Robinson's Tireless Work, Volunteerism Earn Her RESPy Award

MARCH 01, 2009
Jessica A. Smith, Assistant Editor

Jamie Lynn Robinson

It has been more than 20 years since Jamie Lynn Robinson asked herself the question, ?What would you do if you knew you could not fail?? A high school student and hospital volunteer at the time, Robinson?s resounding answer was that she wanted to become a pharmacist. She has not looked back since.

Robinson is a third-year, nontraditional student at Washington State University (WSU) College of Pharmacy. That workload, along with being a single mother to 2 girls, would be overwhelming for some. For Robinson, it is just the tip of the iceberg. She finds time for extensive community involvement and volunteer efforts, showing her commitment to the field of pharmacy?making her an ideal candidate for the Walmart/ Pharmacy Times RESPy Award.

?I?ve been fortunate in so many ways through all these years,? said Robinson. ?I worked with pharmacists who loved their jobs, parents who are encouraging, 2 daughters who are the biggest fans anyone could wish for, teachers who encourage me to strive and push past any fears I may have, and been very, very lucky to volunteer in some incredible places.?

Among those places was Harrison Medical Center in Washington, where she started volunteer work as a teen. Robinson?s work ethic won her a paid position as a pharmacy technician, which helped foster her dream. She went on to donate time at the Snake River Community Clinic and Idaho State Veterans Home in Lewiston, Idaho, as a pharmacy intern.

About the School

The Washington State University College of Pharmacy offers a 4-year professional PharmD program that is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). The program admits 94 students each year. The college also offers degrees in pharmacology, health policy and administration, exercise science, and dietetics.

Robinson?s volunteer efforts hit closer to home when a friend fell ill with Lou Gehrig?s disease. Her mother, a registered nurse, coordinated the efforts of Robinson and others to care for the friend during the last 2 months of her life. ?I feel as though she gave far more to me in comparison to the help I was able to give her,? said Robinson. ?It was a blessing to have a small part in her last days.?

Most recently, Robinson has given hours of her packed schedule to Peninsula Community Health Services, the local 340B community clinic. After volunteering there for 3 years, she was made a paid pharmacy intern, and she plans to continue working at the clinic after graduation. ?I love the pharmacists and technicians who work there?they have a respect and appreciation for their patients that is inspiring. And I love our patients at the clinic. They come from a wide and varied background and are appreciative of the care they receive.?

In addition to serving patients through volunteer work, Robinson carves out time to serve her community while supporting the pharmacy field. As a member of the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists, she is on the Midyear Regional Meeting Planning Committee. As a champion of health and wellness, Robinson is on the Operation Immunization public relations committee, and has assisted in organizing community and campus wellness fairs. Her membership on the Cougar Health Awareness Team has her coordinating health awareness activities across the WSU campus and throughout Pullman, Washington.

Robinson was thrilled to hear about being chosen for the RESPy award, but remained modest. ?The RESPy award stands for the things that I love about pharmacy and all the things that I have strived to become as a pharmacist,? said Robinson. ?I feel like I?ve just been doing what I love, and to be rewarded for it beyond that is an incredible honor.?

?She is truly a role model for her colleagues, as well as younger professional students,? said Dana Lohrey, Pharmacy Student Services Director. ?She has done an excellent job of balancing her family commitments, academic and professional pursuits, and community involvement.?