Region III Facilitator
Ashley Colburn is a 4th year pharmacy student attending Southern Illinois University- Edwardsville School of Pharmacy (SIUe SOP.) Her time with SNPhA started her very first year of pharmacy school. Embracing her community and advocating for the underserved became a passion for her. SNPhA became a home for those passions as she served as her local SNPhA chapter’s delegate and legislative initiative chair for the majority of pharmacy school.
She was able to educate her local community about ‘provider status’, and the impact pharmacists can have on a patient’s care by connecting community members with their local legislative representatives to advocate for change. Serving her community has led to many opportunities. She has counseled community members with diabetes on their disease states and ways to positively improve their overall health. She has taught about poison control to local latchkey youth programs and elementary schools. She collaborated with her local APhA chapter to lead a team and design a curriculum- based activity about prescription drug abuse, targeting middle-aged school children, for an overnight lock-in. Additionally, she has facilitated discussions in local middle schools about opioid and stimulant use, introducing alternatives to the technique “Just Say No” used against peer pressure.
Ashley has worked closely with her school’s Diversity Council mentoring high- school aged underprivileged adolescents about career opportunities within the healthcare field, particularly pharmacy at a Diversity Camp. She has also worked with Project CHANCE to help assess the health needs of the local homeless population providing counseling on OTC medications. She has found that her role in serving the underserved is rooted in making sure every person’s concerns are heard and encouraging those around her to stand as one resounding voice to speak out about her communities needs and how the profession of pharmacy can meet those needs. To best do that, she feels it is imperative to embrace the diversity around her to expand her world view as often as she can.
For fun, you’ll see Ashley surrounded by her friends and family. She has two cats that she spoils rotten. It is not uncommon for her to meet up with her best friends, swing through a drive-thru for iced coffee, and then go on an adventure. Her adventures have taken her to get massages, to a farm to plow a family field, to wineries, and on a search to find the best pizza joint in Illinois. Most often, you will find her in a used book store digging for hidden treasures. With multiple enlisted family members and family across the country, she is often utilizing social media to stay close to them.
As Ashley begins her journey as Region III Facilitator, she is resolved to encapsulate SNPhA’s vision this year of finding “Strength in Purpose.” Her goals for this year include challenging already successful chapters in her region and fostering growth in smaller chapters. She prioritizes open and clear communication, advocating for her community and chapters whenever needed, and utilizing a grass roots approach to encourage the best delivery of information. She is incredibly excited to see what this year holds for SNPhA and NPhA as they continue to be leaders in serving the underserved.