Are you a member of your state professional health-system pharmacy organization? These organizations are also known as ASHP state affiliates. Being a member is a great opportunity to network with local pharmacists and student pharmacists, discuss pertinent issues that affect health systems within your state, and get involved in leadership activities.
I feel very fortunate to belong to the Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists (ICHP). I have been a member of ICHP since I was a student. There are several networking events including legislative day, the spring and annual meetings, the leadership retreat, as well as other continuing education (CE) presentations and events. ICHP has various committees that members can join to work on specific projects for the organization. They are also very involved with the student affiliates (SSHP) supporting events like the clinical skills competition, membership drives, and the student leadership retreat.
As a student, it seemed easy to get involved in professional organizations because there was always information readily available on campus. As a new practitioner, it can be more difficult to know how to get involved. Fortunately, ICHP has their own New Practitioner Network and I have found this to be a great place to start. We have monthly conference calls, write new practitioner focused columns in ICHP’s monthly publication, have social events like the annual Cubs game, and hold service events like volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House. I feel like this supplements my membership in ASHP and helped give me the confidence to get more involved in ASHP by joining a New Practitioner Forum Advisory Group.
Every state affiliate may be a little different, and likely has something unique to offer. ASHP has a component of their website dedicated to state affiliates including a member spotlight where they highlight successful state affiliate activities. For more information, please check out the following link: http://www.ashp.org/menu/StateAffiliates/AboutUs/Spotlights.aspx. I have found my experience with ICHP to be very rewarding and I would highly encourage you to get involved in your state affiliate if you are not already. #Leadership #Volunteering #Membership