Pharmacy News

MPA CEO Mark Glasper Featured in ASHP Article

The Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists (ICHP) and the Michigan Pharmacists Association (MPA) greeted 2021 with new executive leadership, as ICHP welcomed Christopher Crank as executive vice president (EVP) Jan. 1 and Mark Glasper officially became chief executive officer (CEO) of MPA Jan. 18.

“On behalf of ASHP, I would like to congratulate Chris and Mark and welcome them to the family of ASHP state affiliates that exist in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico,” said ASHP CEO Paul W. Abramowitz.

To read more, please click here.

Posted in: MPA in the News
Michigan Pharmacists Association Welcomes Mark Glasper As New Chief Executive Officer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021
Contact: Mary Beth Wardell, MPA communications manager
Phone: (517) 377-0232

Michigan Pharmacists Association Welcomes Mark Glasper As New Chief Executive Officer

(Lansing, Mich.) – Mark Glasper has joined the Michigan Pharmacists Association as its chief executive officer, following the retirement of Larry Wagenknecht on Friday. Glasper is the former executive director and CEO of the Kentucky Pharmacists Association (KPhA).

As one of the most respected state pharmacy associations in the country, Glasper said he is honored by the opportunity to serve MPA and achieve the goals and vision laid out by its members.

"I am truly honored and humbled to take on this role,” Glasper said. “I look forward to utilizing my pharmacy knowledge and lifelong association management experience to build on MPA’s past successes and take the organization to greater heights on behalf of our dedicated members throughout the great state of Michigan.”

The MPA Executive Board selected Glasper in October following a nationwide search. Board Chair Charlie Mollien said the board is pleased to have someone of Glasper’s experience and caliber to lead the MPA.

“Mark brings proven strategies and an impressive record of achievements to this role,” Mollien said. “The Executive Board noted his successful lobbying efforts in Kentucky and his clear passion for serving members. Out of a field of remarkable candidates, it became clear to the board that Mark stood out from the pack.”

Glasper graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism – Public Relations. He serves on the nominating and planning committees of the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations; the board of directors for the Alliance for Patient Medication Safety, and previously served as executive director of the Ohio Society of Association Executives.

"Mark brings true professionalism to this role, with a strong knowledge of pharmacy-related issues,” Wagenknecht said. “When I came to work for MPA, it was with the desire to make a difference – to improve the profession. While there have been successes, there is still much more to do. I am proud and thankful to have been part of an excellent team of pharmacists, staff and dedicated members over the past 37 years. As I retire, I know the organization is in capable hands as it continues to advance pharmacy into the future.”

Since 1983, Wagenknecht served in several roles at MPA and as CEO since 1994. Wagenknecht has been a champion for the profession and instituted changes that include the creation and growth of the Michigan Health Professional Recovery Corporation, MPA Executive Fellowship program, Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the Michigan Health Information Network (MiHIN).

"It’s an honor to follow in the footsteps of such an accomplished leader as Larry Wagenknecht,” Glasper said. “I’m grateful to him for his many contributions to the organization, as well as for his mentorship and support throughout this transition.”

Michigan Pharmacists Association strives to serve members by providing support, advocacy and resources that ultimately improve patient care, safety, health and the practice of pharmacy. For more information, visit

Posted in: MPA Press Releases
COVID-19 Testing and Caveats

In a recent webinar from TRC Healthcare Healthcare’s Emerging Recommendations Panel on July 16, 2020, an expert panel discussed COVID-19 types of tests and caveats. The panel consisted of Lori Dickerson, Pharm.D., FCCP as the moderator, joined by Reid Blackwelder, M.D., FAAFP, Jehan Budak, M.D., Steven Nissen, M.D., MACC and Craig Williams, Pharm.D., FNLA, BCPS. They noted that pharmacists are getting more involved with testing as pharmacists in every state are authorized to order and administer SAR-COV-2 testing.

The first set of tests is the diagnostic tests. These tests use swabs to obtain specimen from the nasopharyngeal, nasal or oropharyngeal cavity. One type of most common diagnostic tests is polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing. PCR is a molecular test that detects viral RNA presence in a sample. Most tests must show a 95 percent sensitivity and 100 percent specificity in order to be eligible for the emergency use authorization (EUA). Although during some cross studies, some tests were shown to be only 79 percent sensitive but results may have been from faults with the transport media being utilized. Point of care (POC) antigen testing is another diagnostic test that tends to have a turnaround time under 30 minutes verses hours for a PCR test. While being faster to generate an answer, they tend to only be 80 percent sensitive. PCR testing is more accurate, but POC antigen testing provides quicker results. Some institutions are screening with the antigen testing and confirming negative tests with PCR in order to rule out false negatives. For patients who test negative in the community but are still experiencing symptoms, TRC Healthcare recommended retesting immediately if an antigen test was used originally or to retest two-three days after a molecular test. Dr. Budak recommended utilizing molecular testing as the preferred retest if at all possible.

The sample collection can also lead to false negatives as the different tests can be difficult to perform. Nasopharyngeal is preferred, but harder to collect. Dr. Budak’s practice considers oropharyngeal the lowest tier sample to collect. Sputum tests in the pipeline were mentioned. This expert panel acknowledged that many physicians and pharmacists are not always able to pick which test their facility is utilizing, but recommends any test over not testing.. It is also worth noting that the tests can return a false negative if swabbed too early in the viral process where the viral load is too low as the nasal viral load can vary for each individual.

They recommended against re-testing a patient who had previously tested positive for SARS-COV-2 to see if the virus has cleared. This is because the dead virus may still be present in the nares for some time after the infection has completed. Consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, TRC Healthcare recommended and the panel agreed that isolation can end after 10 days of symptom onset if symptom free for at least 72 hours.

The other type of testing is the antibody test to determine if someone had a previous infection. It is collected by blood sample or venipuncture. Obtaining a EUA from the Food and Drug Administration for antibody testing assumes 90 percent sensitivity and 95 percent specificity. A negative test indicates that a patient likely did not have COVID-19. The positive test from antibody testing cannot guarantee that a patient had COVID-19 specifically is exposure is uncertain due to false positives. When disease presence is low, the chance for false positives is high. There is not currently an area in the U.S. where the disease is common enough to make the positive predictive value much over 50 percent. With this, patients are cautioned against assuming immunity due to a presumed true positive test.

Posted in: Professional Practice
Seeking Members for Task Force on Pharmacy Workplace Environment

With the increased visibility of concerns over the pharmacy workplace environment appearing in the media and other forums, MPA is moving forward with the creation of the MPA Task Force on the Pharmacy Workplace Environment.

The Task Force will be looking at all pharmacy practice settings. The charges include to review existing Institute for Safe Medication Practices guidelines and/or recommendations and identify how they can be implemented across practice settings, review how reduced pharmacy reimbursement impacts the workplace environment, identify strategies to prevent common errors, make recommendations on strategies to address pharmacy and pharmacy technician resiliency, identify best practices to be implemented in the various practice settings and consider other patient-safety and pharmacist and pharmacy technician related issues.

The Task Force will be comprised of individuals from the various pharmacy practice settings. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians interested in serving on the Task Force are asked to apply to MPA by sending an email with the subject - “Pharmacy Workplace Environment Task Force” to MPA CEO Larry Wagenknecht. Please include your resume/CV and a brief statement of why you have interests in serving on this Task Force. The Task Force will be officially appointed by the MPA Executive Board.

Posted in: Member News
Status Update on MPA's CEO Search

The Michigan Pharmacists Association would like to thank you for your ongoing contribution to our mission - providing support, advocacy and resources that ultimately improve patient care, safety, health, and the practice of pharmacy.  As many of you know, after 36 years of service to the Association, our current CEO, Larry Wagenknecht, has announced his retirement date of January, 2021.  MPA’s Executive Board has appointed a confidential Search Committee made up of MPA members from all practice settings to identify candidates for consideration and secured HRM Services to facilitate the search process.  The posting for our CEO position is now ‘live’ and we wanted to make sure you were among the first to see it. Click here to view the job description.

Should you, or someone you know, embody the qualities, skills and experience required to lead the Michigan Pharmacists Association in this next phase, please follow the response directions in the posting to indicate interest.  We are asking that you share this posting with your personal and professional networks to help spread the word.  Again, we thank you for your continued support and look forward to the exciting opportunities ahead!

Posted in: Member News
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