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Welcome to the fall edition of the AAPP Perspective newsletter, appropriately authored largely by our Student Committee members and themed around the importance of training students as we seek to grow a highly qualified psychiatric pharmacy workforce. We all play a role in identifying and encouraging future psychiatric pharmacists; even small interactions with trainees are impactful. Reflecting on my own career journey, I recognize I owe my decision to become a BCPP to an amazing psychiatric pharmacist preceptor. He served as teacher, mentor, and role model throughout my experiential year. I am so grateful this preceptor challenged me to pursue a very different career path than I intended, one that has ultimately brought me so much joy and satisfaction in my professional life.

Growing psychiatric pharmacists takes a team that includes academicians, preceptors, residency program directors, associations, and others. We should never underestimate how important small contributions are in expanding our reach. Now a few months into my presidency and my third year as a member of the Board, I see how this also applies to our organization—growing a successful association takes a team consisting of volunteers, leaders, staff, members, and more. I am truly amazed at how much AAPP achieves with the combined efforts of our small but mighty team of members, leaders and staff.

A successful association also requires a mission and a plan. Our mission is clear--advance the reach and practice of psychiatric pharmacy and serve as the voice of the specialty. Our goals are also very clear thanks to our aggressive 2025 strategic plan, which charts our path forward. In each of my columns this year, I am going to highlight at least 1 element of the strategic plan and the team responsible for making the goal a reality.

One of the major pillars of the 2025 Strategic Plan is to implement the concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as core values within AAPP. In addition to forming the DEI Committee and appointing a DEI representative to the Board of Directors in an advisory capacity (Chair Ben Chavez), the Board asked your DEI Committee to assess the diversity of the membership.

As their first order of business, your DEI Committee spent considerable time evaluating what demographic information to collect, as well as updating the practice details collected, to allow AAPP to:

  1. Benchmark the profession of psychiatric pharmacy to pharmacy globally, and to other health professions, as we consider initiatives to diversify our profession.
  2. Adapt or create education, services, tools, and other resources to better serve the unique characteristics of our membership.
  3. Establish future DEI goals and objectives to meet the needs of the membership and the patients we serve.

Understanding the diversity of our membership is key to our future success as we seek to identify goals that advance the profession, our organization, and our members. The Board thanks the DEI Committee for their diligent research and work on this project. We hope that every member will take 5 minutes out of their day to update their member profile as soon as possible.

Update Your Member Profile

As psychiatric pharmacists, most of us work with an interprofessional team to deliver quality, impactful patient care. Unfortunately, not every health care team has access to psychiatric pharmacists or knows what we bring to the table. The strategic plan is our most externally directed to date with its focus on educating and advocating with policymakers, legislators, regulators, associations, and other members of the health care team to ensure they understand the impact we can make as members of the interprofessional team.

I have been pleased to serve as the Board representative to our inaugural Interprofessional Advisory Council (IAC) consisting of psychiatrists, psychologists, nurse practitioners, social workers, and other health care professionals. The IAC allows us to gauge reactions to things such as our Vision Paper and our work to develop a set of core outcomes that can be attributable to psychiatric pharmacy.

Though only two meetings in, we have learned much about how others view psychiatric pharmacists and perceive our contributions to both health care teams and health care systems in general. Those who work with psychiatric pharmacists recognize us as experts in comprehensive medication management and as experts who are well-equipped to serve as members of the interprofessional health care team.  Sharing who we are with those less familiar with our role, and translating this expertise in pharmacotherapy into value-added, measurable outcomes is imperative to expanding our footprint.

Though we have made great progress in many new areas as an association, there is much more we can and plan to do. We need your support more than ever as:

  • Members
  • Volunteers
  • Speakers and Authors
  • Foundation Donors
  • Researchers
  • And So Much More

Please respond to those volunteer opportunities and calls to action when they arrive in your in-box. Together we can accomplish much!

Cindy Gutierrez, PharmD, BCPP
AAPP President, Board of Directors

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25 Years!