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Chair Message July 2017

July 2017

Section Members,

“Summer, it turns me upside down
Summer, summer, summer
It's like a merry go round”

The Cars - Magic


I hope you all are enjoying Summer – a time of year known both for its burst of activity as well as time to reflect upon the first half the year. I am grateful for the opportunity to assume leadership of the Section, and look forward to working closely with all of you.

One of my favorite meetings of the year, the 2017 ASHP Summer Meetings & Exhibition, was held last month in beautiful Minneapolis, MN. For your Executive Committee, this meeting is the time of year we transition roles. At this year’s meeting, we completed the following transitions: 

  • Brandon Ordway, Pharm.D., M.S. completed his term as immediate Past-Chair. We are thankful for his leadership and dedication over the last three years.
  • Sylvia Belford, Pharm.D., M.S., CPHIMS has transitioned from Chair to Immediate Past-Chair of SOPIT, after an outstanding year for the Section under her leadership.
  • Maritza Lew, Pharm.D., CPHIMS, PMP has also completed her term as Director-at-Large. We are grateful for her time, energy and contributions to the Section.
  • Seth Hartman, Pharm.D., M.B.A. was installed for his first year as Director-at-Large, and we have the privilege of continuing to work with Beth Prier, PharmD, MS, CPHIMS who is in her second year as Director-at-Large. 
  • Lea Eiland, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCPPS, FASHP completed her time as the ASHP Board of Directors liaison for SOPIT. We appreciated her guidance, advice and assistance over the last year.
  • We enthusiastically welcomed Tim Brown, Pharm.D., BCACP, FASHP who has joined SOPIT as our new ASHP Board of Directors liaison. 

We will complete your Executive Committee when we learn who will be joining as Chair-Elect and Director-at-Large Elect after the upcoming election. As a reminder, please vote by July 26th – we have a great slate of candidates nominated to serve ASHP.

One of the main agenda items for the Executive Committee was compiling the rosters of Section Advisory Group (SAG) leaders and members, as well as updating the charges for each SAG according to the Section’s strategic plan. This year marks a change for our SAGs with a slight reorganization to better reflect the needs of our members:

  • SAG on Clinical Applications: recommendations to assist pharmacists in the design, implementation, interoperability, and meaningful use of clinical applications.
  • SAG on Clinical Decision Support and Analytics: optimization of clinical decision support and incorporation of new and innovative clinical functionality into appropriate clinical workflows in electronic health records and clinical information systems.
  • SAG on Operations and Automation: safe, interoperable, efficient use and ongoing maintenance of Medication-Use Technology.
  • SAG on Professional Development: providing education and training materials for practicing and future Pharmacy Informaticists.

The Executive Committee is looking forward to the upcoming months when we start working with the SAG Chairs, Vice-Chairs and members to achieve our goals for this upcoming year. Please be on the lookout for an invitation to join an upcoming SOPIT SAG Orientation Webinar.

As ASHP celebrates its 75th year of supporting the profession, Summer Meeting 2017 was also the wonderful occasion to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Section of Pharmacy Informatics and Technology. I especially enjoyed the Networking Session where we discussed the past, present, and future of not only the Section but also our specialty practice area. A wonderful dialogue! On the momentous occasion of our 10th anniversary, I want to give special recognition to Karl Gumpper, BSPharm, MS, BCPS, CPHIMS for his foundational and sustained contributions to the Section.

As the outgoing Section Chair, Sylvia Belford, PharmD, MS, CPHIMS had the opportunity to serve as our delegate for the meeting of the 69th ASHP House of Delegates (HOD). The HOD considered 28 policy recommendations, one new business item, and one resolution. You can review the full listing of the 2017 policies here.

The ASHP Informatics Institute (i2) – part of the ASHP Summer Meetings & Exhibition – continued its resounding success this year. We had some dynamic speakers share their insights, and provide valuable continuing education (CE) on important topics relevant to our specialty practice area. Keep your sights on attending the 2018 Summer Meeting next June in Denver, CO!

I also want to bring your attention to an upcoming revision of the PGY2 Pharmacy Informatics Competency Areas Goals and Objectives. The comment period will take place July 12th through 26th followed by a review by the Commission on Credentialing at their August 13th meeting. Please be on the lookout for the opportunity to review and provide feedback.

Lastly, are you willing to share a Pearl of Wisdom? The Informatics Pearls Session is at the 2017 ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting in Orlando, FL. We are looking for ‘bytes of informatics’ that are 5 minutes each. Your pearl should be practical and based on your informatics acumen and work experience. Interested? Please submit your pearl via email to the Program Chair: Karl Gumpper, B.S.Pharm., M.S., BCPS, CPHIMS, at and include:

  • Title
  • Brief description
  • Presenter (must be an ASHP member)
  • Title/role of the presenter
  • Organization

Thank you for all you do to ensure safe, effective, efficient and economical medication-use systems for our patients and fellow clinicians.


Joseph Lassiter, M.S., Pharm.D., BCPS
Chair, Section of Pharmacy Informatics and Technology