The Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA) supports pharmacy practitioners and seeks to promote and advance hematology/oncology pharmacy to optimize the care of individuals affected by cancer.
This distinctive professional organization provides crucial education, networking, and advancement opportunities frequently sought by hematology/oncology pharmacists, pharmacy interns, residents, fellows, students, technicians, researchers, and administrators specializing in hematology/oncology pharmacy at all levels of practice.
In 1995, Jody Simon brought together 10 pharmacists with a specialty interest in oncology practice who also possessed both clinical and administrative skills. These practitioners formed the first collaborative group to address the need for educational and informational initiatives geared to pharmacists who practice in an oncology setting. It was then that Jody, along with Jim Koeller, Steve Huber, Phil Johnson, Dwight Kloth, Bob Ignoffo, Rowena Schwartz, Terri Davidson, Celeste Lindley, Barry Goldspiel, and Jane Pruemer, formed Oncology New Concepts, lovingly referred to as “ONC.” The group was established to build the foundation that would allow for early activities and initiatives aimed at growing and advancing the field of oncology pharmacy.
By working with industry, ONC raised funds to provide educational programs at the major professional association meetings, host social functions at both American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and American Society of Clinical Oncology conferences for oncology pharmacists to network, and sponsor the first annual conference, a 2-day event, for pharmacists involved in both bench and clinical research to share their efforts.
In partnership with Moffitt Cancer Center and its pharmacy director, Phil Johnson, ONC launched the first Making a Difference in Oncology (MAD-ONC) pharmacy meeting in 1997. When ONC founders moved on to different opportunities, Phil championed the continuation of a meeting and supported MAD-ONC’s transition, in conjunction with the efforts of the charter members (see below), toward the establishment of HOPA in 2004. HOPA’s mission was “to reduce the burden of cancer on society and promote optimal, cost-effective care for those affected by cancer.”
I thank all of my colleagues who shared their talents, resources, and precious time. One reason why hematology/oncology pharmacists are so special is that they believe it can happen and they make it happen. My very best wishes to HOPA on its continued journey.
— John G. Kuhn, PharmD RPh FCCP
HOPA brings together pharmacists and other healthcare professionals (e.g., pharmacy technicians, nurses, etc.) striving for the same goal: to ease the suffering of patients with cancer.
— Barry R. Goldspiel, PharmD BCPS BCOP
During this rapid growth period, most of our focus was on function and money; structure was created out of necessity. Determining how HOPA would interact with other organizations was the focus of many board meetings. HOPA also began to embrace research and providing value to members beyond the annual meeting.
— Val Adams, PharmD FCCP BCOP
We continued to create policy and procedures for the running of the organization. We expanded the newsletter and set up more formal communications and a record system between the board and all standing committees. We continued to assess and implement the strategic plan.
— Jim Koeller, MS
Reflecting on my year as HOPA president, I am reminded of what an amazing organization it is. This was the first year of the HOPA charity drive, and the overwhelming participation of the membership was an absolute show of the spirit of the HOPA organization. It is through the continued efforts of its leaders and membership that HOPA is now recognized as an organization that truly supports pharmacy practitioners and promotes and advances hematology/oncology pharmacy to optimize the care of individuals affected by cancer.
— Cindy L. O’Bryant, PharmD FCCP BCOP
Being part of the founding of HOPA and watching the exciting growth and rapid acceptance by other professional organizations has truly been one of the most exciting and important parts of my career. Our success couldn’t have been achieved without the motivation of the leaders and all members, who continue to drive HOPA to be one of the most important leaders in the world’s evolving healthcare system.
— Phil Johnson, MS RPh FASHP
The year I served as president of HOPA was a year of transition and, ultimately, growth for the organization. We began working with a new management company, AMC, who together with the board, was able to take our growing organization through the steps needed for the maturation of HOPA. This important, but not painless, transition process created a foundation to support the growth of the organization to meet the needs of both members and the oncology community.
— Rowena N. Schwartz, PharmD BCOP
The energy of our members, board, and management company helped carry out changes in three key areas: advocacy, practice and professional standards, and education. Our work reflects a continual progression and refinement of initiatives begun long before we took office, and hopefully each of us contributed in some way to ensuring HOPA continues to grow in a similar forward-thinking fashion.
— R. Donald Harvey III, PharmD FCCP BCOP
The most significant strides were made in the areas of advocacy, with HOPA becoming an organization that is vocal and critical in influencing decisions affecting the care of cancer patients. One of the best things about HOPA is that our members want to be involved. Without their vested interest and commitment, the significant progress on meeting our strategic goals in the areas of education, standards, advocacy, and research would not have been possible.
— Lisa M. Holle, PharmD BCOP
As I reminisce on the first HOPA meeting in 2005 in San Diego, CA, I remember being very impressed with the quality of the educational programming as well as the number of attendees for an inaugural meeting. Ten years later, we still offer quality educational programming but have expanded our offerings beyond the annual conference to include webinars and a practice management-focused fall meeting. Additionally, we have developed a robust health policy agenda and have provided funds to support the research endeavors of deserving members. In all, this has positioned us as recognized leaders in hematology/oncology pharmacy, and our nearly 2,100 members are continually sought out by other professional organizations for our expertise. Our future is bright and I look forward to our next decade of accomplishments as we aim to have a hematology/oncology pharmacist as an integral member of the cancer care team.
— Niesha Griffith, MS RPh FASHP
“There are several accomplishments that I was very proud of during my term as HOPA President. I was most proud of the effort our Board and invited HOPA members took in developing our new strategic plan to guide HOPA 2016 to 2020. We had outstanding thought leaders that really helped to lay the groundwork for HOPA's future direction. During my tenure, HOPA's membership grew and our Annual Conference and Practice Management Conference attendances continued to break records. HOPA was maturing and recognized by other organizations and companies. We collaborated with ISMP by providing feedback on chemotherapy safety issues and they presented on oncology and medication safety at our Annual Conference. HOPA Leadership attended a one-day meeting at Celgene’s offices in New Jersey. This was a first for HOPA as we developed our Industry Relations Council. Our involvement in oncology pharmacy expanded greatly from our foundation in education to include health policy. HOPA Hill Day was initiated during my tenure and continues to be a successful component of HOPA’s Advocacy strategy. HOPA is fortunate to have outstanding and committed membership who eagerly accepted the role of representing HOPA. Due to the vision of board member Daisy Yang, HOPA sought membership in Joint Commission of Pharmacy Practitioners (JCCP). I began to attend their quarterly meetings and HOPA acquired a seat at the Who's Who in Pharmacy table. HOPA has since transitioned from a guest to JCCP member. HOPA has poised itself to keep pace in the ever changing healthcare arena and to continue to provide outstanding care to patients with cancer.”
—2014-2015 HOPA President: Michael Vozniak, PharmD BCOP FHOPA
“During my year as president, HOPA was undergoing an introspective look and developing external connections. We started several major projects – initiated the strategic plan, re-branding, new website, committee restructure, and policy and procedure review – that will shape HOPA as an organization. We named our first class of HOPA Fellows. It was also a year of external collaborations – “Time to Talk CINV”, AMCP Biosimilar Survey, Pharmacy Workforce Coalition, Joint Commission of Pharmacy Practitioners, and many others – as HOPA continues to move from the “new kid on the block” to fully recognized as the voice of hematology oncology pharmacy. Our advocacy efforts continued to support issue relevant to the hematology oncology pharmacist and the cancer patient. The year concluded with a great meeting in Atlanta.”
—2015-2016 HOPA President: Scott A. Soefje, PharmD BCOP FCCP
“2016 –2017 was an exciting year of exponential growth and outreach for HOPA. I am most proud of HOPA earning our seat at several tables during that year, most notably at Vice President Biden’s Moonshot Summit and the Joint Commission of Pharmacy Practitioners (JCPP), as well as being invited for the first time to offer oncology pharmacy expertise at various forums held by AACP, AMCP, FDA, and others. We updated our bylaws, approved a new committee structure, implemented our inaugural year of HOPA’s own BCOP recertification program, joined the AMCP Biologics and Biosimilars Collective Intelligence Consortium (BBCIC) and ASCO’s CancerLinq, all while making significant progress on our strategic plan.”
—2016-2017 HOPA President: Sarah Scarpace Peters, MS PharmD BCOP
“Over the past year, we were able to increase our educational offerings, expand our funding base to support pharmacy research projects, broaden the public’s understanding of the role of the pharmacist, and build impactful relationships with our peer organizations and industry partners. This progress has allowed HOPA to emerge as a leader in the professional development of hematology/oncology pharmacists, because an influential voice on health policy issues, and be viewed as a trusted collaborator in the optimization of cancer care.”
—2017-2018 HOPA President: Susannah E. Koontz, PharmD BCOP FHOPA
“The year 2020 was a year we will never forget. From the COVID-19 pandemic, social unrest and violence, a contested Presidential election which polarized our nation, and the economic instability and uncertainty that presented itself to many of our members and the patients we serve, this year provided significant challenges. Despite this unprecedented time, our organization continued to increase membership and demonstrated progress in each of the four pillars of our strategic plan. Also, during this time, we transitioned to a new management company, Executive Director Incorporated (EDI). They are an instrumental partner for HOPA in achieving strategic initiatives.”
—2020-2021 HOPA President: David DeRemer, Pharm.D. BCOP FCCP FHOPA