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UM Student Elected Academy of Student Pharmacists Delegate

By Natalie Ehrhardt

University of Mississippi

University of Mississippi pharmacy student Lain Vitale has been elected by her peers as a regional delegate for Region Three of the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists. Submitted photo

Second-year University of Mississippi pharmacy student Lain Vitale will serve as a regional delegate for Region Three of the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists after being elected by her peers at the group’s annual Midyear Regional Meeting.

“When it was announced that I had won the election, I was ecstatic,” said Vitale, of Columbia, Illinois. “I, along with my campaign team made up of my three best friends, had worked for months on all of the materials and details surrounding the candidacy. Seeing it all come full circle and pay off was incredible.”

Region Three comprises seven states: Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida and Alabama, as well as Puerto Rico.

“I am so blessed to have been placed in this role, and I have a million people to thank for the constant assistance and moral support given along the way,” Vitale said. “I cannot wait to assist the schools in Region Three throughout the policy process and encourage them to advocate for the change they wish to see in pharmacy.”

As a delegate, Vitale will serve in the APhA House of Delegates, which functions similarly to the House of Representatives, at the association’s annual meeting. There, the House of Delegates votes on policies that have been proposed around the country and passed at a regional level.

Additionally, she will also serve on the APha-ASP Resolutions Committee and the association’s board of trustees, which are involved in the final steps of approving new policies to be adopted. Further, Vitale will assist pharmacy schools within Region Three as they formulate policy statements for the 2023 midyear meeting and plan that meeting.

She became interested in the policy creation process while serving during the fall semester as policy vice president for the Ole Miss chapter of APhA-ASP.

“I wanted to help others create the best policies they can to improve the future of our profession,” she said. “I also wanted to be more involved at a higher level in APhA-ASP, as well as meet and network with other pharmacy students around the United States.”

Joe Dikun, assistant professor of pharmacy administration in the School of Pharmacy, said he enthusiastically supported Vitale’s run for the position because of the passion she has for progress in the pharmacy profession.

“Her campaign platform made that incredibly clear, as she hopes to streamline the policy process, increase communication between chapters and assist pharmacy students in advocating for the profession,” he said. “Increasing student exposure to the policy development process and encouraging them to take a seat at the table will serve our profession, and ultimately our patients, well.”

Looking ahead to her own future career, Vitale said she leans toward industry pharmacy and pharmaceutical law.

“I love policy and advocacy, and I have had some opportunities to work with law this semester, and I have loved it,” she said. “I am definitely going with the flow and seeing where my passions lie as I gain more experience in different realms of pharmacy, and I am so excited to see where it takes me.”

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Adam Brown
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