LITTLE ROCK — For the first time in the history of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) student awards competition, students of the UAMS College of Pharmacy took home all four national awards for patient care and education.

They garnered the historic win March 27 in San Francisco during the APhA annual meeting.

About 300 students of the UAMS College of Pharmacy are members of the APhA-Academy of Student Pharmacists chapter that took home the awards, which were given to the chapter in recognition of its achievements in patient care and education for diabetes, cardiovascular health, over-the-counter (OTC) medicine safety and immunization.

“I think UAMS pharmacy students are the best in the country and this just proves, it in my opinion,” said Eddie Dunn, Pharm.D., the chapter’s faculty advisor, in a news release. “It’s especially good to know that a national association of professional pharmacists sees it, too, and shares that high opinion. These students worked especially hard to earn this recognition. The entire college is proud of them.”

Dunn is an associate professor in the College of Pharmacy’s Department of Pharmacy Practice.

Operation Heart is a national, public education project of APhA-ASP, and Operation Diabetes seeks to identify individuals with previously undiagnosed diabetes while increasing overall awareness of the disease. Operation Immunization is an immunization education campaign that also works to raise the number of adults receiving immunizations.

OTC Medicine Safety is a campaign of APhA-ASP Chapters to educate fifth- and sixth-graders in reading medicine directions, following those directions, proper measuring of medicine, safe storage and disposal of medicine and consulting with parents or guardians before taking medications.

To win all four awards, the students throughout the 2015-2016 academic year participated in dozens of public outreach events as well as organized many of their own and visited public schools, Dunn said.

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a northwest Arkansas regional campus; a statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute, the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and the Translational Research Institute. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 2,870 students, 799 medical residents and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including about 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS and its regional campuses throughout the state, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.