Student Voices: The Asheville Summit 2023

This year’s theme, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, brings interprofessional health-care leaders together in-person for first time in three years

Story and graphic design by Julia Mesawich | Published February 7, 2023

Mountains at sunset with The Asheville Summit Logo superimposed

Student Voices gives first-person perspectives written by the students of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. For this piece, we hear from Julia Mesawich, PharmD candidate ’24, on the importance of The Asheville Summit’s return to being in-person.

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted my pharmacy career in more ways than I ever would have thought possible. In addition to seeing the rampant health disparities and lack of health care equity truly being exposed to the public with the COVID-19 pandemic, my pharmacy school experience has also been impacted on a more personal level. Having my first year of pharmacy school entirely virtually, isolated me from my classmates and played a huge role in my moving from the Eshelman School of Pharmacy’s Chapel Hill campus to the Asheville campus, where I believed the smaller class sizes and ample leadership opportunities would help me get my footing again.

What I did not know before moving was the emphasis the Asheville campus has on amplifying historically marginalized voices and providing equitable care for all. I did not realize that my time on this campus would be spent slowly learning and exploring what it means to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion principles into my daily life, and my future as a health-care professional.

Julia Mesawich sits outside among flowering shrubs

Julia Mesawich, PharmD candidate ’24

​As we have been transitioning out of the pandemic, many events have been brought back in person that in past years have been canceled or have happened virtually. One of the events we have brought back in person this year is The Asheville Summit, which is a student-led conference that focuses on a broad topic every year to teach students and pharmacists alike about innovations in healthcare. As the pandemic exposed health disparities among communities, this year it was decided that the theme would be “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.”

I urge you to take advantage of this in-person opportunity for the first time in over three years, to learn from various interprofessional leaders in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion realm. We are so excited to host this event for health-care professionals to come together, reflect on their current practice, and leave with new ideas to further their practice advancement. This event is something that I, alongside other Asheville student leaders, have put my heart into. We have worked so hard to ensure the success of this event, and now all we need is you.

We recognize that many people aren’t sure how to navigate the transition back to live events for CE credit, but these events hold the benefit of making invaluable personal connections. If you are available to attend The Asheville Summit on February 25th, 2023, please consider registering to help support the students that have worked so hard to ensure this event is a success, despite the many barriers COVID-19 has created throughout the planning process.