It is with a full and grateful heart that I write my final Chair’s message to you all today.
While this year may have looked different than anticipated when I originally ran for this position, I have continued to feel blessed by the opportunities I have had to work alongside and further get to know many of you over the past year. I am endlessly thankful for our Section Executive Committee, made up of Zach Weber, Daniel Truelove, Jackie Boyle, Jamie Cavanaugh, and Christina DeRemer. I have watched this group of leaders innovate, serve, and adapt to meet the evolving needs of our membership with a continual sense of energy and enthusiasm. Similarly, I am so encouraged by the outstanding work of our many Section Advisory Groups (SAGs). The volunteer members of each SAG put out some of the highest quality content that I have seen come from our Section in years, all while navigating amongst the challenges of a pandemic. There have been countless webinars, networking sessions, resource documents, and other exceptional pieces of output by and for our membership this year. I look forward to seeing what these groups do next.
In my final few weeks as chair, I participated in the Regional Delegate Conferences that occurred for the members of the ASHP House of Delegates. Representatives reviewed proposed policies from various councils, and provided robust discussion on many topics. It was encouraging to hear some familiar voices of members of our section participate as delegates and advocate for topics such as reimbursement for telehealth services and patient access to pharmacist providers.
The section also held a networking roundtable in late March to discuss how ambulatory care practitioners handled the pandemic-related changes over the past year. Topics included virtual precepting, workflow and practice site adjustments, COVID vaccine administration, and grieving/self-care as pharmacists. It was a joy to get to hear from and engage with the membership as they shared their experiences with each other, and I am thankful for everyone who took time to participate!
Looking ahead to Summer 2021, we have an excellent slate of candidates running for the positions of Chair-Elect and Director-at-Large-Elect on the 2021–2022 Section Executive Committee. Be on the lookout for opportunities to learn more about each candidate, their practice background, and their vision for the future of ambulatory care as well as the Section of Ambulatory Care Practitioners. Elections will take place later this summer so be sure to cast your vote! Additionally, I am excited about the upcoming Community Pharmacy and Ambulatory Care Conference. This two-day virtual event will take place in August and is designed to provide special continuing education offerings on pharmacogenomics, telehealth, and healthcare bias. Registration is now open and I hope to “see” many of you in attendance.
It is hard to believe that we are nearing the halfway mark of 2021 and that my time as Chair is coming to a close. As we move forward into the latter half of the year and hopefully a return towards normalcy, my wish is that we carry the lessons we have all learned together throughout the pandemic, especially the importance of caring for our patients and community but also ourselves. Provide as much diligence and consideration for your own emotional and physical health as you do for the patients that you serve and model resilience and wellness to your surrounding learners so that the next generation of healthcare providers have healthy role models to look to. Be courageous in your pursuit of dignity and justice for others and an advocate for those who are silent.
I am deeply grateful for this opportunity to have served you all - I can’t imagine a better group to represent.
Jessica W. Skelley, Pharm.D., BCACP
Chair, Section of Ambulatory Care Practitioners