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Daniel Alexander
September 25, 2022

Happy World Pharmacists Day! 

Today we celebrate the 12th annual World Pharmacists Day – a day celebrating pharmacists around the world. This year’s theme celebrates how the profession is united for health, regardless of and overcoming conflict, different politics and cultures, and economic disparity.   

With this year’s theme in mind, the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy would like to recognize a few of the many ways our pharmacy educators, researchers, and learners are uniting for health. Additionally, we thank all our partners as they work to address global health and educate the next generation of pharmacists at home and around the world. The below student-centered initiatives all support the University’s strategic plan, Carolina Next, which highlights the importance of strengthening global partnerships, bringing the world to Carolina for global programming, and guaranteeing a global education for all students, as outlined in Strategic Initiative 7: Globalize. 

Below you will find both local and global examples of how we have united for health despite barriers to achieve elements of UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy’s strategic plan, BEYOND. These examples highlight how our educators, researchers, students, and practitioners are serving pharmacy learners at home and around the world.  

We are thrilled to highlight a few student-centered local and global collaborations and initiatives in honor of World Pharmacist Day 2021:  

  •  Building upon a pilot Vaccine Champion curriculum, developed at PharmAlliance partner University College London School of Pharmacy, a team of pharmacy students and faculty mentors improved and expanded the workshop to reach five countries in the last year. The project team adapted the curriculum for each site to address differences in vaccine hesitancy trends for each locale. The curriculum was delivered to student pharmacists and trainees at UNC, University College London (United Kingdom), Monash University (Australia), UNC-Project Malawi (Malawi), and Université Paris-Saclay (France). Student leaders presented the expanded project’s results at the 80th FIP World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences 2022 in Seville, Spain.  
  • After a long pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Office of Global Engagement has begun sending and receiving students again in 2022! We have welcomed two student pharmacists from Keio University (Japan) and three student pharmacists from University College London in September 2022. Additionally, UNC has sent 6 students through our Global Pharmacy Scholars to sites including Keio University (Japan) and UNC-Project Malawi (Malawi). We have plans to continue sending students to more sites in 2023. UNC Project Malawi Research Pharmacist and UNC preceptor, Hanna Kumwenda, commented, “I’m really excited to have UNC students back. They help run our ward-based pharmacy services AND they are a selling point for Malawian pharmacy interns when the interns select their sites.” Our partners have re-ignited these exchanges as we all recognize the shared responsibility for educating the next generation of globally-minded pharmacists.  
  • Our Innovations and Transformations in Pharmaceutical Sciences (ITPS) conducted another successful year of educating student pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists. This year, we accepted a generous donation from Deerfield Foundation that funded scholarships for 28 international pharmacists from Malawi to attend ITPS free of charge. This brought improved geographic and cultural diversity to the ITPS program, which enriched the experience for all attendees and lecturers.  

As seen through the great initiatives highlighted above, the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy is united in action for a healthier community locally and globally through the work of our students, faculty, staff, and partners. On World Pharmacists Day, the school would again like to recognize all pharmacists and pharmacy trainees committed to improving health around the world. 

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