ASHP Advances Important Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives

Dear Colleagues,

ASHP has been making significant progress on implementing recommendations from the ASHP Task Force on Racial Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion approved by the ASHP Board of Directors in January 2021. I want to highlight a few exciting new updates and resources as we strive to nurture the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion for all.

In demonstrating our commitment to meaningful change, ASHP has advanced a number of new educational and training initiatives recommended as part of the task force’s work. Today, I’m pleased to share our latest resource, the ASHP Inclusion Center, which includes a vast collection of content, including member stories, educational programs, awards, grant programs, including ASHP Foundation’s Pharmacy Leadership Scholars Program supporting needed research, and clinical articles to help pharmacy professionals from all backgrounds address health disparities.

United by our vision – ensuring that medication use is optimal, safe, and effective for all people all of the time – ASHP’s Inclusion Center works to showcase our myriad of experiences, influences, and perspectives that are important to what we all do as we strive to provide the best care for every patient.

We also recently launched a 7-part DEI educational webinar series that highlights real-world scenarios, best practices, and actionable steps pharmacists and others can use in their practices to recognize and combat bias and disparities in care. The response and participation in the first three webinars have been tremendous, with more than 2,000 attendees already joining in on the discussions.

Accredited for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, the webinars are free and accessible to all. I encourage you to join us for the next webinar on Jan. 20 to gain a better understanding of the ways social determinants of health affect the well-being of patients who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and actions to help address health inequities. If you missed the first two webinars in the series, the free CE programs are now available on-demand.

ASHP has also integrated important DEI topics and discussions as part of all ASHP national meetings, including the upcoming Midyear Clinical Meeting & Exhibition. This year’s Midyear meeting, on Dec. 5-9, will feature 10 sessions dedicated to programming centering on topics and perspectives surrounding DEI in the healthcare and pharmacy space, as well as a professional networking event. 

Directly stemming from ASHP’s task force recommendations, we are also advocating on important issues that support meaningful solutions to health disparities and support all patient populations. Efforts have included ensuring access to COVID-19 vaccines and testing, as well as COVID-19 treatment, and advocating to improve access to pharmacist care in underserved communities, particularly for patients in medically underserved areas who are disproportionally affected by disparities in healthcare.

ASHP has also worked to make sure the perspectives of pharmacists serving BIPOC patients are heard by federal policymakers at the Department of Health and Human Services and the White House. And we continue to advocate and protect the 340B Drug Pricing Program, which has been essential to safety net hospitals’ ability to provide healthcare services, including access to medications for uninsured and underinsured patients.

The task force also emphasized a need for BIPOC pharmacy students to have enhanced access to mentors. In response, ASHP recently launched a new Guided Mentorship program to connect a high percentage of BIPOC student pharmacists with seasoned practitioners and provide a mentorship experience through structured, virtual one-on-one mentor and mentee relationships. Participants are engaging in the initial pilot program through March, and I look forward to sharing updates as the program advances.

These latest updates add to the breadth of important work and strong progress we are making. However, there is much more to be done, and we remain as committed as ever to supporting our members, our patients, and our communities in this critical work. Together, we can truly make meaningful changes toward a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for all.

Thank you for being a member of ASHP and for all that you do for your patients and our profession.




Posted on November 5, 2021