My first three months as CEO of the California Pharmacists Association have not been what I expected, just as this time has not been what any of us expected. Future pharmacists and pharmacy educators did not expect to finish the semester remotely, and practicing pharmacy professionals did not expect the unique demands and turbulence of the last few months.
I have been amazed by the dedication of pharmacy professionals across the country. As you worked on the frontlines of care during the COVID-19 pandemic, often without sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE), you ensured that your patients continued to receive excellent care and reassurance during a stressful and frightening public health crisis. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians remained resilient and flexible in the face of a difficult and constantly changing landscape of care. Community and retail pharmacies developed new pick-up policies and even created drive-thru set-ups if they didn't normally have this capability, while pharmacies in inpatient settings completely revamped their procedures to ensure the safety of both patients and staff. CPhA Board of Trustee President, Dr. Ken Thai, formed the COVID-19 Taskforce, and a dedicated team of professionals led by Dr. Richard Dang work tirelessly to develop and share the latest resources to combat the pandemic through our website, town hall meetings, and targeted continuing education courses.
Even as pharmacy professionals continued to cope with the challenges of the pandemic, we entered into a time of civil unrest following the killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minnesota. I am proud of the profession standing up to reject systemic racism and injustice. Pursuing equity for patients is a core tenant of the profession, and it is heartening to see so many pharmacy professionals respond to the destruction in the aftermath with an even stronger commitment to reopen their doors and continue to serve patients.
Throughout these difficult times, pharmacy professionals have remained more dedicated than ever. I'm proud to serve a profession that cares for our communities every day in the face of unprecedented challenges.
Susan A. Bonilla
CEO, California Pharmacists Association