RESPy Winner Wears Many "Hatts"
Kayla Hatt, this month's RESPy winner, is dedicated to serving the pharmacy profession through leadership and advocacy.
Ms. Sax is a freelance writer based in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
This month's RESPy Award winner, Kayla Hatt, has longknown she would pursue a career in health care. "Mymother is a nurse, and I always wanted to pursue acareer in health care, so I looked at every health care professionbefore deciding on pharmacy," she said.
Hatt, now in her final year at Drake University College ofPharmacy and Health Sciences, also is very active in legislativeactivities and believes that it is vital for students tounderstand legislation that ultimately will affect their profession."I have a huge interest in legislation and policy," shesaid. "Pharmacy is such a regulated profession, and we areleaving decisions to people whose only knowledge of pharmacyis their trip to [their local pharmacy]."
The realization that she was not as informed as she wouldlike to be led her to serve as membership chair for the DrakePharmacy Unified Group of Students and as the liaison and representativeto the Iowa Pharmacy Association. She also servedas the student political information network chair for the localchapter of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy ofStudent Pharmacists. It was an office that Hatt took to a newlevel—an effort that made an impression on the advisors."Kayla went above and beyond in this endeavor, arrangingweekly sessions for pharmacy students to provide politicalinformation, as well as get them involved in various activities,such as letter-writing campaigns," said Renae Chesnut, associatedean of academic/student affairs at Drake University.
About the School
Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences iscommitted to providing an outstanding curriculum, enhancedwith extracurricular programs focused on developing entrepreneurialleaders with professional commitment to embracechange and advocate for their respective professions.
The college?s Doctor of Pharmacy program is a 6-year courseof study that prepares students for community or institutionalpractice, postgraduate education, or an array of other practiceopportunities for pharmacists. The faculty members of the collegeare committed to providing an active and experiential learningenvironment that requires students to develop knowledge,skills, and attitudes necessary to develop problem-solving and decision-making skills.
Current graduates from the Doctor of Pharmacy program continueinto community-based retail practice, clinic and specialtypractices, hospitals, and long-term care practices. A significant percentageof graduates continue on to postgraduate education andtraining opportunities, such as residency and fellowship training.
This dedication to advocacy is typical for Hatt, and this isshown in all her endeavors. "Kayla has been a role model forall pharmacy students when it comes to service activities inthe public sector," said Chesnut. Hatt has been involved withDes Moines YMCA Healthy Kids Day, activities at the localRonald McDonald House, the Ruby Van Meter ElementarySchool (special needs children), Blank Park Zoo's Night Eyes,and Special Olympics. She also has served as a Blank Children'sHospital Playroom Volunteer, a kindergarten and 2nd gradeSunday school teacher, as well as acoordinator for an American Red Crossblood drive.
Last year, Hatt led efforts for Drakeand University of Iowa students toconduct health screenings at theIowa State Capital during the IowaPharmacy Association's LegislativeDay. "The activity helped the Iowa legislaturein better understanding therole that pharmacists play in health care," said Chesnut.
"When legislators see us in action, they see what we cando," said Hatt. "When we were doing the screenings or handingout educational materials, many of them initially thoughtwe were nurses or medical students. When they realized wewere pharmacy students, you heard a lot of 'Oh, I did not knowpharmacists could do that.' That is just what we need to tellthem we can do. It is the way the profession is moving."
On a national level, Hatt served on the AmericanPharmacists Policy Standing Committee. After attending theUniversity of Utah School on Alcoholism and Other DrugDependencies, Hatt served as the chair of Drake's PharmacyRecovery Network. She said that the experience has helpedher to better understand and treat patients with dependencies.
In September, Hatt will begin a 2-year masters program inHealth System Pharmacy Administration. This leadership programwill help further develop valuable skills Hatt may use upongraduation. Once in the field, with these leadership skills, shewill be able to make an important contribution as an effectiveleader.