For Evva Destine Hoover, a pharmacy student at the South Carolina College of Pharmacy, leadership roles are not positions to be filled, but opportunities to make an impact on one’s community. During her time at pharmacy school, the 2016 PharmD candidate has demonstrated this belief through her participation in the Medical University of South Carolina Service Learners International, a student-led group formed to help advance the health care initiatives of Project Medishare. As part of her involvement in the group, Hoover helped to organize annual trips to Haiti, where she and her peers provided care to local patients through mobile clinics and home visits.

“This trip is unique because the students are responsible for every aspect of trip planning, from coffee fundraisers to developing curriculum materials, ensuring traveler safety, and recruiting outstanding faculty to maximize our educational opportunities,” Hoover told Pharmacy Times. “The pharmacy students are able to provide supervised clinical drug information services to the medical teams and facilitate communication with the Haitian pharmacists that handle the medication distribution.”

Hoover was equally happy to lend her talents and passions to local patients by participating in charity fundraisers and serving in free clinics and summer camps for children with cancer and spina bifida. In total, she has volunteered over 600 hours of her time, all while meeting the rigorous academic demands of pharmacy school.

“Volunteering gave me a chance to do something meaningful in between countless hours of studying,” Hoover explained. “I’m always looking for opportunities to give back, and whether it’s doing cancer research, encouraging a child to accomplish a new goal, helping a patient find successful medication reminder strategies, or even shoveling recycled oyster shells to rebuild marine habitat areas, I’ve learned so much from the amazing people I’ve served with and helped.”

In addition, Hoover’s growing pharmacy skills proved essential during her second year, when she witnessed a rollover car accident. As one of the few individuals on the scene with any medical training, she helped reassure the patient, obtained a medical history, and communicated with concerned family members while waiting for first responders to arrive.

“While my ‘clinical knowledge’ was barely developed, my skills in communication, organization, and common sense allowed me to positively impact a patient’s life that day,” Hoover said.

Q: Why did you decide to become a pharmacist?
A: 
For me, pharmacy is the ideal blend of medicine, social work, and business. I had a previous career working with children with disabilities and desired to expand my professional role.

Q: What do you think is the most important quality for a pharmacist to possess?
A:
A love for learning is a key attribute for those in the pharmacy profession. As medication therapy options change frequently, meeting the needs of our patients requires innovative, practical application of our specialized knowledge. Staying abreast of these dynamic changes in health care requires continual education.

Q: What do you think is the most important issue in pharmacy? Why?
A:
Engagement with other health care professions. Although patientcentered care is prominent, prescribing authority is chiefly accomplished through physicians and advanced-practice providers. Improved patient outcomes and health care savings are realized when pharmacists provide direct patient interventions as integral health care team members. Drug costs are volatile, and it requires joint efforts from pharmacy and other health professions to administer the safest, most cost-effective, evidence-based therapies in hospital and community settings.

Q: Is there a specific patient or person you’ve worked with who taught you something that will help you become a better pharmacist?
A:
I have several brilliant professormentors who are passionate about their respective specialties, absolutely love teaching, and emphasize treating every patient as if they were a close family member. Some days, it is easy to lose sight of what we do, and these humble examples inspire me to become the best pharmacist, regardless of practice site.


About the School
The South Carolina College of Pharmacy offers a traditional PharmD program, as well as dualdegree programs that allow students to also pursue an MBA, MPH, or MHIT. Students can also apply to one of the school’s residency and fellowship programs, which provide participants with clinical and research experience.
About RESPy - Brought to you by Walmart and Pharmacy Times
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 PharmacyTimes.com.