Behind the scenes at APhA2022
APhA2022 was the first in-person APhA meeting for Brittany Botescu despite prior engagement with APhA–ASP Midyear Regional Meetings and as APhA–ASP Policy Vice President at Notre Dame of Maryland School of Pharmacy—what better introduction then as a part of staff! Aiya Almogaber served as APhA–ASP Chapter President at the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy and attended previous Annual Meetings in person. The following article details all their exciting adventures in San Antonio.
In addition to the APhA Annual Meeting & Exposition being live again for the first time in a few years, it was also the first annual meeting since APhA’s expanded Executive Postgraduate Training Program began. We are part of this inaugural class of residents, and both have a core focus with APhA’s Pharmacy Practice and Government Affairs team.
Participating in the behind-the-scenes preparation and execution of a meeting this large was definitely a first for both of us. Some may have seen us running from one end of the convention center to the other, some may have attended our open forum sessions, and some were lucky enough to catch us at the perfect moment for a “walk and talk with me” conversation.
APhA2022 is the largest opportunity for pharmacists across different pharmacy practice settings, career stages, and regions of the country to reunite and celebrate our shared profession. In addition to inspirational ceremonies and awards, there is something for everyone in terms of the various educational and networking programs. Brittany planned and moderated open forum sessions around community pharmacy residency programs and impacts of white bagging practices for pharmacy, while Aiya helped create and moderate an open forum session titled “Building a Robust Pharmacy Technician Workforce.” These open forum sessions gave members an opportunity to share their experiences and facilitate larger group discussions. The two of us were also involved in staffing various APhA SIG Meetings alongside APhA members and volunteer leaders.
The exposition hall also offers a diverse variety of vendors and networking opportunities for all members, including APhA’s advocacy booth, staffed by APhA’s Government Affairs team. We enjoyed the interaction with attendees while staffing the booth.
Part of the exciting HoD action
In addition to planned programming, some of the most exciting parts of the conference happen spontaneously after the curtains close. For example, as shared in recent APhA press releases and media coverage, the APhA2022 House of Delegates (HoD) voted on “emergency policy” in San Antonio.
Usually, the policy development process happens over the course of the year; however, this proposal was introduced and passed over the span of 4 days. As practice residents, we had the unique opportunity to be directly part of the action, as members of the APhA staff team drafting the policy background required of every proposal. If that wasn’t exciting enough, the HoD debate this year had everyone on the edge of their seats with what has been described by some delegates as “one of the most spirited sessions in years.”
We’ll be back
If nothing else, APhA’s Annual Meeting inspires and energizes its attendees. It reunites old friends, while introducing new ones. It’s nostalgic, while still incredibly fresh and on the pulse of pharmacy today. As residents, it’s hard to imagine what APhA Annual Meetings will look like in 10 and 20 years from now. One thing that is for sure… you will see Aiya and Brittany there!
Aiya Almogaber, PharmD, is a 2021–2022 APhA executive resident in Washington, DC. A native South Carolinian, she earned her PharmD degree from the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy. Aiya is commonly known for her creative spirit and love for the simple joys in life like hiking, swimming, and Justin Bieber.
Brittany Botescu, PharmD, is a 2021–2022 APhA executive resident in Washington, DC. She earned her PharmD degree from Notre Dame of Maryland University School of Pharmacy. In addition to her passion for pharmacy advocacy, she loves history and old movies, and is likely the biggest Keith Urban fan you will ever meet.