On February 3-4, 2015, ASHP hosted more than 40 student pharmacists from all around the country to meet with lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate in support of provider status legislation. These eager young leaders and the energy they brought with them as they prepared to meet with their elected officials was incredible, and they were poised, motivated, and professional. There is no doubt in my mind that the future of our profession is in good hands!
On the first day of this inaugural event, the students participated in an orientation session with ASHP’s government relations team as well as a number of outside guests, including the chairperson of the ASHP PAC Advisory Committee and former ASHP President Diane Ginsburg, M.S., Ph.D., and former ASHP President Kathy Schultz, Pharm.D., M.P.H., FASHP. On the second day, the students heard from Jaymi Light from Congressman Todd Young’s (R-Ind.) office, who shared perspectives on the most effective ways to discuss the legislation and make the most out of their visits to the Hill.
These exceptional student leaders visited over 50 offices and met with elected officials and their staff members, asking them to sign on as cosponsors of H.R. 592 and S. 314. They also took time to thank the many current cosponsors of these important pieces of legislation, and let them know that ASHP will be here to support them every step of the way. I’ve been told that their visits made a difference, and that we anticipate a number of new cosponsors to sign on in support of the legislation.
As you read this message please view the various images of these student leaders exercising their civic duty on behalf of the profession of pharmacy and our patients. I know that they will go back home and recruit many of their peers to get involved and reach out to their Senators and Representatives in Congress. We need for you to do the same. Please start by sending a letter to your Representative and Senators. Once you send your letters, please recruit at least 10 of your peers to do the same. Also, please consider supporting the ASHP PAC so that we can continue to support the candidates who support your interests as pharmacists and patient care providers.
I will end this message by again giving our thanks to the students who joined us in Washington, D.C., last week and to all of the students and practitioner members of ASHP who will be a vital part of making provider status for pharmacists become the law of the land.