On Thursday, April 4, students from the University of Cincinnati (UC) James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy gathered in Wherry Hall on the Academic Health Center campus to receive a special recognition—the first Student Chapter of the Year award from Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International (CPFI).
The organization, incorporated in 1984, is a global ministry of individuals working in all areas of pharmaceutical service and practice whose mission is to serve Christ and the world through pharmacy. The new award acknowledges a chapter that has provided outstanding service to students and CPFI.
The UC chapter was established in 2011 by a core group of 10 students.
"It’s really neat that the chapter has come so far,” fourth-year PharmD student and founding member Jessica Green told an audience of about 30 chapter members.
The award was presented to the UC chapter by CPFI board member Keith Allhands, RPh, after
Green and other fourth-year PharmD speakers from the UC chapter shared stories about their clinical rotations. They all expressed how being a member of CPFI helped bolster their commitment to others and their faith in times of great stress, especially when treating gravely ill patients.
"CPFI is a spiritual home for pharmacists of the Christian faith, a fraternal organization where they can encourage each other through their faith,” said the chapter’s faculty advisor Professor Jill Boone, PharmD.
The organization, Boone said, combines both the spiritual and the academic by offering students support for meeting the challenges of a demanding academic degree. Fourth-year PharmD students and chapter co-founder Rusty Curington said the organization served as a place where he could grow in his faith and be a "Christian pharmacist … instead of a pharmacist who is a Christian.”
Boone said there were numerous activities that contributed to the national chapter of the year award: The student’s consistent engagement of local and nationally recognized speakers for the bi-weekly chapter meetings, pharmacy medication reviews at several local churches throughout the year, hosting of the Ohio Pharmacist Association – CPFI breakfast, participation with other pharmacy student organizations at the local Drop Inn Center, coordinating a local National Day of Prayer Event, weekly student studies, attendance and participation at the national CPFI conference, and the implementation of a daily coffee service at the College. The chapter also won the college’s annual Pharmacy Challenge, a game-like test sponsored by the Kroger Co.
"Being so young a chapter, it’s cool that we are showing a presence,” said fourth-year student Alexa Nardone.
"It’s such a vibrant organization and this is a very distinguished honor,” Boone adds, noting that there are 90 colleges of pharmacy across the United States with a CPFI student chapter and only one award is given annually.