Article Index

HOPA Publications Committee

Brandy Strickland Snyder, PharmD BCOP, Chair

Bonnie Labdi, PharmD RPh, Vice Chair

Susanne E. Liewer, PharmD BCOP, Board Liaison

Carrie L. Barnhart, PharmD

Lisa R. Biondo, PharmD BCPS

Jennifer L. Davis, PharmD

Christine Gegeckas, RPh BCOP

Ashley Glode, PharmD BCOP

Megan Lynn Hames, PharmD BCPS

David Reeves, PharmD BCOP

Alexandra Shillingburg, PharmD

Candice Wenzell, PharmD

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Board Update

Niesha Griffith, RPh MS FASHP, HOPA President

Well, it certainly has been an interesting winter! If nothing else, we have all learned a lot about weather systems caused by the “polar vortex” and the “pineapple express.” Personally, I have had just about enough of the snow and cold; however, I know we have been spared here in Ohio compared with those on the East Coast or even those in the South, who are just not prepared to deal with this kind of weather.

I was not pleased to hear that Punxsutawney Phil, the world’s most famous furry forecaster, popped out of his burrow and predicted 6 more weeks of winter. I was, however, very pleased to hear that Buckeye Chuck (no relation to Phil) did not see his shadow. I do realize that this is not a scientific exercise, but Chuck only lives an hour away from Columbus, so I have decided he probably knows best regarding what’s in store for us Buckeyes. After dealing with below-zero temperatures and weekly snow storms, I think we are all looking for some good news wherever we can find it!

HOPA Annual Meeting

Speaking of good news, our annual meeting is less than a month away! This year, our conference is expected to draw more than 800 pharmacists from all over the world—nearly half of our entire HOPA membership. Our conference educational programs have been developed with an eye toward providing a variety of cutting-edge sessions that serve the needs of both new and seasoned oncology pharmacists.

We will hold two preconference workshops: Oncology 201, covering topics such as bladder, uterine, and thyroid cancer; and a program for oncology residency and preceptor program development.

We will kick off the conference on Wednesday afternoon with the John G. Kuhn Keynote Lecture. This year features our very own John Kuhn (a founding member and our first HOPA president), and Kevin E. O’Connor, who is an author, executive coach, and professional speaker. John and Kevin will reflect on the current state of oncology pharmacy, how far HOPA has come as an organization, and what the future may hold for both our profession and the organization.

Many of our nation’s leading experts in hematology/oncology pharmacy will share their knowledge via educational and interactive sessions featuring a wide range of topics, including new and emerging therapies, controversies in care, and clinical pearls. New this year are two research sessions: developing and submitting a high-quality research proposal and conducting research on clinical service development and evaluation. Breakout sessions will address chemotherapy dosing in obese patients, updates on closed-system transfer devices, and the use of chemotherapy during pregnancy, among others. Our lobbyists from Drinker Biddle & Reath will provide an update on legislative issues affecting HOPA and a review of our health policy priorities and activities.

Several networking events will offer attendees an opportunity to expand their professional contacts. Our exhibit hall will be filled with the premier providers of pharmaceutical products, devices, and delivery systems. As always, our members will have an opportunity to review the latest in completed research during the poster sessions. All conference information, including session descriptions and a list of exhibitors, is available at Conference Web Central on the HOPA website. Be sure to check it out!

Scope of Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Practice

In a previous board update, I mentioned that the Scope of Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Practice was complete and available on our website. Since that time, an abbreviated version has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Oncology Pharmacy. I want to offer a big thank you and congratulations to Lisa Holle and Laura Michaud for spearheading this publication and producing a document to increase awareness of our profession in the hematology/oncology community.

Industry Relations Council

In the spirit of good news, I am happy to report that we now have 14 Industry Relations Council (IRC) members. We had five new members sign on since January (Bayer, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Helsinn Therapeutics, Lilly Oncology, and Seattle Genetics). Thank you to all of the IRC members for their continued support of HOPA.

Miscellaneous Updates

In late November, a work group met to begin developing a HOPA guideline that will address medication therapy management for oral anticancer agents. In February, the work group editors submitted their outline, references, and presentations to the medical writer to compose the first draft. Members will have an opportunity to review and comment on the guideline in spring/summer 2014. The HOPA Investigational Drug Service Best Practice Standards is now in production and will be available for member comment in April 2014.

HOPA is in the final stages of completing two issues briefs, which are also expected to be released as early as this spring. One will focus on pain management in cancer patients, while the other identifies measures for preventing counterfeit medications from entering our secure supply chains.

The Volunteer Activity Center is open until March 31. Please sign in and let us know whether you would be interested in participating in any HOPA committees.

The board is suggesting a number of bylaws changes to support our new leadership development plans. Among these proposals will be a name change for the Nomination and Awards Committee and a term change for board members. Watch for the notification of the revisions to be posted on our website for a 45-day member comment period.

HOPA 10th Anniversary Gala

Last, but certainly not least, to recognize the founding of HOPA 10 years ago, we will host the HOPA 10th Anniversary Gala on the evening of Friday, March 28, at The Chicory, which is just a 5-minute walk from the conference hotel. The event will feature a buffet dinner of Creole cuisine, an open bar, and live entertainment provided by some of New Orleans’ finest jazz musicians. During this festive evening, we will raise money for the HOPA Research Fund and recognize those individuals who were instrumental in the founding and shaping of this great organization. Tickets are available online at or by calling 1.877.HOPARX1.

As this is my last board update, I want to take this opportunity to thank the HOPA Board, staff, IRC, and all of you—our dedicated members—for your help and support during the past year. I am excited about all of our accomplishments and growth. We now have

2,093 members, more than 150 members than this time last year!

I look forward to supporting HOPA’s efforts in my final year on the board as past president and in the future as an active member. I sincerely hope to see many of you in New Orleans for the meeting.

Here’s looking forward to a memorable 10th anniversary, successful meeting, and warm spring!