As its founding committee chair, Dy helped create this studentled pharmacy to provide free medication and counseling to underserved patients. Working in conjunction with a studentrun health care clinic staffed by students from the Indiana University School of Medicine, BUCOP both helps pharmacy students practice their clinical skills and improves the lives of Indianapolis residents in need.
Dy took a moment to tell Pharmacy Times
about the moment at BUCOP that made all her efforts worthwhile, and the challenges she sees awaiting her after graduation.
What has been your most rewarding extracurricular activity?
The most rewarding activity has been my involvement with the BUCOP. My work as the founding committee chair has meant so much to me, because the BUCOP started out as just an idea for a seemingly impossible project. With a lot of hard work from the COPHS students and faculty, it blossomed into a reality. I will never forget the grand opening day and filling our first prescription. All the long meetings, phone calls, and stress that we had faced to open our doors did not seem to matter anymore. It was amazing that we had accomplished our goal to serve our community with free health care. For everything that I gave to the BUCOP, I know that the BUCOP gave back to me 2-fold.
How would you say you have helped advance the profession of pharmacy?
I believe that serving as a resource in the public health arena is vital to bridging the health care gap that exists in our society today. By exposing students to a free clinic in an economically challenged community, my hope is that I have taught them about the important role pharmacists can play in this setting. If at least one of those student volunteers walks away inspired to use their profession to give back to those in need of health care, I believe that I will have advanced the profession in a truly positive way.
What are your plans after graduation?
My goal after graduation is to continue building upon my clinical skills by doing a pharmacy residency. My longterm professional goal is to build my career in both the clinical and academic settings. My dream job would allow me to practice as a clinical pharmacist while also allowing me to work with students as a lecturer, preceptor, and advisor.
What do you think is the most important issue in the field of pharmacy today?
The inability to adequately manage our patients. While we are taught the information and skills needed to counsel patients on medications, lifestyle modifications, and disease states, I have experienced that patients are not completely exposed to this information. Understaffed pharmacies, overcrowded waiting rooms/ hospital units, and lack of funding for counseling services lead to an overall disservice to our patients. I believe that we need to generate more awareness about this issue and develop new ideas on how to cope with these barriers to better approach patient care.
About the School
Butler University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (COPHS), located in Indianapolis, Indiana, was founded in 1904 and renamed the Indianapolis College of Pharmacy (ICP) in 1914. In 1945, ICP and Butler University merged. Today, Butler’s COPHS offers the Doctor of Pharmacy, Master of Physician Assistant Studies, and Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Studies degrees.
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