Article Index

HOPA Publications Committee

Ashley Glode, PharmD BCOP, Chair

Megan Bodge, PharmD BCOP, Vice Chair

Edward Li, PharmD, Board Liaison

Brandi Anders, PharmD BCOP

Morgan Belling, PharmD

Megan Brafford May, PharmD BCOP

Lisa M. Cordes, PharmD BCOP BCACP

Morgan E. Culver, PharmD BCOP

Craig W. Freyer, PharmD BCOP

Marc Geirnaert, BSc Pharm

Carolyn Oxencis, PharmD BCOP BCPS

Christan M. Thomas, PharmD BCOP

Sarah Ussery, PharmD BCOP

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Board Update: HOPA's Seat at the Table

about board bio sarah scarpace
Sarah Scarpace Peters, PharmD MPH BCOP
HOPA President

Summer is usually a slow time for HOPA as members, staff, and elected leadership are away on vacation or working extra to cover a colleague who is. This was certainly not the case for HOPA in summer 2016! New committee members were selected and began their official 2016–2017 terms on June 1 and already have met several times. This is the usual cadence of HOPA in the summer; however, this year, we were “at the table” for some new and very important external collaborations.

Back in February, HOPA joined the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy’s Biologics and Biosimilars Collective Intelligence Consortium (BBCIC) (see for more information); Ed Li was appointed as HOPA’s Board Liaison. In May, the BBCIC requested that two additional HOPA members be appointed to serve on two research groups related to g-csf’s and ESAs. After a call to the membership for volunteers, Gary Yee and Catherine Weber were selected and have begun their work. In July, BBCIC sought two more members to serve on the Planning Committee and Scientific Committee, and after a review of the literature and a scan of member profiles and applicants from the first call for volunteers, two former HOPA presidents—Phil Johnson and Jim Koeller—were asked to serve. The impact biosimilars have on the routine practice of oncology pharmacy has been a frequent topic of HOPA Central discussions, and HOPA is recognized by external groups as a key stakeholder in the ongoing practice and policy issues related to biosimilars.

HOPA also was represented at Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) Innovations meeting in May by Immediate Past-President Scott Soefje, who provided comments and expressed oncology pharmacists’ concerns regarding a new CMS-proposed rule regard­ing Medicare Part B reimbursement. Representatives from the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) and the Association of Communi­ty Cancer Centers also were in attendance to show support for our shared concerns.

June kicked off with board members Susannah Koontz Webb and Heidi Finnes, Executive Director Suzanne Simons, and Director of Professional Relations Julie Ichiba attending the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting to meet with ASCO and ONS leadership and continue to develop and expand HOPA’s collaborations with our industry partners. We appreciate former president Donald Harvey connecting us with ASCO’s CancerLinq program and look forward to formalizing our role in that project soon. We also are looking forward to a formal meeting with ASCO’s new CEO, Cliff Hudis, in late November to further identify ways in which our organizations can work together.

Did you see the July 14 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncol­ogy? Earlier this year, the Canadian Association of Pharmacy in Oncology (CAPhO) reached out to HOPA and the International Society of Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners (ISOPP) to co-author a letter to the editor in response to an important omission in ASCO’s “intended audience” for its updated chemo-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) guideline–the oncology pharmacist! CAPhO, HOPA (Past President Scott Soefje), and ISOPP (former HOPA president and ISOPP President, Moe Schwartz), co-authored the response. Our letter has been published (, and ASCO’s response will be included in the next issue (

Also in June, HOPA was among a select group of 350 invited to attend Vice President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot Summit in Washington, DC. HOPA’s health policy advisor, Jeremy Scott from District Policy Group, and I went on HOPA’s behalf and attended four separate small group sessions with White House staff to recommend ways in which the nation could “cure cancer once and for all” and specifically explain how oncology pharmacists support patients with cancer as a chronic disease. In addition to offering ideas to the Vice President, we networked with many other nonprofit and for-profit companies and have been contacted by some for additional collaborations in follow-up to the Moonshot Summit. In fact, HOPA was invited to participate in a conference co-chaired by ASCO and Discern Health on defining value and value-based metrics in cancer care.

Several HOPA members and I presented at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on August 22 at the invitation of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products. The FDA is interested in the perspectives of oncology pharmacists in different practice settings on the utility and opportunity for improvement with the product label of oncology drugs.

Finally, one very important table that HOPA has sought a chair at has been granted. Since the spring of 2014, at the suggestion of then-secretary Daisy Yang, the president and executive director of HOPA have attended the quarterly meet­ings of the Joint Commission of Pharmacy Practitioners (JCPP) as guests with the intention of requesting membership in the JCPP. When we first began, JCPP was in the process of re-evaluating its member­ship structure and later had some hesitan­cy about the role of specialty organizations within the JCPP. On August 2, Suzanne Simons and I presented our case to the JCPP CEOs and the full JCPP audience; at the conclusion of that meeting, we received a verbal “you’re in” from the JCPP chair. We expect to hear more details formally after the next meeting of the JCPP on November 29, as the group continues to define its new membership structure.

There are several other ongoing col­laborations that we are involved in or will have future representation in—the ASHP/ HOPA pharmacy technician standard, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Biosimilar Summit, the Drinker-Biddle Client Advocacy Summit, and ISMP collaboration, among others. These efforts are layered on top of our already excellent continuing education programs, three live conferences, our inaugural offering of the BCOP Recertification Program, advocacy on our health policy agenda, continued work refining a new committee structure, and research agenda. As a member since 2005, it is so impressive to see our organi­zation grow from a residency conference to a premier resource for oncology pharmacy education, and now layering on a more sophisticated advocacy agenda. HOPA has earned greater recognition from external groups and an increasing number of invi­tations to “sit at the table” on the national practice and policy stage. It is well-de­served recognition that demonstrates the evolving maturity of our organization and particularly the expertise of our members and dedication to cancer patients. Kudos to you!