MPF Initiatives
Over the years, Michigan Pharmacy Foundation (MPF) has established many initiatives to continue supporting its mission of advancing pharmacy leadership, education and research, and promoting pharmacy practice to the highest level of patient care. The Foundation is committed to providing programs that help ensure a strong future for pharmacy.
Read below for additional information about current Foundation initiatives and how you can get involved.

Leadership Academy
In 2012, the Foundation developed the Leadership Academy, a year-long program aimed at developing a class of practitioners equipped and motivated to lead others and their profession in the years ahead. The program consists of face-to-face workshops, online webinars and ongoing mentorship facilitated by leaders, Academy faculty and MPA staff.

Applications for the 2019-2020 Leadership Academy available here. Click on the black bars below to learn more about the Academy.

Why did the Foundation create the Academy?

In previous years, the Foundation and MPA collaborated with the Indiana Pharmacists Alliance and Ohio Pharmacists Association to hold the Great Lakes Young Pharmacists Leadership Conference, a weekend conference aimed at identifying emerging leaders, enhancing leadership skills of participants and providing motivation to seek greater awareness and involvement in issues confronting the profession. In 2012, one of the projects that emerged from MPA’s Strategic Planning Retreat involved the creation of leadership programs. MPF made the decision to develop a new comprehensive leadership academy to help accomplish this project, attract new participants and offer an improved format that better fits the busy schedule of a new practitioner.

Young practitioners today face complex and sophisticated challenges. Patients have high needs and expectations. Pharmacy organizations, as part of the health care industry, are going through continuous change and evolution. Workplace pressures and customer service demands have never been higher. In short, young practitioners must be knowledgeable clinicians as well as effective leaders. They must deliver quality and safe patient care and achieve good clinical outcomes while leading and managing their business/departments, building relationships, communicating effectively, resolving conflict and building strong teams, to name a few.

 The 2018-2019 
Leadership Academy class

The future and promise of the pharmacy profession rest with its young professionals. Thus, having engaged, committed and effective young leaders is critical to ensuring a relevant and vibrant pharmacy profession in the years to come with practitioners who can take care of patients with complex disease states and various levels of intellect.

In 2012, the Foundation recognized the emerging need to develop more skillful leaders in pharmacy to match the challenging demands in the health care system. MPF sought input from the Deans of each college of pharmacy in Michigan and other academic leaders, leaders in pharmacy management positions as well as leaders within the Michigan Pharmacists Association (MPA). Members of MPA were also surveyed after every educational event for input on training needs, with leadership and business skills being cited often.

After a year-long evaluation process and strategic planning retreat, the MPF Board of Trustees made the commitment to establish the Leadership Academy. Its inaugural class began in September 2012 with 13 young professionals, whose year-long training and development culminated in September 2013. In addition, the second class graduated from the program in September 2014 and the third class began in November 2014. While the program was successful, continual evolution of the program became necessary to meet the needs of more healthcare professionals. In 2015, the Academy was transformed into the Health Professionals Leadership Academy to accommodate healthcare practitioners from any discipline, as well as at any stage in their career development. The Academy has enrolled participants from a variety of healthcare disciplines including pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, nurses, physicians, physician assistance and healthcare administrators. With more than 100 graduates, the Foundation is committed to continuing the development of leaders to help advance the profession of pharmacy, as well as all health care.

How long is the Academy and what is the time commitment?

The Academy is a nine-month program. To be eligible, a professional must be able to dedicate 3-4 hours per month to prepare for and participate in webinars and leadership discussions (please note that in months of face-to-face workshops, the time commitment is approximately 10-12 hours). The Academy includes the following: 

  1. Three mandatory, day-long, face-to-face workshops. The workshops are conducted by Dr. Brenda Wagenknecht-Ivey. The first will occur on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, and the second will take place on Saturday, Feb. 22 during the 2020 Michigan Pharmacists Association (MPA) Annual Convention & Exposition at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. The third workshop and graduation ceremony will be held in Lansing on June 19, 2020.
  2. Attendance at the annual MPF Leadership & Management Symposium which will most likely occur in April. 
  3. Monthly online, interactive webinars, with pre-webinar assignments and readings.
  4. Establishing a personal leadership project, selecting and working with leadership advisor and establishing personal leadership goals that will be worked on throughout the duration of the Academy. 

To receive a Certificate of Completion, each participant must attend and participate actively in all Leadership Academy events and activities.

Who facilitates Academy programs?

In conjunction with MPA staff, Academy workshops are facilitated by Brenda Wagenknecht-Ivey, the founder and president of PRAXIS Consulting, Inc. As a professional consultant, she has been providing a wide-range of consulting services to private, public, and not-for-profit organizations across the United States since 1986, and internationally since 2005. In 1990, she began her own consulting practice, and in 1995, she founded PRAXIS Consulting, Inc. Her work focuses on helping organizations, teams, and individuals enhance overall performance and organizational health.

Brenda has special expertise in organizational psychology, organizational behavior and group dynamics. She has a proven track record in implementing change and improvement processes that succeed, and helping re-shape organizational norms and team and individual behaviors resulting in higher levels of performance. She is skilled at adapting proven organizational development approaches and methods based on unique needs and problems, and achieving desired results.

Brenda’s vast experience has helped her develop keen diagnostic, analytical, intervention and delivery skills, and acquire a reputation as a skilled change agent, strategic planner, facilitator and researcher. She has worked with a wide-range of pharmacy organizations, including MPA as the facilitator of the Association’s annual Strategic Planning Retreat.

Is there any cost to participating in the Academy?

The cost to attend the Academy is $1,500. The Academy workshops are approved for pharmacist continuing education credit for participating in and completing select portions of the program. The fee covers all related expenses for participation such as materials and meals. Please note: (1) the fee does not include reimbursement for mileage or lodging, registration for the MPA Annual Convention & Exposition, hotel or parking at the Annual Convention, or registration for other Annual Convention events such as the Annual Banquet; and (2) the fee is not refundable in the event that a participant is unable to complete the nine-month program.

What is the criteria for Academy participation?

Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible to participate in the Leadership Academy, a health professional must:
  • Be in a healthcare administrative or clinical leadership position currently, or be interested in pursuing a career in a healthcare leadership position.
  • Be able to attend all Academy workshops and webinars.
  • Be able to devote at least 3-4 hours per month to prepare for and participate in webinars and leadership discussions (please note that in the months of the face-to-face workshops, the time commitment is approximately 10-12 hours). 

Healthcare professionals from all practice environments are welcome to apply. Nominate yourself or someone else to participate in this great event!

Evaluation Criteria
Leadership Academy applications will be evaluated and selected by MPA and MPF using the following criteria:

  1. Leadership interests, goals and anticipated benefits
  2. Leadership responsibilities and/or healthcare leadership or career interests
  3. Expectations of the Academy and how knowledge and skills will be applied
  4. Past or current involvement in student, professional or community affiliations or organizations
  5. Compatibility or suitability with Leadership Academy learning objectives and curriculum
  6. Letter of recommendation (please submit with your application and responses to the questions) 

Membership in a professional organization is not a requirement for selection, but it is preferred.

How can I participate in the Academy?

Applications for the 2018-2019 Leadership Academy are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30, 2019, and can be found here. If you have any questions, please contact Dianne Malburg, MPF executive director, at (517) 377-0223 or

How can I support the Leadership Academy?

There is value in training pharmacists who show potential as future leaders, which is why Michigan Pharmacy Foundation developed the Leadership Academy, a nine-month program aimed at developing a class of practitioners equipped and motivated to lead others and their profession in the years ahead. More than 50 pharmacy professionals have been trained to date, ensuring that our profession has strong leaders to respond to future challenges faced by the profession. In addition, because collaboration with other health care providers is important to delivering patient-centered care, the Academy is open to professionals in other health disciplines. Other health disciplines who have particiapted in the Leadership Academy include physicians, physician assistants, pharmacy technicians and healthcare administrators. 


We need your support to continue forming today’s practitioners into tomorrow’s leaders. Your investment in the education and training offered by the Academy will have tremendous benefits for the future of the health care industry. If every pharmacist and pharmacy technician as well as other health care providers donated $250 annually, the Foundation could continue to expand the program, shape health care leaders and ensure a viable future for pharmacy and patient care. 

Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to support your profession and maintain the legacy that we’ve worked so hard to build. Click here to access a printable form with information on how to contribute. Thank you for your consideration and support of Foundation initiatives. 

Adopt-a-Student Program

The Foundation Adopt-a-Student program provides an opportunity for student pharmacists to connect with experienced, practicing pharmacy professionals to network, develop potential long-term mentors and gain valuable advice for their future career. The program also provides an opportunity for current practitioners to learn fresh, new ideas from up-and-coming pharmacists and to have an impact on the future of the profession by instilling knowledge in those who are just beginning their journey in pharmacy.

Click on the black bars below for additional information about the program and how you can get involved.

How can student pharmacists participate in the Adopt-a-Student program?

This program is held in conjunction with the MPA Annual Convention & Exposition the last weekend in February. As a student pharmacist, you will have the opportunity to sign up to be adopted with your Convention registration online. In addition to signing up for this session, the following information is required by a January deadline each year: your practice area of interest, a short biography about yourself (one paragraph/four to five sentences), including your professional goals and why you chose pharmacy as your career path as well as a high-resolution headshot photograph. Participation for this program is typically available by December each year.

You must be a Student Michigan Pharmacists Association member to participate in this program and be adopted. Student pharmacists who sign up to be adopted are also required to serve as an ambassador or perform another volunteer function during the Convention. Students will be contacted about selecting a responsibility after they register for the Convention and the program.

How can pharmacy professionals participate in the Adopt-a-Student program?

Pharmacists, vendor representatives, pharmacy technicians, etc. can sign up to adopt a student or students with their MPA Annual Convention & Exposition registration. The cost to support one student pharmacist is typically $100. The cost to support two student pharmacists is $185. This is a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation. A receipt will be mailed to participants for tax records. Parents are encouraged to stay in contact with their students after the Convention to continue building mentorship.


Can I support a student even if I’m not attending the MPA Annual Convention?

Absolutely! If you do not plan on attending the Annual Convention and Annual Banquet, your student pharmacist will be placed at a table with other student pharmacists and their “parents” to ensure that they still receive the networking and mentoring experience.

How do I meet up with my “parent” and what opportunities do we have to connect?

Student pharmacists who sign up to be adopted by the deadline (which will be included when Convention registration is available) will be provided with the name and contact information of their “parent” prior to the event so that they can make arrangements to meet with them at the Convention. Your parent will provide you with a reserved-seat banquet ticket either in person, or they may leave it for you to pick up in the Mackinac Ballroom on Level 5 of the Detroit Marriott. If you visit the Mackinac Ballroom on Level 5 of the Detroit Marriott during the Annual Convention, MPA staff can inform you if your parent has dropped off your Banquet ticket.

What is the likelihood that a student will be adopted?

Often, participating pharmacists will adopt a student (or students) who attend the college of pharmacy that they’re alumni of. Local associations and regional societies have also been known to support students and participate in the program. MPA and the Foundation will do the best they can to ensure that all students who sign up by the established deadline are adopted and have the opportunity to attend the Annual Banquet & Awards Ceremony during the MPA Annual Convention & Exposition

Student Scholarship Program
The Foundation also provides scholarships to exceptional up-and-coming pharmacists. Each year, a $2,500 scholarship is awarded to one student pharmacist at each of Michigan’s three colleges of pharmacy. Since establishing the program in 2002, the Foundation has awarded more than $100,000 in scholarships to deserving future practitioners. Scholarships are presented at the MPA Annual Convention & Exposition, held the last weekend in February. Applications are due by Oct. 15 each year.

For complete details on the scholarship program, please see the Foundation Grants and Scholarships page.


Foundation Community Support
Each year, the Foundation conducts charitable organization drive during the MPA Annual Convention & Exposition. Items collected have typically been those that are easily found in any pharmacy such as personal care items, food staples, etc. The MPF Board of Trustees selects a charitable organization each year to which they donate the collected items. This donation drive has allowed the profession of pharmacy to give back to individuals in need. If you have a special 501(c)(3), charitable organization that you would like the Foundation to consider for a future year, please submit your suggestion to Dianne Malburg, MPF executive director, at

Bay Cliff Health Camp (2017 and 2018)

The Foundation’s Board of Trustees chose Bay Cliff Health Camp as a worthwhile organization to support at the 2017 and 2018 MPA Annual Convention & Exposition in Detroit. Bay Cliff began as “… a dream of two ladies who saw the needs of children during the desperate times of America’s Great Depression.” Both ladies were healthcare professionals that traveled throughout Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, caring not only for children, but teaching proper nutrition to mothers and providing healthcare to those in need. For more information about Bay Cliff Health Camp, visit their website here.

Whaley's Children's Center (2016)

At the 2016 Annual Convention & Exposition, the Foundation Board of Trustees voted to support Whaley Children’s Center, located in Flint, Michigan. The Whaley Foundation was incorporated Jan. 26, 1924. The Whaley Children’s Center mission is to provide “… tools to children and families who have experienced trauma to reach their full potential” with a vision to “… be a source of hope, care, and treatment to Michigan’s abused, neglected, and at-risk children and families.” For more information about Whaley Children's Center, visit their website

Operation Care Package Michigan (2014 and 2015)

In conjunction with the 2014 and 2015 MPA Annual Convention & Exposition, MPF partnered with a new charitable giving organization. The Foundation supported Operation Care Package Michigan, an organization dedicated to supporting men and women who are serving our country. The organization puts together care packages based on military troops’ wish lists and then sends them to troops that are deployed overseas. In 2015, Convention attendees donated 389 pounds of items and more than $1,000 to support the organization. In 2014, more than 300 pounds of items were donated to Operation Care Package Michigan during the Annual Convention and attendees raised more than $1,700 for the organization. For information about Operation Care Package Michigan, visit

Stuff the Bus Personal Care Drive (2012 and 2013)

From 2010-2013, the Foundation launched a personal care donation drive in conjunction with the MPA Annual Convention & Exposition to assist families in need. Pharmacy professionals and others from around the state donated personal care items for those who are in need. This is just one way that that Foundation and Michigan pharmacy professionals are reaching out to care for patients and those who need support and encouragement. The Foundation sent out communications to MPA members regarding the donation drive, where to bring donations, when donations will be accepted and what items they are in need of. All donated items were given to Michigan-based charities. A few of the local charities that received items in the past include Mother Waddles Perpetual Mission, Fort Street Presbyterian Church, Coalition on Temporary Shelter (C.O.T.S.), Detroit Area School Programs, St. Cecelia and St. Leo Homeless Shelters, AIDS Partnership of Michigan and organizations supporting homeless veterans. The Foundation's Stuff the Bus drive collected and donated more than 3,000 pounds of items to those in need.

Capital Campaign
The Foundation launched its first ever Capital Campaign in 2010 to fund three primary objectives: leadership and management training and support; scholarships for education and experiential development; and innovations in practice. The 2010 Capital Campaign raised nearly $400,000 in contributions when it ended in 2015. The MPF Board of Trustees is preparing to launch another targeted capital campaign. Individuals interested in making a pledge to support a future Capital Campaign should contact MPF executive director Dianne Malburg at (517) 377-0223 or

Click on the black bars below for additional information about the Campaign and how you can help.

What is the Robinson Leadership Center?

The initial planning phase of the Capital Campaign was started in the summer of 2008, and funding priorities were established in the summer of 2009. With a goal of raising $1.5 million over five years, the Foundation decided that there was no better funding priority than developing a Center for Personal, Professional and Leadership Development, making the dream of developing leaders in pharmacy a long-awaited reality.

Capitalizing on long-standing relationships with pharmacy stakeholders within the state and on a national level allowed the Foundation to solicit input and direction for developing the Center. MPF sought the counsel of experiential coordinators, Committee leaders, independent pharmacy owners, chain management, innovative practitioners and newly-licensed pharmacists, and these individuals showed overwhelming support for creating the Center.

In the fall of 2009, MPA purchased its new headquarters at 408 Kalamazoo Plaza, and early in 2010, renovations began. Aside from having amenities and features that employees had only dreamed of in the Washington Avenue property in Lansing, the new building offered ample space for the Center, which also received a new name in honor of a great pharmacy leader.

It was with a heavy heart that Foundation received the opportunity for renaming the Center for Personal, Professional and Leadership Development. Dewaine Robinson was a dedicated pharmacy leader who supported the very goals pursued by the Foundation. He was an active and treasured member of MPA for more than 50 years, serving as past president of the Association and chairman of the Pharmacy Services Inc. (PSI) Board of Directors. Robinson was a member of the Foundation Board of Trustees, the MPF Founders Club, and the MPF Mortar and Pestle Club. He was also a member of the Genesee County Pharmacists Association and Pharmacy PAC Century Club.

Robinson passed away in 2009, and to continue his legacy to pharmacy, his wife pledged a donation of $100,000 over five years to the Foundation.In the spring of 2010, the MPA Executive Board, PSI Board of Directors and MPF Board of Trustees decided that, to continue Robinson’s dream for the future of pharmacy, the Center for Personal, Professional and Leadership Development would become the Robinson Leadership Center.

Six months after the transformation of the new MPA headquarters began, on July 3, 2010, MPA staff eagerly packed and unpacked moving trucks, and began settling into the new, 16,849 square foot building, where the Robinson Leadership Center would finally have a home.

With a goal to enrich the professional experience of pharmacy practitioners and inspire and empower them to become great leaders, the Center will become the core for advancement by facilitating an array of business, leadership and management training programs. The Center:

    • is designed for both small and intimate networking opportunities and larger classroom seminars
    • accommodates 50 people
    • is equipped with state-of-the-art technology to provide both on-site and distance learning

The Foundation held the Grand Evening Gala on Sept. 11, 2010, at the MPA Headquarters, where a ribbon cutting ceremony dedicated the Center in addition to the new building. Shortly after the Gala, on Oct. 13, 2010, the Center hosted its first leadership program entitled Leadership Strategies for Effective Communications. Since its first program, the Center has been utilized for MPA Committee Days, pharmacy technician continuing education programs, events to connect local associations from around the state, Board of Director meetings, Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery Programs, and other training functions. It has also hosted other organizations and health care disciplines providing an opportunity pharmacy to work closer with common stakeholders.

With support from the Foundation’s Capital Campaign, the Robinson Leadership Center will fulfill a dream that began more than a decade ago: developing leaders and business experts within the pharmacy profession through on-site and distance training programs. The ribbon cutting ceremony that dedicated the Center also served as a reminder of the commitment the Foundation has made to the pharmacy profession, as well as its future.

The Foundation would like to thank those who provided input, counsel and support for the Center. The year 2010 was a milestone for the Foundation, and the development of the Robinson Leadership Center has paved the way for many more landmarks to come in the future.

Why did the Foundation launch a Capital Campaign?

In 2010, the Michigan Joint Commission on Pharmacy Practice was struck with a realization: in order to continue moving this profession forward, it was imperative to develop more pharmacy leaders and business experts. Certainly, with outside forces affecting how we do business and the health of our communities continually declining, it was time to pull together all our resources and our collective brainpower to take control and make a difference, for our profession, for our communities and for our future.

All over the state, pharmacy partners quickly took notice and took action. The decision of the Foundation was to build a home for that imperative leadership development, and a Capital Campaign to fund its creation and programming was launched. After a successful first round of fundraising, the Robinson Leadership Center was established.

To be most effective in its mission, MPF needs to be strong, focused and effective in all three of its initiatives:

    • Supporting education through scholarships and other opportunities for student pharmacists
    • Optimizing success in research studies through grants
    • Developing the business and leadership skills of each practitioner

What has been achieved by the 2010 Capital Campaign?

During the five years the Capital Campaign was actively conducted, it received pledges and contributions totaling nearly $400,000. It has been the single most successful fundraising endeavor ever taken on by the Foundation; however, additional contributions are needed to achieve the original goal of $1.5 million. As a result of the generous donations received to date, the following achievements have occurred:

  • The Robinson Leadership Center was established in late 2010 in honor of pharmacy leader Dewaine Robinson. The Leadership Center is located within the MPA Headquarters building located in downtown Lansing. It was designed to support training opportunities, host networking events and provide a meeting location for professional and social activities. The Leadership Center is more than a physical location; it embodies the Foundation’s commitment to developing leaders that will advance the future of pharmacy.

  • The Young Practitioner Leadership Academy (YPLA) was created in the fall of 2012. YPLA began its inaugural class of 13 aspiring pharmacy practitioners. After several years of focusing on developing young leaders, YPLA is being transformed and expanded into the Leadership Academy to expand its leadership development activities across several generations.

  • The Student Scholarship Program has operated for decades, providing one scholarship to a student pharmacist at each Michigan college of pharmacy on an annual basis. Originally, each college’s dean established a process for selecting the recipient. In 2013, the MPF Board of Trustees transformed the scholarship program and created an application process that was promoted directly to students, with the scholarship recipients chosen by a Foundation Selection Committee. In addition, the recipients are recognized at a ceremony held on Saturday afternoon during the MPA Annual Convention & Exposition. The change allowed recipients to be publicly recognized for their achievement and allowed the Foundation an opportunity to promote the new program.

Can I still contribute to the MPF Capital Campaign?

The answer is YES! The Foundation believes in empowerment, engagement, education and action, and one thing’s for certain: we’re stronger when we work together. And that’s why we always need your support. While the 2010 Capital Campaign concluded in 2015, individuals can help the Foundation get a head start on its next campaign by making a pledge today during its silent phase of fundraising.

Consider making a long-term pledge or a simple, one-time gift to the Foundation. Click here to contribute online. You're also welcome to fill out a printable form and e-mail it to Dianne Malburg, MPF executive director, at; print a copy and fax to (517) 484-4893; or mail to Attn: Dianne Malburg, 408 Kalamazoo Plaza, Lansing, MI 48933. Instructions for using fillable PDF forms are available online. For additional information regarding the Capital Campaign, please contact Dianne Malburg, MPF executive director, at (517) 377-0223.