“Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let's not be afraid to receive each day's surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy it will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.” – Henri Nouwen
Dear Section of Ambulatory Care Practitioners (SACP) Members,
I am so excited to connect with you through my first message as the Chair for the Section of Ambulatory Care Practitioners. When I started my journey with ASHP over 12 years ago, I never imagined all the opportunities this organization would provide. It has been a lot of fun to take part in so many of them and connect with the amazing people that are ASHP members and staff. I would also like to welcome my fellow Executive Committee members that were inducted to their positions during the ASHP Summer Meeting in Boston last month.
In June 2019, more than 1300 attendees travelled to Boston for what was a wonderful Summer Meeting in one of our most iconic American cities. It was even a little more special as we were celebrating the great accomplishments of our pharmacy profession, the city was trying to celebrate a Stanley Cup victory for the home-town Boston Bruins. While the Bruins were unsuccessful in obtaining the Cup, the teamwork, comradery, commitment, and willingness to push themselves for an important cause mirrored what was evident among our pharmacy colleagues at the Convention Center all week.
As I reflect back on my first trip to Boston, there are so many moments of motivation I will take with me to kickstart my year as Chair. I won’t forget the poignant discussions of fellow Executive Committee members as we reflected and prepared for the coming year, the important contributions our members made toward the 2030 Practice Advancement Initiative, critical dialogue during House of Delegate sessions, honoring deserving award recipients, and so much more. I’d be remised if I forgot the sunny weather and long runs along the Charles River, my first ever trip to Harvard University, and ever-present laughter over fun dinners and one-too-many cannolis in the North End…it was definitely an eventful week!
I have spent much of my practice as a pharmacist in a split role between an ambulatory care pharmacy specialist and clinical faculty member. This was really an ideal job for me as it allowed me to hone my skills as a front-line provider, while also preparing future pharmacists for the workforce. These opportunities allowed me to transition into, and lead, important education and initiatives around interprofessional education and practice. I couldn’t agree more with our Immediate Past Chair, Mollie Ashe Scott, when she stated “for our Section, the goal is to advance ambulatory care pharmacy practice. In my view, this work is best accomplished in the context of interprofessional teams.” I look forward to continuing these efforts to engage our ambulatory care colleagues, while supporting and expanding our services and collaboration with other healthcare professions.
I would like to take a moment thank our Immediate Past Chair, Mollie Ashe Scott, and Director at Large, Jessica Skelley. Both of you represented the Section with grace, passion, and commitment that I will work to emulate. You have also been personal mentors and friends to me, and I know I would not have been successful in my journey without your support along the way. Thank you Mollie and Jessica!
There are so many things to look forward to over the coming year. As a place to start, I want to remind our members that the 2019 elections for ASHP President, Treasurer, members of the Board of Directors, and leaders of the Pharmacy Practice Sections opened on Monday, July 1. Ballots and future communications about the election are sent from Election Services Corporations, Inc., please be sure to add @electionservicescorp.com to your whitelist or list of safe email senders. Election bulletins and a podcast featuring information on the backgrounds and perspectives of the candidates is available on www.ashp.org/elections/.
To build from all the positive discussion and collaboration in Boston, I encourage you all to go your practice and “not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise.” Better yet, look for opportunities to be the ‘positive surprise’ to your family, friends, and colleagues.
All the best,
Zach Weber, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCACP, CDE
Chair, Section of Ambulatory Care Practitioners