Building Connections through the ICHP Annual Meeting!

by Trish Wegner, B.S. Pharm., Pharm.D., FASHP
November 1, 2011

Establishing and maintaining connections is so important in both our personal and professional lives.  The focus of the 2011 Annual Meeting was “Build Your Connections”.  

This principle was highlighted by: programming on the importance of communication with other healthcare providers  to maintain patient safety; communicating between shifts and levels of care; establishing connections to identify job and residency opportunities; pearls on how to better communicate with colleagues, residents and students; joining ASHP in the Pharmacy Practice Model Initiative to advance our profession and improve care; networking with other health-system pharmacists, industry partners, technicians, residents and students; and building knowledge on many clinical and administrative topics.

A total of 464 pharmacy professionals attended the Annual Meeting – that is up almost 29% 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 95% felt the format and content of the meeting allowed them to maximize their educational opportunities.  The vast majority (94%) liked the meeting facility and location.  Here is a sampling of comments from registrants: 
  • This was the best ICHP meeting I’ve been to in many years as a member, congratulations on a great job well done!!
  • I had a great time meeting the ICHP board and members. Overall, great meeting. I learned a lot.
  • Very good meeting, nice mix of topics.
  • Very enjoyable, great presentations.
  • This was my 1st time attending the entire meeting and honestly enjoyed it very much. I hope to become more involved with ICHP in the future.
  • Thanks for buying the response cards!
If you were not able to attend the Annual Meeting, copies of the handouts are still available on the ICHP website to view at Click on Calendar/Events, then Annual Meeting, then Handouts.  You can download all the presentations with just one click.  A special thank you goes to our commercial supporters Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Hospira for providing educational grants.  

Speaking of building connections, student attendance increased by almost 50% from last year making the Residency Roundtables and Showcase another big success.  Students were able to network with 22 residency programs from around the Midwest.  What a great way to meet program directors, preceptors, and current residents before heading off to the hectic pace at the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting.   Here are some of the comments students wrote when asked what they learned during the residency roundtables:
  • Put more effort into building my CV, preparing for interviews; participate in more pharmacy reward activities.
  • This will really help me in to consider what residency will be right for me, and how to go about finding the right one for me
  • I will start planning and researching programs early.
  • Developing stronger application to stand out and hopefully be appealing to potential residency locations.
  • How to research residency programs, important questions to ask in order to gain information about each program and questions to think about regarding interviews.
  •  Most useful was requirements on how to appropriately write a letter of intent and what to do in the event that you don’t match.
The exhibit program drew 51 vendors!  Those represented included: pharmaceutical industry and packaging; medical devices and equipment; service vendors, education and training groups; and pharmacy recruiters.  The vendors really appreciated having the attendees thank them for attending.  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 Sponsor – Rx Remote Solutions; and our Silver Sponsors – Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, CSL Behring, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Hospira, McKesson Pharmaceutical and Optimer Pharmaceutical Inc.  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 support ICHP!

One of the highlights of the Annual Meeting is the Award Program.  ICHP’s most prestigious award, the ICHP Pharmacist of the Year, was awarded to Michael G. Weaver.  Mike is Director of Pharmacy at Freeport Hospital and is the current ICHP Treasurer.  Mike has been a member of ICHP since 1980 and served in various roles such as the Director of the Division of Organizational Affairs, as an ICHP delegate, and as the Chair of the Website Committee. Mike is a member of ASHP and the American College of Healthcare Executives.  But he is also a community leader as a member and President of the Kiwanis International/Lincoln-Douglas Chapter, a current Board Member of the United Way of Northwest Illinois, a past member of the Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts of Green Hill and now a member of the Audit Committee of the Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois.   From 1994-1999, Mike served as a member of the Illinois Board of Pharmacy and brought his health-system pharmacy expertise to an otherwise community based pharmacy board.  Mike provided strong direction and valuable insight during those five years as a volunteer member.

President Carrie Sincak gave out the President’s Award to Jen Phillips.  The recipient of this award is selected solely by the current President of ICHP for outstanding dedication and contributions to the Council during the President’s term of office.  Jen is Assistant Professor at Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy and practices at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Drug Information.  Within ICHP, she has served as the Chair of the New Practitioners Network; participated in the Division of Professional Affairs since 2006 and is now the Director of the Division; serves on the Educational Affairs Division and the Meeting Planning Committee; and will take over as Assistant Editor for ICHP’s newsjournal, KeePosted, in January of 2012.  In addition, Jen has been the treasurer of the Northern Illinois Society of Health-System Pharmacists and was recently voted in as its President-elect.  Jen is active on the national level as well through ACCP where she is the Chair-elect of its Drug Information PRN.  

The ICHP Outstanding Volunteer Award is presented by the Executive Committee to the volunteer leader of ICHP who has stepped up and made an outstanding effort and achieved accomplishments on behalf of the Council.  The 2011 recipient is Ann Jankiewicz, ICHP’s Chair of the House of Delegates.  Ann is a clinical pharmacist and pharmacy supervisor at Rush Medical Center in Chicago.  Ann’s outstanding efforts come from her dedication and participation on two of ICHP’s Divisions in addition to her work as Chair of the House.  Ann serves as a member of ICHP’s Marketing Affairs and Organizational Affairs Divisions and has for many years.  

The 2011 ICHP New Practitioner Leadership Award is presented by the ICHP Board of Directors to a new practitioner who has met the following criteria:
  • Earned his/her first pharmacy degree within the last 10 years,
  • Encourage and support ICHP by membership, meeting attendance, and participation,
  • Demonstrate a consistently high level of professional achievement,
  • Has developed, is working in or is working towards the development of an innovative practice in Health-System pharmacy practice,
  • Exhibit strong leadership qualities, and
  • Possess a strong commitment to the advancement of the pharmacy profession.
Sheila Allen meets all these criteria.  She is 2003 Doctor of Pharmacy graduate of the UIC College of Pharmacy and completed a primary care residency with a focus on education at Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy in 2004.  Sheila is currently the Coordinator, Academic Programs and Clinical Assistant Professor in Pharmacy Practice at UIC College of Pharmacy.  She previously worked as a Clinical Pharmacist in Ambulatory Care with Advocate Health Centers from 2004-2008.  Sheila has been a member of ICHP since 2005 and a member of the New Practitioner Network for that time period.  She served as the NPN liaison to the ICHP Website Committee in 2008 and as the NPN liaison to the Division of Organizational Affairs from 2006-2009.  She has served as a member of the Division of Marketing Affairs since 2008 and is currently the Division Director through the Annual Meeting of 2012.  In addition to her activities with ICHP, Sheila is an active member of ACCP serving on its Ambulatory Care PRN Networking Committee for 2006-2008, an active member of AACP since 2003 and Experiential Education Section member since 2008, a member of APhA and Phi Delta Chi Professional Fraternity.  

As you can see, there is a lot of excellent talent in the volunteer base of ICHP.  Every member is encouraged to participate in ICHP at any level – whether for a one time project, working on a Division, or serving as an officer.  Maybe you can be the winner of one of these celebrated awards.

John Powell, American composer, once said “Communication works for those who work at it.”  The ICHP Annual Meeting Planning Committee certainly worked hard to provide a program where you could connect to knowledge and network with colleagues.  Now it is your turn to build on those connections and implement what you learned.

 We hope you consider attending the 2012 ICHP Spring Meeting in Bloomington, March 23-24th.

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