By now, many of you have read this story about Ashleigh Anderson, published this morning by USAToday.
This story is as heartbreaking now as it was in 2021. No pharmacist at anytime, anywhere, should feel they need to put their work duties over any health concerns they are experiencing, under any circumstances.
We talk a lot about wellbeing in the workplace, and APhA has been vocal on these issues. I have written extensively about them in the past, and have been traveling and meeting with pharmacists across the country about them as recently as last fall. Wellbeing doesn’t just mean equity in the workplace – it doesn’t just mean additional staff, shorter shifts, and a lunch break. It also means pharmacists having time for themselves, taking care of themselves, spending time with families and loved ones, and getting needed medical attention when necessary. It is incumbent upon all employers to allow for this.
I want to take this opportunity to remind you of the resources APhA has in place for pharmacists – you can take a look here, and I urge you to take advantage of everything we have to offer.
The work continues on these issues – we are continuing to advocate, continuing to meet with folks on the ground. And we won’t back down. You may have noticed that I end all of my communications by saying “For every pharmacist, for all of pharmacy” and that is not just a tagline, it is the guiding principle of how we serve our profession here at APhA. I believe that there are lessons to be learned from Ashleigh’s life and from her death, and we can honor her in no better way than by advocating and advancing the wellbeing issues we have been working on together.
My family and I will keep Ashleigh’s family in our prayers – and I hope you will as well.
For every pharmacist, for all of pharmacy.