SNPhA is an educational service association of pharmacy students who are concerned about the profession of pharmacy, healthcare issues, and the poor minority representation in these areas. The purpose of SNPhA is to plan, organize, coordinate, and execute programs geared toward the improvement of the health, educational, and social environment of minority communities. Through SNPhA, students have the opportunity to serve underserved patients, along with opportunities to develop professionally and learn about initiatives that affect the community. Members also network with other SNPhA members throughout the country at Regional and National Conferences.
Some of SNPhA’s key events include:
- CAARE Clinic
- Social media awareness activities
- Opportunities to collaborate with students from other health professions
- Health screenings at barbershops and homeless shelters
- Vaccination events
- Networking opportunities with other pharmacy students and practicing pharmacists
- Awareness and educational events in the community
Additionally, SNPhA focuses on initiatives such as Chronic Kidney Disease, Fight Diabetes, Remember the Ribbon (HIV/AIDS), Power to End Stroke, Operation Immunization, and Voting/Legislation/Immigration.
SNPhA at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy is led by Raena Rhone (President, Class of 2020). Sit with Senate met with Raena to learn more about SNPhA and its core initiatives and values surrounding advocacy for underserved communities and minority health.
Sit with Senate: What motivated you to serve as President of SNPhA?
Raena Rhone: What motivated me to serve as President of SNPhA was the opportunity to find new opportunities for my SNPhA family (SNPhAm) to serve the underserved. With SNPhA, I know that I can count on my members to give their all to the organization because their passion to serve and advocate for underserved communities aligns with mine. Though SNPhA was already doing incredible things when I joined, I felt there were even more opportunities to positively impact more patients in our community. Helping to lead this organization has been the greatest decision of my pharmacy school experience thus far!
SwS: What makes SNPhA different from other campus organizations?
RR: SNPhA differs from other organizations on campus because we devote our service to people in the community who are often overlooked; including minorities, rural populations, homeless communities, the LGBTQ community, and even users of intravenous drugs. SNPhA’s selfless mission empowers all members to serve the community in unique and patient-specific ways. SNPhA’s initiatives focus on diabetes, chronic kidney disease, stroke, HIV/AIDS, mental health, legislation, and immigration. Through these initiatives members can put their clinical and education skills to use by serving patients with all levels of health literacy and socioeconomic status. SNPhA serves its patients in non-judgemental ways and challenges members to think innovatively to serve underserved communities. As a member of SNPhA, students automatically become national members and have the opportunity to connect with equally as enthusiastic students on a regional and national level and have the opportunity to win scholarships, participate in national competitions, and be mentored by pharmacists nationwide.
SwS: What is your favorite part about SNPhA?
RR: My favorite part of SNPhA is serving alongside friends that are close like family. What makes SNPhA a family is our members’ shared passion for serving the underserved. I know that I can always count on my SNPhAm to hold me accountable and to give their all to serve the community. I also love the opportunity to connect with SNPhA members nationwide who also uphold this mission. It is so inspiring to interact with them and learn what they are doing in their respective communities to serve patients. Additionally, I am incredibly proud of our chapter’s members who have won National Clinical Skills Competitions, held national board positions, and have won national scholarships.
SwS: Why is minority health important to you and for the profession of pharmacy?
RR: Understanding minority health is essential to being an excellent clinician. No two patients we serve are the same. We must engage in activities during pharmacy school that expose us to individuals who are different than us so that we can connect and care for them more comprehensively. Cultural competency is essential for all student pharmacists and is an aspect of care that SNPhA exposes all of its members to.
SwS: What are some of your goals as president this year?
RR: My major goal as president this year is to establish more partnerships in the community (i.e. Orange County Health Department and interdisciplinary partnerships) so that SNPhA can collaborate with other disciplines to better serve the community. It is also my goal to support our organization’s members and leaders in their own personal and professional goals, including those who strive to pursue national positions and those who compete in national competitions.
SwS: What events are you planning in the next few months?
RR: Our upcoming events for the month of September include:
- HIV/AIDs Trivia Night | 9/18 @ 6p
- Diabetes Seminar with Mr. Dr. Rodgers | 9/20 @ common hour
- Orange County Health Department Orientation | 9/20 @ common hour
- Blood Pressure Screening (CKD) | 9/20 @ 4p
- Orange County Schools Resource Fair | 9/22 from 10-2p
- Walgreens Health Fair (Immunization) | 9/22 from 10-2p
- Chipotle Benefit Night (301 W. Franklin Street) | 9/23 from 4-8p
- SEEDs Volunteering | 9/28 @ 9p