Highlights from HOPA’s 2018 Annual Conference in Denver, CO (March 21–25)

Anne McDonnell, PharmD BCOP
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Boston, MA

The city of Denver, CO, welcomed the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association for its 14th Annual Conference at the Denver Convention Center, March 21–25, 2018. Each year HOPA’s annual conference continues to evolve and offer more benefits to attendees. This year, the conference offered 23.5 hours of Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) credit for onsite attendees and 17 hours of ACPE credit for virtual attendees. An increase in virtual attendance was seen: 150 attendees participated online in 2018. More than 1,200 attendees registered for the onsite meeting—a 15% increase from 2017.

The annual conference once again offered 8 hours of Board Certified Oncology Pharmacist (BCOP) credit this year. A new feature was added for attendees who were unable to attend the BCOP session in person—they can view all of the BCOP presentations online and then take the online tests to receive BCOP credit.

One preconference session, “Practice Management Boot Camp,” was held, led by Lindsey Amerine, Victoria Brown, Kelly Scott-Rice, and Timothy Tyler. The session focused on the operational needs of clinical managers and directors. Key topics included payment precertification for oncology outpatients, formulary management strategies (including inventory management), development of a pharmacist navigator role, reimbursement strategies, and tools for making transitions from colleague to manager.

The John G. Kuhn Keynote Lecture, “ ‘There will be drugs’: Lessons from Lung Cancer’s Therapeutic Oil Boom,” was delivered by Ross Camidge, MD PhD. Dr. Camidge discussed recent developments in lung cancer drugs and provided commentary on how we will use these lessons in the future. He offered his perspective on prior experiences with drug development and also discussed future opportunities for drug development.

David DeRemer, Patrick Medina, Amy Pick, and J. Michael Vozniak discussed their career transitions and lessons learned in a session titled “Embracing the Mid-Career Crisis: Pivoting to New Career Challenges.” The panel members spoke about the obstacles and benefits of mid-career changes.

Another notable presentation, “Improving Writing and Speaking Skills,” was given by Rowena “Moe” Schwartz. Dr. Schwartz described her own experiences in writing and speaking and discussed techniques for developing presentations to meet the needs of a particular audience.

Forty-six abstracts on completed research were accepted for presentation, along with 185 abstracts from trainees. Four abstract authors were given the opportunity to make platform presentations on their completed research. Sol Atienza and Erin Lydon presented “Oral Vancomycin for Clostridium difficile Prophylaxis in Autologous Stem Cell Transplant”; Andrea Ledford presented “The Evaluation of an Investigational Drug Service Software System in a Community Cancer Center”; Chrystia Zobinow presented “Safety of 30-Minute Nivolumab Infusion in Patients with Advanced Melanoma”; and Julianne Orr and Amber Clemmons presented “Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial of FOND (fosaprepitant, ondansetron, dexamethasone) Versus FOND+O (FOND plus olanzapine) for the Prevention of Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting in Hematology Patients Receiving Highly Emetogenic Chemotherapy Regimens: The FOND-O Study.” Each presentation offered summaries of unique and interesting pharmacist-led research, highlighting the importance of pharmacists not only in clinical areas but also in operational areas.

HOPA’s next annual conference, HOPA Ahead 2019, will be held in Fort Worth, TX, April 3–6, 2019. Learn more about the conference at