Student pharmacist receives state-level recognition for leadership

Kaanan ShahKaanan Shah, HSC College of Pharmacy third-year student, was recently awarded the Glenda Lawson McRee Pharmacy Student Award, presented at the Texas Society of Health-System Pharmacists annual conference in Galveston in April. The award recognizes a student who is committed to pharmacy through service, practice, education and research.

“I was so honored to be this year’s recipient and have my accomplishments as a pharmacy student be recognized at the state level,” Kaanan said, who was nominated by her peers. “This award helps bring awareness to the importance of service, practice, education and research within the pharmacy field and encourages students to make an impact.”

Kaanan was president of two student organizations this year, the Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the Student College of Clinical Pharmacy, and she will serve on the TSHP student executive council next year.

“Before pharmacy school, I never saw myself as a leader,” she said. “However, with the amazing support system of peers that I have gained here at HSC, I quickly adapted to those roles and was able to help improve both organizations in various ways.”

Kaanan, who grew up in Houston, became interested in pharmacy in high school after taking a pharmacy technician course. After graduating and passing the certification exam, she began working as a pharmacy technician at a local hospital and has continued to work there for more than six years.

“That job exposed me to the clinical side of pharmacy and helped me realize that clinical pharmacy is the direction that I would like to take my career,” she said.

During pharmacy school, Kaanan said she has learned how to work with people of different backgrounds and communication styles.

“It is very important to adapt that skill as being a pharmacist puts you in contact with a very diverse population,” she added.

As she enters her final year of rotations, her goal is to pursue a post-graduate residency program and specialize in either cardiology or solid organ transplantation.

“I have also developed an interest in academia and leadership,” she said, “so I would like to incorporate those into my future as well.”

Kaanan continues to make her mark in pharmacy school. At the annual HSC Registered Student Organization awards ceremony, she received the Extraordinary Values Student Leader Award and was also named the recipient of the Metroplex Society of Health-System Pharmacists scholarship.

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