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The Keys to Effective Leadership

April 24, 2015

Earlier this year I was invited to meet with a group of first year students and share my views on leadership. The literature that exists on this subject is enormous, and I admit to having read only a small fraction of it. One area of debate is whether people are born leaders or develop into leaders. There are many who argue that one must be born with a leadership “gene.” I believe that leadership can be learned. If you look at people in leadership roles, you realize that there is a diversity of…

Education for a Patient-Centric World

March 19, 2015

There have been a number of recent policy initiatives at the state and federal levels aimed at accelerating the nation’s shift to a patient-centric health care system. While public policy will undoubtedly help spur this transition, the role of behavior should not be underestimated. Stakeholders in the health care system – a group that includes patients, providers, payers, health science professionals, and life scientists – are also changing the landscape of health care by how they are approaching and solving health problems. Schools of pharmacy and health sciences should be included among…

Value, Not Volume, Is Health Care’s Future

February 9, 2015

Two news items caught my eye recently that I see as harbingers of the future. On January 30, President Obama said that he will ask Congress to support a $215 million “precision medicine” initiative. The President defined precision medicine as “delivering the right treatment, at the right time, every time, to the right person.” Precision medicine can be viewed as a variant of “personalized medicine” – a vision of individualized care based on a person’s genetic makeup and lifestyle. Some health care providers have already begun using genetic testing in…

Beyond Practice Ready

January 7, 2015

One thing I have learned during my short time as president is that I will not suffer from a lack of advice. And that is a good thing. All feedback is important, but the comments I receive from alumni are particularly instructive for two reasons: (1) Alumni are well versed in the school, its history, and traditions and (2) Alumni are working, or have worked, in a wide range of roles within pharmacy and the pharmaceutical industry. There is a wealth of knowledge within our alumni community, and it is…

The Impact of the Electronic Health Record

October 31, 2014

There are many forces bearing down on the nation’s health care system ranging from the imperative for broader access to the changing roles of providers. But without question, one of the most relentless change agents is science and technology. There is perhaps no better illustration of the impact of science and technology in health care than the Electronic Health Record (EHR). As an enhanced, digital version of the papers and folders which, until a short time ago, once stored all of a patient’s information, the EHR is transforming the practice…

The Internet and Education

August 22, 2014

There was a time when the only way to keep perishable foods from spoiling was to store them with a block of ice in an icebox. Companies delivered ice to homes for this purpose. Many went bust after electric refrigerators replaced ice boxes and companies that made and sold this new technology replaced those that delivered ice. The firms that lost out saw themselves as being in the ice delivery business instead of the cooling business. One ice delivery company did manage to survive thanks to an innovative employee who…

The Civil War and its Global Impact

July 7, 2014

With events continuing in the 150th commemoration of the Civil War, it strikes me that one of the more overlooked aspects of the war continues to be its global impact. The Union’s victory over the Confederacy not only dealt a fatal blow to slavery in the United States, but it served as a catalyst to human rights reform across the world. We all know the famous lines from Abraham Lincoln: “In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free — honorable alike in what we give, and…

NIH Rotation Offers Insights into Rare Diseases

June 12, 2014

During my third professional year in pharmacy school, I learned about an opportunity to spend six weeks working at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, the Mecca of clinical research – my true dream job (if it didn’t involve leaving Vermont!). I then set out to learn more about an experience that would be unlike anything I had ever known. I should probably back up a bit. For those who don’t know, the final year of pharmacy school – the fourth professional year – is defined by a series…

A Legislator’s View on Rx Drug Abuse

May 14, 2014

The issue of prescription drug abuse has grown in the past 10-15 years from a “dirty little secret” to a nationwide epidemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one person dies every 19 minutes from an accidental overdose or suicide resulting from prescription drug abuse. It’s a bleak situation, but it’s encouraging to see grass roots efforts working in concert with state and federal programs to tackle this problem. Most people tend to think of drug use as something that happens on street corners or in dark…

Student Video Advocates for Pharmacists

April 28, 2014

If you could reduce health costs and improve patient outcomes, would you? That’s the question posed by the ACPHS students who produced this video advocating for the expansion of New York State’s Collaborative Drug Therapy Management (CDTM) legislation. Most people outside of the pharmacy and health care community are not familiar with the term CDTM, but it’s a practice that can positively impact patient health. At its most basic level, CDTM is an agreement between a prescriber and a pharmacist that provides the pharmacist with an expanded role in managing…

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