#UMMCGrad19: Pharmacy class president to PGY1, Elizabeth Hearn continues growth at UMMC
Published on Thursday, May 23, 2019
By: Annie Oeth, firstname.lastname@example.org
Elizabeth Hearn started the journey to her Doctor of Pharmacy where she completed it: in Mississippi.
“Ole Miss Pharmacy has really become my home away from home – first in Oxford, then in Jackson,” she said. “My classmates and the supportive faculty serve as daily reminders that I made the right choice with the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy.”
She’ll be starting her residency this summer at UMMC.
Inspired by her high-school chemistry teacher to consider a science-related career, Hearn’s first step was applying to UM’s Early Entry Pharmacy Program.
“When I was offered a spot in the program, my mind was made up,” she said. “I would be a pharmacist, a great pharmacist!”
Coming from a family of University of Memphis Tigers fans, Hearn surprised them with her plans. “I completed the application to Ole Miss without telling my parents, so you can imagine their surprise when I told them I had completely rerouted my own future and was scheduled for an interview there.”
Her determination came in handy while a student in the School of Pharmacy.
“I have always been extremely driven and hard-headed, which explains how I survived the program despite crying on my couch numerous times over organic chemistry,” she said. “Looking back, I am not exactly sure when I decided pharmacy was my dream career, but it is a love that has grown over time and has developed into a serious passion. I know I made the right decision every time I walk into a pharmacy and see a patient with trusting eyes waiting to ask me a question. This is a profession where I can be helpful, dependable, personable, and life-saving, which is exactly what I desire from a career.”
Through the Early Entry Pharmacy Program, a spot was held for Hearn in the doctoral program at the School of Pharmacy’s location at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. That continuity through undergraduate and graduate years has nurtured her and her studies.
In July, she’ll begin her residency at the Medical Center.
“What really drew me to this program is the wide variety of responsibilities given to the co-residents,” she said. “This program allows residents to complete a teaching and learning curriculum through assisting with skills labs and facilitating topic discussions and problem-based learning sessions.”
“Residents also gain experience working at HealthPlus Pharmacy and Wellness in Pearl, serving in federally qualified health centers, providing diabetes therapy management, conducting an independently designed research project, working at two local Walgreens stores, and leading students at the Jackson Free Clinic,” she said. “The upcoming year will be challenging, but I know that it will make me into a well-rounded pharmacist.”
Hearn said serving as president of the 2019 Pharmacy Class has been “the most rewarding opportunity of my life – both professionally and personally. I have learned to stop and listen when people need a reminder that there is light at the end of this pharmacy school tunnel. I have learned to fight for the greater good, even if it means I must sacrifice my nights or weekends to get a job done. It’s taught me to work hard behind the scenes without seeking praise, to take constructive feedback with a smile on my face, and to cherish the classmates and friends I am surrounded by during these quick four years of higher education. Ultimately, I say thank you to the Class of 2019 for giving me this opportunity and for the encouragement they have given me day after day.”
While an undergraduate at Ole Miss, Hearn was an active volunteer for RebelTHON, an effort capped with a dance marathon that raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for Children’s of Mississippi each year.
“I started within the organization as a dancer, then moved on to be catering director and logistics steering director,” she said. “During my very first year with RebelTHON, we fundraised $25,000 for Children’s Miracle Network. This year they raised nearly $260,000 for Blair E. Batson, bringing the total donated to Children’s Miracle Network throughout RebelTHON’s history to more than $905,000.”
Last year, Hearn traveled to Peru on a mission trip. “We traveled on dirt switchback roads through the Andes mountains and across the Peruvian countryside, reaching some of the most remote villages in the country,” she said. “Daily, we set up makeshift healthcare offices and saw hundreds of indigenous people. We gave each villager an anthelmintic medication to rid them of parasites and lotion for their dry, chapped, and sunburned faces. If they were experiencing any disease, we treated them with whatever medications we had on hand. You cannot imagine the joy that these Peruvians radiated.”
After residency, Hearn hopes to launch a dual practice in ambulatory care and academia or administration.
“Within five years, I would like to be an adjunct or assistant professor at a school of pharmacy with a practice in ambulatory care,” she said. “My ultimate goal is to serve as an associate dean at a school of pharmacy or as a state Board of Pharmacy member.”
Hearn said she is confident in the training she got in her home state will take her where she wants to go. “Both Ole Miss and University of Mississippi Medical Center have monumentally prepared me for my future career.”