APhA2014: The Power and Promise of Pharmacy



March 31, 2014, WASHINGTON, DC — The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Annual Meeting & Exposition, APhA2014, held March 28-31, drew nearly 6,000 pharmacists and student pharmacists from every pharmacy practice setting to Orlando. Attendees heard from pharmacy thought-leaders about the many changes and challenges facing the pharmacy profession. APhA2014 provided practitioners with information to strengthen their role as patient care providers and the resources they need to demonstrate their value and benefit to patients and communities.

This year’s theme, The Power & Promise of Pharmacy, describes pharmacists’ changing roles in health care. Pharmacists bring a unique set of skills and knowledge to their collaborations with the health care team, and the result is improved health outcomes for patients. The expertise, insights and enthusiasm practitioners gained at APhA2014 will fuel their efforts and spread to other pharmacists across the country.

APhA2014 general sessions were headlined by engaging speakers:

  • Cardiology Practice Update 2014: The Heart of the Matter — Richard H. Carmona, MD, MPH, FACS, 17th Surgeon General of the United States (2002-2006) — Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the number one global cause of death, accounting for 17.3 million deaths per year, a number that is expected to grow to more than 23.6 million by 2030. The epidemiological transition is exacerbated by lack of sustainable health policies in place to address and curtail the risk factors associated with CVD and help people make healthier choices. Dr. Carmona discussed public health issues surrounding cardiovascular disease and focused on what needs to be done to meet the public health goals.
  • Priority One: Provider Status —Thomas E. Menighan, APhA EVP and CEO and Buddy Carter, Georgia State Senator — At APhA, the profession of pharmacy is our priority. A campaign to advance pharmacist provider status-Pharmacists Provide Care-addresses one of the most critical issues for our profession and remains APhA's primary focus. This session featured a discussion of APhA's efforts to achieve provider status and promote consumer access and coverage for pharmacists’ patient care services. Carter and Menighan discussed how pharmacy has united as a profession and what individual pharmacists can do to move this initiative forward on a national and state level to address the health care needs of the nation.

APhA 2014-2015 President, Matthew C. Osterhaus, BSPharm, FASCP, FAPhA, of Maquoketa, IA, delivered his Presidential Address at the Second General Session. “There is comfort from routine and the status quo. But our traditions are crumbling. I dare say there are few comfortable pharmacists today as health care changes accelerate… APhA is here to act as a conduit for sharing your innovations and best practices. The Association is your doorway to education, resources, and opportunities for professional growth. The Association can amplify a single person’s voice and progress into something that will gain attention within and outside of the profession.

“While I am extremely excited that pharmacy has legislation before Congress, our profession’s quest for recognition exceeds the pursuit of a single bill. Our strategy includes engagement by voters and decision-makers. It also includes you! As within any successful family, lots of give and take is needed, and we don’t always get everything we want. Sometimes it takes baby steps to reach the ultimate goal. We cannot confuse the public or decision makers with varying terminology and ‘Asks.’ We build strength and influence when we act as one profession — one pharmacy family. During my presidential year we will remain committed to ’Advancing As One,’ One Healthcare Team, One Profession, One Patient Care Process.”

During the meeting, the APhA House of Delegates voted on three proposed policies:

  • Care Transitions
  • Audits of Health Care Practices
  • Use of Social Media

Several new business items were also introduced for consideration by the House:

  • Pharmacists' Responsibilities in Community Medication Awareness Programs
  • Controlled Substances and Other Medications with the Potential for Abuse and Use of Opioid Reversal Agents
  • The Use and Sale of Electronic Cigarettes (e-Cigarettes)
  • Professional Use of the Terms "Specialty" and "Specialist"
  • Freedom of Scientific Information

For information or outcomes of the deliberations, visit http://pharmacist.com/house-of-delegates.

APhA has started preparations for APhA2015, Advancing as One, March 27-30, in San Diego. For further information on future meetings, contact APhA staff or visit www.aphameeting.org.

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