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January 5, 2017

The New Joseph A. Oddis Global Headquarters of ASHP Is Now Open for Business

Happy New Year!

ASHP’s headquarters, 4500 East-West Highway, Bethesda, Md.

The ASHP staff team kicked off 2017 this week in our new office space at the Joseph A. Oddis Global Headquarters of ASHP in Bethesda, Md.

Our new home is a beautiful, state-of-the-art, LEED Platinum certified building located just a few blocks from our former headquarters. Our new facilities will accommodate our growing membership and provide our staff with enhanced capabilities and resources to help us better serve you and advance our public health mission.

To us, ASHP headquarters is more than a building. It is the heart of our professional association, and it reflects the success of our members in providing care to the patients that you serve.

Twenty-five years ago, the purchase of our former headquarters — The Joseph A. Oddis Building — symbolized ASHP’s leadership in helping to facilitate your success as clinically oriented patient care providers and leaders in pharmacy practice. The ideas and effort behind so many of our signature programs and initiatives took place in the offices, conference rooms, and hallways of that building.

Our change of address signals an exciting new era for our organization. We look forward to a promising future of innovation, vision, leadership, and hard work that will help you accomplish your mission to help people achieve optimal health outcomes.

ASHP staff tour the new building.

Please update your records with our new address — 4500 East-West Highway, Suite 900, Bethesda, Maryland 20814. The phone numbers and email addresses for ASHP staff remain the same.

I welcome you to come tour our new space the next time you’re in town visiting or serving on an ASHP member committee. ASHP is your professional home, and we would love to see you!

Best wishes for a happy and healthy new year. Thank you so much for being a member of ASHP!


September 19, 2016

Pharmacy Academia Star Urges Other Women to Follow Their Passions

Editor’s Note: This is the third story in a series examining the growing number of women in pharmacy leadership and ASHP’s work to support them.

Marie Chisholm-Burns, Pharm.D., M.P.H., MBA, FASHP, FAST, FCCP

Marie Chisholm-Burns, Pharm.D., M.P.H., MBA, FASHP, FAST, FCCP

ONE OF THE BEST THINGS about pharmacy as a profession is the great diversity of career tracks that are available, according to Marie Chisholm-Burns, Pharm.D., M.P.H., MBA, FASHP, FAST, FCCP, Dean of the College of Pharmacy, University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

Dr. Chisholm-Burns, a well-known and highly respected clinical researcher with well over 100 published articles, more than a dozen books, and many awards to her name, pursued academic pharmacy from her earliest days in the profession. After earning both her B.S. in Pharmacy and Pharm.D. at the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy, Dr. Chisholm-Burns found that she loved the academic setting and was intrigued by the role of educator.

“Although I had summer jobs in community pharmacy, worked in a hospital pharmacy during pharmacy school, and then did a residency with a practice component after pharmacy school, I always wanted to be a teacher,” she said, adding that academia allowed her to follow her passions of practicing pharmacy, pursuing scholarly endeavors, and working with students.

The most compelling aspect of her work is its variety. “There’s something new every day — new challenges, new opportunities,” she said. “Being around students, where you can ask and answer questions, is like being at a playground for someone like me.”

Dr. Chisholm-Burns’ excitement about advancing interprofessional education is a key driver in her success as a healthcare provider. As demands for advanced clinical pharmacy services in hospitals and health systems increase, the profession is being challenged to train more pharmacists who can work as part of interprofessional care teams. And, according to Dr. Chisholm-Burns, pharmacy education is where good patient care actually begins.

Creating Influence via Publishing
Dr. Chisholm-Burns is well-known as a prolific researcher and academician. She views publishing as an indispensable way to elevate the visibility of pharmacists’ patient care roles and influence others within and outside of the pharmacy profession.

“You can teach one-on-one. You can learn one-on-one. But it would be a crime to keep it to yourself. For the benefit of patients, it’s essential to publish … even though it’s a lot of work,” she added with a laugh.
Publishing increases the prominence of both the individual pharmacist and the profession as a whole. “We need to think about the best ways to inform others about what we do to improve medication use, contribute to wellness, and even save lives,” Dr. Chisholm-Burns noted. “We need to do more than just preach to the choir” and write for other pharmacists.

“We’ve got to get it out to Better Homes and Gardens, columns in local newspapers, too … To me, education is key to everything. If we don’t tell the story, who will?”

Helping Others Break the Glass Ceiling
Dr. Chisholm-Burns acknowledges that women and minorities sometimes have different challenges to become leaders. Because of this, each female and minority pharmacist in a leadership position tends to hold outsized influence for those coming up in the profession. “When you don’t see leaders who resemble you, you think it’s impossible to do,” she noted. “But if you see a woman leader, it can spark the thought, ‘I can do that too.’”

Although breaking the glass ceiling is important, Dr. Chisholm-Burns believes it is merely the first step on a long journey toward professional leadership; having mentors, sponsors, and role models along the way is a critical component of being successful. “Remember,” she added, “success is a journey, not a destination.” And along the journey, Dr. Chisholm-Burns believes in the power of giving back.

“It’s all about helping others go through that door that you helped to open” and understanding the special issues that women face, such as balancing work and family. She acknowledges that there is still disparity in terms of family roles that can make it challenging to climb the career ladder.

“A woman with three children is going to have different professional challenges than her counterparts who may not have children,” she said, acknowledging that, although the culture is changing to accommodate work-life balance, it’s changing slowly.

The concept of workforce inclusivity is a topic that also warrants more attention, according to Dr. Chisholm-Burns. Although diversity has increased in the pharmacy profession, inclusivity that ensures a clear path to leadership and that draws on the talents of all women still lags behind. “Inclusivity means asking, ‘How can I make this young parent feel like she doesn’t need to choose between family and serving on this board?’”

Dr. Chisholm-Burns recommends that pharmacy leaders take a birds-eye view of management within their organizations to understand the trends for advancement of women in pharmacy leadership. “We need to look at the higher-level jobs and see who fills them and at what age,” she said. “For years, a large percentage of graduating pharmacy classes has been women. Given this, why are there so few women hospital directors or CEOs?”

According to Dr. Chisholm-Burns, the pharmacy profession needs to begin examining the issues of inclusivity and career advancement options for women. She also believes that organizations like ASHP are in the best position to facilitate those conversations.

Follow Your Passion
Dr. Chisholm-Burns has some sage advice for student pharmacists, new practitioners, or seasoned pharmacists who may be considering a career in academia: Follow your passion. “If your passion is teaching, ask yourself ‘why?’ Is it the investigating, discovering, changing students’ lives? Is publishing something you want to do? Then academia may be the place for you,” she said.

And, in looking back at her career, Dr. Chisholm-Burns finds great value in her academic path. “I always wanted to go someplace where I’d make the biggest contribution, and academia has been that for me. It’s been a wonderful journey.”


–By Ann W. Latner, J.D.

August 15, 2016

In an Anticoagulation Clinic, Unrelated Interventions Abound

Melanie Boros, Pharm.D., BCPS, meets with a patient at Cleveland Clinic Akron General's outpatient anticoagulation clinic.

Melanie Boros, Pharm.D., BCPS, meets with a patient at Cleveland Clinic Akron General’s outpatient anticoagulation clinic.

IT’S WELL KNOWN that when pharmacists guide anticoagulation treatment, patient outcomes are better. International normalized ratio (INR) levels are within the target range more of the timei and hemorrhage rates are lowerii, compared to the usual care.

But what about the care pharmacists provide in anticoagulation clinics that is not directly related to the primary purpose of the visit?

A new study published in AJHP found that pharmacists offer significant additional care outside the purview of anticoagulation by helping patients avoid adverse events and receive timely treatment for other health concerns, and by improving their continuity of careiii.

Med Rec Reveals Important Picture of Patient Health

Michael Hicho, Pharm.D., BCPS

Michael Hicho, Pharm.D., BCPS

“Pharmacists, whether they’re in the anticoagulation clinic or in any other setting, can make a significant positive impact on patients’ care if they take advantage of each interaction they have with a patient,” said primary author Michael Hicho, Pharm.D., BCPS, who was a PGY1 pharmacy practice resident at Akron General Medical Center, Akron, Ohio, at the time of the study. Dr. Hicho is currently Inpatient Clinical Manager, Pharmacy Service, at Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, Cleveland.

“As our findings show, these interactions may not necessarily always involve starting, stopping, or adjusting a medication but can, for example, include collaboration with other healthcare providers to ensure that patients are receiving appropriate care,” he said.

Dr. Hicho drew these conclusions from a retrospective analysis of records from 5,846 pharmacist encounters with 268 patients treated at the Akron General Medical Center’s pharmacist-managed ambulatory anticoagulation clinic between January 2012 and November 2013. The clinic served patients referred by 30 physicians during the study period.

Dr. Hicho’s team classified interventions not directly related to anticoagulation into six major categories (see TABLE below) and 33 subcategories. They found that pharmacists conducted a striking 2,222 interventions not directly related to patients’ primary reasons for visiting the anticoagulation clinic. Nearly 75% of patients received four or more unrelated interventions and almost 14% received 10 or more of these interventions.

Medication reconciliation was the most common intervention not directly related to anticoagulation. During those interactions, pharmacists identified 1,591 medication list discrepancies, including inaccuracies in the medication list for 89% of these instances.

They also found 107 instances in which a patient was taking his or her medication incorrectly and an additional 74 cases in which there was a possibility a patient may have been taking his or her medication incorrectly.

The Continuity of Care Equation

According to Dr. Hicho, pharmacists helped ensure continuity of care by assessing patients’ overall health, sending physicians medical information they collected, recommending primary care physician follow-up, and, in some cases, calling a physician for an immediate onsite visit or urging patients to visit the emergency department.

Amy Rybarczyk, Pharm.D., BCPS

Amy Rybarczyk, Pharm.D., BCPS

Measuring the clinical and financial value of interventions like these is difficult, said co-author Amy Rybarczyk, Pharm.D., BCPS, Pharmacotherapy Specialist in Internal Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Akron General. “At the moment, there is no standardized method for quantifying pharmacist interventions,” said Dr. Rybarczyk, who was Dr. Hicho’s research advisor at the time of the study. “It’s hard to measure the value of ensuring that a patient gets an antibiotic for a diabetic foot infection that is detected by a pharmacist, for example. A tool like that would be beneficial for our profession to have.”

Collaborative Practice Agreement Buoyed by Findings

The team’s results were so impressive that they were included in a letter to the Ohio Legislature in support of House Bill 188, which called for an expansion of pharmacists’ services as part of collaborative practice agreements. The legislation passed in December 2015.

“We believe the comprehensive care provided to patients in our disease state management clinic helped in this effort to expand pharmacists’ clinical services,” explained Dr. Rybarczyk.

“We believe the comprehensive care provided to patients in our disease state management clinic helped in this effort to expand pharmacists’ clinical services.” — Amy Rybarczyk, Pharm.D., BCPS

Co-author Melanie Boros, Pharm.D., BCPS, Pharmacotherapy Specialist in Internal Medicine at Cleveland Clinic Akron General and Dr. Hicho’s research advisor at the time of study, suggested that one of the important takeaway messages is the trust that patients place in their pharmacists. “When we see a patient with a therapeutic INR, and there are no changes that need to be made to his or her anticoagulation regimen, we can still make a significant impact by simply clarifying what their dose of insulin should be or teaching them about appropriate use of nonprescription medicines, for example,” she said, adding that pharmacists are well-positioned to answer patients’ questions and proactively identify other health issues.

“Like our entire department, pharmacists in the clinic have always made it a priority to care for the whole patient,” she emphasized.

–By David Wild

i J Throm Thrombolysis 2011; 32:426-430
ii Pharmacotherapy 195; 15:732-739
iii AJHP Residents Issue 2016; 73 (Supp 3):S80-87

June 22, 2016

From Teaching to Oncology Pharmacy: A Winding Path to a Fulfilling Career

Editor’s Note: This is the second story in a series examining the growing number of women in pharmacy leadership and ASHP’s work to support them.

Jill Bates, Pharm.D., M.S., BCOP

Jill Bates, Pharm.D., M.S., BCOP

JILL BATES, PHARM.D., M.S., BCOP, did not begin her career as a pharmacist. This may come as a surprise to those who know her as Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in Hematology/Oncology and Residency Program Director for the PGY2 oncology residency at University of North Carolina (UNC) Healthcare System, where she’s been for eight years.

In her clinical role at UNC Health Care, Dr. Bates primarily cares for patients with lymphoma and myeloma, seeing them for symptom management, medication management, chemotherapy education, and other medication-related needs. When it comes to educating patients, however, Dr. Bates’ first career may have helped prepare her for a teaching role.

Challenges Along the Path to Pharmacy

Dr. Bates began her professional career as a high school science teacher in Texas. Although she loved teaching, the hours were long, and the pay was less than ideal. Dr. Bates decided to switch vocations after attending a healthcare career seminar but needed to return to school to complete a master’s degree for prerequisites. During that time, she attended a session on the changing roles of the pharmacist.

I never knew pharmacists worked with patients until I went to that session,” she recounted. “I liked that, as I really wanted to work directly with patients.” That, combined with the fact that her father, as manager of a Jewel-Osco Pharmacy in Illinois, had worked closely with pharmacists and always spoke highly of them, drove Dr. Bates’ choice to be a pharmacist. And that’s when the challenges began.

It wasn’t easy going back to school after being in the workforce for several years. Dr. Bates married prior to pharmacy school and found that the sudden loss of income was more challenging than she and her husband had anticipated. “The demands of training were difficult on my marriage,” she said. “I put having a family on hold to complete my training, and that led to some duress wondering about my future role as a mom.”

I see a direct connection between the pursuit of residencies and other advanced credentials and the advancement of pharmacy. Patients stand to benefit tremendously from pharmacists’ ability to provide higher-level care.

Dr. Bates graduated from pharmacy school and eventually had two children. Being a new practitioner while pregnant posed some daunting challenges. She developed gestational hypertension with both pregnancies, and preeclampsia led to hospitalization and bed rest during the second.

“The sheer chronic exhaustion that comes from the physical demands of all those changes in your body and working full time as well is something that many young professional women experience,” she said. Despite this, Dr. Bates was able to not only survive but thrive.

Of course, there was some help along the way. “I stand on the shoulders of giants… too many to list, honestly,” said Dr. Bates. “Blessings that I did not deserve happened mostly at the beginning of my career during my training. I continue to feel incredibly grateful.”

Dr. Bates believes in the “pay it forward” model and consistently looks for opportunities to support fellow pharmacists in their own career journeys. She is a member of ASHP’s Women in Pharmacy Leadership Steering Committee, the former chair of ASHP’s Section of Clinical Specialists and Scientists, and former vice chair and chair of the ASHP Council on Therapeutics. Dr. Bates is currently focusing on growing the residency program at UNC Health Care.

“I see a direct connection between the pursuit of residencies and other advanced credentials and the advancement of pharmacy,” she said. “Patients stand to benefit tremendously from pharmacists’ ability to provide higher-level care.”

A Perfect Balance of Patient Care and Scholarship

Dr. Bates’ interest in hematology/oncology arose even before she went to pharmacy school. As she researched the effects of polyamine analogs on transformed malignant cell cultures for her master’s degree, Dr. Bates became intrigued by oncology and has maintained that passion throughout pharmacy school and a residency, to her position today. “What makes my job worthwhile is that I am doing meaningful work,” she said. “I am making a difference in people’s lives.”

Specialties like oncology pharmacy offer a great avenue to showcase pharmacists’ patient-care expertise.

What Dr. Bates enjoys most about her position is the combination of relationships and scholarship. In addition to deep collegial relationships with coworkers, every year she develops relationships with pharmacy residents and students, medical oncology fellows, nurses, pharmacy technicians, and others. But Dr. Bates finds that the most rewarding aspect of being a pharmacist is getting to know her patients.

“I love learning their stories and working together to improve their health,” she said. “It is a privilege to be their pharmacist. I see true heroes every day.”

Dr. Bates’ passion for learning new information helps her to thrive in a difficult yet innovative workplace.

“The physicians I work with really push me to do things that I just never thought a pharmacist could do,” she said. “It provides me with the ability to practice at the top of my license. Many times, the only thing holding me back is my own fear.”

Words of Wisdom for Fellow Women Leaders

Dr. Bates is glad that ASHP is embarking on a journey to focus on the needs of women pharmacist leaders. “I feel that women experience an internal struggle with respect to leadership positions. For example, the fact that many leadership roles require more travel and time away from home can be difficult to manage,” she said.

Having faced the challenges she did over the course of her career has sparked a passion in Dr. Bates for the issue of women in pharmacy leadership.

“I strongly believe that when you encounter a problem, you should be a part of the solution,” she said, adding that she places a high priority on activities that grow women pharmacists’ ability to shine in practice.

What makes my job worthwhile is that I am doing meaningful work. I am making a difference in people’s lives.

“I have been so fortunate in terms of the large number of people who have helped me over the years that I feel it is my responsibility to offer my service to our profession,” she noted.

So what does Dr. Bates recommend for women rising in the profession?

“Maintain focused intensity,” she said. “It wasn’t until I became very honest with myself and clear on my passions/goals that I started to feel some harmony between my professional and personal life.” Dr. Bates suggests putting goals in writing, setting goals for all aspects of life (not just professional), and reevaluating them periodically. She also advises establishing habits that support a single-minded focus.

“For example,” she said, “I spend one hour a day early in the morning doing professional development work. Building habits makes it easier to get things done.”

Dr. Bates believes it’s important for women pharmacists to support each other; in particular, she recommends sponsoring other, younger female professionals who show potential. “I also think it’s important to be open about issues you face as a woman. Don’t hide the fact that you are a mom, wife, or any other variable that describes you as a woman. Talk about it publicly.”

And her advice for men?

“I think it is very important for women to always consider their male counterparts in these discussions,” said Dr. Bates. “The changing roles of women affect men, and it’s important to support them as we all adapt to a new norm. I believe that the changing demographics in pharmacy allows for new perspectives to be heard. And I think that it generally leads to better decision making and improved productivity. Having more women in pharmacy leadership ultimately benefits everyone—our profession, our healthcare organizations, and our patients.”

— By Ann W. Latner, JD


June 17, 2016

ASHP Named a Top Workplace by The Washington Post

Filed under: Current Issue,From the CEO — Tags: , , , — jmilford @ 1:41 pm
Paul W. Abramowitz, Pharm.D., Sc.D. (Hon.), FASHP

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

I’M DELIGHTED TO ANNOUNCE that ASHP has been named by The Washington Post as one of the 2016 Top Workplaces in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. As part of the Top Workplaces award, ASHP will be featured in a special section of The Washington Post on Sunday, June 19, so pick up a copy of Sunday’s paper or check it out online.

I’d like to thank the entire ASHP team for sharing with the world what it’s like to work for ASHP and for making ASHP such a great place to work!

Late last year, we decided to participate in The Washington Post’s prestigious Top Workplaces contest. Top Workplaces are chosen based solely on confidential employee engagement surveys that are conducted by an independent third party selected by The Washington Post. More than 90 percent of staff members participated in the survey, which The Washington Post noted was an exceptionally high response rate.

TWP_Washington_Portrait_2016_AWBased on the survey results, our team showed a remarkably high level of employee satisfaction. Our staff are connected to the meaningful teamwork they do for our members. They feel their participation in decision-making is welcomed and that their opinions are valued. And they have a respect for the leadership of ASHP and the direction we are taking as we work together to advance healthcare. Employees truly believe in our organization, and that’s what makes ASHP a Top Workplace.

Top Workplaces are not only better places to work, but are also more likely to be successful than their peer organizations. In addition to showcasing the health of ASHP, this prestigious award also conveys an elite recruiting status on our organization. As a Top Workplace in one of the most competitive job markets in the country, we now have a distinct advantage in hiring the best talent that the Washington, D.C., area and beyond has to offer. As you can see, our success correlates directly with your success, and we will continue to find even better ways to support our members, our patients and their care, and our people here at ASHP.

As we approach the 75th anniversary of ASHP, I couldn’t be prouder of all that we’ve accomplished. Making sure our team members are happy and productive is a very large part of that.

Thank you for all that you do on behalf of your patients and for being members of ASHP.


May 26, 2016

ASHP Building Update (May 2016)

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

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

IT IS MY PLEASURE to announce that ASHP has sold our headquarters building at 7272 Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda, Md., and will be moving to a wonderful new building just a few blocks away early next year.

ASHP has been in our current headquarters — The Joseph A. Oddis Building — since we purchased it in 1992. Since that time, ASHP has grown dramatically, and so has downtown Bethesda. It’s because of this growth and change that we decided to sell our building.

For some time now, the state of Maryland and surrounding counties have envisioned a new east-west train line that would better connect commuters and visitors to key parts of the Washington, D.C., metro area, including Bethesda. After many years, the funding for this new Purple Line is now secured, and building on the new line is projected to start in the next few years. ASHP fits into this story because our current building in the heart of downtown Bethesda sits on the location of the proposed new Metro Purple Line Station, on a piece of real estate that is ripe for a major new downtown development.

The Joseph A. Oddis Building

The Joseph A. Oddis Building

Because of the decision to sell our building, ASHP will be able to move into a new headquarters that is modern and environmentally friendly, a headquarters that will accommodate our growing membership and staff, provide enhanced capabilities and resources to help us better serve our members, and advance our public health mission.

Our space in this new building is currently being constructed, and I look forward to sharing some images with you once it’s completed. I also welcome you to come tour our new space if you’re ever in town visiting or serving on an ASHP member committee. ASHP is your professional home, and we would love to see you!

I would like to recognize my predecessor, Dr. Joseph A. Oddis, for his vision and subsequent decision to purchase the ASHP building well before Bethesda experienced such explosive growth. It’s fair to say that, without him, ASHP would not be in the position it is today as the best and fastest growing pharmacy organization in the world.

ASHP's new headquarters building

ASHP’s new headquarters building

I hope that you share our excitement as we move to ASHP’s new home. Most importantly, I want to thank all of you — our members — for everything that you do for your patients and the profession. It’s because of you that ASHP continues to grow and excel. I look forward to updating you in the coming months about our forthcoming move to our new headquarters, and continuing to share updates on the exceptional resources ASHP provides to advance your practice.

Have a wonderful day, and thank you so much for being a member of ASHP!



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