Anderson Embodies Spirit of RESPy Award

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

Third-year pharmacy student Leigh Anderson exemplifies the criteria of the RESPy Award with her dedication to making a difference through her community service projects and professional leadership activities.

Ms. Sax is a freelance writer based in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Leigh Ann Anderson, a third-year pharmacy student at theUniversity of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy, believesthat pursuing a career in health care is "the greatest wayyou can impact someone else?s life."

Her dedication to making a difference extends beyond herprofessional training to the community service projects andprofessional activities she pursues in her spare time.

"Leigh stood out early on as someone who sees a need andwants to make other lives better," said Jane E. Wilson, PhD,assistant dean for student affairs at the University of Oklahoma."She has a real heart for service?that is where her passion lies.She is a leader in her class, as well as on campus."

Dr. Wilson said that those qualities contributed to Andersonbeing named the recipient of the college?s prestigious MosierScholar award?an award given to second-year pharmacy studentswho have achieved academic distinction along with astrong record of leadership in community service and extracurricularactivities.

Of her many accomplishments, Anderson is most proud of herinvolvement with the Christian Medical and Dental Association(CMDA). As part of the CMDA, she participated in 3 medical missionsin South America. "I was a pharmacy team coordinator,creating formularies and helping to run the clinics we set up."The experience was rewarding and eye-opening. "In America,we feel we need so much to be happy, but the people we metin South America are happy living much simpler lives," she said.

Last year, as the chair of the First Annual Homeless Healthand Safety Fair held at the City Rescue Mission, a shelter for thehomeless of Oklahoma City, Anderson again focused on helpingthose in need?though this time closer to home. She coordinateda city-wide health fair that served 500 homeless individuals.

"It was the first year we ever did the program, so I first had toidentify the shelter?s needs and then find resources to fill them,"said Anderson. "Once we started planning, we realized that wecould expand the program from its original scope as a part ofPharmacy Week activities to includestudent volunteers from all of ourhealth care colleges."

Various colleges held clothing andtoiletries drives and raised funds."About 500 individuals were given informationabout health resources duringthe event," said Dr. Wilson. Andersonwill serve as chair of the event againthis year and hopes it will be an annualevent. "Leigh got people motivated and involved. It was a truecampus community event spearheaded by the pharmacy school,"said Dr. Wilson.

Anderson currently serves as the regent of the school?sKappa Psi chapter and holds the office of secretary/treasurer inthe College of Pharmacy Student Executive Council. In this role,she was instrumental in initiating a school service project. "Weagreed on a silent auction for the Make-A-Wish Foundation,"said Anderson. "We expected to be able to grant one child?swish, but we raised $17,000 and were actually able to grant awish for 3 children. The project was a great way to get the entirepharmacy school involved. It was great to start something thatI hope will become a tradition," she said.

Anderson plans to pursue a residency after graduation. Forsomeone who is so committed to serving others, the opportunityto make a difference in a setting that allows her to havedirect patient contact is crucial.

She will continue to be involved in community service activitiesas well. "What you get out of life is directly influenced bywhat you put in," she said.

About the School

Since its inception in 1896, the University of Oklahoma Collegeof Pharmacy has had more than 4200 graduates. The college offersstate-of-the-art education and research as well as modern, innovativepharmacy practices and services. A focus on basic and appliedresearch, quality instruction, community and professional service,and extensive instruction in all types of pharmacy practice settingsensures that graduates are prepared to meet the need for pharmaceuticalcare in the current marketplace. The college offers a doctorof pharmacy professional degree program and graduate programsin the pharmaceutical sciences, leading to master of science anddoctor of philosophy degrees.

The Henry D. and Ida Mosier Building in Oklahoma City contains77,000 square feet of modern classrooms, teaching laboratories,faculty and staff offices, research laboratories, and supportfacilities. Through affiliation agreements with the OklahomaHealth Center?s hospitals, as well as other community pharmacies,hospitals, and specialized health organizations, students haveaccess to a variety of outstanding pharmacy practice sites.