APhA President-elect Hilliard stresses significance of pharmacists in patient care

Jamie Heywood, founder of PatientsLikeMe, keynotes APhA2018 Second General Session

APhA President-elect Nicki Hilliard PharmD, MHSA, BCNP, FAPhA, spoke of the importance of pharmacists and their work in her speech, Realizing Pharmacy’s Significance, at the second General Session of APhA2018 on Sunday. Hilliard, a nuclear pharmacist, will be the 163rd APhA President.


“Significance is what I want for pharmacy. We should all want to be significant, as a profession, and as professionals. We need to be known and appreciated for the strengths we bring to our communities and the care team,” Hilliard said. “There is no good reason that pharmacists and their services are not recognized by [Medicare]. We are care providers—and really good ones too!”


Hilliard emphasized that improving patient health is common ground among pharmacists. “We are all clinical pharmacists, no matter where we practice.”


Mark Walberg, host of “Antiques Roadshow,” continued his ninth gig as emcee, showcasing the talents of APhA2018 attendees both in a video montage and live at the session. Prompted by Walberg, attendee Jennifer Brown, PharmD, clinical pharmacist at Cigna HealthSpring and a native of Nashville, treated the audience to an impromptu lesson in country line-dancing.


Jamie Heywood, chairman and cofounder of PatientsLikeMe and founding director of ALS Therapy Development Institute, discussed the future of health care in his keynote address, Digitally Connected Patients Are Here. Are You Ready?


“Digitization has changed the industries that touch our lives in every way, and we already know that patients are consuming data and collecting knowledge,” Heywood said.


Heywood spoke of digitalizing elements of day-to-day life, from diet to sleep to aches and pains in addition to digitalizing standard predictors of health and longevity like mobility and well-being, to provide a collective snapshot of the interplay between how people live and their health.


“We will understand where we are in health and aging with the choices we make, and where our friends are with the choices they made, [to show us] what choices we should make,” Heywood said.


Pharmacists recognized for their outstanding contributions to the profession received their awards during the session. The Honorary President Award went to Stanley M. Shaw, PhD, FAPhA, FASHP, FFIP, and the Honorary Membership Award went to Patricia L. Worthen. The Distinguished New Practitioner Award was given to David R. Steeb, PharmD, MPH, and the Generation Rx Award of Excellence went to Charles J. Broussard, BSPharm, MEd, FAPhA.


Four individuals received awards administered by the APhA Academy of Pharmaceutical Research & Science (APhA–APRS) as follows:


  • Research Achievement Award in the Pharmaceutical Sciences—Betsy Sleath, BSPharm, MS, PhD
  • Clinical Research Paper Award—Michael E. Klepser, PharmD, FCCP, FIDP
  • Ebert Prize—M. Jack Borrok, PhD
  • Wiederholt Prize—Olufunmilola Abraham, BSPharm, MS, PhD


Five individuals received awards administered by the APhA Academy of Pharmacy Practice & Management (APhA–APPM) as follows:


  • Pharmacy Management Excellence Award—Brian Komoto, PharmD
  • APhA-APPM Distinguished Achievement Award in Pharmacy Practice—Stefanie P. Ferreri, PharmD, BCACP, FAPhA
  • APhA-APPM Distinguished Achievement Award in Science—Emily Prohaska, PharmD, BCACP, BCGP
  • APhA-APPM Distinguished Award in Service—Melissa Skelton Duke, PharmD, MS, BCPS
  • William H. Brinner Distinguished Achievement Award in Nuclear Pharmacy Practice—Duannn V. Thistleworth, BSPharm, BCNP, FAPhA