PAMELA K. PHELPS, Pharm.D., FASHP, FMSHP (Pphelps2@fairview.org), is System Director of Acute Care Clinical Pharmacy Services at M Health Fairview, an 11-hospital health system in Minneapolis, MN. She is Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. A Minnesota alum, she began her career as a staff pharmacist, followed by pharmacy specialist in critical care, before moving into formal leadership roles. She is Chief Executive for M Health Fairview’s residency programs and PGY1 Residency Program Director at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, graduating 161 residents during her tenure. Dr. Phelps has 35 peer-reviewed articles and has given 61 invited presentations.
Dr. Phelps’ service to ASHP includes Chair of the Council on Therapeutics, ASHP Advisory Committee for the Pharmacy Forecast, chapter author for the Pharmacy Forecast, editor for the ASHP book, Smart Infusion Pumps, member of the ASHP Task Force on Accountable Care Organizations, Minnesota State Delegate, and ASHP Council on Educational Affairs. She has served as a Chair and Executive Board Member for the Vizient Pharmacy Council. Phelps has served in many state affiliation roles, including President and Board Member of the Minnesota Society. She has served as Public Policy Co-Chair for MSHP for the past three years.
Never have pharmacists been more essential to the health of our communities. We don’t know what models of care will be in effect after the COVID pandemic, but we do know that we are likely to continue with models that care for patients to keep them “safe at home.” It is imperative for our pharmacy leadership to seize this opportunity to advance the profession for the sake of our patients. Expansion of our scope of practice, telehealth, remote consultations, and expansion of compounding services have become a part of our new reality. This new reality is a real opportunity to build frameworks for care, consultation, and the recognition we have been seeking. Provider status is critical for pharmacists providing care under these conditions. At the same time, we find our education and training programs stressed under social distancing challenges. We need to support these systems with new models and programs to ensure the vitality of the profession. The professional stress in these times can be daunting. Finally, technician training and advancement programs are needed to keep the heartbeat of the pharmacy beating.
Yes, we face unprecedented challenges. Let’s use these challenges as a means to create bold strategies that drive the profession forward, support our membership health and well-being, bolster support for technician development and retention, address enormous financial challenges, and ensure public access to a pharmacist’s care.