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Julie Dopheide, PharmD, BCPP

As I prepare for CPNP 2014 in Phoenix, I am reminded why CPNP’s Annual Meeting (AM) is such a high point in my year. The AM provides an opportunity to experience the common bonds we all share as neuropsychiatric pharmacists. Whether we practice in the hospital or clinic setting, veteran’s administration, academic medical center, or other points of care, we unite to rally around our mission: “Advancing the Reach and Practice of the Neuropsychiatric Pharmacist."  

There are numerous opportunities to realize this mission at the AM. You can sharpen skills on diagnostic assessment, literature evaluation, and motivational interviewing, learn how to implement the DSM-5 at the pre-meeting workshop and learn from your peers in our learning labs and community gatherings. Sessions will feature nationally known speakers to impart knowledge on key therapeutic areas including ADHD, Obesity, Mood Disorders, Antipsychotic Utilization, and Addictions. Where else can you find a group of clinicians as excited as you are about learning new strategies to combat treatment refractory depression while considering ways to fully integrate neuropsychiatric pharmacists as providers on every person’s care team? 

Below are just a few of the many common bonds you’ll experience at our AM.

Addiction Medicine

The need for competence in addiction medicine is a common bond among us. Each neuropsychiatric pharmacist colleague I know provides care for individuals struggling with addictions whether the addiction involves cigarettes, drugs, food, gambling or other compulsive behaviors. Rates of substance abuse are 3 to 4 times higher in individuals with psychotic disorders compared to the general population according to a publication by Hartz, et al published in JAMA, January 2014. SAMSHA’s 2012 national survey on drug use and health showed rising rates of marijuana and heroin use  in the general population. The CPNP programming committee can be commended for planning such current, “need-to-know” educational sessions. Drs. Laura Borgelt and Abraham Nussbaum will debate medical marijuana and Dr. James Gasper will discuss ways that neuropsychiatric pharmacists can make naloxone more available as a lifesaving antidote to heroin overdose. Naloxone is featured on the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA’s) home page. Dr. Timothy Fong will also present a session on gambling addiction, an increasingly challenging problem with our patients.

Recognizing the common bond that members face in dealing with substance abuse, CPNP is launching a substance abuse task force to consider innovative roles for neuropsychiatric pharmacists in managing drug addiction. One of these roles involves serving as a provider in buprenorphine clinics. During “CPNP’s Forum on our Future” on Wednesday morning, Drs. Ray Love and Bethany DiPaula will introduce the substance abuse task force and lead a discussion on how pharmacists can increase their role in this arena. Plan to attend and contribute to the dialogue.

Legislative Issues

The desire to become recognized providers and receive payment under Medicare part B is another common bond CPNP members share. It seems like the “holy grail” of pharmacy practice and issues surrounding this goal are complex and rapidly changing. In 2013, the ACCP/CPNP coalition was formed to work toward passing legislation that would ensure that qualified pharmacists would be paid for providing comprehensive medication management (CMM). Just last month, HR4190, the bill sponsored by the Patient Access to Pharmacists Care Coalition (PAPCC) was introduced. CPNP leadership believes both pieces of legislation have merit and should be supported through the legislative process. To this end, CPNP’s government affairs committee and legislative consultant Carey Potter have been working diligently.   

In order to engage and further inform members on our efforts, a Provider Status Learning Lab is planned for Sunday evening, April 27th led by Dr. Carla Cobb and Carey Potter.  Further insights on how neuropsychiatric pharmacists can function as providers can be gained from attending Dr. Terry McInnis’s program on Tuesday, “The Pharmacist’s Role in a Transformed Health Care System: Opportunities for Mental Health.” CPNP leadership is very interested in hearing from members regarding legislative activities. Fortunately, our experts, Dr. Cobb and Carey Potter will answer questions and lead a discussion on CPNP’s legislative efforts during, “CPNP’s Forum on our Future” on Wednesday morning. It is bound to be a lively discussion!

Community Gatherings

Many of you have participated in round table discussions at the AM on special interest topics that impact our profession. Community gatherings on Tuesday night will take the place of these and provide a space and vehicle for members to connect all year long on topics they care about. The CMM network has transitioned to a Community along with the Research committee. Additional topics for community gatherings include medication groups, substance abuse, how to ensure student success in securing a residency, and issues that pertain to neuropsychiatric pharmacists practicing in the Veteran’s Healthcare System. Community gatherings at CPNP 2014 offer the opportunity to meet face to face, share experiences and set an agenda to work on common goals throughout the year. 

Poster Sessions

In conversations with registrants, the poster session is clearly regarded as one of the most enjoyable events at CPNP’s Annual meeting. Members working hard on their projects all year long can reap the rewards as a respected colleague from across the country express appreciation and interest in their work. The poster session is a time to share ideas, meet new friends, and stroll through the aisles of posters over a glass of wine or other beverage while learning that others have similar struggles in achieving atypical antipsychotic metabolic monitoring goals or finding innovative ways to treat refractory patients. I look forward to seeing all of you among the posters as I celebrate my year as President for the 2013-2014 year. 

I appreciate your active involvement in our vibrant organization as we share the strength of our common bond in CPNP!

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25 Years!