Pacific’s American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Academy of Student Pharmacists (ASP) was awarded the Innovative Chapter of the Year award in March 2011 at the APhA Annual Meeting and Exposition in Seattle. This is the second year in a row for ASP Pacific.
The award recognizes the single chapter that has excelled in implementing an innovative program that promotes both the mission of APhA‐ASP and the profession of pharmacy. Chapters may report on a single activity or a series of activities based on a central theme that is original, creative, and sets their chapter apart from all other APhA‐ASP Chapters.
Last year they received the recognition for organizing a health fair which fundraised for the Community Center for the Blind and lending a helping hand to a local baseball team in preparation for the Beep Baseball World Series, the adaptive version of America’s favorite pastime for the blind and visually impaired.
Early 2010, Andy Chan ’11, 2009-2010 ASP President, proposed the idea of utilizing Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels to post a new pharmacy fact every day during October of American Pharmacists Month. APhA-ASP Pacific later launched “Face the Nation, Face the Facts” campaign in coordination with APhA’s theme, “Many Paths, One Purpose.”
Their goal was to have over 30,000 student pharmacists nationwide to educate the community about pharmacy and gain support from other professionals and graduate schools in promoting “Did you know October is American Pharmacists Month?” The student pharmacists created a Facebook group called “American Pharmacists Month” which quickly gained over 2,500 members. In addition, an external website (http://www.31facts.com) was also created and received a total of 1,525 hits and their Twitter account under the username “RxMonth” received 137 followers.
On Twitter, the student pharmacists tweeted facts such as “Did you know that pharmacy technicians work alongside pharmacists in the pharmacy to take better care of patients?” and more.
“Thanks! I didn’t know pharmacists could do that! Keep the facts coming!” said a follower.
They also promoted the campaign through professional publications such as the California Pharmacists Association. In addition to using social media channels, ASP Pacific appeared on Good Day Sacramento to promote American Pharmacists Month which reached over 150,000 Sacramento Valley residents.
This campaign proved to be such great success that APhA has adapted it into their marketing initiatives.
“We are honored that APhA-ASP continues to use our Facebook campaign during American Pharmacists Month to educate thousands of people about how pharmacists can play an essential role in healthcare. We take pride in knowing our efforts can impact patients’ lives for years to come. Our hope as is that Pacific will continue to be at the forefront of being influential leaders,” said Chan.
By Dua Her '09