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Trisha Otwell

Leading the Way

Pharm.D. Student Trisha Otwell Accepted into National Community Scholar Leaders Program

November 15 — Securing one of 50 spots from across the country, University of Houston College of Pharmacy (UHCOP) Pharm.D. student Trisha Otwell was recently accepted into the ACT Pharmacy Collaborative's Community Pharmacy Student Scholar Leaders program.

The Academia-Community Transformation (ACT) Pharmacy Collaborative is a national "operational learning and acting collaborative between colleges/schools of pharmacy and community pharmacy practices, including clinically integrated networks of community-based pharmacies." The program aims to "support the transformation of community-based pharmacy practice from a product-based care model to a community-based pharmacy care delivery model." Among the initiatives are to help Pharm.D. students develop leadership skills and cultivate a network of colleagues interested in community-based pharmacy. 

"Being accepted into the Community Pharmacy Student Scholar Leaders program is an opportunity to grow both personally and professionally while collaborating with like-minded students who share a passion for community pharmacy," Otwell said.

Otwell entered UH to pursue her bachelor’s degree in biology with plans to apply to UHCOP after graduation. However, the opportunity for early acceptance caught her attention and she began her course of pharmacy study prior to finishing her undergraduate degree.

Merging her passion for patient care and health care while building meaningful connections, the path of becoming a pharmacist is more than a career to Otwell, it is her calling.

"Pharmacists are among the most accessible health care providers and have the ability to serve as one of the biggest patient advocates," Otwell said. "As a pharmacist, I have the opportunity to cultivate meaningful relationships with patients and earn their trust, which is vital when managing a patient’s medications."

UHCOP’s consistent high scores on the first-time pass rate for the NAPLEX and proximity to the Texas Medical Center are reasons why Otwell chose to make UHCOP her Pharm.D. home. In addition, Houston is Otwell’s hometown.

"The combination of academic excellence, being right next to a medical hub, and the comfort of my city makes UHCOP the perfect place for me to achieve my dreams and make a lasting impact in the field of pharmacy," Otwell said.

Heavily involved in UHCOP, Otwell holds the positions of international vice president and international pharmaceutical students’ federation senior chair of the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists, vice president of pharmacy fraternity Phi Delta Chi – Alpha Tau chapter and student chair for the Pharm.D. Student Affairs Committee. Otwell has held the position of class secretary for three consecutive years.

Otwell’s career plans upon graduating include working in the community pharmacy setting and possibly pursuing a community pharmacy residency. She will begin participation in the scholar leaders program through virtual sessions and workshops beginning in 2024.