Tony Olson is pursuing his Doctor of Pharmacy Degree at the University of Minnesota – College of Pharmacy with an expected graduation date of May 2015. He believes pharmacists are uniquely positioned with the skills, knowledge, and accessibility to the public necessary to cut healthcare costs and produce positive health outcomes for patients. For this reason, he cites leadership development as important as anything taught in the University of Minnesota curriculum. Tony believes progress on the systematic level requires a critical mass of pharmacists with the confidence, awareness, and passion to lead in their respective practice settings and to bring about a better healthcare system.
Tony earned a B.A. in Political Science from St. Olaf College (Northfield, MN) in 2007 and then went on to join Teach for America, a national service program dedicated to eliminating America’s educational achievement gap between rich and poor students. He taught 9th and 10th grade in an inner city Washington, D.C. high school where the average student math skills were on a 3rd or 4th grade level. To help move his students forward, he enrolled in evening classes, earning a M.Ed. from George Mason University in 2009. Within two years, each of his students had made significant gains in mathematics.
Since leaving the classroom, Tony’s commitment to the service of those who are underserved has not left him. In 2011 he bicycled 4,000 miles from Providence, RI to Half Moon Bay, CA raising funds and awareness for affordable housing. He currently holds a number of positions within the College of Pharmacy including Project CHANCE Co-Coordinator, Co-Treasurer of the pharmacy leadership society Phi Sigma Alpha, and other more. Tony is also an active member in the H.O.P.E Clinic, which provides access to patients who are underserved and underinsured. Upon graduation, he plans to pursue a career with direct patient interaction focused on medication therapy management.