Our March meeting, which seems like an eternity ago, was exceptional. Dr Greg Wellman from Ferris State University’s College of Pharmacy delivered a riveting, assumption challenging presentation that undoubtedly vaulted us all to a deeper understanding and appreciation of the challenges facing our nation related to the pricing of prescription products. His attention to detail, focusing on reputable facts and literature, was a breath of fresh air as we prepare to enter into the next presidential race where this will likely be a major issue. Thank you, Dr. Wellman, for sharing and displaying your logic in the pursuit of a greater understanding of the prescription drug pricing problems that so many of our patients routinely face. I feel confident in saying your precise analysis and passion for this topic moved not only myself but many of the attendees to take action.
We are certainly, now, in different times. As of the writing of this post, Michigan has 334 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 1 confirmed death - numbers that will continue to rise in the coming days. The pandemic engulfing our world has challenged us all personally and professionally and WMSHP has not been spared from these challenges. At our March meeting, and through numerous communications since, the WMSHP Board of Directors has made several difficult decisions to help guide the organization through these troubling times.
As a result, our April 9th meeting will showcase the works of pharmacy residents Dr. Niki Krancevich and Dr. Yoon Soo Park virtually to do our part in mitigating the spread of the novel coronavirus and preserve appropriate social distancing measures. Continuing education credit will be provided to those who tune into the YouTube livestream. The second difficult decision the Board was tasked with making was to postpone our Spring Seminar, initially scheduled for May. The meeting has been rescheduled to occur September 8th, 2020 at the Prince Conference Center. We are acutely aware of the challenges this may present for some members to secure live CE prior to the licensing renewal deadline of June 30. Some alternative options are available online. There are free online webinars through ASHP (do NOT need to be a member to access) here. Several online programs are also available through MPA here. Sites such as Pharmacists Letter and FreeCE.com often have an abundance of online webinars that can be utilized to secure the necessary credits as well. Various health institutions, given recent conference cancellations, have taken up the responsibility to provide CE to their professionals. Reach out to your respective institutions to identify other potential opportunities. These decisions were not made lightly, we truly pride ourselves on serving our members. However, the current circumstances dictate we make adjustments in the interest of a greater responsibility to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus.
On a lighter note, the WMSHP Board would like to congratulate Dr. Katie Axford, a past-president of WMSHP, on her election as Speaker of the MPA House of Delegates at the Annual Convention and Exposition last month! We are confident her leadership will be very much appreciated at the state level!
Finally, each year, the Western Michigan Society of Health-System Pharmacists (WMSHP) makes available one or more non-renewable scholarships to eligible P3 students who are native or current residents of West Michigan. This year, WMSHP will award one $1,000 scholarship and one $500 scholarship to deserving students. Completed applications must be received by April 3rd, 2020. The winners will be notified by May 1st, 2020 and presented an award at the Spring Seminar on September 8th, 2020. For more information, please visit our website here.
In closing, I wish you all continued health and safety through these difficult times. We will get through this together. I will spare you all from yet another inspirational quote on overcoming adversity.