Author: Susan Abdel-Rahman, PharmD Published on 4/6/2020 3:31:00 PM
Today marks 20 days since I stepped into the role as President of ASCPT and I think it’s safe to say that these three weeks have been dominated by some of the most unique circumstances to face a new volunteer leader; managing the ramifications of our Annual Meeting cancellation, supporting the operational needs of my employing hospital, and rallying behind friends, colleagues, and community members suffering from the medical and economic impacts of coronavirus.
Gratifyingly, none of these efforts are undertaken alone. ASCPT has a strong governing Board that has remained in constant contact during this time to deliver on the Society’s commitment to our members, the discipline, and the patients we serve. ASCPT has a tireless and dedicated staff with the foresight to anticipate these events and the agility to respond in unparalleled fashion. Most importantly, ASCPT has a thoughtfully engaged membership that is second to none. When we asked for your patience, we received an outpouring of support; when we reached out to you for personal anecdotes to buoy our community with a bit of levity you responded; when we solicited your involvement in timely and important initiatives, you willingly volunteered your expertise despite the added demands placed on your daily lives. I am inspired by what we can accomplish together.
Those of you who joined the ASCPT Town Hall webinar on March 30th glimpsed the Society’s 2020-2025 strategic plan, the product of many hours of work by a diverse group of members led by Kellie Schoolar Reynolds. Next month our members will begin to construct the Tactical Plan which lays out the framework on which we will advance the Society’s mission, vision, and strategic goals. In my humble opinion, the timing is providential. As we get ready to define the next five years of the organization amidst a professional landscape that will forever be impacted by the current pandemic, we have the opportunity to refresh the way we engage members and deliver high value content and services in what promises to be a new era.
When we settled on the 2021 Annual Meeting theme “Reimagining the Therapeutic Landscape” in the fall of 2019, never could we have imagined just how pressing and timely the topic would become courtesy of a 29,903 base single-stranded RNA virus. Nevertheless, the INF Community led by Melanie Nicol and Abhay Joshi, the Webinar Committee overseen by Eric Masson and D. Max Smith, the SPC chaired by Kathryn Momary, and the COVID-19 Rapid Response Task Force spearheaded by Brian Corrigan are primed and ready to engage with you to maximize education and programming for our members and stakeholders. Please do not hesitate to reach out to any of these volunteer leaders for an opportunity to engage.
While it might be tempting to catalogue the events on which we will miss out during these few months – a planned holiday, a college graduation (congratulations Andrew!), the camaraderie of an Annual Meeting— I choose to focus on the things we have been gifted — the health of a loved one, an evening commute that has been replaced by a stroll with my partner (besitos Adam), and collegial interactions that, to me, seem just a touch kinder and more collaborative than in recent times. To all our members who lead at work, at home, and in the community with passion and compassion, it is my honor to serve you in the coming year. May health and safety accompany you in the months ahead… along with an ample supply of toilet paper.