Recognizing and Celebrating Pharmacy Leaders

Dear Colleagues,

Last month, ASHP marked a significant milestone: the first anniversary of our Certified Pharmacy Executive Leader (CPELSM) program. One year in, we are pleased to update you on CPEL’s impact and how it is elevating the leaders of our profession.  

The CPEL stands out among other executive leadership programs. It’s the first-ever leadership credential specific to pharmacy, providing national recognition of validated core competencies in professionalism, leading people, leading the pharmacy enterprise, and leading within and across complex healthcare systems.

ASHP developed CPEL to acknowledge the unique expertise of pharmacy executive leaders. We also sought to communicate that value to pharmacy colleagues, healthcare administrators, and other healthcare professionals, as well as to patients and the public.

Since CPEL debuted in November 2022, we’ve welcomed five cohorts — all current ASHP members holding executive leadership positions in hospitals and health systems — into the program. Today, there are 94 CPELs in over 30 states and four countries.

Each cohort meets at ASHP headquarters for a multiday in-person capstone. In these capstones, candidates engage in facilitated case discussions based on the CPEL professional and leadership competencies. They also get to network with their fellow highly accomplished pharmacy leaders. Upon successful completion of the capstone, candidates are awarded their CPEL certification, which lasts for seven years.

Feedback on the CPEL program has been overwhelmingly positive. CPEL candidates have shared that they value this opportunity to step away from the daily challenges in their role and focus exclusively on professional development.

Throughout this first year of CPEL, we have been inspired by participants’ eagerness to learn from and support one another. Our CPEL candidates, representing diverse practice sites and roles, are quick to establish meaningful connections — relationships that last long after their capstone ends. They also appreciate the chance to discuss issues facing today’s hospitals and health systems: recruiting and retaining an engaged pharmacy workforce, navigating financial and supply chain challenges, managing pharmacy services across multiple sites, and so much more.

As it turns out, candidates leave ASHP with more than the CPEL credential. They take with them solutions to their most pressing issues, new connections, and a renewed commitment to excelling in their leadership roles.

Senior pharmacy leaders have an important seat at the table. They are responsible for contributing to strategic planning and decision-making processes for their pharmacy enterprises and health systems. We must recognize their sustained dedication to achieving and maintaining excellence in pharmacy leadership. At the same time, pharmacy executives seek trusted guidance and a community to help them navigate the ever-increasing demands and complexities of these roles.

We are immensely proud the CPEL program is filling these needs as part of ASHP’s longstanding commitment to advancing the role of pharmacy executives.

As hospitals and health systems engage in succession planning and as more mid-career pharmacists aspire to executive roles, we are convinced the CPEL credential will only grow in influence and relevance.

If you’re a pharmacy leader, we encourage you to learn more about the CPEL program and apply. Applications for the May 2024 cohort are due March 25.

By the end of next year, we hope to have at least one CPEL in every state. Also, plans are underway to keep this growing community of CPELs connected through a variety of professional development and networking activities.

Thank you for all you do for your patients and our profession.



Posted on December 15, 2023