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Press Release

ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting Prepares Pharmacists for Future of Practice

Advances in science and technology, new approaches to patient safety, and readiness for emergency situations were just a few of the topics covered during the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ (ASHP) 37th  Annual Midyear Clinical Meeting in Atlanta, December 8-12, 2002.  Nearly 17,000 pharmacists, other health professionals, and pharmaceutical industry exhibitors attended the meeting to take advantage of the myriad of educational programming, networking, and career advancement opportunities available at the largest international gathering of pharmacists.

The meeting featured more than 70 educational sessions covering a broad range of practice topics, including a session describing lessons learned during mock emergency-preparedness drills held throughout the country.  The session also featured a drill involving volunteers from the U.S. Public Health Service, U.S. Navy, and the Georgia and Fulton County departments of health, who took medical histories, assessed special patient needs, dispensed mock medication, and provided counseling for more than 200 meeting attendees “exposed” to an anthrax outbreak. 

The Society’s member sections were instrumental in developing the meeting’s content, which offered attendees an in-depth look at some of the hottest topics in healthcare.   A special learning track on the emerging science of immunmodulation was planned by the ASHP Section of Clinical Specialists and Scientists.  Practitioners involved in alternate-site care took advantage of a wide array of relevant programming featured in “supertrack” planned by the ASHP Section of Home, Ambulatory, and Chronic Care Practitioners.  The ASHP Section of Pharmacy Practice Managers, the Center on Patient Safety, and the ASHP New Practitioner Program also contributed to the meeting’s rich educational content. 

Meeting attendees showed considerable interest in improving patient safety through the use of technology and flocked to sessions on implementing computerized prescriber order entry systems.  Other popular sessions included tips for managing effectively with limited resources, pain management in geriatric patients, preparing for a Code Blue, and innovative uses of pharmacy technicians. 

Other meeting highlights included the following:

• More than 2,500 students who attended the meeting participated in activities, including a full day of student programming, a leadership development session and the seventh annual National Clinical Skills Competition.  The competition ended in a tie, with Brianna Hoffman and Teresa Mathwig from South Dakota State University and Jennifer Askew and Stephanie Wrenn of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill receiving the top prize in the contest.  Sixty-nine schools and colleges of pharmacy participated in the competition, which helps students prepare for their roles as patient-care providers.

• Students interested in postgraduate training took advantage of the meeting’s Residency Showcase, which featured preceptors and residents from more than 325 ASHP-accredited residency programs. 

• Nearly 1,500 contributed papers were presented on a wide range of topics, including developing leadership skills, medication safety, alternative medicines, roles for pharmacy technicians, and the results of projects demonstrating the value of clinical pharmacy services.

• ASHP’s Personnel Placement Service, the most extensive on-site interviewing and placement service available in the profession, played host to more than 1,500 applicants and employers looking to fill nearly 850 positions.

• An impressive display of the latest technologies and pharmaceutical products and services were showcased in the exhibit hall.  More than 300 companies participated in the exhibit program with 1,243 booths.

Click here to view scenes from the meeting's online photo gallery. 

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 professional practice, and it is the national accrediting organization for pharmacy residency and pharmacy technician training programs.  For more information, visit ASHP’s Web site,