Outgoing President's Message - Katherine A. Miller, PharmD, MHA, FASHP

Hello KCHP members, colleagues, past presidents, and friends. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have served as your President for the last year. Not only was it a year of unexpected challenges, but it was a year to learn from each other and from pharmacists across the country.

When I began my term as president, I was still hopeful that a few more weeks of dedicated quarantine would keep Covid-19 at bay. I was hopeful that we would have a lot of time to focus on growing as a health care profession and as KCHP. If you recall from my presidential address, I thought that together we could “see the wind” and sail together into pharmacy greatness. Boy was I na├»ve…

But lets back up a bit and make sure everyone knows where this is going.

My boyfriend Curt taught me that in order to sail, you have to be able to see the wind. If you recall (and I don’t expect you to because this was only important to me), literally at the exact moment that I gave my speech last year I was supposed to be boarding a sailboat to spend 10 days sailing the British Virgin Islands. Thankfully, we were able to reschedule that trip for February, and I had an incredible opportunity to learn how to “see the wind” on the ocean. Now, if you haven’t been sailing, you might think this is crazy. You can actually see the wind in the ripples on the water, and if you’re paying attention you can plan for the gust that is coming your way to push you off your course.

Last year, while Covid-19 blew an unexpected gust that tried to set us off course, our amazing KCHP Board was able to keep our sailboat on track. That unexpected gust continued to blow at us all year, but time and time again, the Board, and our greater KCHP members came together to keep the pharmacy profession heading in the right direction.

We were able to spend dedicated time and focus on two of our three priorities for this year, in addition to unexpected Covid activities and even an added celebration.

The three areas of focus for the last year were membership, governmental affairs, and creation of a local resident conference.

Focused efforts on increasing our membership took a backseat this as we sought to find ways to support our current members through covid-19. We held a handful of Town Halls where Immediate Past President Joe Slechta or I hosted conversations and shared learnings on how to clinically care for covid + patients, how to administer the monoclonal antibody therapies, and how to manage vaccines. Karen Brahman from KHA was a consistent and active participant, in order to help her speak to pharmacist practice and needs at the state level, much of the reason she has been nominated and selected as the KCHP Pharmacist of the Year.

Governmental Affairs activity focused on partnership with the BOP to ensure our newly appointed Board members understand health system and hospital pharmacy practice. KCHP was invited to recommend one of three health-system subject matter experts to attend BOP meetings, Chris Lawrenz has agreed to fill this role. Collaboration and discussion around pharmacist and technician vaccinations was key to the care we have provided Kansans across the state this year.

Third, we successfully hosted the First Annual Kansas Pharmacy Residency Conference yesterday for Kansas and Kansas City Metro pharmacy residents. A more condensed agenda allowed for increased preceptor attendance and feedback for our residents. We certainly look for any feedback from our participants on how the program went and what we can do to improve it for next year.

Finally, among all of this, the KCHP Board, due to significant work by Immediate Past President Joe Slechta, created our Fellows Program. The inaugural class of FKCHP includes four well deserving pharmacists that have shaped our organization over the years. Thank you, Joe, for the amount of work you put into ensuring that KCHP can recognize our legacy-makers. And thank you to Katie, Todd, Suzie, and Mark for your continued leadership and mentorship of KCHP and pharmacy leaders both within and beyond Kansas.

I cannot close this year without a multitude of thank yous. Please hang with me, as without these amazing team members we could not have accomplished what we have done this year. Thank you for shifting with me to follow the wind and continue to drive to our destination of greatness for pharmacy in Kansas.

First, Joe, I have so appreciated your guidance and commitment to KCHP over the past year. I continue to learn from you. I am so grateful that you have agreed to stay on the Board and complete the term for the District 1 Director for next year. We still have a lot to do!

Carolyn – your thoughtful questions and genuine interest in always doing the right thing will take you far next year. I have no doubt you will have a spectacular year as President.

To the Board Members who have another year in their term: Katie Wilson, Treasurer, Kelsie Hundley, District 3 Director, and Vanessa Elliott, Technician Representative – you have all shown incredible growth and resilience in coming onto the Board during covid and needing to revamp all of our projects due to the changing environment. I am excited to see the new things you create this year!

And our outgoing board members:

Brian Gilbert, Director of Education, Chris Loucks, Director of Governmental Affairs, Megan Ohrlund, District 1 Director, Chris Lawrenz, District 2 Director, Sydney Markley, SSHP President, and Tammy Nguyen, Wichita Representative. You have served KCHP well in your elected terms. I suspect we will see many of your names on the board again in the future, or in other avenues to continue to support KCHP, Kansas Pharmacy, and the pharmacy profession.

Next, Jim Andrews, who manages our organization. Thank you for always responding to the last minute emails and needs and keeping all of the important business components flowing behind the scenes.

And I know he has been thanked already multiple times, but Evan Williams, who I get to work with on a daily basis, thank you for your focus and leadership for the Annual Meeting and KPRC. You didn’t know you were signing up for both but we are so glad you did.

And a few personal thank yous –

Thank you to my team at work at The University of Kansas Health System. My boss who invited me to come to Kansas, my peers, my leadership team, and every single pharmacist, resident, intern, and technician at TUKHS. You all make me work harder to help us do our jobs better.

Thank you to my pharmacy mentors and role models, there have been too many to name. Thanks just doesn’t cut it to my parents, Paul and Mary and my sisters Maggie and Rosie. Thanks to my pharmacy and non-pharmacy friends and special thanks to my boyfriend Curt for teaching me to see the wind. Finally, to my KC pharmacy ladies that like to happy hour (and sometimes do goat yoga) – when's our next night out?

Copyright 2019, Kansas Council of Health-System Pharmacy (KCHP)
Kansas Council of Health-System Pharmacy is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. 2650 S. Hanley Rd., Suite 100, St. Louis, MO 63144
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