Public Health and Pharmacy Professional Collaboration Through APHA

Stock PhotoThe expanding role of pharmacists in health care and public health has been highlighted in recent years by NACCHO through its Statement of Policy and other publications, and just last month in the National Governor’s Association’s newly released report. Pharmacies share a common mission with local health departments and other public health organizations to serve their communities and improve health outcomes through provision of preventive services and patient care. Beyond simply acknowledging this opportunity for collaboration, it’s important for us to have a venue for public health and pharmacy professionals to share ideas and get to know one another.

To that end, the American Public Health Association’s (APHA’s) Governing Council in November approved the development of a Pharmacy Public Health Special Primary Interest Group (SPIG) focused on advancing the pharmacist’s role in the public’s health, safe medication use, and improving patient outcomes. Participation in this new group allows the opportunity to network with other professionals, discuss key issues at the intersection of pharmacy and public health, and provide a more formal venue to showcase pharmacy sessions at APHA’s Annual Meeting in 2015 and beyond.

If you are interested in becoming more involved with pharmacy and public health collaboration through APHA, consider the following options:

Join the Pharmacy Public Health SPIG

  • Current members can select Pharmacy from the pull down menu as a Section/SPIG option by visiting “My APHA” on the top right corner of the homepage and going to the Communities tab.
  • Non-members can join APHA and select the Pharmacy SPIG as one of the two Section/SPIGS they receive as part of their membership.

Submit a Pharmacy-Related Abstract to 2015 APHA Annual Meeting

Submit an abstract through the Pharmacy Public Health SPIG for APHA Annual Meeting October 31 – November 4 in Chicago. This will be the first year, and therefore the first opportunity to be a part of the quality programming at the Annual Meeting. The Pharmacy Public Health SPIG is seeking abstracts in the following submission categories:

  • Advancing pharmacists roles in public health
  • Inter-professional public health practice
  • Medication adherence
  • Pharmaceutical economics: reimbursements, drug pricing, Medicare, Medicaid
  • Pharmacy policy and services utilization: Evaluation of outcomes of pharmacy services
  • Prescription drug misuse and abuse
  • Safe medication use and reduction of medication errors

If you or your colleagues are interested in submitting an abstract or proposal, please view the abstract requirements and complete your submission by Monday, February 16, 2015.

Much opportunity exists for future collaboration and innovation in public health and pharmacy research and practice. As public health professionals, please consider become engaged with NACCHO, APHA, or another professional association that is working to explore how the pharmacy profession contributes to protecting and promoting the public’s health.

For more information and examples of local heath departments working with pharmacies, please read the following posts:

Sara Rubin, MPH, MA is Manager, Pharmacy Care at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS). Prior to her role at NACDS, she was a staff member on NACCHO’s preparedness team for nearly three years. She also serves on the leadership committee for APHA’s Public Health Pharmacy SPIG.

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