March 05, 2020
Twenty-three students from the University of New England College of Pharmacy (COP) recently traveled to Augusta to participate in Pharmacy Day at the Maine State House.
The Feb. 25 trip to the state Capitol was organized by the UNE branch of the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists as an opportunity for students to receive informal face time with Maine’s 151 legislators and numerous state employees.
COP students set up a table in the building’s Hall of Flags, where they provided a number of informational resources related to the pharmacy profession, including pamphlets about medications such as naloxone. Students also networked with working pharmacists, health care providers, and students from other schools.
“It was a great opportunity,” said Lauren Brennan (Pharm.D., ’22). “I was able to speak, for quite some time, with a current pharmacy resident who detailed his residency as a primary care pharmacist and the residency process. He gave me great insight for a possible future pharmacy career.”
Three UNE faculty also attended the event: Robert McCarthy, Ph.D., dean of the College of Pharmacy; Kenneth McCall, B.S.Pharm., Pharm.D., CGP, professor and director of residency programs and professional affairs; and Dan Mickool, B.S., R.Ph., M.S., Ed.D., director of COP Continuing Education and clinical instructor in Pharmacy Practice.
The event was the second of its kind held in Maine and was presented by the Maine Pharmacy Association (MPA), of which Mickool is president. The MPA is a member of the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations
“We were thrilled to have the opportunity to advocate for the pharmacy profession and educate representatives on issues relevant to the health care practice,” McCarthy said. “It is important for pharmacy students to realize they can make an impact not just at their practice site but also at the legislative level.”
Brennan echoed that sentiment.
“It is extremely important for future pharmacists to have face time with lawmakers,” she said. “Pharmacists are the ones who need to advocate for their professions because we are the ones who are out in the field seeing what is going on first hand.”