Pharmacy Times, in conjunction withWal-Mart, is pleased to announce theestablishment of a national award, to beknown as "the RESPy AWARD," to honoroutstanding pharmacy students who displayexemplary behavior and great potentialas community pharmacist candidates.As Ron Chomiuk, vice president ofWal-Mart Pharmacy Operations, stated,"Pharmacy students are the future of ourprofession, and those selected for this award demonstratethat they are embracing these values through service to theircommunity and will continue to act on these values as pharmacists."
Eight RESPy AWARD winners will be chosen each year, featuredin Pharmacy Times magazine, and honored with theirrespective college of pharmacy. Students selected to receivethe award also will receive a cash award and will be offered asummer internship with Wal-Mart.
How to Submit Nominations
Nominations for future RESPy AWARDs can be submitted by deansof pharmacy schools nationwide and should be sent to EmilieMcCardell, editorial director of Pharmacy Times, at email@example.com. All nominations will be reviewed by aselect panel, including representatives from Pharmacy Times,Wal-Mart, and academia. Some criteria on which the pharmacystudent will be selected are as follows:
- Demonstration of voluntary public service activities
- Demonstration of a high level of professional/public health-relatedactivities outside the classroom
- Demonstration of a high level of effort to advance the professionof pharmacy in the public arena
Pharmacy Times would like to congratulate our RESPy AWARDwinner, Mandy Billingsley. We eagerly await the nominationand selection of future award winners!
The Wal-Mart/Pharmacy Times RESPy AWARD (Respect,Excellence, and Service in Pharmacy) ispresented to the student who has made a differencein his or her community by demonstratingexcellence in pharmaceutical care.
PHARMACY STUDENT SEEKS TO SERVE
Mandy Billingsley embodies the characteristics that everypharmacy student needs to prepare for a life of service topatients. She excels in the classroom, is involved in a multitudeof professional activities, and is a model of professionalism andrespect for others. Mandy is a sophomore at the University ofArkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Pharmacy.
Reared in a family of educators, Mandy was destined for academicachievement. Her grandfather and her parents developedtheir careers as teachers. "Education was always a priorityin my family," she recalled.
This early grounding obviously has fueled her drive to achievean enviable academic record. She also has found ways to balancethe rigors of academe with community service projects.After graduating as valedictorian of her high school class, shewon a scholarship to attend the University of Arkansas inFayetteville, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree inchemistry.
"I always knew I wanted to be a part of the health care team,but I did not know my career path until I began working at aVeterans Administration hospital," she explained. There shelearned the importance of patient counseling, which wasenhanced by her summer work at a Wal-Mart in her hometown.She was able to form relationships with patients there,and her experience in community pharmacy strengthened hercareer goals.
In an effort to experience all facets of the profession, Mandyhas worked in community, hospital, and nuclear pharmacy. "Ihave thoroughly enjoyed developing relationships with patientsthrough health screenings. I know that all paths of pharmacyoffer rewarding careers," she said.
Of meaningful role models in her life, she stated,"My mentorsinclude all of the pharmacists I have worked with in the past.They have given me skills and life lessons that I hope to apply inmy practice." She also considers her professors role models. "Ihope one day to reach their level of knowledgeand confidence," she added.
Student involvement and leadershiphave been important in Mandy'sdevelopment as a professional. Sheis an active member of theAmerican Pharmacists AssociationAcademy of StudentPharmacists (APhA-ASP), NationalCommunity PharmacistsAssociation, Student Society ofthe American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, StudentSociety of Nuclear Pharmacy,Phi Delta Chi, Phi LambdaSigma, and Rho Chi. "I think that being an active member of anypharmacy organization is a great way to promote pharmacy.Through membership in these organizations, I have participatedin patient care projects, fundraising, and leadership experiences," she said.
She explained that, collectively, these organizations haveshown her the importance of patient care, through projectssuch as Heartburn Awareness, Operation Immunization, andhealth fair screenings. She said, "I have developed my clinicalskills and patient communication skills and have learned theneed for advocating for my profession."
Mandy sits on the local policy and legislation committee forthe APhA-ASP. She attended the APhA-ASP Annual Meeting inSan Francisco, where she served nationally as the Region 6 representativeof the New Business Review Committee. As thecommunity service chair of Phi Delta Chi, she organized theadoption of a highway mile in the Keep Arkansas BeautifulCampaign, and she helped to develop a window display forbody mass index screenings at a local pharmacy. She alsorecently was appointed as a student representative on theorganization and administration committee of the 2006 UAMSAccreditation Council for Pharmacy Education Self-Study Plan.
"I would advise students to be active members of pharmacyorganizations. It allows us to have a voice in pharmacy, and participatingin organizations can enhance a student's desire forpharmacy," she said. "My involvement in student organizationshas shown me the significance of active student pharmacists inthe policy-making process and patient care projects," sheadded.
About the College
Established in 1951, the UAMS College of Pharmacy, underthe leadership of Dean Stephanie Gardner, provides outstandingpharmacy education, pharmaceutical research, and pharmacypractice. Students are taught by faculty membersengaged in innovative, world-class, nationally recognizedresearch. The College's new Center for PharmaceuticalEvaluation and Policy promotes evidence-based optimal practicesand public policy in the cost-efficient delivery of pharmaceuticalcare. Our Poison Control Center is available 24/7 tocitizens in need, and our Drug Information Center offers themost current data on best practices to health care providers.The Arkansas Pharmacists Association and the Arkansas StateBoard of Pharmacy partner with the College to ensure professionalexcellence. The College was cited in April 2005 amongthe top 50 schools in a US News and World Report list of the topprograms of pharmacy education in the country. For furtherinformation about the College of Pharmacy and its programs,visit www.uams.edu/cop.