The University of Puerto Rico School of Pharmacy APhA–ASP Chapter delegation at APhA2018.
By Eduardo J. Vega Jiménez
Every day, we can see the magic in the unexpected and the light in the darkness, but that depends on what perspective you choose. These words contain an essential part of the success of the University of Puerto Rico School of Pharmacy’s APhA–ASP PharmFlix Video submission because it was in adversity that we got stronger. With our hearts full of passion and a great sense of commitment, we decided to show the world that any goal is possible when you stand up to Begin Your Legacy.
September 2017 was a month that Puerto Ricans will never forget. The impact of two hurricanes of colossal intensity changed the perspective of every generation on the island of Puerto Rico. The moment had come when we needed to either stand up and fight against adversity or keep complaining about the difficult times.
As student pharmacists, we had a responsibility to our people to assist them by providing the services they needed the most during each devastation. Immediately after restarting pharmacy school, our chapter established a plan on how to use the resources we received and our knowledge to help our communities. It was after 1 month of hard work that we decided to use the PharmFlix platform to inspire others while creating a message of hope for those who were losing the faith.
This would be the chapter’s second submission for the PharmFlix Video Contest, and our 2017–18 Executive Committee aimed to participate again because of the great experience we had the prior year. We began with a meeting to brainstorm ideas and decided to participate in the “Most Inspirational” category.
The power of teamwork
The process of making all this happen was a real adventure. By the time we had planned our PharmFlix concept and ideas, we had approximately 1 month to submit our video before the deadline. During this venture, the power of teamwork was essential in order to complete the final goal.
We developed a new PharmFlix Committee comprised of chapter volunteers and directed by our Patient Care Vice President-elect. Then we needed to search for places to do some recordings, as well as look for hurricane scenes and ask people for permission to use them in our video. The greatest asset in this process was the human resources. The commitment of our students showed their good intentions in establishing new beginnings. Our faculty and college staff provided us some resources and their time to check and verify all the work performed by students. For example, one of the hardest things was to use the correct words for the speech and making sure that every word meant what we wanted to transmit.
Receiving the news that our video was one of the nominees in two PharmFlix categories (also for “Best Overall” Award) was a very joyful moment. It was a reason for celebration by all members of the college community. Besides, this event was an excellent motivation for our students to attend the APhA Annual Meeting & Exposition in Nashville, where we achieved the largest delegation ever from the University of Puerto Rico. During the APhA–ASP Awards Celebration, we could not wait for the PharmFlix Awards announcement.
When we heard that the chapter had received the “Best Overall” Award, we rejoiced because it was our first APhA–ASP national achievement. It was a great honor, but more than that, it represented that if we work together, we can begin a legacy that will change the life of a whole generation.