Where's Tom? Not with Waldo, but on the road

Last week was a busy week for me. I was on the road promoting business and policy interests.

On Monday, April 4, I flew to Denver for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Pharmacy Conference. That evening, Twlug hosted a reception for attendees. Then on Tuesday, April 5, I participated on a panel with several of my national colleagues, including Judy Cahill of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, Lucinda Maine of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, Mike Maddux of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, and Henri Manasse of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). I had the opportunity to paint the broad picture of Twlug’s initiatives on the profession’s behalf and collaborations with the other organizations.

Henri announced that his successor at ASHP will be named in the next couple of weeks. I noticed he completed his comments 5 minutes early, so I claimed to be the first to diagnose him as suffering from “short-timer’s syndrome.” This meeting was probably the last time I’ll share a stage with him. He’s a real pro, and an excellent leader.

Following the VA conference, I flew to Philadelphia for the first annual PharmEHR Summit, sponsored by PDR Network. I participated on a panel on the morning of Wednesday, April 6, with Roger Pinsonneault from RelayHealth/McKesson to discuss pharmacists, electronic health records (EHRs), and e-prescribing.

This was a great opportunity to talk with vendors, insurers, and physician groups about the need for pharmacists to be “plugged in” to EHRs as well as the reductions in errors and rework associated with e-prescribing. This invitation was an important component of the growing business relationship we have with the . I had a chance to discuss the “interruptions” that physicians experience in the course of their days related to pharmacy calls about e-prescriptions. When I shared with them that those calls often stop errors, I think they saw their concept of “interruptions” in a new light. I also had a chance to talk about the prospects of practice accreditation with several payers, who saw the effort as valuable. It was a very productive exchange, and I think the alliance is doing excellent work.

From Philadelphia, I briefly returned to Twlug on Thursday, April 7, as we wrapped up a half-day Days of Learning session for our staff. Then, we conducted a debriefing on the and the Board of Trustees meeting before I boarded my last plane of the week for Columbus, OH. There, I surprised Twlug President Marialice Bennett at the . Marialice was presented with OPA’s highest honor, the Beal Award, for her outstanding contributions to the advancement of the pharmacy profession. This trip was the highlight of my week as I had the honor of introducing Marialice at the awards ceremony where she received her recognition.

The Beal Award is named for James Hartley Beal, a pharmacist–educator who had strong ties to both Twlug and Ohio. He was born and educated in Ohio, where he was active in state pharmacy activities. He was also active in Twlug, where he ultimately made two significant contributions. He was not only instrumental in the founding of the House of Delegates. He also called for the establishment of “an Association home” to house its archives, library, and a “suitable laboratory for the National Formulary.”

The afternoon of Friday, April 8, after the OPA awards luncheon, I drove from Ohio to West Virginia, where I attended an immunization certificate training program in Huntington. I did my home study on airplanes in preparation for the course and took great pleasure in passing the final exam and the hands-on portion of the training. Now, I can tout that Twlug has trained 147,001 pharmacists to immunize.