President's Message - People Don’t Care How Much We Know Until…

by Tom Westerkamp, ICHP President
October 1, 2013

A year ago, I selected the theme of “Caring” for ICHP and asked members to reconnect with their patients, to be compassionate, to make a difference, and to get involved. I reminded all of us of why we chose careers in pharmacy, and how important it is to show others that we care. After talking to dozens of members, including students and technicians, I know that many of our members do care, do get involved, and do make a difference. I was thrilled and so proud to see that the New Practitioners Network and several student chapters participated in charity events again this year, proving that ICHP does care, and that pharmacy is a caring profession.

Since the Annual Meeting in September 2012, this year has flown by for me. It started with our Leadership Retreat where we put into motion a plan to continue to make ICHP more relevant and more responsive to its members. I attended local affiliate meetings, Director of Pharmacy dinner meetings, a Clinical Practitioners networking meeting, and Board of Directors meetings. I met a fantastic group of students on Legislative Day, got interviewed by students for a senior class project, and squeezed in trips to my alma mater to represent ICHP at the Senior Awards Night and White Coat Ceremony. What a year!

I have met many members this past year and learned so much. I am now more convinced than ever that ICHP is a vibrant professional organization, with an outstanding office staff, and we, as a team, are headed in the right direction. Is everything in Springfield going well and are all practice issues resolved? No, there are challenges facing us, but I know that ICHP is well-positioned to continue to respond, is always there to inform and support its members, is one of the best local providers of continuing education, and without a doubt helps provide direction for the practice of pharmacy.

I am grateful to Scott, Trish, Maggie, Jan, Jo, Heidi and Amanda for their dedication, to Chris Rivers for her guidance, to the Executive Committee for their insights, and to the Division Directors and the many committee members for their efforts in carrying out the strategic plan. I want to acknowledge the efforts of the student chapters and their advisors at the colleges for keeping us informed of their activities, and for pulling together the first Student Leadership Retreat. I also want to thank Jacob Gettig and Jen Phillips for their editorial assistance with KeePosted, and the hard work done by the Regional Directors and the local affiliates. These individuals work hard without much attention or fanfare, and deserve the entire organization’s recognition and gratitude.

As I pass the baton into the experienced hands of our new ICHP president, Mike Fotis, I leave you with a famous quote that applies really well to the pharmacy profession we have all chosen, and regardless of where we practice, should remind all of us how important it is to care:

“The high road to service is travelled with integrity, compassion, and understanding…People don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care.”  Author Unknown

It has been an honor and a privilege to lead this organization this past year and have the opportunity to work closely with such a dedicated, caring team.

Thanks for caring…

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