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ASHP Headquarters Named to Honor Dr. Joseph A. Oddis

Feb 11, 2013

Paul W. Abramowitz, Pharm.D., Sc.D. (Hon.), FASHP

TODAY, I AM PLEASED TO MAKE a very special announcement to the members of ASHP.

At its January meeting, the Board of Directors voted unanimously to name the ASHP headquarters building, here at 7272 Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda, Md., after the man who led our organization for 37 years: Dr. Joseph A. Oddis.

As of now, the headquarters of ASHP will be known as the Joseph A. Oddis Building. The building will be dedicated at a ceremony to be held this spring.

There could not be a more fitting person to receive this honor. Dr. Oddis’ leadership over nearly four decades helped make ASHP the strong, vibrant, growing, and influential organization it is today. Joe’s vision for what ASHP could be and the important role we could play in shaping pharmacy practice, improving patient care, and influencing public policy to improve public health set this organization on the path it still follows today.

Here are just a few significant achievements from Dr. Oddis’ career and his legacy to ASHP:

  • Joined ASHP in 1960 as Executive Secretary, later to be renamed Chief Executive Officer.
  • Leading ASHP’s growth from 3300 members and a staff of 1 (himself!) to 31,000 members and a staff of 180.
  • Developing a staff culture that focuses on serving our members in a respectful, team-based approach, with a commitment to excellence.
  • Growing ASHP’s education services, launching the national meetings that would become the ASHP Summer Meeting and the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting, now the largest meeting of pharmacists in the world.
  • Building upon ASHP’s early support of international efforts to improve pharmacy practice, including serving as president of FIP from 1986 – 1990.
  • Improving pharmacy practice and raising the visibility and status of ASHP by recognizing the importance of practice standards. Under Dr. Oddis’ stewardship, ASHP worked with practitioners to develop and publish nearly 100 practice standards, guidelines, technical assistance bulletins, and position papers.
  • Helping promote the concept of formularies and the acceptance of pharmacy and therapeutics (P&T) committees in the early 1960s by building consensus among key stakeholders, including the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, the American Pharmacists Association, and ASHP.  In 1965, Medicare based its standards on ASHP’s statements and standards and The Joint Commission deemed an active P&T committee essential for hospital accreditation.
  • Establishing ASHP’s pharmacy residency accreditation program, now celebrating its 50th anniversary. Today, ASHP has 1,582 pharmacy residency programs and 246 pharmacy technician training programs in the accreditation process. In 2012, there were more than 2,500 residents in a PGY1 or PGY2 residency program.
  • Creating the ASHP Research and Education Foundation, which today offers extensive research grant, educational, and awards programs that assist and recognize pharmacists providing care to patients in our nation’s hospitals and health systems, leading to optimal medication outcomes.
  •  Expanding ASHP’s publishing efforts:
    • Introducing the American Hospital Formulary Service (AHFS), which has gained national recognition as the most comprehensive resource of unbiased drug information, and recognized by the U.S. Congress as an official compendium.
    • Introducing International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (IPA), which was published by ASHP from 1964 to 2004.
    • 1964 publication of Mirror to Hospital Pharmacy, which has developed into the ASHP National Survey of Hospital and Health-System Practice.
  • Building ASHP’s leadership and influence by collaborating with other pharmacy and health care organizations and government regulatory agencies on the important issues of the time, including the American Hospital Association, the American Nurses Association, the American Society of Internal Medicine, The Joint Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, and the agency that administered Medicare, among others.

Please join me in thanking Dr. Oddis for his dedication to ASHP and the profession of pharmacy.


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