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Message from the Interim Executive Director

By Marsha Millonig

Did you miss the MPhA Annual Learning Networking Event/MTM Symposium on September 7-8, 2017? If so, then you also missed a fantastic lineup of speakers, interactive sessions, networking opportunities and the chance to develop a personal/professional/practice action plan! The meeting emphasized continuing professional development for the more than 250 pharmacists, student pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and other industry professionals. The popular MTM symposium drew a great crowd of participants and the Pharmacy Practice/Management and Clinical Interest Tracks were also well received.

Pharmacists’ involvement in team-based care was evident throughout the two-day program — starting with Dr. Mark Loafman’s inspiring look from a physician’s point of view of how we can best contribute to team-based care and become members of the team. That continued with the afternoon general session that was led by University of Minnesota Pharmaceutical Care Leadership Resident Anjoli Punjabi, who was joined by Southern Prairie’s Medical Director Norris Anderson. Finally, on Friday, MPhA Past President Molly Ekstrand, Dr. Rajiv Shah and pharmacy technician and former MPhA Board member Barb Stodola had an entertaining and educational look at creating the dream team.

I’ve just finished summarizing all the comments we received from our participants and the feedback is extremely positive, from the content to the new Thursday-Friday format and the capstone luncheon with new University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy Dean Lynda Welage. I want to sincerely thank all our volunteers who provided input to the event’s planning under the leadership of our Education and Events Committee Co-chairs Michelle Johnson and Denise Frank.

The meeting’s first day capped off with the Great Minnesota Pharmacy Event raffle and wine pull that raised funds for the Minnesota Pharmacists Foundation (MPF) to support student scholarship and other activities. Anjoli Punjabi worked closely with a team of volunteers under the co-leadership of MPF President Michelle Aytay and the event was a success. More to come on the Foundation in the near future as we look at holding a wine tasting to round out our newly energized MPF.

I’d also like to point out our celebration of recognition for our many well-deserved award winners at the Awards Reception prior to the MPF event. Congratulations to all of them. I encourage you to read more about the event and our winners in this issue of the Minnesota Pharmacist.
We also realize not all pharmacists are able to participate in the ALNE/MTM Symposium, especially our Greater Minnesota friends. We have an active member outreach effort underway through our reenergized Town Halls. We just completed a hugely successful Southeast Minnesota Pharmacists event in Rochester with nearly 40 participants coordinated by Sherwood Peterson. Dean Welage and President Aytay were both on hand to share insights and our agendas. Please mark your calendars for Town Hall events being planned Nov. 30 with the Southwest Minnesota Pharmacists, and Jan. 24, 2018, in St Paul. We hope to see you all there!

Finally, MPhA committees are working on the themes echoed in President Aytay’s column in this issue. Serving on an MPhA committee is a great way to meet new people while furthering your professional development. Most committees meet once a month for an hour and provide the ability to phone in for convenience. More information can be found at MPhA’s website, www.mpha.org.

I can tell you as an MPhA member, I’m so impressed with and proud of all the volunteers who give their time, talent and energy to all that is part of MPhA — from advocacy to learning to networking and connecting. MPhA is truly a volunteer-driven organization and one that I am so fortunate to work with. Given the excellent team efforts we have made with our volunteer leaders and staff the past few years, I know we will continue to move MPhA forward in meeting its mission to serve Minnesota pharmacists to advance patient care.

We look forward to your feedback on the website and MPhA. Feel free to call me at any time or email me with any input you may have for YOUR association. My number is 651-366-6094 and my email is marsham@mpha.org. My personal goal is to ensure your needs are met in a responsive and positive manner and we can direct you to the right resources in an easy to access way. I look forward to being on the Minnesota pharmacy team this year and to your calls and input!

Best regards,
Marsha


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