Advocacy & Policy: WSU Applebaum student pharmacists prepare for MPA-ACE

Submitted by WSU Applebaum student pharmacists

The Michigan Pharmacists Association Annual Convention and Exposition (MPA-ACE) is happening this weekend in the Motor City. The Renaissance Center Detroit Marriott will be filled with hundreds of pharmacy professionals for MPA’s engaging, high-quality convention experience, which will focus on providing continuing education programs, networking, honoring Michigan’s pharmacy leaders and setting legislative priorities to advocate for the profession of pharmacy. MPA monitors issues that affect pharmacy practice and advocates on behalf of its membership to ensure that pharmacy professionals can continue to play a vital role in patient care.

student pharmacists
Clockwise from top left: SCOPA Co-chairs David Frond and Judson Knott with APhA-ASP Policy Vice President Thomas Whaley; Warriors Pharmacy owner and EACPHS alumnus Mike Nabolsi; MPA Director of Professional Development with local affiliate student board members Obioma Opara (representing Wayne County Pharmacists Association) Shannon Habba and Sheila Payne (representing Macomb County Pharmacists Organization) and Oakland County Pharmacists Association Chairman Rony Foumia; sMPA member Remoun Kattoula with APhA-ASP State Association Liaison Rania Bardage.

WSU Applebaum Doctor of Pharmacy candidates have also been busy engaging in various advocacy and policy efforts and are excited to attend MPA-ACE.

“Advocating for our profession is not just about enhancing our roles as pharmacists but also ensuring the best possible care for our patients,” said P3 Thomas Whaley, who is representing Wayne State at this year’s MPA-ACE House of Delegates session with P3 Judson Knott.

“I’m excited to represent Wayne State University at the MPA House of Delegates. Student pharmacists bring unique perspectives that are important as the profession continues to evolve as we vote on the policies,” added Knott.


The Wayne State University chapter of American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) had the pleasure of having representatives from the Michigan Pharmacists Association speak at our meeting today in preparation for the upcoming MPA Annual Convention & Exposition.

MPA Director of Professional Development Farah Jalloul and MPA Director of Education and Events Lisa N. Powers, CAE, CTA spoke about the importance of joining pharmacy organizations like the MPA and advocating for the profession of pharmacy while giving a rundown of what to look forward to at MPA-ACE.

Warriors Pharmacy owner Mike Nabolsi, PharmD, also spoke about why student pharmacists should get involved with the MPA. Oakland County Pharmacists Association Chairman Rony Foumia closed the meeting session with an inspiring speech about the challenges facing the profession and how to build your brand as a student pharmacist.

This event was organized by APhA-ASP Immediate Past President Shannon Habba and sMPA/State Association Liaison of APhA-ASP Rania Bardage.

“MPA-ACE has been a highlight of my pharmacy career. I wish every student would attend the ACE to experience it for themselves – the opportunities are endless, the connections you make are invaluable, and the inspiration you feel leaving that conference from the presentations you attend to the people you speak with is reenergizing and motivates you to want to be even more involved in our profession,” said Habba.

Experiences like this are in line with Wayne State’s College to Career initiative, which seeks to provide every student with experiential learning opportunities that allow them to encounter the world, gain deeper insights and new perspectives, and prepare for prosperous careers.

Wayne State Warriors and Up to Us

student pharmacists
Top row: Kappa Psi Vice President Graham Selegean addresses health care and government spending; CGIU Fellow and Oakland County Pharmacists Association board member Joseph Paul Javier with former President Bill Clinton. Bottom row: Lambda Kappa Sigma members Morgan Mrowca, Victoria Espinoza and Jackie Fleury advocate for policy supporting reproductive health care.

Up to Us is a program that empowers students who educate their communities about long-term national debt and its major drivers, which includes health care spending. For the past three years, EACPHS student pharmacists have participated in Up to Us initiatives where they've focused on advocating for policy and legislation to improve the U.S. health care system.

Last year, P4 Morgan Mrowca led a team of student pharmacist members from Lambda Kappa Sigma, Kappa Psi and sMPA in the Up to Us Case Competition. Morgan and her teammates Jackie Fleury, Victoria Espinoza, Thomas Whaley, Joseph Paul Javier and Obioma Opara focused on the economic and life-saving benefits of policymaking supporting women’s health and reproductive health care.

The brothers of Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity joined another Up to Us initiative, the Up to Us Campus Competition, where they placed second in the nation for their public service campaign educating Detroit-area communities about health care spending and its effect on the national debt, as well as the importance of voting and civic engagement. Team leader P3 Joseph Paul Javier got the opportunity to meet former president Bill Clinton through Up to Us and received Harvard Business School scholarships, together with teammates Evan Johnson and Daniyal Nasir.

This year, Wayne State Warriors have once again joined the Up to Us Campus Competition, under the leadership of Kappa Psi Fundraising Chair Obioma Opara.

“It’s important for us to be engaged in advocacy efforts too so that we can all work together to keep patients healthy and safe while keeping health care costs affordable and efficient,” said Opara. “Having a voice and advocating allows us to share our opinions on key pharmacy issues, form relationships with legislators that could lead to future successes, and ensure that our country can continue providing safe and effective health care for future generations while keeping the national debt in check.”

The Doctor of Pharmacy program at Wayne State University is a four-year curriculum in the heart of Detroit. Approximately 100 students are enrolled in each year of the program. WSU Applebaum information meetings for prospective students take place at 6 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month. The application process for the Doctor of Pharmacy program begins each July.

An anchor in urban health care
The Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is built on more than 100 years of tradition and innovation in the heart of Detroit. We have grown deep roots in our city, harnessing its powerhouse hospital systems and community service organizations as vibrant, real-world training grounds for students, with an ongoing focus on social justice in health care. And our research at all levels – from undergraduates to veteran faculty members – translates into creative solutions for healthier communities.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering approximately 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 24,000 students.

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