Look and Look Again -- Getting to Know the Community Pharmacy Foundation

Although its organizational infrastructure is virtual, the Community Pharmacy Foundation (CPF) is ‘anything but’ and is quite quantifiable and impactful in its vision, mission, and deliverables.

Although its organizational infrastructure is virtual, the Community Pharmacy Foundation (CPF) is ‘anything but’ and is quite quantifiable and impactful in its vision, mission, and deliverables.

CPF is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing community pharmacy practice and patient care delivery through grant funding and resource sharing. If someone is not familiar with the organization and tries to locate where CPF calls ‘home’, a website search will indicate Chicago, IL. A phone number and physical address is not listed, but there is a robust website, a way to ‘Contact Us’, monthly Newsletters, and the presence of Board Members, the Executive Director, and grantees at national and professional meetings. There is much more to the Community Pharmacy Foundation than first meets the eye.

Digging a bit deeper, CPF was established as the result of a class action pretrial settlement for discriminatory pricing issues led by Bob Gude and the Pharmacy Freedom Fund. CPF recently paid tribute to its origins through a contribution to the Bob and Mary Gude Endowed Scholarship fund at The University of Texas College of Pharmacy. CPF was founded in 2000 and began grant funding in 2002, which means CPF celebrates its 15th year of grant funding this year!

Initially, the Community Pharmacy Foundation consisted of a 5-member Board of Directors. Over the years it has evolved into a 7-member Board, along with the leadership of an Executive Director. The founding Board’s intent was to ensure the viability of CPF, in perpetuity, with annual grant funding dollar allocations guided by the estimated annual return on the financial investments. Breaking that down into real numbers, CPF currently has about $20 million in the bank to support innovative community pharmacy advancements. Annual grant funding approval is approximately $550,000 with an average grant award around $40,000 (Isetts, et al., CPF 10-Year Program Evaluation Analysis.) However, if large-scale financing to advance community pharmacy practice was ever needed, CPF could act to fund these efforts.

Atypical of most foundations, CPF does not feature a ‘donate now’ button on the website. Instead, CPF is interested in and solicits ideas, creativity, identification of unmet needs, and interests of community pharmacists in the form of grant applications for projects and research studies. Funding priorities are to implement ideas that highlight new and emerging innovations in patient care including a compensation model for the care delivered (if applicable). CPF responds favorably to those innovative grant proposals featuring payment to pharmacists for pharmacist services delivered independently or in collaboration and partnership with other health care providers. Grantees are often from innovative community pharmacies or academicians in partnership with community pharmacists operating in single and multiple locations. CPF seeks and receives collaboration with national associations and their resources focused on benefiting community pharmacy.

In addition to funding grants, the CPF Board invests in communication initiatives to advance community pharmacy. This is accomplished via an up-to-date CPF website, monthly and quarterly newsletters, being active on social networking sites (check out CPF on Facebook and Twitter), and through peer-reviewed journal publications. Furthermore, Board members strive to maintain communications and information access to internal and external stakeholders. It is common for Board Members, the Executive Director, and/or grantees to attend national and professional meetings - getting the word out, sharing resources, and making connections are integral to CPF.

The Community Pharmacy Foundation is not an organization to just glance over. It was created with a purpose and it is administered with a purpose. Learning more about this organization and contributing to it intellectually and creatively helps further its goals of advancing community pharmacy practice and patient care delivery, as well as creating a network among the pharmacy community. Look for additional information about CPF, its activities, and its grantees in future Practice Insights issues.

Anne Marie (Sesti) Kondic, PharmD, serves as Executive Director for the Community Pharmacy Foundation in Chicago.

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