Article Index

HOPA Publications Committee

Bonnie Labdi, PharmD RPh, Chair

Ashley Glode, PharmD BCOP, Vice Chair

David DeRemer, PharmD BCOP, Board Liaison

Brandi Anders, PharmD BCOP Megan Bodge, PharmD

Megan Brafford, PharmD BCOP

Courtney Cavalieri, PharmD BCOP Morgan Culver, PharmD BCOP

Morgan E. Culver, PharmD BCOP

Erika Gallagher, PharmD BCOP

Lisa Lohr, PharmD BSPharm BCOP BCPS

Jennifer Kwon, PharmD BCOP

Trevor McKibbin, PharmD MS BCOP

Christan Thomas, PharmD BCOP

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Board Update: A Year of Introspection and External Connections

about board bio scott soefje
Scott Soefje, PharmD MBA BCOP FCCP
HOPA President


As professional organizations grow and mature, it is necessary to stop and self-assess to determine if everything is going well and if the organization is moving in the right direction. This year is one of those times for HOPA. We have started a systematic review of all aspects of HOPA. I would like to explain what we are looking at and then talk about several of the organizations that we have connected with in the past few months.

Earlier this year, we completed negotiations on a new contract with Association Management Center (AMC). We feel this contract has measurable outcomes, meets the needs of HOPA, and provides fair compensation for AMC. We also have completed a review of our health policy advisors and, through a request for proposal, elected to stay with the District Policy Group. We will be negotiating a new contract with them at the end of the year.

The AMC staff completed a review of HOPA policies and procedures and we have updated and modified the policies to match our current initiatives. We also asked each committee to review their policies and submit any updates and changes by the end of the year. Our goal is to begin the next committee year (which starts in June 2016) with a complete and updated set of policies and procedures.

The board completed a self-assessment using a tool provided by BoardSource. We identified gaps, changed some of our board orientation process to fill those gaps, and started an action plan to finish addressing the areas we felt needed the most attention. This is an ongoing evaluation process. As part of this process, we have developed a twice yearly review of the HOPA Executive Director (ED) that addresses board feedback and the progress made toward goals that the ED develops at the beginning of the year. We finalize the evaluation process by providing annual feedback to the ED on the effectiveness of the AMC staff. We feel this total review process creates an environment of continuous improvement in which we learn from mistakes and capitalize on successes.

As many people have realized, the committee structure at HOPA has become unwieldy. With the addition of BCOP recertification, we added fix to six new committees and task forces to meet the needs of the proposal that we submitted. Charges originally given to one committee have moved to another to meet current needs; we have overlapping charges in some cases, and overall the committee structure is losing its effectiveness. Our plan is to develop a task force (yes, another one) to develop a new committee structure to meet our current needs. The task force will start in early 2016 and make a recommendation to the board for implementation in the 2017 committee year. It sounds like a long time, but we want to get this right and not rush the process. Stay tuned for updates on committee structure.

We also will be reviewing our bylaws. There are several items, such as certain committees, that may no longer be necessary for our organization. As we develop new ways to do things, we will update the bylaws to reflect our roles and obligations. This review also will occur in 2016 and requires a membership vote.

The last introspection area to discuss is that HOPA has started the process of revitalizing our website and updating our brand. We plan to introduce our new brand and website shortly after the 2016 annual meeting. We will be modernizing the look and feel of the HOPA brand, and the website will be more user friendly and reflect state-of-the-art Web design features. A small part of this was the move to the HOPA Central messaging platform, which has been successful and offers tremendous opportunities as we grow.

External Connections

From the comments above, you might think HOPA is cloistered in a room somewhere redeveloping our organization. That is far from reality. This year has been a banner year for us in making external contacts. In some cases, organizations sought us out, and in others, we did the reaching out to make the connection.

We had great meetings with the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC), European Society of Oncology Pharmacists, and the Advanced Practice Society for Hematology and Oncology. As a result, we are looking to develop collaborative educational meetings that each organization can share. ACCC helped market our Pharmacy Practice Management Program and endorsed our Investigational Drug Service standards. The United Oncology Pharmacy Organization, a global organization of oncology pharmacy associations, invited HOPA to join. We deferred this membership for now because of our commitment to BCOP education; however, we will continue conversations with our international colleagues. We started a dialog with the Livestrong Foundation because they have several surveys and patient advocacy initiatives that we think would align with HOPA's goals.

Two new groups, the National Community Oncology Dispensing Association (NCODA) and the Community Oncology Pharmacy Association (COPA), a subgroup of the Community Oncology Alliance (COA) met with HOPA to discuss issues around oral chemotherapy. These groups are working to maintain control of the oral medications in the community setting. HOPA is working with both groups to ensure that patients have access to oral chemotherapy. COPA helped promote our Practice Management Program and NCODA has asked us to join their advisory board.

A unique opportunity to develop joint educational material with the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and the Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses has arisen. Grant funding will allow these three organizations to develop educational materials focusing on pediatric hematology/oncology patients. We have asked two of our members, Susannah Koontz and Brooke Bernhardt, to represent HOPA in developing this material.

HOPA was one of two pharmacy organizations at the table for the American Society of Clinical Oncology and Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) update and revision of the handling hazardous drugs guidelines. This was a unique opportunity to give the pharmacy perspective on chemotherapy ordering, mixing, handling, and administration. We are working with ONS on several initiatives and have asked them to endorse our IDS standards.

Through our relationship with the Joint Commission of Pharmacy Practitioners (JCPP), we partnered with the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) to conduct a survey of a random sample of our membership and of AMCP’s membership regarding the naming convention for biosimilars. The survey is complete and will be published shortly. We are considering joining Pharmacy Workforce Coalition, which will give us the opportunity to participate in their workforce surveys. Through JCPP, we are meeting with the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy to discuss the current quantity of oncology education in pharmacy schools. Finally, we have meetings in November in Washington, DC, with the American Pharmacy Association and American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacy where we plan to discuss the role and impact of the hematology/oncology pharmacist.

As you can see, we have been very busy expanding our recognition and working to find areas where we can collaborate with other organizations. These discussions have been mutually beneficial and set HOPA up as the voice of the hematology/oncology pharma- cist. We plan to continue these collaborations and seek others that benefit HOPA and its membership.