Student Spotlight: April Nguyen ’16

April NguyenApril Nguyen ‘16 means business when it comes to her role as the 2014-2015 vice president of legislative affairs. Originally drawn to the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences for its accelerated program, Nguyen spent time considering other options but found the School to have the most efficient and challenging pharmacy program in California, as well as a focus on leadership, outreach and networking.

In her leadership capacity, she served as a state liaison representing the pharmacy student body and local pharmacist associations. During the first legislative week at University of the Pacific, Nguyen organized eight events, which promoted the potential impact student pharmacists can make on legislation. Her leadership in organizing the annual “Immunize the Mayor” event resulted in a City of Stockton proclamation that officially named October as American Pharmacists Month. Through her role, she also was able to collaborate with state and national associations to give pharmacy students and professionals a voice in the United States Congress.

“As student [pharmacists], we have the power to impact the patients we serve on a larger level, but students often feel too intimidated by the political implications to consider themselves an advocate. I wanted to take on this role to disseminate information to advance advocacy efforts and increase opportunities for students to become actively involved in the profession,” said Nguyen.

Nguyen is deeply involved in the community and strives to use her Vietnamese and English interpreting skills to benefit underserved populations. In the fall, she organized the American Pharmacist’s Association-Academy of Student Pharmacist’s (APhA-ASP) first health fair at the Midtown Farmers Market in Sacramento – which resulted in collaborations between several pharmacy schools. The event provided patient consultations to 400 community members in Hmong, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

In addition, she is currently on the books and electronic products editorial advisory board at the American Pharmacists Association. She provides the board with a student’s perspective when considering curriculum revisions and works in collaboration with the board at its annual meeting. The group analyzes and recommends new books and e-products that may be helpful to pharmacy students, professionals and technicians. In March, Nguyen was one of the first three students to be recognized nationally as an APhA-ASP trained advocate. The training series recognizes student pharmacists who have advocated extensively for the profession and inspired other students to become advocates.

After graduation, her goal is to work with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. She hopes to advance the pharmacy profession through regulatory and legislative affairs. Nguyen is passionate about educating the American public on drug safety and regulation as well as the role of pharmacists in health care.

“I hope to establish a tradition of collaboration and advocacy through initiatives such as legislative week or the APhA-ASP Health Fair at [the] Midtown Farmers Market to increase awareness of the services that pharmacists can provide to the community,” said Nguyen.

In her free time Nguyen enjoys traveling to exciting locales where she samples food and collects postcards. She also relishes spending time with her family and singing duets with her sister. Since her grandparents instilled a strong sense of her heritage, she is grateful to have the opportunity to practice her patient counseling skills in Vietnamese. Nguyen’s enduring role models have also been her parents who she sees as examples for success in life.