This month's RESPy Award winner, Bonnie Hui, is dedicated to advancing the profession of pharmacy through many different efforts.
Although she was not immediately sure thatshe wanted to be a pharmacist upon enteringpharmacy school, Bonnie Hui, this month'sRESPy Award winner, feels positive now that shemade the right decision to pursue pharmacy as acareer. Once she entered pharmacy school at theUniversity of Southern California (USC) School ofPharmacy, Hui immediately started gathering asmuch information about the profession as possible,which is what led her to become actively involvedin various professional pharmacy organizations.R. Pete Vanderveen, PhD, RPh, dean of the USCSchool of Pharmacy, has recognized Hui's commitment tothe profession and stated in his nomination letter, "She hasdemonstrated outstanding commitment to public and professionalservice, both on local and national levels, representingour student body regionally and nationally, repeatedly beingidentified and selected by her peers to serve in substantialleadership roles."
In her first year of pharmacy school, in order to learnmore about the profession of pharmacy, Hui joined severalprofessional organizations, including the AmericanPharmacists Association (APhA), the California PharmacistsAssociation (CPhA), and the American Pharmacy StudentAlliance (APSA)—an umbrella organization involving APhA,CPhA, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists,the California Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and theInternational Pharmaceutical Students' Federation (IPSF).Now in her third year at USC School of Pharmacy, Hui is currentlyserving as copresident of APSA. This year, in celebrationof American Pharmacists Month, she helped to manage theplanning process and secure financial support fora campus-wide, interdisciplinary event to promotethe unity of the pharmacy profession along withother health care disciplines on campus—over500 students and faculty attended. In addition, alocal popular radio station attended the event andallowed the students to promote the event; onestudent even spoke with Ryan Seacrest about how"pharmacists can save your life!"
Founded in 1905, the University of Southern California (USC) Schoolof Pharmacy has a vision of "setting the direction for pharmaceuticalcare, education, and research." The school has an annual averagestudent body of approximately 743 full-time students in the Doctorof Pharmacy program. The USC School of Pharmacy is located nextto the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, one of the largestteaching hospitals in the world, where USC health sciences studentsreceive much of their clinical training.
USC, an innovator, was the first school of pharmacy to establishthe Doctor of Pharmacy degree as the first professional degree. Inthe USC program, emphasis is given to the application of drug knowledgein patient care. The pharmacist becomes an active and integralmember of the patient care team.
Hui has also coordinated and participated innumerous health fairs throughout Los Angeles.Most notably, for the past 2 years, she has helpedput together the annual USC Legislative Day Breakfast andHealth Fair. These events brought together state and local legislatorsand association representatives and included 22 boothswhere student pharmacists provided various clinical services.
Volunteerism is also central to Hui's pharmacy career. Thispast summer, Hui volunteered at a rural hospital in Ghana,Africa, through the IPSF's student exchange program, whereshe dispensed various medications, counseled patients on theproper usage of the medications, and shadowed health careprofessionals in several wards. While in Ghana, she also participatedin the Ghana Drug Safety Outreach Campaign 2008,where she helped educate over 1500 students about the properuse of drugs and discussed topics like HIV/AIDS, vaginal infections,and other common health problems.
The Wal-Mart/Pharmacy Times RESPy Award
RESPy (Respect, Excellence, and Service in Pharmacy) is presented to the student who has made a difference in his or her community by demonstrating excellence in pharmaceutical care.
Hui believes that the media is an essential tool for promotingthe pharmacy profession. She has produced 2 short films forthis purpose; the first, which demonstrated how medicationerrors can be prevented, took top honors at the first annualPharmacy Foundation of California Pharmacy Film Festival.Hui also produced a short commercial on educating the publicon proposed California budget cuts, which won first place in acontest sponsored by the California Democratic Party.
After graduation, Hui plans to pursue a residency in communitypharmacy practice. Because of her strong interest inpromoting pharmacy internationally, she would also like toimplement interdisciplinary health programs abroad.