Washington, DC – As the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) raised the curtain on this year’s NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill today – which brings together pharmacy advocates from across the country to educate Members of Congress about pro-patient, pro-pharmacy policy – the association recognized pharmacy leaders for their distinctive advocacy efforts.
At the welcome dinner this evening, the first-ever NACDS RxIMPACT Key Contact of the Year Award was presented to Ryan Swensen, PharmD, pharmacy manager, Shopko Stores Operating Co., LLC. The Key Contact Award recognizes a rank and file pharmacist who actively engages on behalf of pharmacy with his or her local Member of Congress.
Highly-motivated in engaging with his Member of Congress, Swensen hosted an NACDS RxIMPACT pharmacy tour, inviting then-Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT), to see first-hand the value of highly accessible healthcare services in the local pharmacy. During the NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill event this week, Swensen will meet with his new Member of Congress, Rep. Mia Love (R-UT), to discuss key issues impacting pharmacy.
The NACDS RxIMPACT Key Contact Program fosters one-to-one engagement of pharmacy leaders advocating on behalf of pharmacy with their Members of Congress and their offices. This engagement can take various forms, including pharmacy tours and congressional district activities, attending the NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill meetings, and possible political engagement.
“Ryan’s engagement on behalf of pharmacy is exemplary,” said NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE. “His efforts to showcase the value of pharmacy surpass the standard of pharmacy advocacy, and is therefore rightfully deserving of the new NACDS RxIMPACT Key Contact Award.”
Earlier today, NACDS also recognized Jonathan Lee, a pharmacy student at the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy, as the 2015 NACDS RxIMPACT Ambassador, for his mentorship and serving as a role model in encouraging pharmacy students from across the country to participate in this year’s NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill.
Following Lee’s participation in last year’s NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill, he became an advocate for the event, publishing an article about the importance of student engagement and urging other pharmacy students to participate this year. Lee also addressed fellow pharmacy students at the “U” Academy event today, which was held earlier today in conjunction with the NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill events.
The NACDS RxIMPACT “U” Academy is an interactive advocacy education and training program for selected pharmacy students in lead-up to their meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
“As the future of their profession, students play a pivotal role in pharmacy advocacy,” said Anderson. “Jonathan is truly an ambassador for pharmacy, and a role model for pharmacy students in how to become engaged in the policymaking process. We applaud his efforts to stand up for pharmacy.”