MPA | Pharmacy News

By Tyler Fenton, Pharm.D. candidate 2017, University of Michigan College of Pharmacy, Ann Arbor

Two years have passed since I made the decision during my second year of pharmacy school to get more involved in the profession of pharmacy within my State. At that time, while evaluating my options, the obvious choice seemed to be joining Michigan Pharmacists Association (MPA)/Michigan Society of Health-System Pharmacists (MSHP). The website did a good job of informing me about some of the various benefits, such as discounted education materials and a reduced registration fee for the MPA Annual Meeting and Exposition, but the value I eventually came to see in this organization was far beyond any monetary savings. The greatest value for me has come from the interactions I have had with the organization’s staff as well as with other members from around the State. 

The more I became involved with MPA/MSHP, the more I came to realize that its employees work tirelessly to represent our profession in the best possible way every chance they get. I had the pleasure of working with Amanda Lick, former MPA manager of advocacy, governmental and regulatory affairs, on various occasions and every time I was amazed by her depth of knowledge and involvement pertaining to politics on the State and national level. As we continue to advocate for provider status and expansion of our scope of practice, it is important to have someone lobbying for the interests of Michigan pharmacists, and MPA’s staff does an incredible job of that. Another wonderful ambassador to the organization is the Chief Executive Officer himself, Larry Wagenknecht. Over the past thirty years, Mr. Wagenknecht has built MPA into one of the largest and most influential state pharmacy associations in the country. He has done this while continuing to represent our profession through actively participating in various State healthcare task forces and committees. Even with all of the work they do, staff also continues to find time to work with pharmacy students from around the State through events at individual pharmacy schools or larger scale initiatives like Pharmacy Day at the Capitol. 

I have also had the opportunity to attend several meetings of the Wayne County Pharmacists Association and serve as a student representative on the MPA/MSHP Membership Committee. These experiences have given me the chance to network with a plethora of pharmacists from around the state who, like me, are passionate about working for the betterment of pharmacy practice. I have been told many times about how small the profession of pharmacy is, and every time I attend an event associated with MPA, that statement becomes more and more evident. Speaking from the perspective of a student, it is extremely rewarding recognizing familiar faces whenever I attend any kind of pharmacy-related event in this State, or sometimes even outside of it. 

As I continue progressing toward graduation with my Doctorate of Pharmacy in the spring, I can say that one of the best decisions I made during my time as a graduate student was to become a member of MPA/MSHP. I fully plan to maintain my membership because of the great experiences I have had as a student in this organization. It also feels great to know that my yearly membership dues allow important work to be done toward ensuring that I am practicing in a State where pharmacists will be continuing to expand their profession for years to come. I encourage any student pharmacists and new practitioners to join me in being a part of this wonderful organization. 

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