CDC tells pharmacists: You do make a difference!

APhA has received a letter from RADM Anne Schuchat, MD, Assistant Surgeon General and Principal Deputy Director, CDC, to be distributed to all pharmacists. In her letter, the CDC applauded the accomplishments of the profession and APhA over the past 20 years to improve the health of our communities by reducing the risk of vaccine-preventable diseases. 

Dr. Schuchat’s letter acknowledged the growing impact that pharmacists have made, including expanded immunization authority, improved vaccination rates, commitment to “walking the walk,” and working collaboratively with other providers. She also recognized APhA’s upcoming 20th anniversary of its Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery Certificate Training Program, which has trained more than 260,000 pharmacists.

What a great letter to receive as we enter American Pharmacists Month, continue our work on provider status, and prepare for the 2016 APhA Annual Meeting & Exposition in Baltimore on March 4–7. To the more than 260,000 pharmacists who have been trained and who are providing immunization services across the lifespan, thank you for making a difference in your communities! 

The accomplishments Dr. Schuchat mentioned in her letter occurred because of the hard work, leadership, and dedication of APhA staff, leaders, members, and partners within and outside of the pharmacy profession. And they were achieved because practitioners stepped up and took care of patients—millions of them! In immunizations, we ARE at the local, state, and national tables. 

APhA is recognized for establishing a well-regarded training program that could scale and for coining the ideal of the “immunization neighborhood,” facilitating collaboration, coordination, and communication (also known as the three Cs) among immunization stakeholders. In this approach, the patient is central, with members of the neighborhood meeting patient and community needs. This approach can be applied to the many efforts under way related to other health care and public health needs. We are also applying this approach to addressing the pandemic influenza neighborhood’s needs as we work with state and local public health.

October is American Pharmacists Month, and as the CDC letter exemplifies and our theme articulates, more and more patients are getting to “know your pharmacist” and receiving information and services from their pharmacist to keep them healthy. As I have said for many years, when pharmacists are recognized and engaged in patient care delivery, great things happen for the individual patient, health system, and care team.

We are grateful to CDC and Dr. Schuchat for recognizing and engaging pharmacists for the betterment of our nation’s health. There is still a lot more we can do together, and APhA is committed to doing its part.

Be proud of your accomplishments! Keep up the good work.

Read the complete letter on