JULY 2, 2015
Reflections on TPA Internship
by Lauren Terrell, TPA Intern, 2016 PharmD Candidate, UTHSC
I have thoroughly enjoyed my month with the Tennessee Pharmacists Association. This rotation has been a very unique experience, unlike any of my other APPEs. I’ve learned a lot about Pharmacy Advocacy, an area in which I was quite unfamiliar prior to this rotation experience. I was fortunate to have my TPA rotation in April during the end of the 109th Meeting of the Tennessee General Assembly. I had never experienced a Congressional Session or even a committee meeting before, so it was a great learning experience to observe this dynamic process.
Session is such an exciting and busy time for our state legislators! It was interesting to me to observe and follow various bills through the process. Advocacy is a vital asset to the profession of pharmacy, and its importance became even more evident to me as the month progressed. Pharmacy is a dynamic profession, and in order to remain at the forefront of all of these positive changes, we rely heavily on advocates to serve as our voice. Just as we saw with the restoration of the TennCare budget cuts, we have to take ownership of our profession and actively fight to make it better for ourselves, our patients, as well as for our fellow practitioners. This was an exciting victory for pharmacy.
Additionally, I was introduced to the leadership component of TPA this month. I observed meetings with an independent pharmacy as well as the large chain pharmacy corporation, Kroger, both of which were in the process of developing diabetes self-management programs through the new grant. TPA has provided these entities with the resources and knowledge necessary to build and implement a successful diabetes management program to improve outcomes for patients, as well as reduce the economic burden to the healthcare system. Diabetes is currently such a prevalent disease state in our nation, with an estimated 29.1 million (9.3% of the US population) Americans diagnosed according to the CDC in 2012, so the value of these programs is unparalleled.
TPA also offers extensive new practitioner resources and guidance for new graduating pharmacists. I am very grateful for these resources as I approach my final year of pharmacy school and prepare to enter practice in 2016.
My month at TPA has been a wonderful rotation experience. During my short time at the association, I’ve been exposed to a wide variety of projects TPA undertakes; however, I realize I’ve only seen a small scope of their impact. With the ever-present emergence of new opportunities and HR-592 Provider Status just on the horizon, it’s an exciting time to be entering the profession. I’m grateful for membership in an association that champions these opportunities, always promoting growth, yet maintaining the ideals that are core to the profession, advocating for patients, pharmacists, and for the state of Tennessee.
“Data and Statistics.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4 Mar. 2015. Web. 1 May 2015.