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The following information was excerpted from HOPA’s 10th Anniversary Gala “Celebrating Success” Program Book

In the Beginning...

In 1995, Jody Simon brought together 10 pharmacists with a specialty interest in oncology practice who also possessed both clinical and administrative skills. These practitioners formed the first collaborative group to address the need for educational and informational initiatives geared to pharmacists who practice in an oncology setting. It was then that Jody, along with Jim Koeller, Steve Huber, Phil Johnson, Dwight Kloth, Bob Ignoffo, Rowena Schwartz, Terri Davidson, Celeste Lindley, Barry Goldspiel, and Jane Pruemer, formed Oncology New Concepts, lovingly referred to as “ONC.” The group was established to build the foundation that would allow for early activities and initiatives aimed at growing and advancing the field of oncology pharmacy.

By working with industry, ONC raised funds to provide educational programs at the major professional association meetings, host social functions at both American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and American Society of Clinical Oncology conferences for oncology pharmacists to network, and sponsor the first annual conference, a 2-day event, for pharmacists involved in both bench and clinical research to share their efforts.

In partnership with Moffitt Cancer Center and its pharmacy director, Phil Johnson, ONC launched the first Making a Difference in Oncology (MAD-ONC) pharmacy meeting in 1997. When ONC founders moved on to different opportunities, Phil championed the continuation of a meeting and supported MAD-ONC’s transition, in conjunction with the efforts of the charter members (see below), toward the establishment of HOPA in 2004. HOPA’s mission was “to reduce the burden of cancer on society and promote optimal, cost-effective care for those affected by cancer.”

HOPA's Founding Board of Directors

  • John Kuhn (Chair)
  • Barry Goldspiel (Vice Chair)
  • Terri Davidson (Secretary)
  • Susan Goodin (Treasurer)
  • Ross Davidson, Robert Ignoffo, Phil Johnson (Members)

HOPA's Founding Members

  • Ann Birner
  • Steven D’Amato
  • Terri Davidson
  • Christopher Fausel
  • Pamela Fraser
  • Barry Goldspiel
  • Susan Goodin
  • Philip Hall
  • Julia Hammond
  • Paul Hutson
  • Jonas Hylton
  • Robert Ignoffo
  • Philip Johnson
  • Suzanne Jones
  • Dwight Kloth
  • Jim Koeller
  • John Kuhn
  • Julie Lisano
  • Theresa Mays
  • Pamela McDevitt
  • Margaret McGuinness
  • Robert Nemcek
  • Jane Pruemer
  • Rowena Schwartz
  • Sachin Shah
  • Richard Shields
  • Scott Soefje
  • Patricia Willmann
  • Siu-Fun Wong

2004-2005

Highlights and Accomplishments

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  • HOPA President: John Kuhn
  • HOPA formally becomes an association
  • HOPA bylaws ratified on August 5, 2004
  • Leadership structure launched with seven committees and eight initial charges
  • HOPA website launched
  • First annual conference held in San Diego, CA
  • First Award of Excellence in honor of Phil Johnson presented to LeAnne Kennedy
  • HOPA becomes a provider of BCOP-accredited education in partnership with the American College of Clinical Pharmacology and the American Society of Health System Pharmacists

I thank all of my colleagues who shared their talents, resources, and precious time. One reason why hematology/oncology pharmacists are so special is that they believe it can happen and they make it happen. My very best wishes to HOPA on its continued journey.
— John G. Kuhn, PharmD RPh FCCP

What I appreciate the most about HOPA is that it brings together and supports pharmacy practitioners across multiple types of oncology pharmacy, including clinicians, administrators, technicians, researchers, students, and industry. As a pharmacist who is a member of the pharmaceutical industry, professional societies tend to view me only as ‘the company.’ HOPA has proven to be different, and I am very appreciative to be considered by HOPA as a pharmacist first, who believes in the HOPA mission to optimize the provision of cancer care.
— Debra Litwak, PharmD

2005-2006

Highlights and Accomplishments

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  • HOPA President: Barry Goldspiel
  • HOPA provides first lectures designated toward BCOP recertification
  • First Best Practices session at annual conference (the topic was prevention of neutropenia complications)
  • HOPA membership recognized in ASCO directory

HOPA brings together pharmacists and other healthcare professionals (e.g., pharmacy technicians, nurses, etc.) striving for the same goal: to ease the suffering of patients with cancer.
— Barry R. Goldspiel, PharmD BCPS BCOP

Congratulations HOPA on 10 years of quality education and service to the oncology pharmacy community. I have always thought that HOPA could also stand for ‘Helping Oncology Pharmacists Achieve.’ With the sincere dedication of so many, it has been a privilege to serve in a small way in the development of this truly professional organization which has led and will continue to lead in the development of new heights in clinical and research endeavors for hematology/oncology and stem cell transplant pharmacists.
— David Frame, PharmD

2006-2007

Highlights and Accomplishments

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  • HOPA President: Val Adams
  • HOPA becomes an accredited provider of ACPE programs
  • Process initiated for development of first strategic plan
  • First research workshop offered at annual conference

During this rapid growth period, most of our focus was on function and money; structure was created out of necessity. Determining how HOPA would interact with other organizations was the focus of many board meetings. HOPA also began to embrace research and providing value to members beyond the annual meeting.
— Val Adams, PharmD FCCP BCOP

HOPA is an invaluable source of information necessary for my daily practice. The newsletter, website, discussions, and spirited debate on the HOPA listserv and at HOPA meetings are important resources for oncology pharmacists in all practice settings.
— Dominic A. Solimando Jr., MA BCOP FAPhA FASHP

2007-2008

Highlights and Accomplishments

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  • HOPA President: Jim Koeller
  • Joint conference held with ISOPP
  • HOPA membership tops 1,000
  • Online continuing education introduced via HOPA University

We continued to create policy and procedures for the running of the organization. We expanded the newsletter and set up more formal communications and a record system between the board and all standing committees. We continued to assess and implement the strategic plan.
— Jim Koeller, MS

HOPA has made a huge difference in the lives of oncology pharmacists and their patients. For the first time there is an organization dedicated to the support, education, and practice of pharmacy as it applies to the care of people with cancer. Prior to its advent, there was never enough education on oncology topics at other pharmacy meetings, and I feel the care of oncology patients has advanced significantly since HOPA has come into being. Thanks to all who have donated their time to making HOPA what it is today.
— Joseph Bubalo, PharmD BCPS BCOP

2008-2009

Highlights and Accomplishments

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  • HOPA President: Cindy O’Bryant
  • Special interest groups introduced
  • First charity drive organized (“Run from the Sun”) to benefit the Richard Davis Kann Melanoma Foundation
  • Membership represents all 50 U.S. states for the first time

Reflecting on my year as HOPA president, I am reminded of what an amazing organization it is. This was the first year of the HOPA charity drive, and the overwhelming participation of the membership was an absolute show of the spirit of the HOPA organization. It is through the continued efforts of its leaders and membership that HOPA is now recognized as an organization that truly supports pharmacy practitioners and promotes and advances hematology/oncology pharmacy to optimize the care of individuals affected by cancer.
— Cindy L. O’Bryant, PharmD FCCP BCOP

HOPA has provided a unique opportunity to connect all the diverse roles and niches of oncology pharmacy. Successful research takes a strong foundation of skills, mentorship, and collaboration. HOPA has consistently provided workshops to improve research skills, facilitated networking through committees, and hosted poster sessions to connect others with potential mentors and collaborators. As an organization, I think HOPA has succeeded in making sure all members feel they are an important part of the oncology pharmacy profession-from trainee to retiree and in every arena from academia to clinical practice to research to industry. It seemed like an audacious goal when I first heard it, but HOPA accomplished it! Job well done due to all our excellent leadership and active members!
— Judith A. Smith, PharmD BCOP CPHQ FCCP FISOPP

2009-2010

Highlights and Accomplishments

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  • HOPA President: Philip Johnson
  • Recruit a Colleague program introduced
  • First Oncology Boot Camp offered prior to annual conference
  • Trainee Research in Progress session implemented at annual conference

Being part of the founding of HOPA and watching the exciting growth and rapid acceptance by other professional organizations has truly been one of the most exciting and important parts of my career. Our success couldn’t have been achieved without the motivation of the leaders and all members, who continue to drive HOPA to be one of the most important leaders in the world’s evolving healthcare system.
— Phil Johnson, MS RPh FASHP

HOPA has been my ‘home’ since 2005. I’ve made so many personal friends and professional colleagues during this time, which has only enriched the experiences that I’ve had as a member and leader of various HOPA committees and during my time on the board. My most fond memory of the 2009-2010 year on the Education Committee was our creation of the Boot Camp, which was an important milestone and a creative venture for the committee to develop and implement!
— Sarah L. Peters, PharmD MPH BCOP

2010-2011

Highlights and Accomplishments

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  • HOPA President: Rowena Schwartz
  • Development of a vision and strategic plan updated
  • HOPA website redesigned and now includes the Volunteer Activity Center
  • HOPA announces the formation of the HOPA Research Foundation
  • Industry Relations Council established

The year I served as president of HOPA was a year of transition and, ultimately, growth for the organization. We began working with a new management company, AMC, who together with the board, was able to take our growing organization through the steps needed for the maturation of HOPA. This important, but not painless, transition process created a foundation to support the growth of the organization to meet the needs of both members and the oncology community.
— Rowena N. Schwartz, PharmD BCOP

HOPA is my direct link to oncology resources. It keeps me informed of all new oncology medications, topics in the field, and how other institutions are practicing. HOPA provides outstanding continuing education programs and networking opportunities for all levels of the practice.
— Cheryl Hyk, MA CPhT

2011-2012

Highlights and Accomplishments

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  • HOPA President: R. Donald Harvey III
  • HOPA invests and expands in advocacy by engaging Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP to coordinate health policy agenda
  • HOPA joins the Commission on Cancer
  • HOPA participates in ASCO’s Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies workshop
  • HOPA Research Foundation awarded its first research grant

The energy of our members, board, and management company helped carry out changes in three key areas: advocacy, practice and professional standards, and education. Our work reflects a continual progression and refinement of initiatives begun long before we took office, and hopefully each of us contributed in some way to ensuring HOPA continues to grow in a similar forward-thinking fashion.
— R. Donald Harvey III, PharmD FCCP BCOP

Even with residency training and board certification, it is hard to gain all the knowledge and experience to be prepared for every clinical situation. As a new practitioner, HOPA gives me the opportunity to network with the more seasoned practitioners who have collectively ‘seen it all.’ HOPA and its members make up the textbook on oncology pharmacy.
— Mei Ka Fong, PharmD BCOP

2012-2013

Highlights and Accomplishments

about fellows bio lisa holle

  • HOPA President: Lisa Holle
  • HOPA membership tops 2,000
  • Membership survey on oncology drug shortages published in American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy
  • HOPA social media outlets introduced

The most significant strides were made in the areas of advocacy, with HOPA becoming an organization that is vocal and critical in influencing decisions affecting the care of cancer patients. One of the best things about HOPA is that our members want to be involved. Without their vested interest and commitment, the significant progress on meeting our strategic goals in the areas of education, standards, advocacy, and research would not have been possible.
— Lisa M. Holle, PharmD BCOP

In my opinion, HOPA is the premier organization for oncology pharmacists of which to be a member. From the day I joined, HOPA has been the organization for which I have relied on for networking with oncology pharmacists from various institutions across the country, learning about new drugs and disease states in the field of oncology, and, most importantly, learning about and assessing practice patterns from around the country. For me, HOPA has had a tremendous impact on my career to date as a clinical pharmacy specialist, and for that I am grateful.
— Anthony Jarkowski III, PharmD BCOP

2013-2014

Highlights and Accomplishments

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  • HOPA President: Niesha Griffith
  • HOPA members visited Capitol Hill to gain support of legislation addressing oral chemotherapy parity
  • HOPA Oncology Pharmacy Practice Management Program introduced
  • HOPA’s Scope of Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Practice publically released

As I reminisce on the first HOPA meeting in 2005 in San Diego, CA, I remember being very impressed with the quality of the educational programming as well as the number of attendees for an inaugural meeting. Ten years later, we still offer quality educational programming but have expanded our offerings beyond the annual conference to include webinars and a practice management-focused fall meeting. Additionally, we have developed a robust health policy agenda and have provided funds to support the research endeavors of deserving members. In all, this has positioned us as recognized leaders in hematology/oncology pharmacy, and our nearly 2,100 members are continually sought out by other professional organizations for our expertise. Our future is bright and I look forward to our next decade of accomplishments as we aim to have a hematology/oncology pharmacist as an integral member of the cancer care team.
— Niesha Griffith, MS RPh FASHP

Being a resident still completing my training in hematology/oncology, HOPA provides me with a great avenue for presenting my research project and networking with specialists across the country. I have also been fortunate enough to benefit from the educational sessions at the annual conference and fall meeting. I plan to maintain my membership throughout my career as a hematology/oncology practitioner and continue to take advantage of the valuable resources the association provides.
— Jordan Lundberg, PharmD

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