Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association selected four students from USciences’ Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, Aali Javid PharmD’11, Kaitlin Pruskowski PharmD’14, Yuqian Liu PharmD’14, and Hansneet Sarang PharmD’14 into PPA’s 4th Annual Government Relations Advocacy for Student Pharmacists (GRASP) program held in Harrisburg, PA, Feb. 18-20, 2011.
PPA’s GRASP program is a three-day legislative conference which focuses on government relations, legislative action, media training, and the regulatory process. Twenty-one students from the schools of pharmacy in Pennsylvania attended the conference, held directly across the street from the state Capitol. Guest speakers from a variety of practice settings addressed the student pharmacists, introducing them to the legislative side of pharmacy.
The speakers consisted of:
- Ed Bechtel, RPh, Counsel for the State Board of Pharmacy, who explained how the State Board of Pharmacy operates and answered questions pertaining to proposed and future regulations
- Coleen Kayden P'78, RPh, Consultant Pharmacist of Medication Information Services, who educated the students on various ways to be more visible to the public by holding screenings and developing close relationships with area physicians, as well as organizing more creative community outreach programs
- and Matt Franchak, Senator Stack (D-Philadelphia) Executive Director spoke about his job and current issues.
- Pat Epple, CAE, CEO of PPA, Matt DiLoreto, Government Relations Manager of PPA, and Angela Robison, Membership Coordinator for PPA who spoke on legislative issues and the importance of advocacy, media relations, policy making, and leadership.
The students were able to collaborate with other students from across the state to tackle some very important issues facing the profession of pharmacy today. The conference also included a tour of Pennsylvania’s magnificent state capitol building.