The Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA) got its start nearly a decade before it was officially formed in 2004. A small, dedicated group of 10 pharmacists formed Oncology New Concepts (ONC) in 1995 to bring together their interests in oncology practice, and clinical and administrative skills.
The collaborative, led by Jody Simon, was the first of its kind to address the educational and resource needs of oncology pharmacists. Jim Koeller, Steve Huber, Phil Johnson, Dwight Kloth, Bob Ignoffo, Rowena Schwartz, Terri Davidson, Celeste Lindley, Barry Goldspiel, and Jane Pruemer joined Simon in laying the foundation for activities and initiatives aimed at growing and advancing the field of oncology pharmacy.
From the very beginning, ONC worked with Industry to help fund educational programs and host social functions at major professional association meetings. By 1997, ONC launched the first Making a Difference in Oncology (MAD-ONC) pharmacy meeting in partnership with Moffitt Cancer Center. The two-day event gave pharmacists a place to share both bench and clinical research efforts.
Although the ONC founders eventually moved on to different opportunities, Johnson and the founding members transitioned ONC and the MAD-ONC meeting into what HOPA is today.