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Student receives Walgreens scholarship for recognizing importance of diversity in the field of pharmacy

Posted: 05/09/2012
Bill Huynh, a member of the College of Pharmacy’s inaugural class, has been awarded a $2,000 scholarship for the 2012-13 academic year by Walgreens Pharmacy for his efforts in raising awareness on the importance of diversity in the pharmacy field today. (He is pictured above, left, being congratulated by Scott Diveney, RPh, pharmacy supervisor for Walgreens Pharmacy). 

In his scholarship-winning essay, the PharmD student and Sacramento, Calif., native, argues for the need to have pharmacists from different backgrounds serving patients.

“You have all kinds of patients.  Therefore, you need all kinds of different people working in the field,” said Huynh, who begins his second of three years at Roosevelt University’s Schaumburg Campus in the fall. “That kind of diversity creates empathy for patients and helps to make for a more trusting environment,” the scholarship winner said.

In the essay, Huynh also recalled his days working as a pharmacy technician at a California retail pharmacy where he encountered an employee expressing racism – a topic Huynh raised and talked about with the employee.
“I talked with him about the topic and the fact that he had a negative attitude,” said Huynh of the employee. “I told him we had to move beyond racial and ethnic stereotypes if we’re to have an impact in the field and on our patients.”

So far, Huynh has done rotations with Dominick’s Pharmacy, Northwest Memorial Hospital and Target Retail Pharmacy.  He continues his studies/rotations beginning in September.

“We are proud of Bill (Huynh) and the work that he has done in calling attention to the fact that diversity is critical to making the pharmacy experience for our patients a success,” said George MacKinnon, dean of the College of Pharmacy.  “Bill is a talented doctor of pharmacy student and one who represents well the University and its proud history of inclusion and diversity.”

Below is an excerpt from Huynh’s winning essay:

“As I progress through pharmacy school and practice in the field someday, I have always believed that people, regardless of ethnicity, wealth or personalities, should all be treated equally….As healthcare providers, we are there not to judge but to help those who need it. That is why I chose to practice as a pharmacist and will continue to abide by these standards.”