ICHP Presidential Acceptance Address
by Avery Spunt, ICHP President
November 24, 2008
is with great excitement that I assume the role of President of the
Illinois Council of Health System Pharmacists. It is with humility that
I assume the same role that has been filled over the last 45 years by
outstanding leaders in Illinois pharmacy. Every one who has held this
role has been a leader and a champion of hospital and health system
pharmacy. I am honored to be allowed to be ICHP President.
will be great to be working with Scott Meyers, Trish Wegner and all the
other wonderful ICHP staff who have run an outstanding meeting the last
3 days. During the course of this meeting we were fortunate to have in
our presence two gifted national leaders of health system pharmacy -
Phillip Schneider and our own Kevin Colgan, both of whom delivered very
powerful and impressive speeches on Thursday at the opening session.
They also presented on June 10, 2008 at the ASHP Summer Meeting in
Kevin’s inaugural address of the President-elect and
Dr. Schneider’s Harvey A. K. Whitney lecture both call for change in
our practice model. I would like to cite some of the points they made
in their presentations and then put my spin to them and see how they
relate to what I would like to see accomplished in Illinois over the
Kevin Colgan believes that the climate for change is
so significant that we actually have reached a “tipping point.” The
phrase “tipping point” means the moment of critical mass, the
threshold, the boiling point….” “For Pharmacy, the tipping point lies
between a remarkable past and a very uncertain future.” As Kevin so
eloquently stated, “In the months and years ahead, we could move into a
new era in which pharmacists are critical components of every health
care team or we could become marginalized.”
Later that day Phil
Schneider presented the very prestigious Harvey A. K. Whitney lecture
entitled “Pharmacy without Borders”. In his presentation he makes a
great analogy, and I quote, “The status quo is a threat. Change is an
opportunity. How many times have we heard that? For most of us, change
is ok as long as someone else does the changing. Most of us like to
feel secure and comfortable knowing what will happen in the future. We
need a compelling reason to make a personal change — the platform has
to be on fire before we willingly board a train to another place. If we
wait too long, we may burn to death or suffer serious injury. Is
Pharmacy’s platform on fire?” Phil Schneider believes as I believe that
the platform is on fire for there are “smoke signals” everywhere.
know there is a collective thought that the profession of pharmacy will
always be with us. But so thought many workers at the Kodak
Corporation. They believed that their jobs would always be there. These
individuals were the ones that used to make and process slide and print
A lecture/slide show was individual cardboard bound
positive film placed in a tray, put on a projector and shown on a
screen. Now a slide show is a PowerPoint presentation. Kodak
Corporation makes digital cameras and there are a lot of former Kodak
employees that have found a different line of work. Therefore, as a
council and as individuals we must work hard to prevent this from
happening to pharmacists and the profession of pharmacy.
assume the presidency from Ann, who has done an outstanding job as
president, we will continue to follow our strategic plan, expand our
mentoring programs (the presidential officers have all generations
covered), and we will continue Ann’s mantra of “just do it”. And my
presidency will focus on assuring that we have outstanding venues to
“just do it in”.
In 1983 we had close to 700 pharmacist members
and former President Bill Wuller called for an increase to 800
pharmacists by 1984 and 1000 by 1994. Well, let us revive that vision
and let us try to obtain 1000 pharmacist members by next year at this
I believe we can create a local home and meeting place for all Illinois ACCP members.
Also, we can create a home in ICHP for pharmacists who practice in newly emerging health care systems.
We also need to increase the technician membership, and we need to promote their value to the health care system.
our great membership and affiliate structure, I believe ICHP can and
should be the primary state organization for students in Illinois. ICHP
values its student members.
The more motivated active people we have, the louder our voice and the easier it will be to move the profession forward.
must be much more vocal as to what health system pharmacists do. I will
work with staff and volunteers to get our stories in local and regional
newspapers, on radio and hopefully television and to make sure our
state and local elected officials know about our value.
value is too great to keep a secret. We must prove and disseminate our
value as health care professionals every day. We need to prolong our
profession’s longevity so that we are available to prolong the
longevity of our patients.
We will not be marginalized, we will not be minimized and we will not be digitalized!
We are Health Care Providers!We are ICHP!
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