Meet Afton Wagner

Chapter: Epsilon Alumni Chapter (Alpha Rho Collegiate Chapter)

LKS Award

2016 Distinguished Young Pharmacist Award

About Afton

I am a 2007 graduate of the Northeastern University Bouvé College of Health Sciences School of Pharmacy. In 2002, I helped to reactivate the Alpha Rho Chapter of Lambda Kappa Sigma with some wonderful lambs who became lifelong friends. Currently, I am a member of the Epsilon Alumni Chapter, which I joined after moving to the Washington D.C. area in 2007.

After graduation, I pursued a fellowship in association management at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, which led me down the path to government affairs and policy. I currently serve as Manager of Federal Government Affairs for the Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS), a global, cause-based organization focused on better health through information technology. On a daily basis, I engage with federal government agencies to help analyze and shape policy around healthcare IT.

When I’m not working, you can usually find me running around the National Mall in Washington, D.C. I completed my 6th full marathon in October and am looking forward to meeting new running goals in 2017. I also love to cook and finding new places to travel. I am usually planning my next vacation before the current one has ended! Recently, my travels to South America inspired me to take Spanish classes, and I have just started my third 10-week course.

I held a number of LKS leadership roles as a collegiate including Recording Secretary, Vice-President/New Member Coordinator and Alumni Chair. After graduation, I served several terms as LKS Southern Region Supervisor and most recently served as Grand Vice President for Collegiates (2014–2016). I have also been on several committees, including the Professional Projects Committee, where I once served as Chair and where I continue to serve as a committee member.

Most memorable LKS experience?

Choosing one memorable experience is difficult as I have a number of wonderful memories to look back on! But the one memory that continues to surface is my time spent volunteering at Rosie’s Place in Boston with my fellow sisters as a collegiate. Rosie’s Place was founded in 1974 as the first women’s shelter in the United States. Today, it continues to provide a safe and nurturing environment that helps poor and homeless women maintain their dignity, seek opportunity and find their security in life. Our chapter volunteered for Rosie’s Place on a monthly basis by serving dinner and donating toiletry products. I would go as often as possible, and it was through this activity that I fully recognized the importance of public service and giving back to the community. Currently, I volunteer for Bright Beginnings through the Junior League of Washington. Bright Beginnings serves young children and families in homeless environments. I cherish every minute that I am able to give to this organization and thank LKS for embedding the Core Value of Service into my life.

What advice would you give to fellow sisters?

It is okay to be scared. I cannot think of a single successful person I admire who has not had some apprehension about the goals they set for themselves. If I had not gotten over some of my fears, I would not have had the experiences or opportunities that shaped who I am today. Get comfortable with discomfort and take chances…don’t let fear hold you back. There are always going to be challenging opportunities and situations that you may fear or not want to confront, but you should embrace them with confidence and you will come out a stronger person.

Why are you a lamb for life?

The sisterhood of LKS is an inspiration. I have met so many strong and confident sisters who embody the spirit of LKS and make the profession so much better for it. I will always be a lamb for life so that I can continue to engage with our amazing sisterhood and meet the next generation of intelligent pharmacists who will inspire me and shape our future as a profession.

What job would you do if you weren’t a pharmacist?

I would consider going through the process to become a Foreign Service Officer or Specialist at the U.S. Department of State. I have always been passionate about public service and experiencing different cultures and people from different nations.

Ricardo SilvaAfton Wagner