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Press Release

Leadership Development, Patient Safety Cast in Starring Role at 2001 ASHP Annual Meeting

Improving the safety of the medication-use process, recommendations for managing drug shortages, and policy deliberations on pressing pharmacy issues will take center stage at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists' (ASHP's) Annual Meeting 2001, June 3-6, in Los Angeles.

The continuing-education meeting, which also serves as the Society's annual business meeting, will include a timely session that will focus on the critical issue of drug shortages in hospitals and health systems. "Drug Shortages: An Overview of FDA's Evolving Role in Nationwide Drug Shortages" (Monday June 4) will feature speakers from the Food and Drug Administration who will discuss the causes behind diminishing supplies of drug products and will offer recommendations for inventory management when shortages occur. The meeting will also feature an update on the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) recent report on the quality of the nation's health care system (Monday June 4). Joseph E. Scherger, M.D., M.P.H., a member of the IOM's Committee on Quality of Health Care in America, will discuss the report's recommendations for improving the quality of care provided in the United States, and Kasey K. Thompson, Pharm.D., director of the ASHP Center on Patient Safety, will reflect on its implications for the pharmacy profession.

Policy discussions at the two sessions of the ASHP House of Delegates (Monday, June 4; Wednesday, June 6) will cover a broad range of issues confronting the profession, including computerized prescriber order entry, product reimbursement and pharmacist compensation, and uniform standards for pharmacy technician training.  Delegates will also hear from Society officers on ASHP's recent progress in developing programs and initiatives to support the profession. A special forum will be held (Tuesday, June 5) for ASHP members to discuss recommendations offered by a member-task force on the Society's organizational structure.

Special programming tracks at Annual Meeting 2001 will share strategies for improving medication safety and strengthening practitioners' leadership skills. Educational offerings in the learning tracks include:

Medication Safety

  • Developing a medication safety agenda,  
  • Motivating staff to engage in safe medication use,  
  • Communicating with administrators and clinicians about a safety agenda, and  
  • Techniques to improve the medication-use process based on the experiences of pharmacists in two health systems.

Leadership Development

  • Cultivating leaders through mentoring,  
  • Tools for performance improvement teams,  
  • Pharmacists' responsibilities on institutional review boards, and  
  • Dealing with staff shortages and retention issues.

Other educational sessions at the meeting will provide pharmacists with a look at the changing landscape of health-care, including the use of alternative medicine to treat chronic diseases, pain management, an overview of the current prescription to nonprescription product switches, and applying evidence-based practice. Attendees can also learn how to:

  • Provide services to indigent patients, 
  • Plan to implement gene therapy in their institutions,  
  • Take leadership roles in smoking cessation programs, and  
  • Influence the lawmaking process.

Annual Meeting 2001 will feature a full day of programming aimed at pharmacy students, pre-meeting workshops, and poster sessions covering a wide range of topics, including technology, medication safety, and strategies for treating patients with chronic and acute diseases. The ASHP Research and Education Foundation will host the Sixth Annual Walter Jones Golf Classic, a fundraiser to benefit the Foundation's student financial aid fund, on Saturday, June 2.

The meeting will kick off with a gala reception that will include a performance by the internationally acclaimed All-American Boys Chorus, under the direction of David T.R. Albulario.

For more information about Annual Meeting 2001, call ASHP Customer Service at (301) 657-4383 or see the "Meetings & Education" section of ASHP's Web site, ( or the April 15 issue of the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy.

ASHP is the 30,000-member national professional association that represents pharmacists who practice in hospitals, health maintenance organizations, long-term care facilities, home care, and other components of health care systems. ASHP, which has a long history of medication error prevention efforts, believes that the mission of pharmacists is to help people make the best use of medicines.  Assisting pharmacists in fulfilling this mission is ASHP's primary objective.  The Society has extensive publishing and educational programs designed to help members improve their delivery of pharmaceutical care, and it is the national accrediting organization for pharmacy residency and pharmacy technician training programs.