APhA Announces Task Force and Campaign to Address Structural Racism in Pharmacy
The APhA Board of Trustees has taken a critical next step in addressing structural racism in pharmacy by appointing a diverse group of APhA members to provide input and guidance to the APhA Board and staff. The task force will recommend actions driving short- and long-term strategies to eliminate racism, discrimination, injustice, and the marginalization of individuals within the profession and communities that APhA members serve.
“The creation of this task force will put in motion an action plan to address racism and discrimination in every facet of our profession. It is important for APhA, the only organization representing all of pharmacy, to take a stand and use our platform to create positive change. Our members and their patients are counting on us,” noted APhA CEO and Executive Vice President Scott J. Knoer, MS, PharmD, FASHP.
The group, led by the Chair, Andrew Gentles, PharmD, BCPS, AQ-ID, APhA Trustee-elect, will host forums, including virtual town halls, for members to share their thoughts on dismantling structural racism. The task force will focus its efforts on initiatives that raise awareness about racism through publications and professional development opportunities, as well as advocacy and policy development. The group consists of a diverse cohort of APhA members who care for patients and influence communities across the spectrum of pharmacy practice and includes APhA Board and staff liaisons.
APhA’s efforts are inclusive of all pharmacists, student pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, pharmaceutical scientists, and other pharmacy personnel in all practice settings, and all will be encouraged to contribute. To start, APhA requests that all supporters (individuals, organizations, institutions, corporations) sign on to the joint statement released on June 5, 2020, to demonstrate their support for action and participate in a social media campaign using the hashtag #PharmacistsFightingRacism throughout the week, culminating in a day of recognition on June 26. More information can be found at pharmacist.com/PharmacistsFightingRacism.
“We are extremely humbled and excited for this opportunity to lead this national initiative on addressing structural racism in pharmacy,” noted Task Force Chair Andrew Gentles, PharmD, BCPS, AQ-ID. “Our hope is that these efforts will introduce national changes and, with APhA’s leadership, demonstrate to our communities we are listening, we stand in solidarity to advocate for our patients’ health, but most importantly, we intend to take action.”