CEO Blog/05.10.16


Susan A. Cantrell, RPh, CAE



CEO Susan Cantrell Addresses AMCP Annual Meeting


New&Views announces a new monthly column by CEO Susan A. Cantrell, RPh, CAE, on breaking news and critical issues. Her first column presents her recent address―her first to the membership―at AMCP’s recent Annual Meeting.

“It is truly an honor to be standing before you today as the Academy’s new CEO. While new to the AMCP staff, I’ve been an observer and at times a participant in the terrific work of this organization.

“Early in my association career, I served for a time as the ASHP liaison to the Academy. I’ve attended AMCP meetings over the years. I watched AMCP grow from a start-up organization in the early 1990s, led by a small group of visionaries, to what it is today ― an important and influential force in managed care, uniting stakeholders around a common goal. And that goal, of course, is serving society by applying sound medication management principles and strategies to improve health care for all.

“Looking back, one impression I had was how ‘cool’ AMCP was: Willing to try new things. Take fresh approaches. Stay current or even ahead of the curve.

“And now I see that AMCP is still cool after all these years. What do I mean?

“Think back to the early days of managed care. It was definitely a niche delivery model.

“And operating within managed care was … managed care pharmacy. In fact, back then, to paraphrase AMCP founder Robert Navarro, managed care pharmacy ‘was an art learned on the job.’

“In the pharmacy world, it existed in a silo of sorts. There were community pharmacists, hospital pharmacists, and managed care pharmacists, among others. As Kipling wrote, ‘East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.’

“Oh, how things have changed!

“Today, managed care is the delivery model of choice. In fact, as the health care system wrestles with rising costs in a period of scientific breakthroughs, managed care pharmacy has moved out from under the parent’s shadow. It’s clear: what you do is essential to the success of our health care system.

“Concurrent with these changes, the lines have blurred between pharmacy fields. It’s no longer the setting that defines who you are, it’s the tools you apply―whether you’re a pharmacist, physician, nurse or other professional.

“From a niche within a niche to a large tent encompassing diverse stakeholders. What an amazing transformation managed care pharmacy has made!

“So what are my goals for AMCP? Most importantly, we must remain relevant and essential to you, our members. We must provide you the tools and knowledge to stay on top of your game.

“This is especially true in these times. During this election year, the tectonic plates of the electorate are shifting dramatically. Just as important, the health care system is undergoing massive and constant change.

“It is our priority that managed care pharmacy and the benefits it delivers remain central to the evolution of the health care system.

“In the two months since I joined AMCP, I’ve spoken with AMCP members, volunteers, founders and past presidents. I’ve spoken with leaders of the AMCP Foundation, which, I’m excited to say, has revised its strategic plan and repointed its mission.

“These conversations have given me a clear picture — not only of the history of managed care pharmacy and AMCP, but also the challenges you face on a daily basis. But with challenge comes opportunity: Never before has managed care pharmacy played such a central role in improving patient outcomes and ensuring the wise use of our health care dollars.

“Managed care pharmacy professionals, in this new health care world that increasingly values access, affordability and improved outcomes, your knowledge and expertise have never been more relevant. In this time of amazing innovation, your scientific, evidence-based approach has never been more important.

“Yes, indeed, you are the right people in the right place at the right time. The Academy is committed to being your partner. Together, we will ensure that the patients we serve — now and in the future — will enjoy the benefits of managed care pharmacy and the expertise you deliver.

“I am truly honored to be a part of AMCP and I wish you all a very successful meeting this week."