Jolynn Sessions, PharmD, BCOP, CPP, FHOPA was installed as President of the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA) on April 5, 2024, during the association’s annual conference in Tampa, Florida. Dr. Sessions is the EXCLAIM Pharmacogenomics Pharmacist Oncology Pharmacy Manager and Oncology Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner at the Western North Carolina Veterans Affairs Health Care System and Charles George Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Medical Center in Asheville, North Carolina.

Passion for Caring for Veterans

Dr. Sessions has dedicated her career to providing direct patient care, and currently to veterans with cancer. Oncology pharmacists, like Dr. Sessions, routinely provide medication expertise, patient education, cancer therapy management, and side-effect management directly to patients and their caregivers.

“Oncology pharmacists play an integral role on the cancer care team,” says Dr. Sessions. “Patients here really depend on us and that is part of what fuels my passion for this work.” Some of it is personal, too. Dr. Sessions’ sister, who also worked in a VA hospital setting, died from pancreatic cancer in 2020.

Commitment to all Oncology Pharmacists 

In her recent Incoming President’s Address, Dr. Sessions outlined three initiatives she will lead HOPA through, along with the association’s board of directors, staff, and volunteers, this year.

The first is to invigorate a member-led competition to innovate new ways for oncology pharmacists to optimize cancer care from within the complex and multifaceted healthcare system. The next is to support pharmacists in all care settings, and especially those in community cancer centers. The third initiative is to build accessible and equitable leadership pathways for all HOPA members.

Background and Early Career 

Dr. Sessions graduated from the University of Florida College of Pharmacy and worked as an intern and technician at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. She completed a first residency at Wake Forest North Carolina Baptist Hospital, in Winston-Salem North Carolina, and then an oncology pharmacy residency at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, in Houston, Texas.

She was the first oncology clinical pharmacist at Grady Health System in Atlanta, Georgia and served as a PGY2 oncology pharmacy residency director and Clinical Coordinator at Emory University Hospital/Winship Cancer Institute for nearly a decade. Dr. Sessions has been at the Charles George VA Medical Center, in Asheville, North Carolina since 2008.

About HOPA

The Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA) supports hematology/oncology pharmacy professionals and promotes the role of the pharmacist in collaborative cancer care. HOPA is celebrating 20 years of optimizing cancer care. Founded in 2004, HOPA provides crucial education, networking, and advancement opportunities frequently sought by pharmacists, pharmacy interns, residents, fellows, students, technicians, researchers, and administrators who specialize in hematology/oncology pharmacy. Its vision is to ensure that all individuals affected by cancer have a hematology/oncology pharmacist as an integral member of their care team.

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