For Timmellyn Buchanan, a career in pharmacy has been a passionate calling since she was a teenager. “Knowing my love for education and for helping people, my grandfather suggested to me that I look into pharmacy as a career,” said Buchanan, who will graduate from the University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy as a PharmD in June 2011. “I love the opportunity to help people, and my pharmacy knowledge provides a very tangible way to help meet the needs of all types of people around the world.”
Buchanan’s commitment to her academic studies and dedication to helping the underserved, in her local community and abroad, have made her both a leader at the University of Oklahoma, and the Walmart/Pharmacy Times RESPy winner for January.
As chair of the 3rd Annual City Rescue Mission (CRM) Homeless Health and Safety Fair this past year, Buchanan collaborated with leaders from other colleges on campus to organize volunteers, services, and product donations to benefit the homeless population in her community. Buchanan’s innovative thinking led to the inclusion of a new children’s program and an expanded focus on women’s health at the fair. Thanks to Buchanan’s leadership and communication skills, more than 185 students provided health care information and screening services to more than 200 homeless people who ordinarily have little or no access to quality health care.
Buchanan has certainly been an inspiration to fellow students when it comes to serving others, and she uses her leadership skills to create opportunities for peers to help in ways big and small. She helped establish a chapter of Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International (CPFI), a campus group that currently has 66 members. In her role as CPFI president, Buchanan organized the first annual campuswide Student Weekend Retreat at the CRM, during which students and faculty worked at the mission and learned how to better help the underserved. As Phi Lambda Sigma president, Buchanan organizes monthly seminars for students and provides valuable resources about volunteering. In her role as Kappa Psi service chair, she organized a campus-wide coat drive, coordinated a group of volunteers for Habitat for Humanity, and assisted with the Pharmacy Student Council’s annual fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Buchanan’s dedication to service extends far beyond her local community in Oklahoma City. She is currently preparing for a Christian Medical and Dental Association trip to Pucallpa, Peru, to volunteer in clinics during spring break. Traveling with 50 volunteers from various health care fields, Buchanan will run a pharmacy in a remote location, providing much needed medications and counseling. To raise funds for the trip, she is organizing a Global Gala to garner local support for the project.
Looking toward the future, Buchanan is considering a community residency to help prepare her for a career as an independent pharmacy owner. She plans to own and operate a pharmacy in a rural area, where she can be a vital part of the community and make a positive impact on patients. Buchanan would also like to stay active in the academic community by teaching part time at a college of pharmacy.
In thinking about her promising career, Buchanan reflects that even in a busy, modern pharmacy setting, patient care will remain her priority. “I believe it is vital that pharmacists take an active role in educating patients on how to best manage and improve their disease state through appropriate lifestyle modifications and medication compliance. Counseling is the most valuable service we can provide our patients,” explains Buchanan. ■
About the School
The University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy, founded in 1896, has locations in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma. It offers the Doctor of Pharmacy professional degree program and graduate programs in the Pharmaceutical Sciences, leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. The College of Pharmacy and the Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Allied Health, and Public Health all have elements of their programs at the Schusterman Center on the Tulsa campus, thereby enhancing the potential for interdisciplinary learning, collaborative practice, and research.
The Walmart/Pharmacy Times Respy Award
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.