NEIL J. MACKINNON, B.S.Pharm., Ph.D., M.S., FCSHP, FNAP (RxDeanMac@uc.edu) is Dean and Professor at the University of Cincinnati. Previously, he was Director of the State Office of Rural Health for the State of Arizona and Professor at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, University of Arizona. He obtained his pharmacy degree from Dalhousie University in Canada, completed the M.S./administrative hospital pharmacy residency program at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, and a Ph.D. and fellowship at the University of Florida. He is passionate about the critical role of pharmacists in public health and how health-system pharmacists can contribute to a safe and effective medication-use system.
MacKinnon’s ASHP service includes the Commission on Goals, Council on Education and Workforce Development, Council on Pharmacy Management, Dean’s Advisory Panel, the Section of Pharmacy Practice Managers SAG on Leadership Development, Section of Inpatient Care Practitioners SAGs on Pharmacy Practice Experiences and Small and Rural Hospitals. He is a Past President of the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists and the 2017 recipient of the ASHP/Association of Black Health-System Pharmacists (ABHP) Leadership Award.
Health-system pharmacy is stronger with a robust and vibrant ASHP. My interest in serving on the Board of Directors stems from my desire to help ASHP, which, in turn, will help our profession. Looking forward, I believe there are three key issues/opportunities for ASHP in the coming months and years.
First, COVID-19 has demonstrated the critical importance of public health and how it can impact all facets of our lives. As a former faculty member at a college of public health, I see much opportunity for our profession in public health. There is much that ASHP could do to ensure that health-system pharmacists are widely recognized as an integral part of all public health strategies and policies moving forward.
Second, for any professional organization, the key to success is the value proposition for its members (and prospective members). Why would someone join ASHP, and what value do they receive from that membership? This is especially critical during challenging economic times when the salaries of many health-system pharmacists and technicians have been reduced and travel is restricted.
The third critical issue facing ASHP is risk management. This includes assessing all risks and threats and developing contingency plans. This type of activity may be invisible to most members of ASHP but must be a focus of the Board. For example, given the ripple effects of COVID-19, what are the main threats to ASHP’s health, and how is the organization preparing to deal with those threats?