This special issue of Pharmacy Times captures the essence of what pharmacists can do for health care, and this is an extremely important topic of discussion as the Affordable Care Act causes concern and there is a shift to value-based, evidence-based health care. In this issue, we underscore the value of pharmacists with our announcement of the Next-Generation PharmacistTM award category winners—and the unveiling of the 2014 Next-Generation PharmacistTM on our cover.
We are extremely proud to be the founders of this unique national awards program, with our partner Parata Systems, and we are especially proud of the fifth-year anniversary of the program, which recognizes pharmacists, pharmacy students, and technicians across the country. In the past 5 years, we have gathered a community of innovators, leaders, and the best of the profession.
No matter what the setting, innovative pharmacists are making a difference through their special expertise and leadership—trying new ways to “get it right”—and putting the patient first at all times. Our 2014 Next-Generation PharmacistTM winner is COL Keith A. Wagner, PharmD, RPh, who has been recognized for making major changes that have impacted Army pharmacy operations and stand as a model for the profession. His nominator described him as “passionate” and stated that he “exceeded expectations,” which describe all the Next-Generation PharmacistTM finalists and category winners as they move the profession forward.
When we created the Next-Generation PharmacistTM awards program 5 years ago, we were really ahead of the times. In general, pharmacists had not been recognized for their role in health care. Yes, they have always been the face in the community that people recognize, but within the professional health care landscape—and even within the public’s understanding of what pharmacists do—pharmacists were underrecognized.
We changed all that with the Next-Generation PharmacistTM awards program, and we have been honoring pharmacists—1 at a time—in all settings and from around the country. This special group constitutes a community of pharmacists and gathers together the best of the best, the leaders, and the innovators. These individuals go beyond their usual pharmacy duties to reshape their profession and health care. Please join me in congratulating them—as we honor them here in this issue and in person on August 24 in Boston. See www.pharmacytimes.com and www.nextgenerationpharmacist.com for more information on this unique program and how you can participate.
Thank you for reading!
Chairman and CEO