American College of Clinical Pharmacy
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ACCP Report - November 2019

ACCP Member Spotlight: Katie Rascon

Kaitlin (Katie) Rascon is a fourth-year pharmacy student at the University of Houston College of Pharmacy (UHCOP) and is expected to graduate in May 2020. Before this, she received her B.S. degree in environmental health with a minor in biochemistry from Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

Rascon has been actively involved in her local ACCP student chapter since her first professional year, holding a variety of leadership positions, including president-elect and president. With its great team, her local chapter won the National Student Chapter of the Year Award 2 years in a row. She feels that the student chapter has provided her with a platform for learning beyond the classroom and has been influential in her investigation of career paths and development as a leader.

Rascon was recently appointed to serve as a student representative on the ACCP Task Force on Transitions of Care. She is excited by the diversity of the role and the challenge of the projects she will be tasked with. She looks forward to being part of a collective voice to collaborate and advocate better patient care while advancing the future of pharmacy through the tenets of ACCP.

Rascon first became interested in pharmacy during her former career as a clinical laboratory scientist. In this role, she often interacted with pharmacists, became intrigued by the scope of their practice, and inquired about volunteering and shadowing opportunities. During one shadowing experience, she heard a patient tell the pharmacist how the pharmacist’s clinical interventions and genuine concern had saved the patient’s life. From that moment on, she knew that being a pharmacist would allow her the utmost ability to provide patient care and advocacy.

Rascon’s current interests include pursuing a residency in infectious diseases or oncology. Within each of these fields, there is tremendous opportunity to act as a patient advocate and empower patients to be proactive with their own health care needs. Some of her primary goals as a student, which she plans to continue pursuing as a clinician, have been promoting patient health and actively seeking or creating opportunities that enhance patient well-being.

While president of the ACCP student chapter, Rascon created a naloxone and opioid epidemic outreach initiative on the UHCOP campus. Student pharmacists provided educational presentations to empower the public. They educated the community about opioid addiction and misuse, addressed the stigma it creates, and provided effective strategies to recognize and react to an overdose. With this information, patients and the community can proactively promote and maintain their health to ideally aid in overdose prevention while championing appropriate medication use. Over 1 year, this initiative reached more than 1500 Houstonians.

One of Rascon’s lifelong goals is to remain an agent of change and continue to help transform communities. One day, she hopes to develop and promote socially progressive older adult living centers that incorporate innovative ideas to combat loneliness, including the provision of physical and mental stimulation. She wants to invest in holistic older adult care in which residents have interaction and freedom of choice while receiving high-quality, person-centered care from an interdisciplinary group of compassionate and devoted health care practitioners. Outside school, Rascon enjoys DIY remodeling projects and scuba diving.