After graduating from Stevenson with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 2008, Tiffany Murray went on to Touro College of Pharmacy to put her on a career path of working in retail pharmacy.
However, she admits, “Although I have discovered my calling, the journey has just begun.”
She’s referencing her ultimate goal, of making a difference in her home country of Guyana by opening a pharmacy to provide direct patient education and optimal consulting services for communities in need. That there is a real need is undisputed. While medical care in Guyana is provided by both public and private suppliers, in 2011, Guyana’s public spending on health was a mere 4.6 percent of its GDP in 2011, equivalent to $200 U.S. per capita.
One of the major issues for the country remains HIV/AIDS, which are considered to be at epidemic proportions. Yes, HIV levels have been declining since 2001, but there must be further progress for HIV/AIDS prevalence to fall below those proportions. Currently, there is only a small pharmaceutical industry in Guyana that produces a range of medicines that includes antiretroviral treatments for HIV.
Murray, who was born in Guyana and migrated to Maryland as a teenager, agrees. “They do have a few pharmacies in the capital, Georgetown, but there are other areas in need, such as a village named South Ruimveldt that I identified during a recent trip as missing a large pharmacy that can meets residents’ needs.”
She says that she chose to attend Stevenson because she was looking for an educational experience that was intimate and would give Murray easy access to her professors, and she was well rewarded. Additionally, her independent research at Stevenson helped build her passion for the profession.
Although pharmacy school is “by no means an easy endeavor,” Murray says, she considers it to be an achievable goal. That she is thriving in graduate school is obvious; in addition to being a member of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Murray also earned the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust Pharmacy Scholarship.
“I attribute my achievements to hard-work, dedication to excellence, and an amazing foundation in the sciences,” she says. “All of these are skills I acquired during my undergraduate years at Stevenson. “Nothing is written in stone, but I know with hard work and dedication, I will be able to achieve my goals.”