Touro College of Pharmacy Student Receives Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Practice Award
Touro College of Pharmacy Student Colleen Kim received the 2015 Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Practice Award from the United States Public Health Service.
Six years ago, Colleen Kim was employed as a software engineer in San Diego, California, putting her degree in aerospace engineering to work. Engaged to be married and working for one of the leading manufacturers of mobile communications, life was good.
But the University of California, San Diego, grad wanted to keep learning, and so in the evenings she continued to take classes in a range of subjects, including biology, a subject she found fun for the first time in her life. She wanted to know more about health care, and when a friend achieved a long-coveted goal of a slot in pharmacy school, she became curious and began to explore the pharmacy profession.
“I was fascinated with tissues and cells and wanted to understand more about the body and the health care field," she said. "I decided to take my career in a new direction and go to pharmacy school.”
And so she did. Last week Kim -- a new mom with her husband and 7-month-old in tow, and a part-time position as a pharmacist awaiting her at a major New York City hospital pharmacy upon receiving her license -- graduated from Touro College of Pharmacy (TCOP).
She was awarded the prestigious “Excellence in Public Health Service Award” from the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) for her commitment to public health, leadership, education, and community outreach on HIV and AIDS awareness, as well as prescription drug abuse.
The award was presented in recognition of her 4 years of service in the public health arena while studying at TCOP for her doctorate degree granted at commencement ceremonies May 27, 2015.
The USPHS award was presented at a banquet on the eve of commencement by Liatte Krueger, PharmD, USPHS.
“This annual award recognizes a student who has demonstrated a commitment to public health through pharmacy practice,” said Dr. Krueger, adding that Kim “has displayed commitment to public health and community participation.”
Dr. Krueger cited a long list of Kim’s activities including chairing the Student National Pharmaceutical Associations’ ‘Remember the Ribbon’ HIV/ADS Committee, and earning recognition for Touro with its participation in the largest number of HIV/AIDS events among the 23 pharmacy schools in the northeast that make up Region 1 and for having the greatest number of students and Walgreens pharmacies participate in HIV/AIDS community events among all pharmacy schools in the United States.
She also cited Kim’s work with TCOP’s Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Education Program, which educates high school students in Staten Island about the consequences of prescription drug abuse, and her leadership of Touro’s chapter of the American Pharmacist Association Academy of Student Pharmacists and its efforts in a nationwide campaign to further spread awareness on this issue.
“I am delighted that Colleen Kim is the recipient of the Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Practice Award,” said Dr. Zvi Loewy, interim dean of the College. “Colleen has excelled at Touro College of Pharmacy in the didactic program as well as in our clinical program. Most notably, Colleen led and contributed to several key public health initiatives during her 4 years at Touro.”
Kim said she was honored and humbled to be receiving the award, as well as grateful to her colleagues and professors for their support.
“Touro College of Pharmacy helped me recognize the importance of public health and how pharmacists can have a leading role in building a healthier community," she said. "I hope to continue to show excellence in public health as a health care professional.”