College's SNPhA Chapter Grows Quickly

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Their membership growth chart looks more like a hockey stick than a gentle rise, and that’s just fine with the members of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA) chapter at St. Louis College of Pharmacy.

“It’s crazy to see it grow so quickly,” says fourth-year student Nasheet Quraishi. “We’ve gone from nothing to more than 150 members in three years.”

The College’s chapter recently brought the largest delegation to the 2014 SNPhA regions III, IV and V meeting, which was hosted at Ohio State University. Next year’s meeting will be hosted by the College. Fifth-year student Dainielle Fox is the current national president-elect and will be president when the meeting is in St. Louis. Quraishi is the current national Power to End Stroke Chair as well as the president-elect for the College’s chapter.

“We’re a year away and already plans are being made to have an incredible conference,” says the College’s SNPhA chapter president and fifth-year student Kelly Plach. “We’ll take some of the great aspects of what Ohio State put together and continue to build on those successes.”

The College’s chapter displayed their leadership and initiative months before the meeting began. Fourth-year student Shanell Jackson pushed the idea to use popular photo-sharing app Instagram for each school’s chapter to introduce themselves to each other and showcase the impact pharmacy students have in the community. She says it was an easy icebreaker and once at the conference she quickly recognized other attendees who had posted pictures.

 St. Louis College of Pharmacy Students

“We all know each other by school name, but we don’t really know what each school is really about,” Jackson says. “Getting to know everyone ahead of time was fun, and it was also great for the world to see what SNPhA is all about.”

SNPhA’s mission is based on bringing healthcare to underserved populations.

“I feel like the organization’s mission and being the voice of the patient is what first attracted me to get involved,” says third-year student Alexa Faulkner. “What made me stay is the family environment. I’ve gained so much knowledge about the profession of pharmacy solely going to SNPhA conferences. These events reinforce my passion for health care.”

The conferences also provide networking opportunities. Some of the largest retail pharmacy companies in the country sponsor programs. Faulkner says that presence reinforces the SNPhA mission and sense of purpose. The diversity of the College’s chapter helps in fulfilling that mission, according to fourth-year student Bryan McElderry.

“It’s not just our background but also our school years and our ages,” McElderry says. “We have a wide range of experience and that allows us to bounce ideas off each other. That is what SNPhA is, that’s who we are.”

More from the STLCOP SNPhA Chapter:

Quraishi and Faulkner believe their work with SNPhA will prepare them for the future of pharmacy which may include provider status.

Jackson credits SNPhA with shaping her career outlook.

Quraishi explains why students at other schools want to join the College’s chapter.

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