AUGUST 12, 2015
More to TPA than Meets the Eye
by Rachel Triplett, 2016 PharmD Candidate, UT
I served as a TSSP delegate for the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy during my first three years as a student pharmacist, which allowed me to attend both Tennessee Pharmacists Association Midyear and Annual meetings. Although I’d been to conferences for other organizations, the TPA meetings proved to be my favorite. Attending educational sessions in a professional setting during the day quickly transformed to networking with my teachers, preceptors, and other student pharmacists in a fun environment at night. Needless to say, I was very excited when I received my APPE schedule for my P4 year and saw that I would be working with Dr. Cost at TPA during the month of the Annual Convention.
The first two weeks of my rotation were spent helping the TPA staff members prepare for and execute the 129th TPA Annual Convention and Exposition. It was definitely an eye-opening experience to see the amount of work that goes into organizing a convention like this. Whether I was helping members and exhibitors check in, listening to pharmacists’ presentations about their current collaborative practice agreements, or dancing along with Burning Las Vegas at the closing reception, I was soaking up every minute spent with the association. I truly enjoyed my time at the convention and am grateful that I was able to be a part of the TPA staff that week.
The meeting ended, of course, and my last two weeks at the TPA office commenced. Little did I know, planning meetings and conventions is just a tiny part of what the TPA staff does for pharmacists in Tennessee. We immediately focused on advocating for pharmacists in regards to current legislative issues—most notably, HR 592 / S 314. This legislation, also known as the “Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act,” recognizes pharmacists as non-physician providers under Medicare Part B and would allow us to be compensated for the services that we are already providing to patients in our communities across the state. Being granted provider status would change the way pharmacists are able to practice in the years to come.
I’ve learned more about current legislation than I ever thought I would during a rotation for pharmacy school, and I fully believe that, even as a student, I can help change and better the pharmacy profession. Most students (and even some pharmacists) probably do not know or understand what the Tennessee Pharmacists Association does for our profession on a daily basis. I am so grateful that I was able to spend an entire month here, seeing first-hand how important it is to have pharmacists like Dr. Micah Cost, Dr. Lucy Adkins, and numerous other TPA members who are tirelessly working to promote and further our profession every day of the year.