Hoda Masmouei, a fourth-year PharmD candidate at Nova Southeastern University College of Pharmacy, believes that strong leadership is the key to bringing positive changes to the practice of pharmacy.
Following this philosophy, Masmouei has been involved in leading several student organizations. With an avid interested in technology, she created the first student group for pharmacy informatics in the nation to be recognized by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, the Pharmacy Informatics Special Interest Group. The group focuses on creating awareness, training, and opportunities in pharmacy automation and informatics and has brought in speakers from the National Institutes of Health, arranged onsite visits with Cleveland Clinic Florida, and created an infrastructure to sustain learning about health information technologies and mobile health. Her experience in establishing this student organization led her to attend the Medicine 2.0 Congress at Harvard Medical School last year as one of the few attendants representing pharmacy.
As the president of the Florida Society of Health-System Pharmacists Student Chapter, Masmouei helped to prepare her peers for their professional lives, organizing workshops on job interviews and resumes as well as residency and fellowship showcases. She also serves as the vice president of the Pharmacy Leadership Society student chapter, as vice president of the Student Government Association, and on the public affairs council for the Florida Society of Health-System Pharmacists.
Masmouei uses her leadership skills in community efforts as well. As an active member of Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity, she co-chaired a dance marathon fundraiser, raising more than $10,000 for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatrics AIDS Foundation.
Recognizing the need for an increased presence of pharmacists in research, Masmouei has conducted research throughout her time as a student. As an undergraduate, she worked on diabetes research supported by the National Institutes of Health and published in The Journal of the Federation of the American Societies for Experimental Biology. She continued to work on diabetes clinical research in pharmacy school, currently assisting with a study exploring the relationships between health literacy, knowledge of diabetes, and medication adherence and the role of text message reminders on clinical outcomes.
Her academic success and her strong leadership skills demonstrated were recognized this year as she was named the Nova Southeastern University College of Pharmacy Student of the Year.
Leda Ramoz has dedicated much of her time as a PharmD candidate at the Temple University School of Pharmacy working to improve and impact the health and wellness of the surrounding community. Her focus on natural remedies has helped to give herself and her peers greater knowledge and appreciation for the origins of modern medicine.
Recognizing the need for a better understanding of health and wellness in her community in northern Philadelphia, Ramoz rallied together a group of students from the Temple University School of Pharmacy to establish a medicinal and edible learning garden. The garden features more than 50 different medicinal and edible plants. While the garden is focused on natural therapies and medicines, the project also works to provide healthy options to the community.
Ramoz not only led the building of the garden, but also founded a new student group, the Temple University Health Sciences Medicinal Garden Alliance, to unite student health care providers studying pharmacy, medicine, dentistry, and podiatric medicine to initiate positive changes in the health and wellness of the community.
The group works to educate students on natural medicine to provide future patients with natural therapies and teach the community about sustainable gardening, companion planting, and the pharmaceutical link between nature and household and personal products.
During the last year, Ramoz organized community workshops and outreach events, including a summer open house event in the newly built garden that educated almost 100 individuals on sustainability and general health topics.
Collaborating with the Ambler School of Environmental Design, Ramoz further expanded the project by developing a horticultural therapy and natural pharmaceutical products workshop, instructing individuals in natural soap making. She has presented this workshop to several local groups, including the Tioga Senior Center.
To further promote health and sustainability within the community, Ramoz obtained a grant to establish a local farmer’s market, working with the Philadelphia Food Trust and Farm to City to recruit farmers. The Temple University Office of Sustainability also contributed to the project, helping to secure a location for the market on Temple’s Health Sciences Campus. Ramoz is expected to graduate in 2014.
Combining her interests in legislation and pharmacy, Natalie Schmitz has distinguished herself as a leader during her academic career. She is pursuing both a PharmD and a master’s in public administration and is expected to graduate in May 2014.
Schmitz demonstrated her advocacy for pharmacy in the political arena through her volunteer work as a 2013 legislative intern with Iowa Senator Jack Hatch. In this position, she has been involved with the recently passed expansion of pharmacists’ immunization authority. She has also been involved in the Medicaid expansion effort and the inclusion of medication therapy management in the state Medicaid budget. She also helped to promote the Iowa Pharmacy Association’s Legislative Day this past spring, encouraging student attendance as well as participating herself, with the goal of helping fellow students understand the connection between pharmacy practice and legislation.
In addition to her advocacy efforts, Schmitz also realizes the importance of education and research. She assisted Drake faculty in research analyzing challenges pharmacists face in providing medication therapy management, sharing the results of the project with a poster presentation at the Iowa Pharmacy Association annual meeting. As an intern, she also participated in clinical drug trials, participating in the drug preparation, data collection, and patient care and working with the Iowa Diabetes & Endocrinology Center. She is also a teaching assistant for 2 courses in the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences.
Schmitz is passionate about community service, holding a leadership role with the Drake Fund Phonathon. In this position, she teaches new employees how to effectively network, relate to, and fundraise with alumni, involving several weeks of training sessions as well as ongoing assessments and coaching on ways the student employees can improve their fundraising skills. She not only volunteers her time locally, but also worked to impact the global community during her medical service trip to Honduras last spring.
Her other activities include serving as the Iowa Pharmacy Association Drake student liaison to the College and Board of Trustees, participating in Drake’s Student Leadership Development series, and being a member of the Pharmacy Leadership Society, Phi Lambda Sigma.
Schmitz’s hard work both in and outside the classroom have been recognized by her selection into the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Wal-Mart Scholars Program, which allows students to attend AACP’s annual meeting and seminars.