HOPA Publications Committee
Brandy Strickland Snyder, PharmD BCOP, Chair
Bonnie Labdi, PharmD RPh, Vice Chair
Susanne E. Liewer, PharmD BCOP, Board Liaison
Carrie L. Barnhart, PharmD
Lisa R. Biondo, PharmD BCPS
Jennifer L. Davis, PharmD
Christine Gegeckas, RPh BCOP
Ashley Glode, PharmD BCOP
Megan Lynn Hames, PharmD BCPS
David Reeves, PharmD BCOP
Alexandra Shillingburg, PharmD
Candice Wenzell, PharmD
Michael J. Vozniak, PharmD BCOP, HOPA President
Now that spring has sprung, we can enjoy the freshness of the changing season, the blossoms of color, and renewed energy and growth. Every spring HOPA undergoes a similar resurgence as we convene for our annual conference, energized by educational and networking opportunities and transitions in our board and committees. Overall, this season serves as a time to review what we’ve accomplished and look forward to the work that still lies ahead to meet our strategic plan objectives.
Our 10th Annual Conference was a huge success! The conference had a record attendance of 873 attendees, and New Orleans served as a beautiful backdrop. It was highlighted by two preconference sessions, breakfast symposia, a new “How We Treat” series, corporate showcases, and a special John G. Kuhn Keynote Lecture during which John Kuhn, PharmD, himself was interviewed Larry King-style about the past, present, and future of hematology/oncology pharmacy and the formation of HOPA. In addition to the educational offerings, the exhibit hall offered attendees the opportunity to meet with representatives from a wide variety of pharmaceutical companies and learn more about their products and services. The Program Committee organized an exceptional meeting that provided a range of content to meet the needs of our diverse membership.
To celebrate HOPA’s 10th anniversary, a gala was held during the annual conference. A task force of HOPA members, led by Susannah Koontz, PharmD BCOP, was organized shortly after last year’s conference to orchestrate the festivities. I want to offer a huge thank you to all of the task force members. The event boasted great food and drinks, a fantastic live band, and a silent auction that benefited the HOPA Research Fund. It was a delightful engagement!
One of HOPA’s strategic plan goal areas is advocacy. As many of you may know, HOPA hired the District Policy Group (DPG; a segment of Drinker, Biddle & Reath, LLP) a few years ago to help HOPA advance its advocacy agenda. The main focus during this partnership has been to inform legislators, coalitions, and healthcare organizations about HOPA and the work of hematology/oncology pharmacists. The HOPA Scope of Practice document also has been instrumental in increasing awareness of hematology/oncology pharmacists and the work they undertake.
Working closely with the DPG, HOPA’s Health Policy Committee has been busy this past year composing issue briefs on biosimilars and pain management and commenting on several Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and U.S. Food and Drug Administration documents.
In early March, Niesha Griffith and I traveled to Washington, DC, to meet with our members of Congress and their staff to inform them about HOPA and the role of the hematology/oncology pharmacist and to urge their support of legislation regarding oral parity. I met with staff from the offices of U.S. Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Bob Casey, Jr. (D-PA), and U.S. Representative Bob Brady (D-PA). The staffers were interested to learn about hematology/oncology pharmacists and the work we do on a routine basis. While there, I also discussed the importance of oral parity and how it impacts the patients we serve. Before this opportunity, I had never met with any legislators to discuss any issues. I certainly was anxious and apprehensive leading up to the day. However, it was phenomenal to see up close how our government runs and learn that any HOPA member can easily speak with legislators or their staff to advocate for our field and patients. I encourage all of our members to take advantage of any future opportunities to speak to your legislators about issues important to HOPA and the pharmacy profession.
Another important initiative of the HOPA Board of Directors and the Health Policy Committee is to advance the role pharmacists play in healthcare delivery. During the Annual Members’ Meeting at the annual conference, it was decided that HOPA would fully support the initiatives set forth by the Patient Access to Pharmacists’ Care Coalition (PAPCC), which is supported by American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and American Pharmacists Association, among other pharmacy organizations, and the Medicare Coverage Initiative, which represents the position of American College of Clinical Pharmacy and the College of Psychiatric & Neurologic Pharmacists. HOPA continues to have conversations with these groups and will work with them to learn how HOPA and its members can support the two initiatives and move the pharmacy profession forward.
What Lies Ahead
As I remarked at the annual conference, I am honored, humbled, and excited to serve as HOPA’s president this year! HOPA is an exceptional organization that continues to build a superb reputation. The board of directors is composed of gifted individuals who will help guide HOPA to continued success. HOPA’s biggest asset is its almost 2,000 members. HOPA members are engaged and have a strong desire to be active and contribute. We need to continue to capitalize on our committed membership and strive to meet the needs of our diverse and growing membership.
In the coming year, I encourage you to get involved with a committee or task force, attend a meeting, or participate in an educational offering. Most importantly, give HOPA feedback so it may continue to improve itself. We want to hear what we can do better so we may serve you better.
Have a safe and rejuvenating spring!
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