Incoming HOPA President Outlines Organization’s Future

April 16, 2021
Skylar Kenney, Assistant Editor

Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association plans to develop tools and resources to support those conducting research in the oncology pharmacy field, with the goal of promoting pharmacist-led research and improving the ability to analyze difficult scientific questions.

Incoming Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA) president Larry W. Buie, PharmD, BCOP, FASHP, outlined his plan for the future of the organization in a presentation at the virtual 2021 HOPA Annual Conference. He placed specific emphasis on the importance of expanding HOPA’s reach, committing to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and developing the HOPA collaborative research program.

Buie discussed a number of ways to potentially expand the organization’s reach, including through HOPA’s task force on student engagement, which is examining how HOPA can collaborate with pharmacy schools to teach pharmacy students about oncology earlier in their careers. The organization also plans to expand its external collaborations and to make the organization more patient-facing, with plans to have patients tell their own stories to help expand the understanding of the pharmacist’s role in cancer care.

“We want HOPA to be the professional home to all pharmacists that are taking care of patients with cancer, and that includes people like specialty pharmacists and investigational drug pharmacists, or pharmacists that may be working in more nontraditional roles, such as those in the pharmaceutical industry,” Buie said. “We want to understand all of their needs and we want to be able to provide them with the resources that they need to also perform in their roles as well as they can.”

HOPA also plans to make efforts towards improving the organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) through the development of a DEI task force. This task force will have the overarching goals of increasing diversity in leadership and developing tools and resources that can be used to take care of diverse patient populations.

“We have heard from Dr. Lakesha Butler during our keynote talking about structural racism in pharmacy and how to dismantle that,” Buie said. “We actually want to understand better the disparities that exist in health care and the role pharmacists can play, and so ultimately we will want an annual report of some type that we will be able to use to measure our progress in the DEI area.”

Buie also emphasized the importance of expanding the HOPA collaborative research program, bringing together students and researchers working on similar projects. The organization plans to develop tools and resources to support those conducting research in the oncology pharmacy field, with the goal of promoting pharmacist-led research and improving the ability to analyze difficult scientific questions.

“I think many of us have gone to resident poster presentations where we have looked at small numbers of similar projects that have been done in many institutions and we thought, ‘Wow, if we could only pool some of this information, it would be so much more valuable.’” Buie said. “Then we probably lose two-thirds of those projects because they’re never published.”

Buie concluded by announcing the HOPA Fall Practice Management meeting would be held in Washington, DC, on October 7, 2021. The meeting will be a single-day event with separate tracks for investigational drugs and specialty pharmacy.

“Now, this is going to be a little bit different,” Buie said. “We are hoping to use these tracks to identify problems and come up with real solutions in those areas, so stay tuned for more information.”

REFERENCE

Larry W. Buie. Incoming President’s Remarks and Board Awards: A Journey of Gratitude. Presented at: HOPA Annual Conference 2021; April 16, 2021; Virtual.