ASHP Introduces New Membership Structure
The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) will begin phasing into a new organizational structure beginning January 1, 2002, that will allow members more involvement in Society activities.
The new structure will feature seven membership groupsfour sections and three forumsthat encompass all areas of pharmacy practice in hospitals and health systems. Sections are available for pharmacists practicing as:
- Clinical specialists and researchers,
- Home care, ambulatory care, and chronic care practitioners,
- Inpatient care practitioners, and
- Pharmacy practice managers.
Members will need to select a single section for involvement, but will have full access to the information and activities of all sections.
Pharmacy students, technicians, and practitioners within three years of their graduation date, including all residents, will be automatically enrolled in their membership forum.
Each of the member groups will have an executive committee and staff director that will oversee activities and make recommendations for targeted educational programming and member resources. The groups will also have authority to make professional policy recommendations to the ASHP Board of Directors. There will be no additional fee to participate in the new sections and forums.
"It is imperative that our members feel empowered to achieve important professional objectives through ASHP," said ASHP President Steven L. Sheaffer, Pharm.D., FASHP. "We believe that this new structure will go a long way toward enhancing our responsiveness to our members and advancing pharmacy practice in hospitals and health systems."Timely practice-related news for each group will be posted regularly on the Societys Web site, www.ashp.org. Members will also receive e-mail news alerts via the ASHP NewsLink service.
ASHP will also provide mechanisms to foster communication among members who are interested in specific practice issues (e.g. computerized prescriber order entry; restricted drug distribution system; medication safety). These "self-forming" groups will utilize listservs and other forms of electronic communications to exchange information.
The Societys existing component groups (i.e. Section of Clinical Specialists, Section of Home Care Practitioners, Pharmacy Student Forum) and the Center of Pharmacy Practice Management will be converted to the new model starting in January 2002.
ASHP is the 31,000-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.