This month's RESPy Award winner, Lindy Wood, has proven her commitment to the community, advancing the pharmacy profession and excelling academically.
The Wal-Mart/Pharmacy Times RESPy Awardis given to pharmacy students based on theircompletion of voluntary service activities andprofessional/public health?related activities outsidethe classroom, as well as their level of effort toadvance the profession of pharmacy. This month'swinner, Lindy Wood, a 4th-year student at WashingtonState University (WSU), has demonstrated all of thosequalities and has excelled in the eyes of her schooladministrators. In fact, her nomination letter, submittedby Joshua J. Neumiller, PharmD, CGP, FASCP,assistant professor at WSU, Stephen M. Setter, PharmD, CGP,CDE, associate professor at WSU, and Mark Garrison, PharmD,assistant dean of student services and associate professor atWSU, emphatically stated that "Lindy Wood is an extraordinarypharmacy student, and her volunteer work within the Spokane[Washington] community and the Inland Northwest indicateher devotion to bettering the pharmacy profession."
Wood received her motivation to enter the professionfrom her older sister, who is a pharmacist. Although she hadno interest in pharmacy as a career choice at the time andthought it would be a boring profession, Wood changed herperception of pharmacy while still in high school when hersister entered a residency program. She realized that it was notjust about counting pills—"I realized that as a pharmacist, Icould have a lot of personal interaction with patients and helpthem understand their medications."
She applied to and was accepted to WSU, where she quicklybecame involved in various community groups in Spokane,including the Parkinson's Resource Center (PRC) and theInland Northwest Alzheimer's Association. In her third professionalyear, Wood had the opportunity to learn from afellowship-trained movement disorder neurologist, AnthonySantiago, MD—an opportunity that she found invaluable. "Iwas able to work with a fantastic neurologist whonot only taught me a great deal from a medicinestandpoint, but also showed me how to really connectwith patients and listen to their needs," shesaid. She was able to interact with many patientswith Parkinson's disease, as well as other movementdisorders and different forms and degrees ofdementia, and complete medication evaluationsfor these patients. "It was a great opportunity tosee exactly how and why the neurologist wasusing a particular drug and all of the considerationsthat go into tailoring a Parkinson's (or other movementdisorder) regimen," she concluded.
The Washington State University (WSU) College of Pharmacy hasprograms on both of the university's Pullman and Spokane campuses.Students in the doctor of pharmacy program study on the Pullmancampus for the first 2 years and then transfer to classes on theSpokane campus. The university's 4-year professional PharmD programis fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for PharmacyEducation and admits 94 students each year. In addition, the collegeoffers PhD and master's programs in pharmacology/toxicology; amaster's degree program in health policy and administration; as wellas degrees in exercise sciences and dietetics.
Her work at the PRC deepened her interest in working withpatients with movement disorders. Wood is now a memberof the Board of Directors of the PRC (and represents the firststudent member appointed). She leads her own section of thePRC newsletter and has volunteered at the center by answeringphone calls and e-mails and participating in its annual "Carnivalof Wellness." In addition, she gave an educational talk aboutmanaging the side effects of Parkinson's drugs, as part of thePRC's monthly TeleHealth program, in which the organizationbrings in a speaker, and the talk is broadcast throughout variouslocations in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and Alaska.
Wood also has served as president for the Epsilon Chapterof Rho Chi, the pharmacy honor society at WSU. This positionallowed her to finely tune her leadership skills, and under herguidance, the chapter increased its volunteerism efforts andsocial activities, including peer tutoring and volunteering at alocal food bank. She also is an active member of a number ofnational, state, and local pharmacy organizations.
After graduation, Wood hopes to complete an ambulatoryresidency with the geriatrics team at WSU. After that, she isinterested in pursuing a fellowship to obtain further trainingin geriatric care, with a possible focus on movement disordersand Alzheimer's disease. Because of her strong interest inacademia and teaching, she also hopes to pursue that avenuein the future.
The Wal-Mart/Pharmacy Times RESPy Award
The 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.