SIUE School of Pharmacy student Rachel Young, named as an Outstanding Student Chapter Member of the Year by the National Community Pharmacists Association.EDWARDSVILLE - Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy student Rachel Young has been named as an Outstanding Student Chapter Member of the Year by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA). She received the honor at the NPCA 2017 Annual Convention in Orlando.

Young, a Chester native, was among 21 pharmacy students selected after being nominated by their peers and faculty at their respective schools.

The award is meaningful to Young. “It reassures me that I am in the right profession and signifies that hard work does not go unnoticed,” she said. “Because SIUE is a smaller School of Pharmacy, it is harder to retain a large number of active members in organizations. Our NCPA was able to increase its membership last year and, hopefully, will continue to do so in the future.”

Young credited faculty advisor Miranda Wilhelm, PharmD, clinical associate professor of pharmacy practice, with the chapter’s success. “Dr. Wilhelm is devoted to many roles at the School and manages to accomplish every task she is dealt. Not only is NCPA lucky to have her as an advisor, but the School as a whole.”

Among the various NCPA activities, Young was most proud of her chapter’s work in the Pruitt-Schutte Business Plan Competition. “Even though our submission did not get chosen as top three, our entire team put forth maximal effort into creating our perfect pharmacy,” she said. “I couldn't have asked for a more committed and passionate group to work with.”

Young’s passion is community pharmacy, but she is still exploring her long-term career options. “I have worked in community for about three years, and I appreciate the value and impact pharmacists can have in their daily interactions with patients,” Young said. “With each APPE (advanced pharmacy practice experience) rotation, I am able to experience a new side to pharmacy, which only makes my postgraduate decision more difficult. Though I am on the track for retail, I am keeping my options open for other opportunities that may arise along the way.”

The NCPA Foundation underwrites NCPA student chapters to increase student awareness of pharmacy ownership and the entrepreneurial opportunities in pharmacy. Its programs include the Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition, the Legislative Advocacy Challenge, the Community Health Challenge and NCPA Student Ownership Boot Camps. Other opportunities also include a mentor program and rotations for students with independent community pharmacies and at NCPA.

Today’s pharmacists improve patients’ lives through the medication and education they provide. Dedicated to developing a community of caring pharmacists, the SIUE School of Pharmacy curriculum is nationally recognized as a model that offers students a unique combination of classroom education, research, community service and patient care. The School of Pharmacy’s areas of excellence include a drug design and discovery core; pediatric practice; chronic pain research and practice; and diabetes research and practice. As the only downstate Illinois pharmacy doctorate program, the SIUE School of Pharmacy is addressing the growing need for highly trained pharmacists in a rapidly growing field.

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