MPA | Pharmacy News

Curtis Smith, Pharm.D., BCPS, FCCP, professor, Ferris State University College of Pharmacy, Lansing and MSHP President

Welcome to 2020 and a new decade of advancing pharmacy practice in health systems across the state. Thank you for helping the Michigan Society of Health-System Pharmacists (MSHP) accomplish many of the goals we have established over the past few years, for demonstrating the value of pharmacists in an array of practice settings and improving outcomes in the patients we care for. As I begin my term as President of MSHP I’m excited to continue implementing our 2018-2020 strategic plan, which was developed to provide focus for the organization and the committees that complete the bulk of the work throughout the year. Recent past presidents Nancy MacDonald and John Clark provided stellar leadership and laid the groundwork for the future success of MSHP.

While developing committee charges this year, it became clear that implementing our strategic plan required a strong voice from MSHP members, communicating the importance of pharmacy practice in health-systems. Because of that, my theme for the year is “Being Pharmacy Champions.” Although annual presidential themes can cause whiplash within organizations, I think this complements the themes from the past two years “Demonstrating Our Value” and “Achieving Patient Care Outcomes.” All these themes begin with a gerund. This pattern of using gerunds, which are verbs, connotes action. My hope for 2020 is a level of activity that ultimately helps us complete our goals and objectives from our three-year strategic plan.

What does it mean to be a pharmacy champion? The word champion comes from the Latin for fighter. It refers to “someone who fights or speaks publicly in support of a cause or a person who enthusiastically supports, defends or fights for a belief or principle.” It can further be defined as “a person who voluntarily takes extraordinary interest in the adoption, implementation and success of a cause, policy, program or project.” A champion will typically try to force ideas through entrenched internal resistance in order to create change and will talk passionately about how good something is throughout an organization, institution or system.

Championing health-system pharmacy practice is our goal in 2020. It matches the strategic plan and the ideas generated at our retreat in September 2019. We need to tell our story, especially related to practice advancement, credentialing, collaborative practice, improving patient outcomes, etc. Within the image accompanying this article you see words like promote, defend, fight, speak publicly, support, advocate, etc. This is what I hope we all can do in support of MSHP and health-system pharmacy practice in Michigan in 2020. Gabriel Eckert and Bob Harris in their book “Strategic Integration: Tips, Tools, and Techniques to Move Beyond Strategic Planning and Transform Your Organization” speak to how organizations implement their strategic plans. One of the most important methods to do this is by utilizing creative communication. Creative communication includes being an effective storyteller. Effective stories are attention grabbing, relatable, compelling and action oriented. Mantras, or short phrases and sentences that reflect the essence of a strategic priority or plan are another effective means of communication. The presidential themes of 2018 through 2020 are impactful mantras for MSHP. And finally, creative communication requires going beyond words to champion our cause. Visual communication, including infographics, photos, videos, data visualization, etc. helps convey information of strategic importance. Visuals are inherently more effective in helping people learn and remember what they are being told.

Being a champion also means being superior or excellent or the best. We should all strive for this in our practice and work to become or remain excellent clinicians. How are we maintaining/advancing our knowledge and skills and being the best at what we do – no matter our role in the health-system? Are we passionately driven to practice and perform at the highest level possible? An urban definition for champion is “someone who commits an act of extreme courage or extreme awesomeness.” Hopefully, you’re demonstrating extreme awesomeness in all your professional work.

Associations like MSHP are the backbone of every profession. They provide education, networking, political lobbying and opportunities to create credibility in a profession. I’m honored and look forward to being president of your most valued professional association – MSHP. Together we are stronger, louder and ultimately better. Together we can all be pharmacy champions.

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