AACP’s newest senior staff member, Dr. Terri Moore, just returned from the meeting of the new Pharmacists Section of the American Public Health Association (APHA) in Philadelphia. While meeting with this highly energized group of public health-oriented pharmacists, Terri had opportunities to both share AACP’s perspective on pharmacists’ impact on public health and learn about the diverse and exciting practice and research efforts of attendees. It is highly significant that APHA now recognizes pharmacists as a section, opening new opportunities to forge connections with other public health leaders.
I wish this issue of Academic Pharmacy Now had been in Terri’s hands at the meeting! The stories of our members’ education, research and practice activities in just three key areas under the broad public health umbrella—chronic disease prevention and treatment, cannabis and increasing access to contraceptives—underscore our message that pharmacists, student pharmacists and faculty are key contributors to local, state, national and international public health programs. We all know the immunization story with the expanding empowerment of pharmacists to make life-saving vaccines more broadly accessible in every state and U.S. territory.
In reflecting with Terri as she prepared for the APHA meeting, I shared how many in the Academy reacted to the 2004 AACP CAPE Educational Outcomes revision. This was the version of the CAPE Outcomes that essentially characterized the work of pharmacists and the curricular framework in three dimensions: Pharmaceutical Care, Systems Management and Public Health. More than one educator questioned the appropriateness of including public health as one of the three legs on our Pharm.D. education “stool.” This surprised people outside the profession as well. Across the 15 years since that was released, we have truly lived into our contention that there are many ways for pharmacy to contribute to public and population health.
Our Pharmacists for Healthier Lives campaign, now in its second year, promotes the accessibility of pharmacists. While current economic disruption places our access somewhat in peril, by fully activating the services profiled in this issue and preparing our graduates to activate critically needed public health services, pharmacists will earn the deserved reputation as the most accessible point of access for primary and secondary prevention.
Lucinda L. Maine, Ph.D., R.Ph.
CEO and Publisher