Once again, the pages of this issue of Academic Pharmacy Now are filled with testimonials to the many ways our members are not just thinking about how their graduates can fill some of the gaping holes in our healthcare system but are in ACTION addressing those gaps. Articles include programs and curricula addressing the pharmacist in the care of LGBTQ+ and rural Americans. Another article provides updates on the important work of interprofessional education to equip pharmacists as active participants and leaders in team-based care. In every case, there is a recognized need to improve care to individuals and populations, and our members are leading the way.
I write this on February 16, 2021. This is the 11-month anniversary of the rapid pivot that so many—including AACP members and staff—made in 2020 when remote work and education mandates affected our normal routines. It has been so very taxing on everyone to sustain the pace the pandemic has demanded of all of us, whether essential health workers on the frontlines or those, like me, whose work can be done remotely in the relative safety of our own homes.
The stories in this issue of Academic Pharmacy Now, plus the positive media attention that has shone a bright light on the work that our members and your graduates are doing to increase accessibility of COVID-19 vaccines, lift my spirits dramatically. There can be little doubt that pharmacists are essential to high-quality, accessible and equitable care. AACP’s efforts, in partnership with our pharmacy association colleagues in state and national associations, are laser focused on activities that will expand opportunities for pharmacists to work at the top of their education in sustainable patient care practices that are welcomed by patients and other healthcare providers as well.
One such partnership that AACP and many members have actively engaged in since before the pandemic is the Get the Medications Right Institute (GTMRx). AACP’s Board of Directors made a significant financial commitment to launch GTMRx in 2019, serving at the Executive Level. It is noteworthy that both the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the American College of Clinical Pharmacy are founding members of this alliance and serve on the GTMRx Board. Katie Capps, GTMRx co-founder, recently published this blog post on priorities for the Biden administration to improve medication management. GTMRx and the whole profession want to see comprehensive medication management become mainstream in healthcare in all settings where pharmacists practice, serve and lead—especially in places with health inequities and disparities we can no longer ignore.
Stay safe, stay healthy and stay sane. Your pharmacist will soon have a COVID vaccine for you!
Lucinda L. Maine, Ph.D., R.Ph.
CEO and Publisher