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Autumn Bagwell, PharmD
PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Resident, Tennessee Valley Healthcare System
2013 APhA Foundation Charles C. Thomas Scholarship Recipient
Autumn Bagwell, a PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Resident at the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System in Nashville, TN, is the 2013 recipient of the APhA Foundation’s Charles C. Thomas Scholarship by Phi Lambda Sigma. Bagwell first became familiar with the Foundation’s student scholarship program during the APhA-ASP Awards Ceremony at the APhA 2010 Annual Meeting as a first-year pharmacy student at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. She explains that the Foundation’s commitment to honoring student success sparked her interest in the mission and activities of the Foundation as a whole. In addition, while interning at APhA headquarters last fall, Bagwell gained a more comprehensive understanding of the various avenues through which the Foundation works to advance and invest in the pharmacy profession, including through student pharmacists. The apparent alignment between her own interests and activities throughout pharmacy school and the Foundation’s goals and activities ultimately inspired her to apply for a student scholarship.
Bagwell says she was particularly excited to receive the Charles C. Thomas Scholarship because it recognizes both academic achievement and leadership within pharmacy. Her personal goal as a student pharmacist has been to inspire other student pharmacists to take charge in advancing the pharmacy profession in order to better serve patients. As a leader at Samford University, Bagwell was able to witness the fulfillment of this goal through the actions and drive of many student pharmacists. Being recognized for such a rewarding experience, she says, is astounding!
In reflecting on an experience that had a profound and personal impact on her pharmacy school education, Bagwell highlights one particular APhA-ASP project, the Alabama Rural Student Health Initiative. This initiative provides student pharmacists the opportunity to travel to a rural and impoverished area of Alabama to educate and screen patients who are at extremely high risk for heart disease and stroke. Bagwell remarks, “The relationships I made with indigent patients and families in that area, and the obvious impact we were able to have on their health outcomes, motivated me to serve this patient population and those in high-need areas around the world with the knowledge and skill set I have been blessed to acquire through pharmacy school.”
After graduating from Samford with her Doctor of Pharmacy degree in May, Bagwell is excited to delve into her residency and is looking forward to the many opportunities to grow as a clinician and develop vital patient care skills. Upon completion of her PGY1 residency, she hopes to pursue either PGY2 pharmacy residency or a position as a clinical pharmacy specialist. She says she also intends to remain actively involved in APhA and her state association to advocate for and take on an active role in the pharmacy profession – and inspire others to do the same.
Reflecting on her scholarship program experience, Bagwell remarks, “I would like to thank each donor to the Foundation Student Scholarship Program. Your investment in the future of pharmacy exemplifies professionalism and genuine interest in developing the next generation of pharmacists. I appreciate your gift and as a result of it, I am even more dedicated to maintaining the same level of professionalism and philanthropy in my own career."