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Pharmacy students’ flu shot efforts named No. 1 in the nation

Pharmacy chapter advisor and students honored with national award for immunization awareness.

Janel Shoun-Smith | 615.966.7078  | 

The members of the APhA-ASP student chapter in the Burton Center

After several years of earning regional awards for its annual flu shot activities, Lipscomb’s chapter of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists was recently crowned the national first place winner for their Operation Immunization activities in the 2018-19 school year.

Announced in late April by webcast, the chapter also celebrated a win as the first runner-up in the National AAA Division for all the chapter’s activities in that year and Dr. Sarah Uroza’s win for the national Outstanding Chapter Advisor Award.

These honors follow on the heels of last year’s national Outstanding Dean Award for Dr. Roger Davis, the College of Pharmacy founding dean, retired as of June 1, and the National AAA Division first place win for chapter activities.

Student pharmacists gathered behind a flu shot booth with banner

A Family Weekend clinic and other on-campus flu shot opportunities resulted in 261 immunizations in the Lipscomb community.

Established in 2010, Lipscomb’s APhA-ASP chapter has quickly risen through the ranks to win awards over many large universities’ long-standing chapters.

“I am so proud of our student pharmacists and faculty for the outstanding work they performed in providing immunizations to our community,” said Tom Campbell, Dean of the College of Pharmacy. “This chapter's members exemplify what it means to have a servant heart. They have truly excelled in meeting an important need in our region and because of their work the patients we serve will be able to live healthier and better lives.”

Operation Immunization

Launched in 1997, the national association’s Operation Immunization education campaign is designed to increase the public's knowledge of immunizations while raising the number of adults receiving immunizations. 

In the 2018-19 school year, 119 APhA-ASP chapters nationwide participated in the Operation Immunization campaign, immunizing 114,812 patients and providing 138,767 patients with health and wellness or clinical services.

Of that total, the Lipscomb chapter provided 7,158 influenza immunizations and provided education and recommendations for shingles, pneumonia and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines in Middle Tennessee.

The chapter has won the regional award for Operation Immunization three times prior to this national recognition.

“Over the course of this year, we grew as a chapter and made a huge impact in our community,” said Uroza. “Through all of our many patient-care events, we continued to build relationships with those we serve and increase patient-pharmacist trust.”

Pharmacy student promoting proper medication disposal

Established in 2010, Lipscomb’s APhA-ASP chapter has quickly risen through the ranks to win awards over many large universities’ long-standing chapters.

According to the chapter’s official report to the APhA-ASP, the chapter’s immunization activities in 2018-19 included: 

  • The “Shot Up and Drive Away the Flu” campaign at the Nissan Automotive Plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, where first-year student pharmacists provided 326 flu shots to employees over a week’s time;
  • A flu shot clinic held on Lipscomb’s campus during Family Weekend, an event designed to draw the families of students to campus during Homecoming weekend to experience college life. This timing encourages reluctant students who may be influenced by their family to get a flu shot. This and other on-campus flu shot opportunities resulted in 261 immunizations;
  • Participation in 35 immunization events throughout Nashville and the surrounding communities, partnering with 40 of organizations including hospitals, clinics, universities, community pharmacies, churches and businesses; and
  • Participation in Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Flulapalooza event, where each of the participating 63 student pharmacists was able to immunize more than 100 patients in a two-hour shift. Lipscomb student pharmacists provided more vaccinations than any other group participating in the event.
Sarah Uroza with student pharmacist in AphA-ASP chapter

Dr. Sarah Uroza (left) won the APhA-ASP national award for outstanding chapter advisor.

Outstanding Chapter Advisor: Dr. Sarah Uroza

The APhA-ASP Outstanding Chapter Advisor recognizes advisors who have promoted the welfare of student pharmacists with distinction through various professional activities.

“Dr. Uroza invests huge amounts of personal time into the chapter by offering guidance, participating in activities, and securing financial support for activities. She has set high standards for our ASP chapter and promotes and expects the utmost professional behavior in all activities,” said Campbell.

“Dr. Uroza provides a vision that focuses on promoting a healthier community and providing an environment for individual and collective professional growth for our passionate student pharmacists. She then empowers the chapter’s leadership team to dream big, and with her guidance, much good is done for our community, especially those living in vulnerable, under-served areas,” he said.

“Dr. Uroza is the ultimate advocate. Her support and involvement in our chapter are unwavering,” said Laura Cherry, a third-year student pharmacist and president of the ASP chapter. “Her passion for student involvement and patient care is infectious and has certainly contributed to our chapter being the largest student organization in our pharmacy school by far. 

“Any and all success experienced by our chapter should in large part be credited to the groundwork laid over several years’ time by Dr. Uroza and her continued efforts in our chapter,” she said. “She does so much behind-the-scenes work without being asked or recognized. Her approachability and kindness have been causing students to gravitate towards her and seek her guidance for years.”

Pharmacy students at education booth on campus

Lipscomb’s ASP chapter with just over 200 members, won first runner-up award for their overall activities.

First Runner-up in the National AAA Division

In addition to the Operation Immunization activities, Lipscomb’s ASP chapter with just over 200 members, won first runner-up award for their overall activities including:

  • Pie the Professor fundraising campaign for the APhA political action committee;
  • The Phield Day campus-wide event where students educated the Lipscomb community on immunizations for the flu, shingles, meningitis and HPV; and
  • A video created for Cervical Cancer Awareness month for the Tennessee Pharmacists Association.

APhA is dedicated to helping all pharmacists improve medication use and advance patient care and is the first and largest association of pharmacists in the United States.