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Marshall E. Cates, Pharm.D., BCPP, FASHP, FCCP, FALSHP

This is my final newsletter article as President of CPNP. I have served on the Board of Directors first as a member-at-large and then as president-elect and now president. Like most Board members of professional associations everywhere, I have often contemplated the following question: How will we know that the organization is being successful? As I paused to reflect on this question one last time as President of CPNP, I decided to read some online articles regarding professional associations to better define what success means (see reference list). The following table represents my summary.

What the organization should offer/do

Characteristics of the organization

  • Training on the most current and relevant topics
  • Opportunities to meet and engage with peers and colleagues (networking)
  • Advocacy and lobbying in support of the profession
  • Prompt information via website, group e-mail, or social media
  • Professional resources on the website
  • Job postings
  • Mentorship and career advice
  • Awards and recognition
  • Opportunities to serve on committees and task forces
  • Reasonable dues/good value
  • Conduct/share research
  • Provide guidance and training on best practices
  • Support of certifications or other credentials
  • Provide leadership opportunities
  • Effective strategic planning
  • Strong relationships within the organization and with external partners
  • Investing in the right staff
  • Commitment to members
  • Leaders with humility and authenticity
  • A vital mission that has an impact on members, profession, and overall community
  • Effective communications
  • Members can openly and freely make requests and ask questions
  • Adopting programming and plans based on members’ best interest
  • Leadership willing to be guided by outcomes
  • Growth in membership
  • Transformation of members’ professional lives
  • Leadership able to take risks
  • Effectively deals with conflict
  • Quickly and effectively deal with change

I certainly hope that you recognize CPNP as fulfilling these measures. My assessment is that CPNP is a successful professional association. Even more encouraging is that the success of the organization will undoubtedly continue to grow as we implement the new strategic plan introduced to the membership at our open Forum on our Future in April and approved by the Board in late May.

In fact, we have many goals that relate to the areas noted above. To recap, the 2021-25 strategic plan is comprised of the following goals:

  1. Establish the BCPP credential as the practice standard in psychiatric pharmacy and expand professional opportunities for BCPPs;
  2. Monitor emerging technologies, medications, practice models, research, and gaps in patient care in order to advance psychiatric pharmacy practice and enhance patient care;
  3. Demonstrate and communicate the psychiatric pharmacy specialty’s impact on patient quality of life, clinical value, and economic outcomes;
  4. Strategically establish relationships with key regulatory agencies, legislators, and coalitions focused on issues identified within the CPNP health policy agenda;
  5. Implement the concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as core values within CPNP;
  6. Develop mutually beneficial opportunities to engage members and leaders that focus on enhancing CPNP programs, resources, and volunteer and leadership experiences;
  7. Implement organizational changes that advance CPNP’s efforts to focus on practice, advocacy, and education for its membership;
  8. Evolve CPNP’s core product offerings to drive revenue in a post-pandemic world; and
  9. Substantially enhance the CPNP technology and publication infrastructure to support continuing professional development (CPD) and research.

I would like to conclude this article by earnestly thanking the Board of Directors, staff, leaders and volunteers, and dedicated members. You are truly what makes CPNP a successful professional association. I especially want to thank Lisa Goldstone and Heidi Wehring, who are Board members concluding their service at the end of June. New members of the Board include Sarah Melton and Michelle Geier. They will start their service on July 1 along continuing Board members Bob Haight, Cindy Gutierrez, Clint Ross, Tawny Smith, and me.

I encourage you to join me in celebrating CPNP’s success and joining in as a volunteer, researcher, and supporter to enable even greater success. Have a happy summer, everyone!


  • Cronin MR. Attributes of a professional association worth joining. Published July 22, 2019. Accessed June 13, 2021.
  • Hurt J. Signs of healthy and unhealthy associations. Published March 31, 2011. Accessed June 13, 2021.
  • Sanner S. Four common traits of successful associations. Published January 28, 2019. Accessed June 13, 2021.
  • Wilkins J. What is the value of associations? Published January 9, 2020. Accessed June 13, 2021.
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