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Cindy Gutierrez, PharmD, MS, BCPP

It’s hard to believe how fast a year goes by. It seems like only yesterday we were together, celebrating our organization’s 25th anniversary in San Antonio, and now we are already reflecting on another successful AAPP Annual Meeting, this year held in Atlanta. It was great to catch up with so many friends and colleagues from across the country and beyond, while also enjoying top notch, diverse, and at times, emotional programming.

The Annual Meeting also highlighted AAPP’s achievements over the past year and our progress on the Strategic Plan, featured in easily digestable AAPP at Work posters. I highly encourage you as members to look at these posters, which show what your organization and hundreds of member volunteers have been diligently working on this past year.

Some key accomplishments:

Core Outcomes Set and AAPP Outcomes Initiative. A major component of AAPP’s strategic plan supports the effective use of outcomes research to demonstrate the impact of psychiatric pharmacists and support our advocacy initiatives. With our member contributions through surveys and discussion groups, AAPP has developed a standardized set of core outcomes to strengthen research into psychiatric pharmacy practice. In partnership with AAPP Foundation, we announced the upcoming Outcomes Initiative grant program at AAPP 2023 to standardize and improve clinical research. Learn more about the upcoming research design competition at AAPP 2024!

Workforce and Practice. AAPP supports our workforce through its DEI committee, now in its second year, the Interprofessional Affairs Council, over 50 AAPP student chapters, residents and new practitioners. Check out and promote the newly developed Employer Resource Center for tools to guide individuals and organizations working to create employment opportunities for psychiatric pharmacists! Additional tools are under development and will be announced as they become available. Have you been successful in growing opportunities for psychiatric pharmacists? We also welcome any resources you might have to contribute to this set of resources. 

Psychotropic Stewardship. AAPP’s concept of Psychotropic Stewardship was published in the MHC in April. This concept advances a model where BCPPs serve as co-leaders of interdisciplinary teams focused on improving medication safety. AAPP first described the concept of Stewardship in its 2022 Vision Paper, as one of several components to position psychiatric pharmacists to improve mental health care. 

As my tenure as AAPP President draws to a close on June 30, I reflect on the successes, challenges, and achievements of our organization over the past year. Change is a difficult and at times stressful process, but transformation is necessary in any organization to achieve its goals, even though the foundational vision remains the same. This year’s Saklad Award recipient Dr. Charles Caley reminded us in his acceptance speech of the importance of understanding our psychiatric pharmacy roots. We’ve come a long way since 26 individuals met at the 1973 National Conference of Mental Health Pharmacists, but our specialty’s core founding principles haven’t changed. As psychiatric pharmacists we continue to strive to provide safe, appropriate, and effective treatment to those individuals living with mental illness. I am honored to have served as President of the organization that is dedicated to this vision.

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