School of Pharmacy News & Media Center
The University of Mississippi

Speaking up for Provider Status

Posted on: September 3rd, 2015 by gegero

Mackenzie Lewis, PY2


Representative Trent Kelly & Mackenzie Lewis (right)

This summer I had the opportunity to represent APhA-ASP in Washington, D.C., at the Summer Leadership Institute. It was a wonderful experience meeting other pharmacy students in leadership roles within APhA-ASP. Washington, D.C. was a very fun place to visit.

A very important part of my trip was promoting provider status (HR 592 & S 314). This was a great opportunity, especially since this is a bill that will impact the patients in our area to such a great extent. The bill will help medically underserved populations by allowing pharmacists to provide certain aspects of care within their state scope of practice for their patients. For example, Oxford is in District 1 of Mississippi which is 100% medically underserved, while the national average is only 30%. I learned this summer that every little bit helps.

My efforts alone are not going to get provider status passed, but they will help to raise awareness about this issue. I am glad that I had a small role in getting information out about the profession I am working to be a part of.

While in D.C., I also toured APhA’s headquarters and learned a little about its history. It is the only non-government building on the National Mall because the land was originally owned by a pharmacist who requested there be a spot for the headquarters of pharmacy. One of the best moments of my trip was meeting Rep. Trent Kelly along with another pharmacy student from Union University. Overall, it was a great experience!