The 2020 Midyear Clinical Meeting and Exhibition may have looked different but the educational and networking opportunities continued to abound. I was so impressed by the volume of sessions facilitated by those in our hardworking section, whether formal continuing education presentations or the extremely well attended roundtable sessions. Some of my personal meeting highlights included the excellent session hosted by the Section Advisory Group for Compensation and Practice Sustainability on Ambulatory Care Billing, the continuing education session presented by Diana Isaacs on continuous glucose management, and the opening session with Dr. Anthony Fauci.
In late November, the Section Executive Committee held its annual midpoint meeting. Discussion topics included Section strategic planning, recommendations related to diversity, equity, and inclusion and feedback for the upcoming update to the ASHP Statement on the Role of the Pharmacist in Primary Care. The Executive Committee also met with leadership from each Section Advisory Group to receive updates on committee work and educational programming for the remainder of the volunteer year. Exciting projects include Spring 2021 webinars on layered learning in ambulatory care practice, pharmacists prescribing oral contraceptives, and an FAQ document on population health.
I would also like to take this time to congratulate Melanie Dodd for receiving the 2020 Distinguished Service Award (DSA) on behalf of the Section of Ambulatory Care Practitioners. The DSA recognizes a member from each Pharmacy Practice Section, New Practitioners Forum and Pharmacy Technician Forum whose volunteer activities have supported the mission of their Section or Forum and helped advance the profession. Melanie has a longstanding history of service to both our Section and the profession of pharmacy, and I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this recognition this year. Remarks from Melanie and each of the DSA winners can be heard here.
On a personal note, it was with a profound sense of cautious optimism that I welcomed in the New Year. Not from the misplaced idea that 2021 will somehow provide a fresh start for us all but rather from the unexpectedly moving experience of receiving the first dose of my COVID-19 vaccine just a few days prior to Christmas. I remember sitting in my car after being vaccinated, as Christmas music gently filtered through my stereo system, watching countless healthcare colleagues moving through the line that I had just been in. They all had the same look of rumpled scrubs, tired eyes, and brilliant smiles as they moved through the line thanking those administering the vaccine and wishing them a Merry Christmas. As I sat there blinking away tears, I felt so much gratitude for the scientists who made the vaccine possible, the practitioners that have sacrificed so much, and for my fellow pharmacist colleagues hard at work administering COVID-19 vaccinations all across the country. It will take time but this is the start of the new beginning for which we are all waiting.
Happy New Year to each and every one of you!
Jessica W. Skelley, Pharm.D., BCACP
Chair, Section of Ambulatory Care Practitioners