The time was spring 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic was spreading. But that didn’t stop two College of Pharmacy students from pursuing their goals. Alexis El-Khouri and Flavia Pasca not only continued with their studies; they also founded NEOMED’s student chapter of the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy.
“Specialty pharmacy is one of the largest growing fields and we wanted to introduce the students to this important aspect of pharmacy. As both patients of specialty pharmacy and future providers, we want to spread awareness of specialty medications, disease states and patient populations,” El-Khouri wrote in an email.
The new chapter is a great example of transformational leadership at work.
In the chapter’s short history, three students – El-Khouri, Pasca and Larissa Melnyk, all now P4s – have already led it to partner with national organizations devoted to lupus, immune deficiency and Alzheimer’s disease, respectively.
The Lupus Foundation of America presented a student information session to the chapter. The students presented to the Advocacy and Awareness for Immune Deficiency Association (AAIDA), which published the webinar on its website as a patient resource. And the students made a presentation to the Alzheimer’s Association as a patient resource.
This year, those three students continue in leadership roles to guide the student organization. El-Khouri serves as president, Pasca as vice president and Melnyk as treasurer of SASP.
“We are proud of the national relationships that we have built up until this point and can’t wait to see what the future brings for SASP,” El-Khouri wrote. “We hope to continue to expand our organization, incorporate an even wider range of specialty topics and increase student involvement.”
Photo: Flavia Pasca, left, and Alexis El-Khouri, right, spoke to students at NEOMED’s welcome-back carnival and student organizations fair in August.