A professional and personally rewarding opportunity

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Community Health Ambassador Program By Nicole Pezzino, PharmD, CDE, and Alexa Sevin, PharmD, BCACP

The APhA New Practitioner Network (NPN) launched the Community Health Ambassador (CHA) Program in October, giving New Practitioners the opportunity to get involved with and serve their communities, as well as advance the profession.

The CHA program offers resources and a framework for New Practitioners to provide community education in the areas of preventing prescription drug abuse and misuse and/or safe use of dietary supplements. Other resources available include a webinar on how to identify and connect with community partners, patient literacy and communication skills for pharmacists, and topic toolkits for each of the two topics listed above. The toolkits include a number of resources on the topic to familiarize yourself with the issue, a PowerPoint presentation that you can use when educating the community at your event, and patient education materials that you can print off and hand out, or use however you deem necessary.

Become an ambassador

To become an official APhA NPN Community Health Ambassador, participants are asked to complete the following steps:

·       Review the background and educational information related to the specific topic.

·       Review the recorded session on effective communication and patient literacy.

·       Identify and collaborate with community partners to host the educational session.

·       Provide education to the community using the provided presentation and materials.

·       Complete the event summary form.

Through the resources available on the CHA site, you will be exposed to and become familiar with topics that are an important issue facing the pharmacy practice. Once you successfully complete the requirements of a CHA, you will also have the opportunity to attend the APhA Institute on Alcoholism and Drug Dependencies, held annually in Salt Lake City, Utah, as recognition to your dedication to the program.

Create a community bond
Giving back to your community is one of the most rewarding experiences. Through the CHA program, you will have the opportunity to enhance your communication skills and promote pharmacist–provided patient care services. This is a wonderful way to develop leadership skills and increase your community network.

As a New Practitioner, this volunteer opportunity can serve as a nice platform for you to develop leadership skills and pursue leadership opportunities within the NPN. Even more gratifying is the opportunity to establish and create long-lasting relationships with these community partners.

If you have any questions or would like more information about the Community Health Ambassador program, please visit www.pharmacist.com/apha-npn-community-health-ambassador-program. 

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