Our chapter rides the momentum into 2021
The year 2020. Need I say more? The last calendar year challenged APhA–ASP Chapters in unforeseen ways. Game plans that we had successfully implemented in the past were no longer an option. Mainstay events had to be scratched entirely. Any plans of incoming chapter executive boards needed a rethink.
Legendary NCAA basketball coach John Wooden said, “If we fail to adapt, we fail to move forward.” The success of chapters all over the country this fall embodied these words. At the Albany
College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (ACPHS), we adapted and we conquered.
A cure for the summertime blues
\Almost immediately, we realized that patient care events were not feasible. As the summer progressed, we grew less sanguine that we would be able to host our largest event of the year, Albany Community Health Day. The decision to push it to spring 2021 was not easy to accept, but we understood that it needed to be done as we prepared for the virtual world.
At the same time, we recognized that we had an opportunity to get creative and focus more on objectives that we may not have emphasized if we hadn’t been thrust into the virtual world. So, we rolled up our sleeves and got to work. We did not know how the semester would turn out, but we knew that we had to adapt to move forward.
We successfully launched the “Shape Your Mind to Shape Your Future” social media campaign on mental health in collaboration with the ACPHS College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists chapter. Meanwhile, our patient care project chairs and membership vice-president ran their own social media campaigns to keep our members engaged and interested. These steps ensured that we increased our presence on social media.
A new initiative this year was the TED Talk–style “Faculty Speaker Series,” which gave student pharmacists the opportunity to engage with faculty. Another new initiative is our monthly chapter newsletter, which goes out to the whole school via e-mail.
In addition, we hosted two webinars with Patricia Faria, PharmD, a pharmacist in Puerto Rico, about pharmacists’ roles in cardiovascular and diabetes care during the pandemic. We also collaborated with three APhA–ASP Chapters—University of the Pacific, Philadelphia, and University of Washington—along with the Touro College of Pharmacy ASHP Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists Chapter to host the inaugural APhM National Speaker Series.
Ready for the new year
Having reflected on the success of the fall semester, we begin 2021 with greater organization and ambition. We’ve planned new events to increase our presence in the Albany community and on the international scene. But we are not alone.
If you take a quick glance at APhA–ASP social media platforms, you will see that chapters all over the country performed exceptionally in the face of the pandemic. Thus, I can confidently say that we will all usher in 2021 and make the best of the upcoming semester and year.
Sarder Sadid is a third-year PharmD candidate at the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.