Meet the Future Pharmacist of the Year Award Winners and Finalists for 2013.
The Future Pharmacist of the Year Award is presented to a student who demonstrates spirit and passion for the profession.
The Next-Generation PharmacistTM
Awards is a national program created by Pharmacy Times
and Parata that salutes pharmacy professionals who are defining the industry’s future. Now in its fourth year, the Next-Generation PharmacistTM
Awards recognize pharmacy leaders across a wide range of practice settings who embody that future vision. Winners are honored in ten distinct categories for their contributions to the profession (go to www.PharmacyTimes.com to the Next-Gen section
The Future Pharmacist of the Year Award is presented to a pharmacy student who demonstrates spirit and passion for the profession, primarily through academic achievement in conjunction with one or more of the following criteria: industry advocacy, patient advocacy, technology innovation, civic leadership, and environmentalism. The 2013 finalists and winners were honored at the NACDS Total Store Expo held in Las Vegas in August.
Meet the 2013 Future Pharmacist of the Year
Hoda Masmouei, PharmD Candidate
Nova Southeastern University
Hoda Masmouei, a fourth-year PharmD candidate at Nova Southeastern University College of Pharmacy, believes that strong leadership is the key to bringing positive changes to the practice of pharmacy.
“We live an era in which our health care system is rapidly changing,” she said. “Therefore, the need for proactive pharmacists with leadership skills is felt more than ever.”
Following this philosophy, Masmouei has been involved in leading several student organizations. Recognizing the critical role of technology in providing quality, cost-effective care, she created the first student group for pharmacy informatics in the nation to be recognized by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists—the Pharmacy Informatics Special Interest Group. The group focuses on creating awareness, training, and opportunities in pharmacy automation and informatics and has brought in speakers from the National Institutes of Health, arranged onsite visits with Cleveland Clinic Florida, and created an infrastructure to sustain learning about health information technologies and mobile health.
She has also served as president of the Florida Society of Health-System Pharmacists Student Chapter, vice president of the Pharmacy Leadership Society Student Chapter, and vice president of the Student Government Association. As an active member of Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity, she co-chaired a dance marathon fundraiser that raised more than $10,000 for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.
In addition to her leadership roles, Masmouei has conducted research throughout her time as a student. As an undergraduate, she worked on diabetes research supported by the National Institutes of Health and is currently assisting with a study exploring the relationships between health literacy, knowledge of diabetes, and medication adherence and the role of text message reminders on clinical outcomes.
Masmouei urges her fellow students to become active student leaders in order to become effective pharmacists in the future.
“Students should expand upon their leadership skills to be able to keep the profession moving forward in this dynamic health care system,” she said.
Meet the Future Pharmacist Honorees
Temple University School of Pharmacy
Leda Ramoz has dedicated much of her time as a PharmD candidate at the Temple University School of Pharmacy to working to improve and impact the health and wellness of the surrounding community. Her focus on natural remedies has helped to give herself and her peers greater knowledge and appreciation for the origins of modern medicine.
Recognizing the need for a better understanding of health and wellness in her community in northern Philadelphia, Ramoz rallied together a group of students from the Temple University School of Pharmacy to establish a medicinal and edible learning garden. The garden features more than 50 different medicinal and edible plants. While the garden is focused on natural therapies and medicines, the project also provides healthy dietary options to the community.
Ramoz not only led the building of the garden, but also founded a new student group, the Temple University Health Sciences Medicinal Garden Alliance, to unite student health care providers studying pharmacy, medicine, dentistry, and podiatric medicine to initiate positive changes in the health and wellness of the community.
“The aim of the organization is to provide lessons about sustainable organic gardening, companion planting, and the pharmaceutical link between nature and household and personal products,” she said.
To further promote health and sustainability within the community, Ramoz obtained a grant to establish a local farmer’s market, working with the Philadelphia Food Trust and Farm to City to recruit farmers. The Temple University Office of Sustainability also contributed to the project, helping to secure a location for the market on Temple’s Health Sciences Campus. Ramoz, who is expected to graduate in 2014, strongly believes that such community efforts will help to further the profession.
“I feel the future of pharmacy will place a greater emphasis on devising novel methods to engage patients outside the traditional health care setting in order to improve their health and wellness,” she said.
Des Moines, IA
Combining her interests in legislation and pharmacy, Natalie Schmitz has distinguished herself as a leader during her academic career. She is pursuing both a PharmD and a master’s in public administration and is expected to graduate in May 2014.
“Being enrolled in 2 different programs simultaneously prepared me to view challenges from multiple viewpoints,” Schmitz said. “I believe the combination of these degrees will help prepare me to be a leader and best serve those in need.”
Schmitz demonstrated her advocacy for pharmacy in the political arena through her volunteer work as a 2013 legislative intern with Iowa Senator Jack Hatch. In this position, she has been involved with the recently passed expansion of pharmacists’ immunization authority. She has also been involved in the Medicaid expansion effort and the inclusion of medication therapy management in the state Medicaid budget. She also helped to promote the Iowa Pharmacy Association’s Legislative Day this past spring, encouraging student attendance as well as participating herself, with the goal of helping fellow students understand the connection between pharmacy practice and legislation.
In addition to her advocacy efforts, Schmitz also realizes the importance of education and research. She assisted Drake faculty in research analyzing challenges pharmacists face in providing medication therapy management, sharing the results of the project with a poster presentation at the Iowa Pharmacy Association annual meeting. She is also a teaching assistant for 2 courses in the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences.
To prepare for the evolving health care landscape, Schmitz suggests that students be involved in a wide range of activities.
“Finding ways to be involved as a student instills lifelong skills that are readily transferable to a variety of positions and circumstances,” she said. “Striving for life balance and to be a well-rounded professional will prepare students regardless of changes that may arise.”