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Marshall Cates, Pharm.D., BCPP, FASHP, FCCP, FALSHP, CPNP President

First, I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. The year 2021 brings much optimism that we will finally be able to start moving beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, which has greatly affected our personal and professional lives. Psychiatric and neurologic pharmacists have experienced altered clinical procedures and practices, fluctuations in usual workload, disruptions in teaching and research, etc., in addition to trials regarding personal health and wellness. Of course, challenges can lead to opportunities, and we are taking note of how the pandemic has changed the healthcare landscape and how we might be able to better situate ourselves to fulfill important roles and needs in the future.

But this year is also shaping up to be a very pivotal one for CPNP because of our efforts to complete and implement the next strategic plan. Every 3 to 5 years, CPNP invests in a strategic planning process that is intended to guide the organization over the next several years. We have already been engaged in such an effort throughout 2020, and the process will come to fruition this spring/summer. I think that this particular strategic plan will be vitally important to CPNP owing to where the organization is in terms of the course of its maturation. Things are certainly looking good for us, including a growing membership base, an engaged membership, a solid financial position, an experienced staff, an ever-expanding array of products and services, etc. Let’s face it, after a little more than 2 decades, we have a well-established organization. The next step can and should be more aspirational… what are the lofty goals that we could reach for that would truly transform the profession of psychiatric and neurologic pharmacy?

Regarding what we have accomplished so far in the strategic planning process, we formed a strategic planning committee, a steering committee, and 4 workgroups that have been focused in the areas of advocacy, engagement, practice, and workforce. These committees/groups have been actively meeting, brainstorming, and collecting data. Part of the data collection process has involved the CPNP membership via focus groups and research groups. But there is much work that remains to be done in spring 2021. One very important component in the process is a membership survey that will be released in January (more information below). Various other steps will occur prior to an important strategic planning meeting in March. The draft strategic plan will be presented to the membership at the 2021 Annual Meeting, and once finalized, it will undergo approval by the Board of Directors in the summer.

I cannot underscore enough how important it is for each of you to participate in the survey that will be released soon. The survey results will be used to inform the strategic goals of the organization for the next several years, so it is imperative that we have information that is representative of the membership’s mindset. We have striven to create a survey that is comprehensive yet manageable for our busy members. There will be questions regarding: your planned engagement with CPNP; trends that you believe will impact the profession; your attitudes toward and opinions about certain aspects of the profession and CPNP; organizational initiatives that you believe should be maintained, further emphasized, or de-emphasized; practice areas for which you believe CPNP should be developing additional resources and continuing education; and your thoughts on best targets of our advocacy efforts. Active (pharmacist) and Resident/Fellow members are encouraged to respond to the strategic planning membership survey by January 22, 2021.

I am certain that I speak on behalf of the entire Board of Directors when I say that we appreciate your unwavering support of CPNP. We look forward to the development of a strategic plan in 2021 that will enable the organization to become even more relevant and impactful in the professional lives of psychiatric and neurologic pharmacists.

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