Edward M. DeSimone Presidential Statement

AACP Article

I am humbled to be nominated as a candidate for President-elect of AACP. In my 40-plus years as a member, I have met and worked with many conscientious, insightful, and visionary colleagues who have provided me with a blueprint of how to advance the mission and vision of our Association. I am reluctant to name any because I would be unable to name them all. However, I must acknowledge my advisor and friend, Dr. Charles Peterson, who gave me these words of advice when I was a graduate student which had a great impact on my life and on me as an educator, “You WILL join AACP!”

In 1980, I was a member of the AACP/Eli Lilly Pharmacy Communications Skills Project which developed the original Curriculum Planning Guide for teaching interpersonal communication skills. During my tenure as Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, I was a member of the Council of Deans. I have also served as Secretary of the Council of Faculties. Over the past three years on the Board of Directors and Chair of the Council of Sections, I have experienced the complexity of operations within our Association from the inside out. I appointed six task forces to look at issues that directly affect our Association and membership, including the Section-SIG Relationship and Faculty and Student Marijuana Use.

If elected, I will dedicate myself to advancing those key initiatives that I believe will benefit our Association and membership. It is clear that a priority concern for our schools is the need to expand the applicant pool in light of diminishing enrollments. The Board has addressed this in the new 2016-2019 Strategic Plan under Strategic Priority 1. It is important for AACP and its members to work together to identify solutions given some of the problematic conditions that cannot/will not be changed. I will continue to assist in the ongoing endeavor to achieve all the goals of the new Strategic Plan, especially Strategic Priority 1.

As a pharmacy resident preceptor, I am concerned with the increasing number of graduates seeking residency positions who are unable to match. I will look at the role of residencies and availability of residency positions, and how AACP should address this problem. This issue has been added to the new Strategic Plan under Strategic Priority 3.

There is a growing interest within AACP regarding global pharmacy education. We should investigate opportunities for global engagement to improve pharmacy education and practice that would be mutually beneficial to both AACP and its global partners.

We are currently in the grips of an opioid epidemic. The President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis recently urged the president to “declare a national emergency” stating that there are 142 deaths daily in the U.S. Substance abuse is not new but the use of super potent drugs (especially opioids) has pushed the death toll to new heights. In a study I conducted and presented at the 2009 Annual Meeting in Boston, 36% of schools reported having no required or elective course on substance abuse and/or addictive diseases.

Unfortunately, these numbers have not changed much. In 2011, Immediate Past President Jeff Baldwin, EVP Lucinda Maine, and I were invited along with 20 other pharmacist leaders to the White House Office on National Drug Control Policy for a day-long conversation on what pharmacy can do to combat this growing problem. We cannot defeat an epidemic if our graduates are insufficiently educated about the disease. This will be one of my priority issues as well.

AACP and its members are working very diligently to keep pace with the rapid changes in pharmacy practice. As a member of the Joint Commission of Pharmacy Practitioners, AACP has helped to develop the Pharmacists’ Patient Care Process. In addition, AACP has recently adopted the Core Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) for New Pharmacy Graduates which has been mapped to the CAPE 2013 Educational Outcomes and the Pharmacists’ Patient Care Process. As educators first, we need to support and double down on the process of Educational Care as promoted by Past President Nick Popovich.

During my years of involvement in AACP, I have come to appreciate our members’ dedication to service and volunteerism, those who go beyond the everyday and look to the future of pharmacy practice and how we, as educators, can meet these future needs for practice. Our association is vibrant and the future looks bright and exciting. I would be honored to have the opportunity to continue to serve you and AACP as President-elect.