By Taryn Mondiello, PharmD Candidate c/o 2015
From June 7th to June 9th, pharmacists from all over New York State gathered at the LaGuardia Marriott in East Elmhurst for the 135th annual PSSNY summer convention. The Pharmacists Society of the State of New York, better known as PSSNY, was founded in 1879 and is the largest pharmacy organization in New York State. It is the umbrella organization of 12 different affiliates, including the New York City Pharmacists society, Long Island Pharmacists society, and societies from different regions all over the state. PSSNY’s mission is to “consider and discuss matters of pharmaceutical interest with a view to the elevation and extension of pharmaceutical knowledge among pharmacists of the State of New York.” 1 The aim of the society is to “unite the pharmacists of the state for mutual assistance, encouragement, and improvement in order to maintain the standard of pharmacy practice at a high professional and ethical level.”1 PSSNY’s a House of Delegates, which represents pharmacists from all over New York State, makes the society’s policies. PSSNY also lobbies in Albany to preserve and expand pharmacists’ rights.
This year’s convention was held in New York City for a second time, and there was a great turnout—bringing together over 250 registrants and 49 exhibitors to East Elmhurst. The weekend was filled with multiple CE classes, meetings, and exhibits. Of course, the convention was not just about work and business but also about fun and socialization. On Friday night, a Mets game was scheduled, although it was cancelled due to rain. The next evening, over 130 guests danced the night away on a dinner cruise to Manhattan. And finally on the last night, the installation dinner inducted a new Executive Director, Tracey Russell. With the former Executive Director’s resignation several months ago, the PSSNY Board of Directors had the difficult task of choosing a new Executive Director in between all of the convention activities.
Arguably one of the most exciting events of the weekend was Friday’s Student Pharmacists Jeopardy tournament that was centered on “self care and OTC medication.” Students and faculty from pharmacy schools all over the state competed, including St. John Fisher, University of Buffalo, Albany College of Pharmacy, Long Island University, and our own St. John’s University. Our team, headed by Associate Clinical Professor Dr. Mantione, held the lead the entire game. When the last question—“This is organization that controls the advertising of non-prescription drug products”—was answered with “What is the FTC?” St. John’s took home the prize with the final score of 13,000 points.
For many pharmacy students who are intimidated by the idea of joining professional organizations, it is important to note that PSSNY is not just for established pharmacists. Students can join PSSNY in their subsidiary organization Student Pharmacists Society of the State of New York (SPPSNY) via the PSSNY website. It is never too early to get involved, as exemplified by several St. John’s pharmacy students who volunteered to help with registering guests and distributing convention materials. As one of the students who participated in the event, I thought that it was quite an experience to see pharmacy in action. To see all that goes on behind the scenes of dispensing drugs, mainly PSSNY’s hand in legislation, was educational. Even as students, it is important to be involved in organizations such as PSSNY not only for networking and socializing, but to really understand the ways in which students like us can unify to represent ourselves and the impact we can make on the future of our profession.
- PSSNY Purpose. Pharmacist Society of the State of New York Inc. 2012. Available at: http://www.pssny.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=2. Accessed July 1, 2013.