Editor's Note: Inspiring ASHP Meeting Affirms Pharmacists' Service Role
"Ain't no stopping us now"?ASHP meeting highlights 2007 accomplishments and looks to bright future.
Mr. McAllister is a health-systemsconsultant based in Chapel Hill,North Carolina.
More than 6000 pharmacistshad the experience of a lifetimeat the American Societyof Health-System Pharmacists? midyearclinical meeting in Las Vegas. The openinggeneral session that signaled thestart of the meeting was the best I haveever attended. The theme adopted forthe meeting, ?Ain?t no stopping us now,?was full of hope, optimism, enthusiasm,and joy.
2007 has been an excellent year forour profession with numerous accomplishments,a new level of cooperationand collegiality within the profession,and, most importantly, great promise forthe positive evolution of the practice ofpharmacy in 2008 and beyond. As Ienjoyed the program, it struck me that Iwas part of a celebration, caught up inthe enthusiasm by a sense of collectiveaccomplishment that was quite satisfyingand encouraging.
The highlight of the session was apresentation by one of the mostremarkable speakers I have ever heard,Dr. Maya Angelou. Her selection as thekeynote speaker was a brilliant choiceand perfectly aligned with the theme ofthe meeting and hopefully with arenewed mindset for all pharmacistswhich will serve us well?a positive,optimistic attitude about serving others.I felt as though I was in my living roomwith my grandmother?at ease, smilingand laughing, learning from her experienceand wisdom, and uplifted by herlove of life and caring for others.
Dr. Angelou began her remarks bypraising what we do for others andencouraging us to take a littletime to take care of ourselvesand enjoy themoment. Her speech wassprinkled with advice, encouragement,and short storiesfull of meaning and valuableinsight. The focus of herremarks was based on thebook of Genesis and the creationof rainbows for rainydays. Dr. Angelou referred toa 19th-century African-American lyricist who suggestedthat God put rainbowsin the clouds themselvesso that there waslight even on the darkest ofdays. She continued bypointing out that all of uswere beneficiaries of others, includingour parents, our teachers, our predecessors,and friends, who were rainbowsfor us. She encouraged us to becomerainbows for others?the patients weserve, our families, our communities,and each other?as a means to pay forwardfor those who preceded us. Shecharacterized this task as an onerousbut honorable responsibility. I was mesmerizedby her message and committedmyself to try to be a rainbowambassador.
I have been so fortunate to havemany rainbows from family, friends, andcolleagues throughout my life and especiallythis year. My commentaries oftensuggest there is more that we shoulddo, and I suppose I am doing it again thismonth. I want to thank all of you forwhat you do for each other and thosewe serve. I can?t possibly convey Dr.Angelou?s message with the sameverve, but I would encourage you torevisit her work and consider becominga rainbow ambassador. Will you?