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Message from the Interim Executive Director

By Marsha Millonig

This is the beginning of MPhA’s annual leadership cycle. We’ve wrapped up the 2017 legislative session. We have closed 2016-2017 MPhA Committee work. Our 2017-2018 Board members and leadership have been elected and sworn into office. And we recently held one of our most successful Leadership Summit and House of Delegates events on June 20 — where the important work of policy making has started and the 2017-2018 Committees are being appointed and preparing to set their schedules for the year to work on their charges. It’s a time of renewal and reflection on the hard work of so many volunteer leaders who have put MPhA on solid and steady ground so we can move forward in fulfilling our mission to serve Minnesota pharmacists to advance patient care.

First, hats off to the Board, former Speaker of the House Kati Dvorak, PharmD, Speaker of the House Tony Olson, PharmD, MEd, Parliamentarian Terry Heitpas, MS, PharmD, and the Education & Events Advisory Committee for their solid efforts in building the 2017 Leadership Summit and House of Delegates event. It was our most successful since the event was structured in this fashion in 2014. More than 100 pharmacists, student pharmacists and pharmacy technicians gathered for the day at the beautiful Midland Hills Country Club to be inspired and conduct the policy work of the House. Themed “Building Influence to Advance Patient Care & Practice,” our speakers delivered on that promise with inspiration, education and skill building. President-Elect Jason Varin, PharmD, encouraged each of us to move forward selecting one thing to incrementally change our practice, our professional and personal life during his inspirational PedRx talk. MPhA’s partnership with the Phi Lambda Leadership Society was evident with participants taking away numerous strategic communication tips from PGY1 Pharmaceutical Care Leadership Resident Lara Kerwin, PharmD, and students under her mentorship: Michelle Tran, Monika Tawfik, Poppy (Yue) Wang and Calvin Thornton. MPhA Board member and nationally-known leader Amanda Brummel, PharmD, BCACP, provided insights into the continued push toward value-based health care models and how they may impact each of us regardless of our practice setting. Liz Cinqueonce and Wendy Augeson, RN, followed by helping us understand the promise pharmacists have to improve patient care through these new models, like theirs at Southern Prairie Community Care. It was great to have them with us and they provided much important food for thought.

The afternoon’s House of Delegates meeting was preceded by a look at the important advocacy work underway across Minnesota under the leadership of the Pharmacy Advocacy Task Force (PATF) and MPhA’s Public Affairs Committee. PATF Co-Chair Jill Strykowski, MS, RPh, and Public Affairs Committee Co-Chair Jeff Lindoo, RPh, were masterful in providing participants with a snapshot of the legislative session’s outcomes. There is much forward momentum in advocacy working through PATF and its lobbyist Buck Humphrey.

The House of Delegates session was masterfully conducted by Kati Dvorak, Tony Olson and Terry Heitpas. To me, it was like watching conductors lead musicians in creating beautiful music. The MPhA policy committees had done tremendous work reviewing 29 policies as outcomes from last year’s Policy Manual Review Subcommittee. Former Speaker Dvorak and Speaker Olson also recognized all MPhA Committee leaders, including:

  • Professional & Organizational Affairs Committee: Jason Varin, PharmD, and Tony Olson, PharmD, MEd
  • Member Engagement Subcommittee: Brittany Symonds, PharmD, BCACP, and Kaylan Wilson, PharmD
  • Public Affairs Committee: Michelle Aytay, RPh, CDE, and Jeff Lindoo, RPh
  • Editorial Advisory Committee: Dave Hoang, PharmD, MBA, and Reid Horning, PharmD
  • Education & Events Advisory Committee: Denise Frank, RPh, and Michelle Johnson, PharmD, BCACP
  • Student and Resident Relations Committee: Ryan Chaffee, MS, and Kate Elwell
  • Awards Committee: Allyson Schlichte, PharmD, BCACP, and Lisa Hillman, PharmD, BCACP

Delegates provided excellent input and suggestions and we accomplished much. It was also wonderful to hear the improvement of MPhA’s financial situation and the association being in a position now to start contributing to a reserve fund for future operations.

Participants continued to be inspired by newly elected President Michelle Aytay’s address (see Michelle’s column this issue) and were proud to see her accept the McKesson Incoming President’s Award from Dave Kelly. Incoming Board members and officers were sworn in while outgoing board members were recognized for their service.

I personally extend my thanks to the following for their service:

Ben Aronson, PharmD, PhD
Heather Bibeau, PharmD
Ryan Chaffee, MS
Kati Dvorak, PharmD
Kate Elwell
Jessica Lind, PharmD
Jeff Lindoo, RPh
Allyson Schlichte, PharmD, MBA, BCACP.

I’d like to welcome new Board members Tim Affeldt, PharmD; Alison Knutson, PharmD, BCACP; Jorgen Kvaal; Lauren Lemke; Cheng Lo, PharmD; Rebecca Pickler, PharmD; and Sarah Westberg, PharmD, BCPS.


It was a proud moment to see Jeff Lindoo receive the traditional MPhA Green Jacket for his incredible contributions to MPhA during his presidential terms from Past President Molly Ekstrand. We capped the day with a networking reception where we honored all MPhA past presidents, all of whom proudly wore their green jackets.

Of special note is the House’s vote to confer Honorary membership on Jeanne Erickson, mother of Past President Martin Marsteller Erickson, III, Kirk and Marilyn. In her ninth decade of life, Jeanne continues to practice pharmacy and provide care to patients in her community. She remains an active member of the profession and her community. Jeanne has distinguished herself in the profession and is deserving of having honorary membership bestowed.

Participants also were treated to MPhA Past President Randy Seifert’s touching tribute to outgoing College of Pharmacy Dean Marilyn Speedie, resulting in a standing ovation and presentation of an aurora borealis crystal to guide her in her future endeavors by Past President Molly Ekstrand and a book written by two Minnesotans who left to sail the world, No More Mondays.

It was truly an outstanding event and wonderful celebration of our volunteers and all they do to move the profession forward to help patient care.

Next up is the MPhA Annual Learning Networking Event and MTM Symposium on September 7-8, 2017. Come join your colleagues in “Charting a Course for Change.” Your peers have designed this unique event on Thursday and Friday this year and it will allow you to create an agenda for practice and professional development. You’ll be challenged to think through how you can contribute to advancing patient care when Dr. Mark Loafman, MD, MPH, explores the most significant opportunities to integrate medication management in primary care. Dr. Loafman is

an associate professor of Family and Community Medicine at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine and Chief Medical Officer for Near North Community Health Center (both in the Chicago area) and serves as project lead on the Alliance for Integrated Medication Management (AIMM) collaborative. You’ll craft a plan for learning throughout the event, through interactive keynote sessions, clinical pearls, roundtables, and pharmacy management/practice and clinical topic programming in addition to the popular MTM Symposium.

MPhA’s 2017 Annual Learning Networking Event and MTM Symposium will bring together our pharmacists, student pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, industry professionals, and leaders for two days of cutting-edge programming and networking! Meet new colleagues with similar interests and gain knowledge to advance your practice. You’ll have an opportunity to engage in meaningful conversation to shape the future of pharmacy in Minnesota.

We will cap off the first day with the “Great Minnesota Pharmacy Get-Together” state fair themed event from 6-8 pm with a raffle and wine pull to raise funds for the Foundation to support student scholarship and community service projects. I guarantee this will not be your typical CE event, and I encourage you all to participate! Registration opened in late June and we have many participants ready to roll. Come join Minnesota pharmacists, student pharmacists and pharmacy technicians for inspiration, networking and development.

I can tell you as an MPhA member, I’m so impressed 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.

It’s the beginning of the MPhA leadership cycle with committee chairs and members getting their planning underway for their active meetings during September through May when they address issues from members’ and the House of Delegates. 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. President Michelle Aytay is actively seeking committee members for policy and advisory committees. More information can be found at MPhA’s website,

Feel free to contact 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,

    Minnesota Pharmacists Association

    1000 Westgate Drive, Suite 252, St. Paul, MN 55114 | Phone: 651.697.1771 Fax: 651.290.2266 Email: info@mpha.org
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