Pharmacy students travel to Austin for lesson in advocacy

March 21, 2019

By Jan Jarvis 

Pharm Web
 
Nearly a quarter of UNT System College of Pharmacy students took a day off from their classes to get a lesson in advocacy. 

The students joined nearly 600 pharmacy professionals from throughout the state for Pharmacist Day at the Capitol in Austin. The Texas Pharmacy Association organized the event. 

 Pharmacist Day offers students the chance to meet with legislators about pressing pharmacy issues, said Jennifer Fix, PharmD, MBA, Associate Professor of Pharmacotherapy, Associate Professor of Family Practice and Past President of the Texas Pharmacy Association.  

“Our students were able to experience the legislative process in action, help advance the profession of pharmacy, and provide education to citizens who were also visiting the Capitol,” she said. “It’s important for professionals of all types to understand that they need to take care of and nurture their profession.”  

Pharmacy student Luwam Tekle said it was empowering to enter the Capitol and meet people who decide how the profession operates daily.  

“Speaking with the legislative aides of two DFW-area representatives about issues impacting pharmacy made me feel like the change I wanted was within reach,” she said. It’s important for students to advocate for what we want because we’re the future of pharmacy. 

Student Ellias Hishmeh said he did not understand what barriers stood in the way of making health care better until going to the Capitol. 

“You would be surprised about how many pharmacyrelated issues that affect Texans go unnoticed by most people, especially legislators,” he said.  

One of the issues pharmacists are focusing on is a bill that would expand access to vaccinations. Currently, pharmacists can vaccinate patients 14 years of age and older. The proposed bill would allow pharmacists to vaccinate patients 7 and older.  

This would be a considerable help with ‘back to school’ vaccines,” Dr. Fix said. “Pharmacists are not interested in competing with physicians and other providers. They are interested in helping patients in Texas be successful in getting their vaccines up-to-date and get ready for school. 

In addition to discussing bills with legislators, pharmacy students participated in a health fair at the Capitol. They provided a booth for OTC cough and cold medication counseling.    

Student Carolina Mason said the event was a unique experience, especially since most of the students had no previous interactions with legislators. 

“I am grateful for the University’s support in allowing and facilitating students to attend this event,” she said.  “This day emphasized how much of an impact we can truly have when we advocate together. 

Music Fc
Musician saves her career, with a little help from UNTHSC

By Jan Jarvis   As a musician, Sarah Dunbar never imagined she would one day be leaning over a cadaver studying facial muscles. Yet, that is exactly where the University of North Texas College of Music graduate student found herself after years of struggling with severe pain caused by ...Read more

Jun 14, 2019

Eye Fc
Researcher studies the impact of space on the human eye

By Jan Jarvis Vision loss is one of the risks astronauts face when they return from space flights. Called Spaceflight Associated Neuro-Ocular Syndrome or SANS, the condition is characterized by swelling in the optic nerve head. Other ocular abnormalities of SANS include flattening of the b...Read more

Jun 14, 2019

Trish Fc
Trisha Yearwood to headline 2019 Legends Concert event

By Kerry Gunnels Grammy award-winning singer, actress, author and chef Trisha Yearwood will be the featured artist for this year’s Legends Concert Series, UNT Health Science Center’s signature fundraising event. The benefit, presented by Chase and J.P. Morgan, will take place November ...Read more

Jun 14, 2019

Fitsteps Fc
FitSteps for Life offers health rewards for cancer patients

By Jan Jarvis FitSteps for Life at UNTHSC Learn more about how to participate in FitSteps for Life at UNT Health Science Center. Learn More Before she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Candice Stinnett had never been to a gym or had any knowledg...Read more

Jun 6, 2019