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Robert Haight, PharmD, BCPP--CPNP Board Treasurer

The College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP) is a member-driven organization. Approximately 30% of our members volunteer with the organization in some way. Volunteering with CPNP can help you develop management and leadership skills as well as network with other psychiatric and neurologic pharmacists. By interacting and sharing ideas and experiences with other practitioners, we can strengthen our organization and raise awareness of our specialty focus. Our volunteers have found their participation both personally and professionally rewarding.

The range of volunteer opportunities includes committee membership, peer review of articles and abstracts, field testing of continuing education offerings, and authorship. Applications are now being accepted for committee and editorial board opportunities. CPNP’s volunteer opportunities center contains postings representing openings for the 2016-2017 committee year. Applications to 2016-2017 editorial boards and standing committees will be accepted through Monday, February 1. Selections will be made and announced in late February 2016 with a volunteer start date of April 16 when the committees meet on-site at the 2016 Annual Meeting in Colorado Springs from 6-8 p.m.

A complete list of CPNP committees and their charges is available on the CPNP website. Committee terms officially start and conclude in April at the CPNP Annual Meeting. Standing committees and editorial boards meet in person at each Annual Meeting. Additional committee meetings or business are conducted by monthly conference calls.

Additional ad hoc opportunities for involvement such as joining and contributing to a CPNP community, peer review of articles and abstracts, field testing and authorship are always available year round and can provide a way to explore options without a significant time commitment. The “Overview of Opportunities for Members” webpage provides a quick summary of current opportunities as well as information on the benefits of volunteering. Open opportunities are announced weekly via an email to CPNP members. Serving as a peer reviewer for Annual Meeting abstracts or for the Mental Health Clinician (MHC) is a popular way for members to contribute. If you are ready to contribute even more to the profession, then the next step is to actually present a poster at the Annual Meeting or author a manuscript for the MHC. Initiatives like those require significant volunteer support to thrive, and we welcome all CPNP members to become meaningful contributors.

One of the reasons I became more involved with CPNP was my interest in developing and expanding pharmacy residency programs in psychiatry and neurology. As a member of the Residency Taskforce and now in the Resident and New Practitioner Committee (currently as board liaison), I was able to work with RPDs from established residency programs to establish new goals and objectives for PGY2 residencies in psychiatry in collaboration with the American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists (ASHP). What I learned during my service to the Residency Task Force and the Resident and New Practitioner was invaluable in my development of my own program and as a leader.

Volunteering allows you to generously donate your knowledge, experience, time, and energy to an issue or topic important to you. Your work may inspire others to also volunteer and help our organization grow. Whether you are interested in collaborative research opportunities, developing your skills as a clinical writer, or want to contribute to a current committee, you have the ability to shape our organization and improve psychiatric care for patients in the future.

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