ASHP is always striving to develop the best tools, resources, advocacy, and education so our members can provide optimal care to their patients and grow, develop, and advance their pharmacy careers.
I would like to highlight a few recent examples of how ASHP supports leadership development and facilitates meaningful connections so that our members can continue to thrive in today’s rapidly evolving healthcare landscape.
Opportunities in our Newest ASHP Sections
Recently ASHP launched the Section of Community Pharmacy Practitioners, providing a distinct membership home within ASHP for pharmacists, student pharmacists, pharmacy residents, and pharmacy technicians who practice in community/ambulatory pharmacy-based settings and who are involved in direct patient care, leadership and management, and implementation of advanced practice models and education. The new Community Pharmacy Section is currently accepting applications for the inaugural Executive Committee, which will play a pivotal leadership role in shaping the future of this important new membership group. This is an exciting new opportunity for ASHP members to further advance care at the community level, and to help improve continuity of care for patients in and across all patient care settings. Executive Committee members will provide major leadership, guidance, and advice to ASHP on ways to better meet the needs of community-based practitioners and leaders. The deadline for applications is Nov. 2. I encourage you to apply as we hope to further engage you in ASHP!
This week is National Health Education Week. I’m pleased to share that the Executive Committee for our recently launched Section of Pharmacy Educators will be conducting its first meeting on Friday. Pharmacy educators have played critical roles in ASHP for many years. The idea to create this new section came directly from our pharmacy educator members and reflects ASHP’s strong desire to further support them in developing more seamless and bidirectional communication and engagement between pharmacy education and hospitals and health systems. The Executive Committee is chaired by Dr. Marie Chisolm-Burns, Dean and Distinguished Professor of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Pharmacy and Professor of Surgery in the College of Medicine, who will lead this initial meeting to help establish the tone and strategic direction for the section. I am looking forward to attending the meeting and engaging with this impressive new group. I am confident that the section will get off to a strong start.
Recent Engagement Opportunities
ASHP’s virtual Conference for Pharmacy Leaders, celebrating a milestone silver anniversary, concluded earlier this week. ASHP held the first conference 25 years ago with 150 attendees to emphasize leadership development for the profession. This year’s conference was an overwhelming success, bringing together 500 attendees with strong representation from hospital and health-system pharmacy administration and leadership residents. Attendees participated in virtual roundtable discussions and breakout sessions to connect, strategize, and exchange ideas on telehealth, women in pharmacy leadership, COVID-19 business recovery, and multi-hospital pharmacy services. Our keynote speakers, Deb Boelkes, M.B.A., B.S., and Bryan K. William, DM, shared leadership strategies and solutions that dovetail with ASHP President Tom Johnson’s inaugural themes of transformation, servant leadership, and acting on your truth. Thank you to the current and aspiring leaders who attended this exceptional event.
Our virtual National Pharmacy Preceptors Conference kicks off tomorrow. The agenda is rich in education and networking opportunities to help attendees stay current with the latest accreditation standards. If you haven’t already registered for the National Pharmacy Preceptors Conference, there is still time. I encourage you to take advantage of the many networking opportunities, training tips, and advice that have been developed to help preceptors of residents and students learn and apply best practices.
Rounding out ASHP’s efforts to provide members with leadership and engagement opportunities is our inaugural ASHP Pharmacy Executive Leadership Alliance (PELA) Summit, which will be held next week. ASHP created PELA earlier this year as a new engagement opportunity to provide distinctive, interactive, and highly productive networking, strategic planning, and professional development activities for pharmacy executives in complex hospital and health-system settings. PELA provides a venue to address the increasing demands for integrated strategic decision-making to ensure we are advancing medication use that is optimal, safe, and effective for all people all of the time across our nation’s multi-hospital health systems and integrated health networks. More than 170 pharmacy executives representing multi-hospital health systems and major hospitals and academic medical centers are participating in the event, which is focused on business recovery and rebuilding in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
ASHP continues to create new engagement opportunities to meet the needs of our members who hold a wide array of leadership positions within their organizations. Whether you are a clinician, preceptor, mentor, new manager, or seasoned pharmacy executive, ASHP has a wealth of exciting new programs and opportunities for service, networking, knowledge-sharing, and personal development. We hope you continue to take advantage of these exceptional opportunities. Be on the lookout for new and innovative programming as we continue to enhance our offerings in support of our diverse membership.
The Latest ASHP Advocacy Efforts
ASHP is engaged in a wide array of advocacy on your behalf. I would like to highlight a few key recent ASHP efforts. ASHP called on policymakers to provide transparency into the quality of drug manufacturing as part of our legislative objectives developed with the American Hospital Association, the American Society of Anesthesiologists, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology to address drug shortages. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced new programs that focus on drug manufacturing quality. These programs align with our legislative objectives, and we applaud the FDA for launching these programs to improve the transparency of drug manufacturing quality.
ASHP and our partners — 340B Health, America’s Essential Hospitals, the American Hospital Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Catholic Health Association, and the Children’s Hospital Association — are advocating on your behalf to support the 340B Drug Pricing Program. We launched a digital advertising campaign opposing pharmaceutical manufacturers’ actions that threaten to undermine this program. The campaign targets policymakers and has been viewed 8.6 million times. ASHP is also coordinating with our partners to promote messaging on social media about how 340B benefits hospitals, health centers, clinics, and your patients using the hashtag #Protect340B.
We’re also continuing to engage on multiple fronts to advocate for an effective vaccine rollout plan. Most recently, we shared key insights from ASHP’s Principles for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution, Allocation, and Mass Immunization during Friday’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) National Vaccine Advisory Committee public meeting. We requested that details related to the storage and handling of any approved vaccine(s) be made available as early as possible to assist our members in planning for Phase 1 allocation and distribution.
Tomorrow, we are participating in HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response’s Operation Warp Speed COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Strategy briefing for a discussion on distribution logistics, security, and planning assumptions related to the COVID-19 vaccine. We look forward to providing you updates on that briefing. We also submitted comments and will be attending the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee meeting tomorrow to provide guidance as the agency continues to plan for the approval and authorization of COVID-19 vaccine(s).
We are actively working with many other leading healthcare organizations as well to support clear guidance and leadership on vaccine preparedness efforts. Most recently, we united with 19 other health organizations to form the National Associations' COVID Vaccine Leadership Council to complement the efforts of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HHS, and Operation Warp Speed, and support state-level efforts. Additionally, we continue to update our dedicated COVID-19 Vaccine webpage, which includes tools, resources, and other support that I hope you will leverage as we work to support you through this public health crisis.
Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that this week is National Pharmacy Week. Please view a short video message from me. I am so proud of the extraordinary responsiveness, resilience, and camaraderie shown by ASHP members during this extremely challenging year.
Thank you for being a member of ASHP and for everything you do for your patients and our profession during these very challenging times.