Welcome to 2024! I hope you all had a restful holiday season and New Year’s Day. As we enter a new year, I always find it beneficial to reflect on the previous year’s activities and how they could influence the next 12 months. Certainly 2023 brought many great instances of ACCP members making a positive impact on the organization and the profession. This included their many contributions to ACCP task forces and committees, collaboration on national treatment guidelines, engagement in advocacy efforts, and outstanding research, practice, and educational accomplishments. I continue to be inspired by the amazing work of ACCP’s members and greatly appreciate their dedication to representing the College as leaders in clinical pharmacy.
Even as 2023 marked our substantial progress as an organization, it also highlighted the ongoing challenges facing both the profession and ACCP. Among these is the significant national impact of declining pharmacy school applications and admissions, which threatens to greatly reduce not only the number of graduates but also the number of future clinical pharmacists and potential ACCP members. Similarly, the concerns facing our community-based colleagues regarding the need to improve working conditions to provide safe and effective care have resulted in some pharmacists choosing to leave their workplace, further contributing to an altered public perception of pharmacy as a viable career pathway. Finally, even though interprofessional team-based care and collaboration is a standard we have long sought, ongoing concerns of non-pharmacy organizations regarding pharmacist scope of practice continue to present barriers to increasing patient access to clinical pharmacy services and establishing consistent compensation for these services.
Reflecting on these challenges has caused me, and perhaps many others, to question what’s next for the profession and how we as ACCP members can make a positive impact. During my incoming address at the 2023 ACCP Annual Meeting in Dallas, I shared my experience of fulfilling a personal goal of learning to play the guitar as a means of providing an outlet during the COVID-19 lockdown. Although it proved to be challenging, I’ve persevered and am happy to report that I am still engaged and continuing to practice on my guitar. Indeed, this foray into guitar-playing provided inspiration for my presidential theme this year, which is drawn from This Is Spinal Tap. In this movie, the guitarist of the fictional band “Spinal Tap” uses an amplifier that can be set to a volume of 11 instead of the standard maximum of 10. By turning it up to 11, the guitarist can achieve a much louder sound, when needed. This phrase has become synonymous with going over and above the norm, and the Oxford English Dictionary even defines it as “to reach or surpass the maximum level or limit.”
Given the current state of our profession and the challenges facing us, I believe we are at a critical juncture where we need to look for opportunities to further amplify the voices of clinical pharmacists and continue to leverage the expertise and passion of ACCP’s members so as to ensure both the advancement of our essential roles on the health care team and the sustainability of our profession by fostering the development of the next generation of clinical pharmacists. These goals and enhancements are reflected in my presidential theme for this year: “What’s Next for Clinical Pharmacy? Rising to the Challenges, Leading the Way, and Turning It Up to 11.”
As we progress through 2024, my challenge to all ACCP members is to engage in whatever capacity you can and to look for opportunities to turn it “up to 11.” By doing so, we will continue to drive ACCP’s efforts to advance the profession and address future challenges. A key component of this approach will involve ensuring that ACCP members’ voices are heard. The ACCP Board of Regents will carry forward into 2024 the momentum generated at the end of 2023 by seeking and responding to member feedback. We will continue to provide opportunities for members to engage with ACCP leadership, and I look forward to your active participation and feedback. Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your president and for the excellent work you do on behalf of the College.