At the 2017 Preparedness Summit, NACCHO hosted a workshop entitled “Practical Steps for Health Departments to Include Pharmacies in Preparedness Efforts.” This interactive session engaged over 70 representatives from the local, state, and federal level in a joint discussion of challenges related to building pharmacies partnerships and strategies to overcome those challenges. The following common barriers were discussed by workshop participants:
- Identifying pharmacy points of contact;
- Engaging corporate level pharmacy representatives unwilling to work with local level planners;
- Addressing a lack of pharmacy commitment or interest in preparedness planning; and
- Handling issues related to legal and liability concerns.
Next, workshop participants identified the following strategies to help overcome the above barriers, including:
- Providing incentives for pharmacies to participate in preparedness planning;
- Including pharmacies in emergency planning meetings, coalitions, training, and exercises;
- Investigating legal and regulatory issues with public health law and board of pharmacy representatives;
- Building partnerships through formation of work groups and through establishment of memorandum of understanding (MOUs); and
- Engaging pharmacy organizations (boards of pharmacy, pharmacy associations, colleges of pharmacy, etc.) to identify and establish contacts.
During the session, numerous local health department and pharmacy representatives also shared best practices and strategies used in their jurisdictions, which can be accessed online via the Pharmacy Partnership Profiles (see link below). Additionally, NACCHO provided resources to help health department planners develop a course of action to move planning forward in their communities. The following resources were shared as a part of the workshop:
- Public Health and Pharmacy Partnership Profiles
- Pharmacy Partnerships Start-Up Guide
- Pharmacy Partnership Building Workshop Resources
- ASTHO MOU Toolkit for Public Health and Pharmacies
More resources on this topic can be found via the NACCHO Toolbox within the Pharmacy Partnerships Toolkit. Additional inquiries related to this workshop and/or general information about working with pharmacies, can be directed to Raymond Puerini at (email@example.com) or Erin Roberts at (firstname.lastname@example.org).