Updating ICHP's Strategic Plan

by Scott A. Meyers, Executive Vice President
January 25, 2010

President Karpinski has provided a comprehensive summary of the 2009 ICHP Leadership Retreat held at Allerton Conference Center outside Monticello, Illinois. For those of you who have never visited the conference center, it is a pleasant surprise to find such a beautiful, art-filled and peaceful sight nestled deep in the countryside of central Illinois. It was the backdrop for the most recent update of the ICHP Strategic Plan.

The existing plan was created in 2007 and has been tweaked a little since its initial adoption by the Board of Directors that fall. This year at the Leadership Retreat, the participants reviewed the plan to celebrate its successes and discard those goals and objectives that are no longer relevant.

First let me share an overview of the plan to give you a better understanding of its purpose and importance. The plan is comprised of three major goals:
  • Association Growth
  • Exceptional Practice
  • High Performing Organization

Each of these goals have a variety of strategies to reach targets within the plan.
  • Association Growth
    • Increase membership
    • Increase public awareness/acceptance of the pharmacist as a member of the healthcare team
    • Increase association leadership
  • Exceptional Practice
    • Identify best practices/innovative practices in Illinois Pharmacy
    • Patient safety initiatives
    • Establish leadership development programs in practice
  • High Performing Organization
    • Improve volunteerism within ICHP
    • Increase public relations
    • Increase value-added services and products to the membership
    • Create an ICHP Foundation
Finally, the plan contains specific tasks to accomplish the above listed strategies using targets that are identified for each. To say this was and continues to be an ambitious plan is to understate the obvious. However, organizational success cannot be accomplished without this type of framework.

Celebrating Successes! The Retreat participants received reports that membership growth is higher than ever before with more than 1700 members as of November 1, 2009 including 855 pharmacists (surpassing the target of 729) and 642 students (dramatically surpassing the 2007 target of 364)! The single area of membership growth that did not meet target were pharmacy technicians with only 162 and a target of 213. The ICHP Division of Marketing Affairs and staff will continue to develop new methods to recruit and more importantly retain members and grow the conversion rate of student members to pharmacist members!

The ICHP Best Practices Award is now a reality and has been for two years. The 2008 and 2009 awards were presented, and a regular column in KeePosted has been established to highlight the brightest and best innovations in Illinois Pharmacy Practice. In addition to a complimentary Annual Meeting registration for the award winner, their pharmacy department receives a monetary award to be used for department education and development.

Some recent additions of value-added products and services can be found on the recently redesigned ICHP Website. ICHP’s Division of Professional Affairs has created a presentation that pharmacist members may use when asked to promote a career in pharmacy to local high school students. The presentation can be found on the Member Resources and Toolkits page once the member has logged in. On that same page, members may now review tools to help them incorporate CPD (Continuing Professional Development) into their personal learning processes. CPD helps the learner identify areas of weakness in their practice knowledge and assists them in selecting appropriate continuing education offerings to enhance their competency. Finally, the primer “Disposal of Outdated and Unwanted Pharmaceuticals” has recently been placed in this same section to help members get a better handle on this growing problem.

As you can see we have made many strides to accomplish our strategic plan! However, during the process we also looked for areas where our goals have changed and the plan required trimming.

Discarded what is no longer relevant! The Retreat participants reviewed the current mission and vision of ICHP and identified a few goals and strategies that were no longer relevant. They were:

  • Create an ICHP Foundation
  • Establish an annual ICHP Pharmacy Leadership Conference
  • Develop a 2 or 3 tiered leadership program (practice management, students, association leadership)

With the current economic environment and the existence of the ASHP Leadership Conference held in Chicago annually, each of these goals/strategies were found to be unnecessary and duplicative.

Goals and Strategies Modified! Some of the goals and strategies were expanded or modified to reflect the current practice and economic environments. In addition to initial strategies for increasing membership of ICHP, a concerted effort will be made to recruit those ASHP members who have yet to join ICHP. The ICHP Division of Marketing Affairs will also launch its “ICHP Champions” program in 2010 (see article in this issue) to improve communications with members at each hospital and healthsystem. ICHP’s New Practitioners Network will lead the charge into the implementation of social networking media such as Facebook, Twitter and Linked In. The Division of Government Affairs will expand direct-to-member communications to share victories, sound alerts and train individual members to be better personal lobbyists. Educational Affairs will create more programming within the Annual and Spring Meetings that will develop both pharmacy and organizational leaders while maintaining the high standards of quality programming ICHP meetings have always provided.

The ICHP Strategic Plan has been, is and will continue to be a dynamic document that will guide the organization and the profession through the future. It will soon be accessible on the members only pages of the ICHP website www.ichpnet.org when all the modifications identified at the 2009 Leadership Retreat have been formally incorporated. Watch your e-mail for that important announcement. Most importantly, respond to President Karpinski’s call to become more engaged in the efforts of ICHP as we continue “Advancing Excellence in the Practice of Pharmacy!”

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