American College of Clinical Pharmacy
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ACCP Report

President’s Column

I Hear You. Words Matter!

Written by Elizabeth Farrington, Pharm.D., FCCP, FCCM, FPPA, BCPS, BCNSP


I sincerely apologize that the words I chose did not match the intent of my message in last month’s “From the Desk of the ACCP President.” As a member of the ACCP Board of Regents, I have had the privilege of witnessing the ongoing efforts of the board, committees, task forces, and staff to extend the frontiers of clinical pharmacy. I see our already stressed (and stretched thin) members volunteering to continue advancing our profession, and I am so inspired by their collective efforts. I’ve also witnessed how statements made on social media may sometimes perpetuate a misunderstanding of the intent or actions of an organization. I’m concerned that some social media posts can further damage morale within the profession and are often interpreted differently by various audiences. On the other hand, I recognize that social media provides a mechanism for real-time feedback and that statements made on social media can lead to ongoing discussions that can be productive and ultimately prompt meaningful actions. The deeper conversations that go beyond a brief post are what I was hoping to encourage in my August “From the Desk of…” piece. In some cases, we need more than 280 characters to ensure that concerns and recommendations are fully understood. I hoped that members would respond to my request to more fully articulate and expand upon their viewpoints by communicating with us by e-mail. And some of you did!

But, as noted above, words do matter. I now realize that my comments suggested to some readers that I may not appreciate the importance of freedom of expression and that I was squelching public criticism by proposing that one must “work through the system.” My intent was not to censor feedback but rather to encourage input that an organization could tangibly respond to and act upon. However, in my effort to solicit such feedback, I managed to criticize other forms of input unconstructively and perhaps destructively. I promise to do better moving forward.

ACCP has always been a member-driven organization, and efforts are underway to address issues and concerns recently raised by members, including:

  • The ACCP Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) task force, about to enter its third year of work, has recommended a substantial number of steps to the Board of Regents designed to enhance mentoring and organizational belonging, provide tools to improve DEIA, and increase the diversity of ACCP’s awardees. See the full report on the status of the task force’s recommendations elsewhere in this issue of the ACCP Report.
  • The ACCP Nominations Committee, with input from the DEIA Task Force, has been working to make the nominations process as inclusive as possible while also intentionally assembling as diverse a slate of candidates for office as possible.
  • The ACCP Professional Leadership Development program provides opportunities for rising leaders in ACCP and clinical pharmacy to advance, including those from under-represented segments of the membership. The program will graduate its first class of participants and begin work with the 2023–24 class during the ACCP Annual Meeting.
  • Our meetings staff are carefully considering member input in examining potential future meeting sites. As a part of ACCP’s meeting evaluations, we routinely ask attendees to suggest future meeting venues, and staff use those responses as one of the guides in identifying future meeting locales. Although ACCP contracted for the 2023 and 2024 Annual Meetings several years ago (pre-pandemic), meeting venues for 2025 and beyond are currently being assessed based on member input and logistical considerations to try to maximize member safety, accessibility, and overall attendee experience.
  • Speakers at the 2023 Annual Meeting also reflect intentional efforts to engage a diverse panel of experts to deliver the College’s usual excellent scientific and professional programming.
  • ACCP leadership and staff are working with the National Pharmaceutical Association (NPhA) on collaborative programming at NPhA and ACCP meetings.
  • We are also collaborating with the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA) to offer two evenings of virtual residency and fellowship showcases next month. Free to SNPhA/ACCP members and non-members, the goal of this effort is to promote postgraduate clinical pharmacy training opportunities to as diverse a student audience as possible.

Despite the examples cited above, I know the pace of change is too slow for some – I understand this sentiment and share this sense of urgency. But I also realize that it will take time and concerted efforts to achieve all our desired outcomes. If we work together to accomplish change, I’m confident that we will succeed – including making ACCP a more inclusive and responsive organization. So, how will we proceed over the next couple of months toward this end? Under the theme of “We Hear You – We’re Listening and Want to Learn More,” ACCP will invite members to take advantage of the following opportunities to provide input leading up to, and during, the 2023 ACCP Annual Meeting:

  1. We Heard You: A Listening Session for Members” – soon to be scheduled for late this month, ACCP leaders will share what the College is doing to address recent member comments and concerns.
  2. We’re Listening and Want to Learn More – Part 1” – the first of two October virtual Town Hall sessions intended to allow members to voice and expand on their concerns. Dates and times will be announced shortly.
  3. We’re Listening and Want to Learn More – Part 2” – a second virtual Town Hall for those unable to participate in the first session or who wish to provide more feedback and/or pose questions.
  4. The Annual Meeting Town Hall – to be held on the afternoon of November 12 during the 2023 ACCP Annual Meeting in Dallas, this session will allow members who are able to attend the Annual Meeting to participate in a face-to-face town hall experience.

Through the events above and ensuing opportunities for discussion, it’s my hope that members will continue to share their feedback and that each of you will experience the joy and professional satisfaction that can come from being an active and engaged member of this organization. I look forward to hearing (and learning) more!