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09.19.13 - October 3rd Tweet-a-Thon: A Day in the Life of a Pharmacist

Please join pharmacists around the world for a day of celebrating their contributions to health care and our communities.  Every day, pharmacists quietly and efficiently help patients in many ways and in many diverse practice settings.  For one day, the world will hear about it on Twitter.

On Thursday, October 3, pharmacists will tweet about the real things they are doing or did that day to help patients, other health professionals, and their communities.  While every pharmacist faces challenges in the course of his or her practice, this is a day to highlight through social media the positive impact that pharmacists have on their patients and bring attention to the good work they do to help patients live healthier lives.

Did you help a patient save money on their expensive prescription medication? 
Did you catch a wrong dosage on a doctor’s prescription, avoiding a potentially dangerous drug interaction or reaction? 
Did you resolve an insurance issue for a patient? 

Share your experiences with others around the world by tweeting them on Thursday, October 3.

A Tweet-a-Thon is an online event on Twitter where participants focus their tweet content for a specific time period on a particular issue. 

On Thursday, October 3, 2013, join thousands of pharmacists across the country and around the world in tweeting about the real things you are doing or have done that day to help patients, other health care professionals, and your community.


  • On Thursday, October 3, send one or more tweets from your Twitter account describing an action you took that day to help a patient, a health care professional, your industry, or your community.
  • Be sure to include in your tweet the hashtag used specifically for this event: #Pharmacist. 

Tweet Examples (remember to keep your tweets under 140 characters):

  • I just saved a patient $78 by switching to a generic version #Pharmacist
  • I taught a mother an easy way to give liquid antibiotics to her daughter. #Pharmacist
  • I delivered an emergency medication to my patient in the nursing home at 10 pm last night. #Pharmacist
  • I answered a dr’s question about the best treatment option for allergies. #Pharmacist
  • I spent 20 min. on the phone w/an insurance company to help my patient save money on his prescription. #Pharmacist

Not on Twitter?  Signing up is free and easy.  Click here

We hope you will join us in telling the world your pharmacy success stories on October 3rd.

06.27-13- Call for Award Nominations!

“Don't worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.”
-Abraham Lincoln

Every year, the Washington State Pharmacy Association honors the accomplishments of deserving pharmacy professionals. This is your opportunity to acknowledge a colleague that you believe deserves to be recognized for their accomplishments.

The 2013 award winners will be recognized at the Awards of Distinction Luncheon on Saturday, November 9, 2013 during the WSPA Annual Meeting. The WSPA Annual Meeting will be held at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound, WA, November 7-9, 2013.

Please complete the 2013 Award Nominations Form and submit by August 5, 2013. We have simplified the nomination process for your convenience. For a list of award descriptions and previous recipients, click here.

If you have any questions please feel free to email or call the office at 425-228-7171.


2012-2013 Influenza Season: Information for Pharmacists (Source: CDC)

January 15, 2013 - The CDC issued a memo to pharmacists regarding the 2012-2013 Influenza Season. Read memo.


WSPA Announces New Board Members

October 2, 2012 - The Washington State Pharmacy Association is pleased to announce the 2013- 2016 Board of Directors’ election results.

Leon Alzola, RPh was voted President-Elect and will serve a three-year term beginning 2013 and ending 2016. Alzola, of Washougal, WA, is the Director of Pharmacy Operations at Fred Meyer.

"It is an honor to have been selected as the next president elect of the WSPA. I would like to express my appreciation for all of those that have placed their trust in my leadership," said Alzola "When I think of all the prior presidents and how they have led this organization, I know have large shoes to fill. Not only would I like to increase our voice in numbers, I will also be working diligently to increase engagement of the active members that we have now."

We are also pleased to announce that Megan McIntyre, Pharm.D., MHA of Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA, was elected At-Large Director for the 2013-2016 term.

Thank you to our outgoing board members for their years of service:

  • Ron Williams, Pharm.D., Immediate Past President
  • Kurt Bowen, WSU Student, At-Large Director
  • Heather Ferguson, Pharm.D., At-Large Director
  • Andrew Heinz, UW Student, At-Large Director
  • Anne Henriksen, Pharm.D., At-Large Director
  • Cindy Wilson, Pharm.D., At-Large Director

Board members will be sworn in at the Awards of Distinction banquet on Friday, November 2, 2012 at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound, Washington. For more information, visit the WSPA Annual Meeting event page.

Thank you to all the candidates who participated in the election!

Washington State Board of Pharmacy Appoints New Executive Director

Chris Humberson has been hired as the new Executive Director for the Board of Pharmacy.  After an extensive nation-wide search, Chris was chosen to replace Susan Teil-Boyer who retired from the Executive Director position.
Chris brings 30 years of retail pharmacy, pharmaceutical sales and marketing, and project management experiences and skills to the board.  His most recent position was as a pharmacy manager.  Chris graduated from the University of Wyoming, School of Pharmacy with Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy.
Chris is married to Kelly who is also a pharmacist.  He reports that he “looks forward to the opportunity to support the work of the Board of Pharmacy to protect the health and safety of the people of Washington in this new role.”
Chris will begin work with the Board of Pharmacy on September 4th and his first boardbusiness meeting is September 27th in Tumwater.

Permanent Rules Requiring Pharmacy Technicians to Complete Continuing Education

The Washington State Board of Pharmacy has adopted rules which establish continuing education (CE) requirements for pharmacy technicians.  The adopted rule was filed with the Code Revisers Office.
The rule requires pharmacy technicians to complete 10 hours of continuing education (CED) or 1.0 CE unit annually.  One hour must be in pharmacy law and the remaining nine hours must be in pharmacy technician related education.  The proposed rule mirrors the national CE standards for pharmacy technicians set by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians.

Continuing education accrual cycles will begin with those pharmacy technicians that have a January 1, 2013, birthday.  The first continuing education hours will not be required to be attested to, or reported, until January 1, 2014.   

You can find more information on the Washington State Board of Pharmacy’s Webpage.  If you have questions, please contact Kitty Slater-Einert at 360.236.4861 or by email at 

Washington head of Medicaid and Health Care Authority to step down

By Valerie Bauman
Puget Sound Biz Jrnl
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
The head of Washington state’s Health Care Authority and Medicaid program is resigning from his post to take a job at a health care consulting firm.

Doug Porter has been director of the HCA for two years and head of the state’s Medicaid program for 10 years. His last day will be Aug. 17. Porter still is in the process of securing his new post, and hasn’t yet revealed who he anticipates his new employer will be.

Porter has been integral to the process of researching the proposed expansion of Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act. He also had a role in the establishment of Washington’s state Health Exchange, which has since become an entity independent of the HCA.

Gov. Chris Gregoire is expected to make an announcement in the next week about who will take over for Porter in the interim. It’s likely that person will be replaced when a new governor takes office.
Washington State Pharmacy Association Echoes Report Findings

For Immediate Release

Contact: WSPA 425-228-7171

RENTON, WA., Jan. 9, 2012 - The Washington State Pharmacy Association (WSPA) echoes the findings in the Improving Patient and Health System Outcomes through Advanced Pharmacy Practice, A Report to the U.S. Surgeon General 2011 released today from the Office of the Chief Pharmacist, U.S. Public Health Service.

In a letter released from Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA, U.S. Surgeon General, she states, “This report provides the evidence health leaders and policy makers need to support evidence-based models of cost effective patient care that utilizes the expertise and contributions of our nation's pharmacists as an essential part of the healthcare team.”

“Pharmacists in Washington and across the nation appreciate the Office of the Chief Pharmacist, U.S. Public Health Service and their Commissioned Corps colleagues for the compilation of this critical report," said Jeff Rochon, CEO of WSPA.  "We would like to thank Surgeon General Benjamin for recognizing the importance of the report and the role of pharmacists in helping patients. This will be an invaluable tool for WSPA to use to work with health leaders and policy makers to implement the recommendations contained within the report."

The report focuses on 4 main areas:

  • Focus Point 1: Discusses how pharmacists are already primary care providers integrated into the primary care.  This focus point reviews collaborative practice agreements, builds upon the need to expand primary care and highlights advanced practice settings where pharmacists make positive impacts.  
  • Focus Point 2: Highlights the need for pharmacists to be recognized as health care providers.  Focus Point 2 outlines Advance Pharmacy Practice Models, compares pharmacy education and residency to other non-physician practitioners, and provides an overview of certifications available to pharmacists.  It summarizes that while each practice setting can set their requirements it should “remain flexible enough to allow for all qualified and competent pharmacists the opportunity to improve outcomes.”
  • Focus Point 3: Advocates for compensation of the pharmacist.  “Pharmacists who demonstrate positive patient and health system outcomes, and perform a level of care with similar impact to Nurse practitioners, Physician Assistant, or Physicians need to be equally compensated.” This focus point describes legislation for CMS and Social Security Recognition of pharmacists and current reimbursement models for pharmacists.
  • Focus Point 4: Outlines and collates data from 2000-2010 that shows the positive patient and health outcomes to validate this model.  Focus Point 4 demonstrates that better utilization of the pharmacist can improve many measures of care, safety, satisfaction, etc.  

The full report and the support letter signed by Dr. Benjamin are attached for your reference, and will be accessible at:

Founded in 1890, the Washington State Pharmacy Association is a professional trade association representing our member pharmacists, technicians, student pharmacists and pharmacies in all practice settings. The WSPA exists to advocate on behalf of its members to ensure pharmacy professionals are recognized, engaged and valued as essential to the healthcare team.                                                                                                    

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