The 18th annual APhA Federal Pharmacy Forum’s opening ceremony and education sessions took place today in conjunction with the 2017 APhA Annual Meeting & Exposition in San Francisco.
The trends of provider shortages, an aging population, and more complex medication regimens created opportunities for the pharmacy profession to provide access to care by advancing and expanding clinical pharmacy services, said keynote speaker Anthony P. Morreale, PharmD, MBA, BCPS, of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
“Improvements in cost and quality can only be achieved if first the patient has access to [pharmacist care],” Morreale said. He spoke of freeing up other members of the health care team to do what they do best.
Approximately 200 pharmacists and pharmacy technicians attended from the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force (USAF), Coast Guard (UCSG), Public Health Service (USPHS), Indian Health Service, and VA, as well as student pharmacists and others. Approximately 25 supporting industry partners exhibited.
The moderator for the opening ceremony and welcome was Adele Pietrantoni, BSPharm. A color guard from Travis Air Force Base did the honors. The ceremony included the national anthem sung by Army pharmacist and APhA fellow LTC Jeff Neigh, the Pledge of Allegiance, and a moment of personal reflection.
In welcoming remarks, APhA President Jean-Venable “Kelly” R. Goode, PharmD, BCPS, FAPhA, FCCP, spoke of how many federal pharmacists were able to practice at the top of their license.
“We need to make this the norm and not the exception across the profession,” Goode said. “You can all be justly proud of what you do for millions of patients every day.”
The 2017 APhA Distinguished Federal Pharmacist Award was presented to COL (Ret) John Spain, PharmD, MA, BCPS, USA. He was selected in recognition of his contributions to Army pharmacy and patient care. The award was sponsored by the Roche Foundation.
Spain thanked all the soldiers, sailors, airmen, civilians, and contract staff for their guidance and support. He referenced Goode’s “norm and not the exception” comment, and said, “That’s really what federal pharmacy is all about.”
The 2017 George F. Archambault Scholarship Award was presented to student pharmacist Axel Vazquez-Deida of the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy.
California state Sen. Jeff Stone (R-28), PharmD, was presented with the USPHS Public Health Excellence Award by RADM Pamela Schweitzer, PharmD, BCACP, Assistant Surgeon General and Chief Professional Officer for Pharmacy, USPHS, and APhA Executive Vice President and CEO Thomas E. Menighan, BSPharm, MBA, ScD (Hon), FAPhA.
“Have a little fun. Connect and reconnect with your colleagues, and cement relationships,” Menighan told attendees.
Federal Pharmacy Forum 2017: Senior Leaders’ Perspective was presented by Schweitzer; Ronald A. Nosek Jr., BSPharm, MS, FASHP, VA; CAPT Michael J. Shiber, USCG; Lt Col Bernard L. Vanpelt, RPh, USAF; and Neigh.
In the afternoon, attendees were tracked into APhA2017 education sessions, with the exception of breakout sessions for USPHS and USCG attendees. Concluding the forum, on Monday, March 27, the Federal Pharmacy Caucus will hold a lunch meeting.