Winners of contest to spur interest in pharmacy, STEM careers for high school students announced

APhA, AACP, OptumRx announce winners of Pharmacy is Right for Me Innovation Challenge

WASHINGTON — Three high school seniors from Topeka, Kan., won a contest that sponsors hope will lead to better health outcomes while also getting young people interested in pharmacy careers.

The winners of the inaugural Pharmacy is Right for Me Innovation Challenge, all students at Topeka's Seaman High School, designed a means to improve medication adherence by equipping medications with a micro-sensor and camera. The contest, which included 14 teams of more than 60 high school students from across the country, is sponsored by the American Pharmacists Association, the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy and OptumRx.

The winners will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington that includes a special reception at APhA headquarters with professional pharmacists and leaders in the science, technology, engineering and math fields.

"We created the Pharmacy is Right for Me Innovation Challenge to give high school students a true glimpse into the broad opportunities that pharmacy and other STEM fields can offer," OptumRx SVP professional practice and pharmacy policy and contest advisory board chairman John Jones said. "We also want to tap the imaginative potential of these young students. Our goal is to reach students, particularly young people form underserved and underrepresented communities early in their education to engage the next generation of STEM and pharmacy leaders."

The second- and third-place winners included another team from Seaman High School and one from Dunbar High School in Fort Myers, Fla. Each member of those teams will receive an iPad Mini

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