Learning at Every Turn

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Learning at Every Turn 

By Gerry Romano and Maureen Thielemans

The 2013 AACP Annual Meeting presented learning and networking opportunities at every turn for more than 2,000 pharmacy educators.

A record-shattering 2,314 attendees stretched their minds, strengthened their skills, forged new friendships and celebrated pharmacy education during the learning-and-networking-packed 2013 AACP Annual Meeting. Innovative sessions delivered timely information on academic issues. Expert speakers offered observations, and colleagues connected to share ideas. Here are highlights of the conference, held July 13–17, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

Mission Accomplished

Opening the Annual Meeting, AACP President J. Lyle Bootman, Ph.D., highlighted the Association’s work in meeting the challenge he set forth a year ago: “to get to the right tables of influence in this era of remarkable change in healthcare, education and research.” Bootman, who serves as dean, College of Pharmacy, and professor of pharmacy, medicine and public health at The University of Arizona, noted that, “in each sector, there is a need for pharmacy educators to make contributions as part of collaborative teams to improve the value equation in discovery, learning and patient care. As I knew you would, the Academy responded in innumerable ways with advocacy and action at the local, state, national and international levels.

“Our members,” he continued, “are providing great leadership in establishing new models of practice and creating the evidence that, when pharmacists have opportunities to add value in medication management and participate on interprofessional teams, the triple aim of better care, better health and lower costs can be achieved.”

After noting the key achievements of each AACP standing committee [for details, see the standing committee reports by visiting the Governance section of www.aacp.org], Bootman applauded the work of the Center for the Advancement of Pharmacy Education (CAPE) Outcomes Panel. This group addressed “two critical questions: What must the graduates of the future know as society’s medication-use specialists? And how best do they apply what they know to impact the outcomes of patients?” [To read the CAPE 2013 outcomes for pharmacy education, go to http://www.aacp.org/resources/education/cape.]

Pursuing Excellence

After the Opening General Session keynote speaker, Dr. Daniel Kraft, a physician-scientist, inventor and innovator, addressed the crowd with an energetic and rousing analysis of how fast-moving technologies will impact the future of health and medicine, AACP President-elect Peggy Piascik, Ph.D., spoke to attendees at the first session of the House of Delegates. She noted that “academic pharmacy is at the crossroads of many avenues of change.” She listed several: “the continuing evolution of pharmacy as a profession, massive changes under way in how and to whom healthcare is delivered in America, and rapid change in higher education. This includes both the demand for greater accountability in higher education and innovation in delivery models to individualize and improve student learning as well as to increase access to learning. We live in a time where change is the new constant, and we must continue to strive for excellence in all that we do.”

Piascik, professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, outlined priorities in support of her AACP presidential theme, “The Relentless Pursuit of Excellence in Pharmacy Education,” noting that her priorities will build on those of prior presidents. “Our first priority area of excellence is technology-based education delivery,” she said. Her other priorities for her tenure as Association president include excellence in scholarship and technician training.

In closing, Piascik commented, “The pursuit of excellence in pharmacy education requires that we continually spend time and energy to develop leaders for the Academy. …I ask each of you to consider how you can do more as a leader and mentor to promote excellence in pharmacy education. Without the mentoring and encouragement of a number of pharmacy faculty, I would not be here today as your President-elect.”

Science Takes Its Turn

The 2013 Science Plenary brought together some of the top minds in pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine. Addressing a packed ballroom, keynote speaker Dr. Julie A. Johnson, dean and UF Research Foundation Professor at the University of Florida College of Pharmacy, spoke about the horizon of pharmacogenomics discovery and the clinical implementation of personalized medicine programs. But looking to the future also meant acknowledging the progress made over the last several years. When the Human Genome Project was completed in 2001, the report projected that by 2011, targeted drug discovery would be based on genetic findings. By 2020, it stated that pharmacogenomics, which is the use of a patient’s genetic information to treat disease states, will be the standard practice. Johnson pointed out that since the early 2000s, the cost and time needed to sequence the human genome have gone down significantly. In 2001, after 13 years and $2.7 billion, the Human Genome Project delivered one complete human genome. Currently, the same process costs less than $1,000 and can be completed in less than one day. Johnson stressed the importance of utilizing a patient’s human genome sequencing for all future healthcare decision-making. “If you have that genetic information, what should you do with that information?”

As the Institute of Medicine anniversary pharmacy fellow and clinical pharmacy specialist at Kaiser Permanente Colorado (KPCO), Dr. Samuel G. Johnson detailed his work to implement pharmacogenomics within KPCO and discussed opportunities for collaboration between health systems and academia. Dr. Larisa H. Cavallari, co-director of the Warfarin Pharmacogenetics Service, University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System, detailed the process used at UI Health to improve the safety and efficacy of warfarin use and described how the service provides the opportunity for student and trainee experience in pharmacogenetics.

Examining Future Roles

In a report to the House of Delegates during its final session, AACP Executive Vice President and CEO Lucinda L. Maine, Ph.D., R.Ph., posed questions to the delegates, including: “Is there an oversupply of pharmacists in the United States today? Yes or no?” After Maine considered the mixed responses, she said, “I can’t tell you how many times I’m asked that question on a weekly basis.”

Acknowledging that the answer is complicated, Maine cited key intersecting components: “the retirement plans and timeframe of the graduates from the 60s and early 70s—the capitation era cohort of clinicians; the practice patterns of both men and women as professionals strive for that elusive work/life balance; and the alignment of payment and practice models that fully liberate the talents of our graduates to contribute to preventive, acute and chronic care to the full extent of their education and license.

“But my dear friend and former boss John Gans really nailed the answer,” Maine continued, “when he began reacting to the question of having too many pharmacists by asking, ‘Too many pharmacists to do what?’ That is really the key.

“AACP’s advocacy work is aimed at the public and private sector changes that are needed to stimulate the phase change,” Maine continued. “Our work in interprofessional education and collaborative practice insists that pharmacists are an ever-present part of patient care teams because of the centrality of medication use. Our commitment to the work of the multi-organizational effort to advance provider status for pharmacists in federal, state and private health programs is steadfast. [AACP Vice President of Policy and Advocacy] Will Lang recently told our partners why this is such a clear priority for AACP: ‘Our members are already the pharmacists providing this exceptional level of patient care across all settings of practice. They need us to clear the regulatory path to ensure that nothing stands in the way of them being able to fully exercise their talents and to make sure that our graduates can, too.’ ”

At the conclusion of four days of learning, networking, sharing and socializing, attendees returned to their home institutions armed with the latest tools and resources to be stronger leaders and better educators. As we look to Pharmacy Education 2014, the stage is set again for faculty and administrators to take advantage of countless professional development opportunities at every turn.

Keep Learning

Annual Meeting session recordings are available in the AACP Online Learning Center at http://aacp.sclivelearningcenter.com.

Also posted, at http://www.aacp.org/meetingsandevents/AM/2013/Pages/PresentationsHandouts.aspx, are presentations and handouts.

Thanks to Our Sponsors

Certiphi Screening, Inc.
Creighton University School of Pharmacy and Health Professions
ExamSoft Worldwide, Inc.
Liaison International, Inc.
National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation
National Association of Specialty Pharmacy
Northeast Ohio Medical University College of Pharmacy
Procter & Gamble
Rite Aid Corporation
St. John’s University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Walgreen Co.
Walmart Stores-Health & Wellness
University of Florida

Save the Date

Mark your calendar for the next AACP Annual Meeting, July 26-30, in Grapevine, Texas (Dallas area). Plans are already under way to make Pharmacy Education 2014 an outstanding event.

Last updated on: 9/30/2013 3:15 PM 

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