Kathleen Kawar, the latest RESPy Award winner, has shown significant leadership skills to advance the pharmacy profession.
Ms. Sax is a freelance writer based in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Kathleen Kawar, a fifth-year student at the Arnold &Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and HealthSciences of Long Island University (LIU), proves that youcan lead with a quiet example. Kawar is involved in many communityoutreach projects and professional programs. It isthrough these programs that she has become known as adependable team member who, in a low-key way, makes a bigimpact on those around her.
This year, Kawar serves as the president of the college's chapterof the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists(ASHP). "Once she took on the responsibility for the [ASHP] chapter,she looked for opportunities where she could make a difference,"said Patrick Campbell, director of student and professionalactivities, who submitted Kawar's nomination. "She organizeda poison prevention elementary education program with pharmacystudents and clinical staff member Dr. Catherine Tom-Revson, which took place at a local first-grade classroom, and sheorganized an information table on pharmacy as a profession at alocal high school health fair. Whenever an opportunity came up,she was right there to take part." She also coordinated a"Medicines in My Home" lesson for use in a local high schoolclassroom.
About the School
The Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and HealthSciences is Long Island University?s oldest unit. Established in 1886as the Brooklyn College of Pharmacy, the college has completedmore than 100 years of service to the state and the nation in educatingmore than 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students?manywho have attained prominence in pharmacy and the other healthprofessions.
Dean Stephen Gross, EdD, calls the college a ?modern and modelurban institution that provides access and excellence to those [students]who are interested in pursuing a career in pharmacy andrelated areas.? Dr. Gross said that the school?s extraordinary facultyand state-of-the-art laboratories and facilities are integrated with themost prestigious and comprehensive array of clinical affiliations inthe United States. Over 30 major medical centers and long-term carefacilities, hundreds of community pharmacies, and the school?sworld-renowned Drug Information Center participate in the school?snetwork. The college focuses on preparing students for contemporarypractice, while envisioning future trends and expanded roles.
Kawar said these activities are the most meaningful to her. "Ilove working with ASHP, because they are focused on how ourprofession is changing to become more clinically focused. I reallyliked working on the poison prevention and ?Medicines in MyHome' projects, because I like to work with children, and thesewere great opportunities to educate kids about medicationsafety and safety in the home," she said.
Kawar also participates in health fairs, most recently inBrooklyn Hospital's asthma and smoking cessation clinics. Shealso led the ASHP chapter'sparticipation in their hypertensionscreening and counselingtable at a local health fair.
Since the college places significantemphasis on expandingthe scope of pharmacypractice through legislativeadvocacy and leadership, it isno surprise that Kawar hashelped organize PharmacyLobby Day in Albany, in whichshe also participated. At thisevent, she met with state legislatorsto encourage broadening the pharmacists' scope ofpractice.
"We have been taught that it is important for people to knowwhat a big impact pharmacists can have on a patient's health,"she said. "It is important for us to educate legislators on whatwe are able to do to better help patients and have a greaterimpact on the health care system." Kawar visited Albany twicelast year—once with 400 pharmacy LIU students and again withthe New York State Council of Health-System Pharmacists—tomeet with legislators.
The Wal-Mart/Pharmacy Times RESPy AWARD(Respect, Excellence, and Service inPharmacy) is presented to thestudent who has made a differencein his or her community by demonstratingexcellence in pharmaceuticalcare. For more information, pleasevisit www.pharmacytimes.com/RESPy.
Being in the New York metropolitan area offers unique challengesand opportunities. In 2006, Kawar led a group of pharmacystudents to appear on ABC's Good Morning America to promotethe profession during American Pharmacists Month. "Wemade signs promoting pharmacy and urging people to talk totheir pharmacists. It was really exciting," she said.
Her quiet confidence has made her a standout student. "Thegreat thing about Kathleen is that she is always giving her best.You can always count on her, yet she does not always push herselfforward," said Campbell.