Crossing the Finish Line

by Trish Wegner, B.S. Pharm., Pharm.D., FASHP
November 18, 2010

On your mark…get set…go! That was what the ICHP Annual Meeting Planning Committee heard back on April 26th of this year when planning began for the annual meeting educational sessions. The race started out with a crush of ideas, enthusiasm and adrenaline. After weeks of hard work and endurance, the goal was in sight. All the Purpose, Preparation and Perseverance paid off! We finished first in the race with some excellent statistics!

A total of 361 pharmacy professionals attended the Annual Meeting; that is up almost 6% from last year in an environment of decreasing attendance at meetings. The same percent increase in exhibit booth registrations was seen for the exhibit program. The Residency Showcase had nineteen residency programs in attendance – an almost 19% increase from last year! When asked “Based on your experience (at the meeting), would you recommend future Annual Meetings to your colleagues,” 98% said YES. One hundred percent (100%) of those turning in evaluations liked the overall meeting organization and meeting materials, and 97% felt the format and content of the meeting allowed them to maximize their educational opportunities. The vast majority (95%) liked the meeting facility and location. Here is a sampling of comments from registrants: • This is my second conference, very enjoyable. Would come again. • This was very well organized, thank you! • Really enjoyed this meeting’s clinical presentations. Those that included cases were especially helpful for evaluating my learning. • Had a very enjoyable time, the three days flew by. The people are so helpful and friendly. • Liked the use of automated audience response cards. They really showed if the audience comprehended the presentation. • Excellent agenda! • Thank you, great job!

The educational topics covered numerous areas impacting your daily work including: the drivers for a new pharmacy practice model; how to manage antimicrobial resistance in your institution; how to work well with others and avoid conflict; how to review and interpret current published research; how to write a service proposal; the impact of pharmacogenomics on therapy selection; how to deal with current medication shortages; how to start a new type of residency program at your institution; how to evaluate biosimilars; incorporating new types of technology; how to implement tech-check-tech; and much more. No matter what stage you are in your pharmacy career or what title you now have, there was something there for you. If you were not able to attend the Annual Meeting, copies of the handouts are still available on the ICHP website to view at and click on Calendar/Events, then Annual Meeting, then Handouts. A special thank you goes to our commercial supporters Amgen, Merck and PharMEDium for providing educational grants.

The Residency Roundtables and Showcase continue to be a huge success! We had 133 residents and students in attendance at the Annual Meeting – an almost 28% increase from last year. It was great to see so many young professionals in attendance. Our future looks bright!

The exhibit program drew 50 vendors! Those represented included pharmaceutical industry and packaging, medical devices and equipment, service vendors, education and training groups, and pharmacy recruitment. The vendors really appreciated having the attendees thank them for exhibiting. Without the support of our colleagues in industry, we would not be able to have this meeting without increasing the registration fee significantly, so we owe them a big round of applause! With educational grants dwindling in numbers and size, exhibit registration is our main source of revenue for the meeting. Many thanks to our Gold Sponsors, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Pharmacy OneSource; and our Silver Sponsors, American Regent, Inc. and Teva Health Systems. Please thank all of those who supported our organization and be sure to spend time in the exhibit area at our next meeting so that they continue to exhibit!

Though we ended the race by crossing the finish line ahead of the pack and in good stride, it is time to focus on the next goal. Join us for the ICHP/MSHP Spring Meeting in St. Charles, Missouri on April 14 – 16, 2011. Continue to Race to Excellence and Get Linked Into the Leaders!

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