ASHP’s Ongoing Commitment to Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Nearly three years ago, ASHP significantly advanced the critically important work of examining how racial discrimination affects our members who identify as Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). I would like to update you on ASHP’s progress as we continually enhance our efforts to foster greater diversity and inclusion within ASHP and our profession.
In 2020, ASHP’s Task Force on Racial Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) recommended new initiatives, resources, and policies to ensure that ASHP is a diverse and inclusive organization for our members. Our 2022 Implementation Report details ASHP’s progress toward meeting those recommendations. I encourage you to read the report for a comprehensive look at our efforts; however, I would like to mention a few highlights.
An important recommendation was to increase the diversity of pharmacists practicing in hospitals and health systems through systemic efforts by connecting with schools that have high BIPOC engagement. We have significantly increased our annual outreach to pharmacy programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and schools with high BIPOC enrollment. In addition, our Pharmacy Administration and Leadership Residents’ Collaborative hosted events for BIPOC student pharmacists to raise awareness about residencies focused on leadership and administration and encourage the pursuit of these career opportunities.
To enhance the ASHP membership experience for our BIPOC members, the task force recommended expanding opportunities to serve on ASHP’s committees, councils, and advisory bodies. In response, ASHP created enhanced ways to engage members of the BIPOC and other underrepresented communities in various ASHP committees and elected positions, which have already increased participation.
Serving on ASHP's forum and section advisory groups and committees can be a conduit to leadership positions within ASHP. We are accepting applications for participation on our forum and section advisory groups and committees through May 1. Click here to learn more, ask questions, or submit your application.
ASHP’s newly launched Guided Mentorship Program connects student pharmacists and new practitioners with seasoned pharmacists. This strengthens the pharmacy workforce by supporting a diverse pipeline of new pharmacy practitioner leaders. The inaugural cohort launched in 2021 with 66 mentor/mentee pairs, and the 2022 cycle launched with 140 pairs. BIPOC participation grew 77% from 2021 to 2022, and in 2022, the program expanded to allow residents to sign up as a mentee, mentor, or both. Applications for the next program cycle will open this fall.
The ASHP Foundation remains a valuable partner in our efforts as it creates new funding opportunities to support BIPOC student pharmacists and researchers studying DEI-focused topics. Starting this fall, the ASHP Foundation Pharmacy Student Scholarship will award a total of $25,000 in scholarships to student pharmacists enrolled at five U.S.-accredited HBCUs. The scholarships will seek to increase representation from historically underrepresented groups in the pharmacy workforce.
The Pharmacy Leadership Scholars Program, supported by Chiesi Pharmaceuticals, provided five $10,000 grants to early-stage researchers working on projects that looked at the impact of race and ethnicity on patient outcomes and pharmacy education. The program includes a distance-engagement component to support participants, enhancing their leadership and research skills and expanding the network of pharmacists positioned to lead for equity. A new research cohort will launch this spring.
Created by a partnership between the ASHP Foundation and the American Nurses Foundation, the Collaborative Care Grant for Nurses and Pharmacists program recently prioritized funding for research to support a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable healthcare system. This year’s recipients are Kathryn A. Walker of MedStar Health and the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy and Christine Marie Hallman of MedStar Health Washington Hospital Center for their pilot project, Implementation of a Standardized Patient-Centered, Team-Based Deprescribing Assessment Within a Community-Based Palliative Care Program. The project supports a new model of team-based deprescribing in an underserved, community-based, palliative care population, using a structured approach within the standard clinical workflow.
Additionally, this year’s ASHP/ASHP Foundation Pharmacy Forecast added a section addressing health disparities. The report affirms that health systems must acknowledge, understand, and mitigate the social determinants of health (SDOH) and barriers to healthcare contributing to inequities in patient outcomes. The Pharmacy Forecast recommends that health systems standardize the collection and use of SDOH data and train healthcare providers on how to apply the information in practice.
In closing, it’s important to acknowledge that we are still at the beginning of our journey. These accomplishments underscore our commitment to ensuring that every member feels valued and seen and is an integral part of the ASHP community. In addition to ASHP’s focus on race and ethnicity, we are bolstering our work in areas including gender, LGBTQIA+, and persons with disabilities. We are developing an AJHP theme issue on healthcare considerations for sexual and gender minorities. We are also adding accessibility features to our websites, such as improved readability. Keep your eye out for more on this important topic in the coming months. In the meantime, please visit ASHP’s Inclusion Center to see our collection of resources, podcasts, webinars, and more.
As always, thank you for all that you do for your patients and our profession.
Posted on March 3, 2023