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Scholarship rewards Pharm.D. student’s commitment to community service and public health

Sarah Henderson developed her passion for social justice and advocacy while earning her undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Now a Pharm.D. candidate in the VCU School of Pharmacy, that passion is driving her toward a pharmacy career “rooted in service, access to public health and working to bridge the gap between communities and health care resources,” she says.

When she’s not in class, Henderson spends much of her time volunteering. She works with the VCU Health Hub at 25th, a health education and wellness activity center in Richmond’s East End. She is also active in the Student National Pharmaceutical Association, a service association that focuses on improving health outcomes in minority communities and expanding minority representation in pharmacy and health care.

Henderson’s commitment to community service and public health earned her a scholarship from the School of Pharmacy in 2020. Awarded annually, the Pharmacy Social Justice Award provides scholarship support for a fourth-year pharmacy student who demonstrates leadership and accomplishment in addressing social justice issues through the profession of pharmacy.

“My scholarship gave me relief from financial stress and more time to spend more time improving health outcomes in my local community,” Henderson says. “Receiving that support is tremendously empowering and inspires me to continue incorporating my passions into my career.”

Henderson’s ultimate goal for her pharmacy career is to pay it forward by empowering others.

“It’s really important to me that health care professionals approach patient care with a person-centered focus and take the time to listen, acknowledge and support community members to better improve public health,” Henderson says. “Educating others on the safety and efficacy of their drugs, or any matter related to their health and wellness, is a form of social justice that I am proud to continue as a future pharmacist.”