Promising trailblazers: Accepting the call to change the face of health care. Because of you, WE WILL!

Smith, Rashid, and Abubaker

A small group of our students established the University of Minnesota Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA). SNPhA is a national organization dedicated to planning, organizing, coordinating, and executing programs for the improvement of the health, educational, and social environment of minority communities. The UMN chapter was founded by Leyla Rashid (president), Ayantu Abubaker (president-elect), and J’Nae Smith (vice president), SNPhA began hosting lectures by BIPOC practitioners and scholars on the effects of medical racism.

This semester, SNPhA is partnering with MPSA to host a lecture series addressing the health disparities that affect BIPOC communities. The series outlines how student pharmacists can check their biases and review material. Participants also hear from experts on how to provide anti-racist care for our future patients. Throughout the lecture series, they dive deep into health disparities and building on basics they learned in the PD2 curriculum, to shine a light on the disparities in cardiovascular disease (CVD), chronic kidney disease (CKD), and diabetes.

Their recent meeting focused on health disparities seen in cardiovascular outcomes with a special presentation by Dr. Shawna D. Nesbitt. Dr. Nesbitt, a professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center, is an expert in diagnosing and treating blood-pressure disorders – both hypertension and hypotension – particularly complex and refractory cases.

SNPhA also recommends resources and books that speak specifically to experiences of Blacks and African Americans in the scientific and clinical health sciences workforce. Here are some of their recommendations:


  • Black Man in a White Coat
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks


  • Hidden Figures
  • Charles Drew Story
  • Miss Evers’ Boys (1997)


Our students are leading the way, creating dialogue, offering enriching educational experiences, all aimed at moving from health disparities to a future day where there is health equity for all.