Three professional pharmacy students, Jordan Nicholls, Tara Perkins and Ashley Benjamin, were among the 50 students who had the opportunity to represent the seven Ohio pharmacy schools at the Ohio Pharmacists Association’s (OPA) Student Legislative Day. Students were able to learn more about the legislative process and how it impacts pharmacy issues in Ohio through a variety of opportunities at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus.
The students spent the morning with Ernest Boyd, executive director of the OPA, learning about and discussing the legislative process through House Bill 44, a law that would allow pharmacists to dispense medications to individuals during a state of emergency when access to records or prescriptions is difficult or impossible. They also discussed current immunization laws and their impact on underage patients.
With this information base, the three students met Ohio Senate President Keith Faber, and Ohio Representatives Rick Perales and Tim Brown. During the meetings the students shared about their experiences at Cedarville, talked about the new pharmacy program, and the proposed legislation they discussed earlier in the day.
“I appreciated seeing the legislative process so directly,” Nicholls said. “It is important to have an open conversation and relationship with the individuals that represent you so that they actually represent you. As student pharmacists, it is important to make an effort to be involved from the beginning of our education to lay the foundation for future work and involvement as a professional pharmacist.”
Through these meetings the students were able to gain a better, more direct appreciation for those who represent them, while in return, helping those representatives to better understand their professional perspectives.
“The event was a great reminder about how big of a difference one person can make just by talking to a legislator,” Benjamin said. “It is impossible for legislators to be informed about all the aspects of all the issues, so they have to rely on what they are told by their aides, other politicians and their constituents. There are some areas of life where it is too important to let others who are not in your profession, or who do not share your faith, be the only ones pushing the issues.”
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,400 undergraduate, graduate and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Celebrating 125 years of inspiring greatness, Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at www.cedarville.edu.