The best part about being a student at CU Pharmacy is the ample opportunities we are granted through school. We have access to renowned preceptors and diverse experiences for our Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) rotations. I was lucky enough to have my elective APPE rotation with Gina Moore, PharmD, and Emily Zadvorny, PharmD, legislative chair/past president and current Executive Director of Colorado Pharmacists Society (CPS), respectively. This rotation was certainly unconventional being that it was not clinical at all, but rather policy and advocacy focused.
Both Drs. Moore and Zadvorny have affiliations with national pharmacy associations including the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and the American Society of Hospital Pharmacists (ASHP), so part of my day was spent on meetings with these organizations learning about pharmacy in different parts of the country. Being that we are in the midst of the Colorado legislative session which spans January-May each year, I was also focused on following the bills that were healthcare and pharmacy focused to monitor their status and help inform CPS members. I had the opportunity to shadow Senator Sonya Jaquez-Lewis (who is also a pharmacist and pictured with me) and CPS’s own lobbyist, Katie Wolf, at the beautiful capitol building in downtown Denver.
Every year, CPS hosts a Legislative Day at the Capitol usually encompassing lobbying for CPS-run bills. Since CPS wasn’t running any specific bills this year and rather just monitoring others, we decided to coordinate a slightly different day. One of my major projects was to spearhead the planning surrounding a reception and tour for members. It was such a success! We had a great turnout of students, pharmacists, and residents as well as several legislators. By doing so, we continue to show our state politicians our commitment to advancing the field and building connections to facilitate the growth of our practice.
I think this rotation offers tremendous insight into an area of pharmacy that truly cannot be taught in a classroom. From learning about how bills are passed to meeting my own legislators, this rotation has given me a great foundation for further advocating for the profession post-graduation!