It is with great pleasure and excitement that I write my first President column to you, the CPNP membership. I am truly honored and humbled that the membership elected me to this position and am looking forward to an exciting and busy year serving the organization, all the members, and the psychiatric/neurologic profession itself. As we work together, I continue to anticipate great advancements of the organization and profession and I will highlight these activities in the President’s Letter.
To give you a little more background about myself, I have been a CPNP member since I was a pharmacy student at Butler University in 2000. I attended my first CPNP Annual meeting in Washington DC the same year which reaffirmed the notion that I wanted to become a Psychiatric Pharmacist. After graduation, I did my Psychiatric Pharmacy Practice Residency at the Lewis Stokes VAMC (Cleveland) with Dr. Matthew Fuller. Post residency, I accepted a job as a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in Psychiatry at the Chillicothe VAMC, about 30 miles south of Columbus OH, and have been at the facility ever since. Over the span of 15 years at the Chillicothe VAMC, I have worked in inpatient units as well as outpatient clinics and have served the veterans in many clinical pharmacy capacities. During this tenure, I have also implemented PGY-1 and PGY-2 (Psychiatry) pharmacy residency programs, and to date, have trained 17 pharmacists in their post-graduate education.
I wanted to take this time to thank the outgoing Board of Director members, who ended their term on June 30th: Steve Burghart, DPh, MBA, BCPP, Jonathan Lacro, PharmD, BCPP, BCPS, FASHP, and Jennifer Zacher, PharmD, BCPP. I have had the privilege of working with all three members over the past couple of years and appreciated their insight, expertise, and advocacy for CPNP members and our profession. They truly served the CPNP membership well! I am also delighted to welcome your new board members: Marshall Cates, PharmD, BCPP, FASHP, Deanna L. Kelly, PharmD, BCPP, Leigh Anne Nelson, PharmD, BCPP. Additionally, I’d like to welcome back the members continuing with the Board: Robert Haight, PharmD, BCPP, Sara Dugan, PharmD, BCPP, Ray Love, PharmD, BCPP, FASHP, and Ann Richards, PharmD, BCPP. Membership has certainly given me an extremely talented group to work with and I look forward to partnering with them over the next year.
This issue of the CPNP Perspectives features information about one of our newest CPNP initiatives, the CPNP Communities. With impressive growth in membership, it is more important than ever that members have opportunities to network and dialogue with each other. CPNP Communities provide this access and I continue to strongly support and advocate this concept as a way to engage and serve you as members. We currently have 10 Communities and continue to seek additional areas for future community growth. I am pleased that, over the next year, communities will be offering over 40 lunch and learn webinars on various topics to enhance professional development and assist you in making connections within CPNP. Read about the webinar series in this issue of the Perspectives and if you have not joined a community or would like more information on the various communities available, check out https://aapp.org/community.
Finally, I would like for all member to take advantage of my “open door policy.” I strongly support transparency and appreciate feedback. Therefore, at any time, should you have a question, comment, or would like to voice an opinion to me, feel free to reach me at Chris.Thomas2@va,gov.
Christopher Thomas Pharm.D., BCPP, BCPS