Thank you for all you do

Every day, you model the reasons that pharmacists must be increasingly incorporated into growing patient care roles across the health care spectrum. Yet, it’s little comfort to many of our own who are worried about their jobs that our roles really ARE expanding.

Meanwhile, evidence continues to show our value in larger roles recognized for their value on the team. While for some, roles are evolving rapidly, others endure challenging metrics and impatient patients who often don’t understand that we’re on their side. At one level it’s good that we’ve trained for, created, and implemented many new care services, yet availability creates tremendous pressures during disruptive times when we’re working at a brutal pace!

This brutal pace extends not only to all sectors of pharmacy practice, but also to management and to our colleagues in nursing and medicine. Despite a lack of adequate technician hours and endless prior authorizations, you are professionals who keep doing the right thing, often to your own detriment. I know because I listen to hundreds of practicing pharmacists regularly.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, please know that you have hundreds of staff, volunteers, and elected leaders who share the quest for continued growth of our profession. Well-being efforts give pharmacists an outlet and connectivity with peers. APhA Special Interest Groups expand that connectivity. And our work on Capitol Hill and with the agencies is focused on one purpose—to make pharmacists essential contributors to health care.

Pharma must see us as helping patients get full benefit of their medicines. Managed care must see us assuring beneficiaries the same benefit. Physicians, nurses, and our other allies on the health care team must see us as essential to achieving quality patient care and in meeting their own metrics. APhA’s mission revolves around providing you with what you and your patients need, through education, advocacy, and resources to restore and preserve your well-being.

These aren’t just words to me. On a personal note, I've been dedicated to this quest for more than 40 years, including 30 as a volunteer and elected leader. I spent many Thanksgiving Days working in the pharmacy to take care of patients who needed us to be there.

I’m not universally loved. In fact, I accept many negative shots from folks who feel we’re not trying hard enough or being helpful enough to them. We don’t reject those feelings. We listen, as they only make us more dedicated to your collective success.

On behalf of all of us at APhA, thank you for reading, for believing in us, and for doing what you do so well. We have unwavering confidence in our success. The public needs us to achieve optimal health.

On behalf of the staff and elected leadership of APhA, I wish you a wonderful holiday. Take a breath and enjoy the fruits of your labors.