How is it possible that each AACP Annual Meeting surpasses those that preceded it—both in numbers of attendees and the overall quality of the programming? I always respond to such a question with the simple equation: the meeting is built and delivered by members for members and so many willing volunteers step forward to make it “the best ever”—a phrase that still rings in my ears from Boston. Members bring challenges and innovations, and that keeps the program relevant to attendees. And then there is the networking!
The Annual Meeting is our most important platform for awards as well. This year’s lineup of award recipients presented an array of some of the greatest contributors to the Academy: Milap Nahata, Melissa Medina, Suresh Madhavan and Kathleen Giacomini took top honors. Student innovations and institutional commitments to community engagement were also recognized. The latter being the University of Colorado receiving the Lawrence C. Weaver Transformative Community Service Award.
AACP participates in award programs off the Annual Meeting platform as well. In June, Admiral Brett Giroir, Assistant Secretary of Health in the Department of Health and Human Services, participated in recognizing collaborators at East Tennessee State University for their work in blunting the opioid crisis in the Appalachia region. This is the second annual U.S. Public Health Service/IPEC recognition for interprofessional engagement in significant public health activities. ETSU is making a difference through their comprehensive programs at the community and regional level.
And what a difference other programs profiled in this issue of Academic Pharmacy Now have the potential to make, including students in “hotspotting” efforts in underserved communities and integrating pharmacists’ medication management services into physician group practices. I firmly believe both practices will grow fairly rapidly over the next several years, opening up exciting new collaborative practice opportunities for pharmacists across the country. Having just returned from the annual congress of the International Pharmacy Federation (FIP) I can attest that these practices are blooming across the world and most specifically in the United Kingdom where the National Health Service view this as a remedy for a significant shortage of General Practitioners.
The profession will celebrate American Pharmacists Month in October, and AACP and our partners will launch our public-facing media campaign as well. Helping people fully grasp the capability of our graduates to help them resolve their healthcare challenges and live healthier lives is the heart of the campaign. I am looking forward to telling the stories—your stories of high impact care to make medication use more rational and effective.
Lucinda L. Maine, Ph.D., R.Ph.
CEO and Publisher