We are now literally weeks away from our annual meeting in Tampa. The Recertification and Program Committees have once again put together a stellar agenda of recertification and programmatic topics for attendees, and there are the always compelling poster sessions and roundtables for networking and enhancing clinical acumen. I want to point out three particularly noteworthy aspects of the program that are timely and which I believe bear special mention. These sessions, among a cadre of interesting and cutting edge topics that lie before us, are worthy of CPNP's 15th annual meeting.

In response to the enormous “buzz” created by her presentation at the 2011 annual meeting, Dr. Linda Strand has agreed to conduct the pre-meeting workshop on effective strategies for integrating medication therapy management into our practices. Consistent with the recent CPNP position statement on the integration of psychiatric pharmacists into the primary care medical home, the emphasis of this workshop will be on the role of the pharmacist in the new organizational structures of the medical home and accountable care organizations. Further, the program will demonstrate what payers want from pharmacists who wish to provide medication management services. Attendees will have the opportunity to get important questions answered and understand what changes are needed to achieve and maintain a successful practice, as well as to learn from individuals in the private sector who have experience in delivering medication management services.

In this era of healthcare reform and mounting economic pressures, where the pace of change is ever-quickening and often seems to occur randomly, our own Dr. Barbara Wells will share her insights into effective leadership strategies to positively direct and effect change. From the perspective of the renowned Dr. Wells, we will hear how all pharmacy practitioners are leaders in that we are all change agents and influencers of the thinking of our patients, students, and colleagues. Dr. Wells' presentation is designed to help us select strategies to maximize our ability to bring about change in our professional setting and to better realize our potential to build programs, improve the care of patients, and increase personal effectiveness.

Lastly, we are all acutely aware of the transition, over the last 40 years, of persons with severe and persistent mental illness from being served by public psychiatric inpatient facilities to increasingly becoming incarcerated. The deinstitutionalization of psychiatric facilities has been a major factor that has led to the current crisis of the “criminalization” of the mentally ill. Judge Steven Leifman, a Miami-Dade County Judge who has also served as Special Advisor on Criminal Justice and Mental Health for the Supreme Court of Florida, is responsible for chairing the Court's Mental Health Subcommittee. He and his group authored a ground-breaking report entitled, Transforming Florida's Mental Health System. Judge Leifman will discuss with us some new and effective strategies that are being developed and employed to transform the mental health system. Further, he will discuss how pharmacists and other health care professionals can get involved in a legislative manner to help transform the mental health system.

If you are undecided about attending this meeting, I invite you to review the meeting brochure and share it with your colleagues. On behalf of the Board of Directors, the Program Committee, and the Recertification Committee, we look forward to hosting you in Tampa as we prepare to make a difference.

Until next time-

Jerry McKee Pharm.D., M.S., BCPP

President- CPNP