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Raymond C. Love, PharmD, BCPP, FASHP, CPNP President

Over 675 individuals traveled to Colorado Springs to partake in CPNP 2016. For the founding members of CPNP, it is a number we can scarcely imagine and a source of intense pride.  Our record attendance and increasing membership reflect the growth in psychiatric pharmacy, the maturation of our roles on interprofessional teams, the expansion of opportunities for our specialty, and continued progress towards our vision. 

So much of our profession is about interconnectedness. The disease states we treat are impacted by hundreds of brain-body interactions. Look at the programming line-up for 2016 for evidence of this.

  • The Role of Microbiota: The Emerging Gut-Brain Connection
  • Vitamins and Schizophrenia
  • Mindfulness and Self-Management: Impact on Patient Care

So much of your association is about interconnectedness as well. It’s about members connecting with each other through CPNP Communities, our CPNP listserv, or while socializing at CPNP 2016. It’s also about your association connecting with others including other medical and pharmacy associations, the broader healthcare community, and government and regulatory agencies.

I am reminded of a quote that encapsulates my thoughts here:

“Pull a thread here and you’ll find it’s attached to the rest of the world.” Nadeem Aslam

As CPNP has matured as an organization, CPNP has grasped threads of opportunities to further the practice and reach of psychiatric pharmacy and to combat or praise actions impacting patients living with mental illness. As a result, CPNP has been able to increase its impact through outreach and activities such as the:

  1. Publishing of position papers, commentaries, and guidelines [see Gov’t & Prof Affairs at].
  2. Initiation of partnerships [] that actively engage CPNP with the broader healthcare community to affect change.
  3. Authoring of frequent regulatory responses on important issues such as the Clozapine REMS (featured in a separate article in this issue of CPNP Perspectives) and USP Chapter 800.
  4. Participation as a guest at meetings of the Joint Commission of Pharmacy Practice (JCPP) as we await a decision on our membership application (see separate article in this issue).
  5. Participation in the ACCP-CPNP Medicare Coverage Coalition to recognize the direct patient care services of qualified clinical pharmacists as a covered benefit under the Medicare program (see additional article in this issue).

All of these threads have now wound into a sizeable skein of activities and initiatives that demand the attention of staff and volunteers. Given the increasing opportunities to develop policies, comment on regulation and influence the environment in which we practice,  the Board has decided it’s time to take stock. We have recently authorized completion of a government affairs and policy audit for CPNP. After interviewing several firms and exploring multiple approaches,  the Board has contracted with District Policy Group (DPG) to develop a blueprint that can serve as the foundation for building or adding onto CPNP’s government relations and policy program in a way that best fits our needs. DPG will undertake a four-step effort that involves the following components:

  • A Political/Policy Audit
  • An Environmental Scan
  • Creation of a Prioritized Strategic Plan for Policy and Governmental Affairs
  • Development of a Government Relations Agenda

This project will commence in May and culminate in a report to the Board this fall. We will be asking for your input on priorities as we work through this process with our selected vendor partner and will advise you of the outcome as project closes in late fall.

Just as CPNP has grasped opportunities to connect and engage in a broader community, I encourage you to do the same in your practice setting and community. It is through these individual and collective efforts that we extend the reach and practice of psychiatric pharmacy and serve our patients.

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