The Ghanaian Pharmacists Association was founded in 2007 by two pharmacists – Jennifer Anim and Kofi Bawuah who felt that Ghanaian pharmacists should come together to provide much-needed support to, not only each other, but also to students and others interested in entering the profession. On March 1st, 2008 they sponsored the very first GPhA meeting at the Marriott Hotel – Pooks Hill in Bethesda, Maryland where Dr. Anthony Wutoh graciously gave a continuing education presentation on “The Use of Herbal Products in the Treatment of HIV Disease.” In attendance at this meeting were our initial members: Akwasi Agyei, Kierte Amate, Linda Ayesu, Kingsley Boateng, Eillen Danquah (student member), Mariette Agyeman-Duah, Naa Odifie, Kwame Oware Hanson, Charles Quansah, Anthony Wutoh, and Loreen Wutoh. This meeting was very successful with the objectives and vision of the association introduced to the group and members registered officially into the association. Charles Quansah led the effort to move the organization forward by providing the initial $200 to get things off the ground.
Subsequently, a few more CE presentations were given by Dr. Anthony Wutoh, who later arranged for us to meet at on campus at Howard University. We were able to conduct these meetings along with other programs that were sponsored by pharmaceutical companies who provided a CE program and dinner in various restaurants in the DC Metro area. Events sponsored by the organization have included continuing education programs, conducting and supporting community health fairs, fundraising and collection of textbooks for Pharmacy Schools in Ghana, supporting mission trips to Ghana, picnics and social events, as well as the development of mentorship opportunities for pharmacy students.
In 2009 a leadership group was established where Jennifer appointed officers – Loreen as treasurer, Jennifer as vice president, Kwadwo Awuah as secretary, and Kofi as president. During this time Dr. Wutoh had suggested that “Founding Members” status should be created to raise money for the organization. It was agreed that $500 would be the benchmark, which two individuals did take ownership of this challenge - Akwasi Agyei and Steve Poku-Kwateng. Kwadwo Awuah took the initiative to start our non-profit 501c status registration with LegalZoom.
Our leadership team grew with very committed members who have stood with the association through the years to include Theo Awuah, and Teokor Evans-Anfom. To accommodate the members, monthly meetings were changed to quarterly meetings and then monthly teleconference meetings.
Over time, the GPhA has been able to develop lasting connections with like-minded pharmacists in Virginia, New York, and other areas of the country who have an interest in serving the community, and reaching back to support pharmacy and other healthcare development efforts in Ghana.
In 2012, the GPhA co-hosted a reception in honor of Professor Arthur Sackeyfio, Founding Dean of the School of Pharmacy at the University of Ghana Legon, and Professor Emeritus of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). This acclaimed event brought together several generations of Ghanaian pharmacists, alumni of the KNUST, and well-wishers from various backgrounds to honor Professor Sackeyfio for his years of distinguished service in the education of generations of pharmacists in Ghana.
Recently, an effort to streamline the licensure process for pharmacists interested in being licensed in Ghana was spearheaded by Dr. Michael Mireku-Nyame. It soon became imperative that our strategy should include collaboration with the Virginia group – we needed to combine our intellectual, financial, and professional resources to form a combined national association. Realizing this would only add to our legitimacy led to our push to have our long-awaited inauguration as an association.
The Ghanaian Pharmacists Association is proud of the traditions that have been initiated to connect Ghanaians located in the diaspora to the motherland. GPhA will continue to recognize the efforts of Ghanaian pharmacists working in the United States, and we forward to supporting activities to strengthen the impact of the profession of pharmacy both here and in Ghana. Future events will include continuing education programming, community health fairs, supporting medical missions to Ghana, supporting student and faculty exchanges to schools/colleges of pharmacy, and advocacy of healthcare both in the United States and abroad.
“I grew up with the vision of bringing people together and helping others in times of need because I believe that there is blessing and strength in unity and giving,” (Dr. Kwabena Boakye).
Many of our founding members, after finishing pharmacy school, were looking for a socio-professional pharmacists’ organization to be a part of but none existed - at least not in the state of Virginia. This became the motivational force to bring like-minded pharmacists together.
In late 2009, a couple of pharmacists gathered together and discussed the possibility of the formation of a Pharmacy organization and in January 2010, the first general meeting was held at Dr. Kwabena Boakye’s home where seven of the current members (Kwabena Boakye, Joel Sarsah, Harry Asamoah-Berkoh, Kwame Enin, Charles Yaafi, Nana Safo, and Vera Asante) attended. This was very exciting and since then our membership increased in number to over forty in 2015. After the third general meeting it was necessary to nominate executives to lead the path for this group of young professionals.
Through a unanimous decision, Dr. Kwabena Boakye was elected as president, Dr. Joel Sarsah as Vice President, Dr. Vera Asante as Programs Director, Dr. Harry Asamoah-Berkoh as Secretary (he resigned shortly afterwards and was replaced by Dr. Adwoa Addai). Dr. Nana Sarfo was named advisor. Later that year Nana Efa Attefua joined the executive group as treasurer. Some of the earlier members included: Mrs. Lucy Amo, Dr. Daniel Daffour, Dr. Amma Daffour, Dr. Eillen Dankwaah, Dr. Dennis Bedzo, Mr. Yaw Arthur, and Mrs. Abena Oye
The main goals of the Ghanaian Pharmacists Association of USA (Virginia) (GPhA-VA) are multifold: bringing Ghanaian pharmacists in the U.S especially in the state of Virginia together in strengthening and growing in our profession, helping each other in times of need, and giving back to the Ghanaian community. Currently six members of GPhA – VA have opened their own independent pharmacies in the northern Virginia area, a testament to true unity and great professional network. Since its inception, the organization, in conjunction with the Ghanaian Nurses Association, has demonstrated a strong commitment towards these goals by organizing a two-day Health Fair for the Ghanaian community in Virginia. This very successful program was done in collaboration with Nutralite and the Ghana Youth Council at Ebenezer Presbyterian Church. Also, the organization donated logo pens and pill boxes at the July 4th Ghanaian Picnic and supported the launching of Sunlight FM in Woodbridge, Virginia as our first act of community service and has been conducting these health fairs annually at Ebenezer Presbyterian Church.
The organization also had its first Annual Picnic dubbed “Family BBQ” and members also attended the outdooring and wedding ceremonies of two of our members. The first end of year celebration occurred in December 2010 and Dr. Anthony Wutoh, at that time the dean of Howard Universit,y was the guest speaker.
The end of year party became an annual event which was held continuously for 3 more years. GPhA-VA takes delight in educating and assisting the Ghanaian communities through health screenings, immunizations, pharmaceutical care and resources. The association also takes pride in giving back to the motherland and in summer of 2012 a letter was drafted and sent to many pharmacy schools around the region for our “pharmacy text book drive project.” These donated text books were later shipped to Kwame Nkrumah University (KNUST) School of Pharmacy along with many pharmacy newsletters, journals and magazines sent to the Ghana Pharmacy Council.
In the summer of 2014, the University of Southern California SNPhA chapter contacted GPhA leadership for a joint mission trip to Ghana. Dr. Vera Asante was elected to go on this fully funded trip by USC SNPhA and they visited the Gomoa districts of Ghana and performed many health fairs and educational seminars for the local youth.
During that same year, GPhA-VA collaborated with the Gold Coast Foundation and medical students from the University of Oklahoma on a medical missionary trip to the Ashanti Region (Ejisu, Efiduase Kwabre & Bodomase area), GPhA-VA also donated backpacks with numerous school supplies for the orphanage at Efiduase.
In 2015, GPhA-VA was invited by the Lady Pharmacists of Ghana (LAPAG) - - another wing of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana - for their annual health fair. Dr. Asante joined them and was able to participate in many of the health fairs across the greater Accra region organized by LAPAG. She also gave a fraternal message at their grand opening ceremony at Osu Presbyterian Church.
The association is looking forward to supporting the establishment of branches in all fifty states in the United States in uniting all Ghanaian Pharmacists, students, and technicians nationwide and to impact the Ghanaian community here in the US and our motherland Ghana.
Call: 1-888 590 1871
Fax: 1-301 490 2237
14507 Mayfair Dr.