Glen L. Stimmel, PharmD, BCPP

CPNP Foundation Board Member and Project Lead

The first project initiated by the CPNP Foundation has been successfully completed and it will lead us to further efforts to ensure that individuals with mental health conditions will have access to a pharmacist with the knowledge and skills to improve their care (see full survey report).

The overall goal of this initiative was to inquire if community pharmacists consistently treat patients with understanding and respect, provide effective counseling about their psychiatric medication, and ask if patients encounter any bias, stereotyping, fear, or embarrassment. We also asked for recommendations about how the interaction with their pharmacist can be improved. With this insight, CPNPF can then proceed to develop strategies to address any issues of concern identified, and create specific educational and/or programming materials for both community pharmacists and consumers to improve that interface.

The CPNP Foundation, in collaboration with NAMI, conducted an online survey of individuals with mental health conditions, or family members, about their interactions with their community pharmacists. Over 1,000 individuals responded to the survey, with two-thirds of respondents being individuals with a mental health condition.


Individuals and family members are usually comfortable with their pharmacists, and believe they are treated with respect. While 54 percent indicated they have a strong professional relationship with their pharmacist, 43 percent state they have no such relationship.

Community pharmacists are less often viewed as showing interest in their care, mostly because pharmacists are not available or do not have time for questions and discussion. Of greatest concern is the lack of privacy in most pharmacies when the individual or pharmacist wants to discuss medication issues or a question. Individuals and family members are very comfortable with their community pharmacist providing general medication information, information about side effects and potential interactions, and ways to reduce medication cost. Individuals and family members are much less comfortable with the thought of their community pharmacist becoming involved in medication management and symptom assessment. Seventy-five percent do not receive safety or effectiveness monitoring from their pharmacist.

Implications and Follow-Up

Individuals and family members want more from their community pharmacists. Every individual and family member should expect that their community pharmacist treats them with respect, is knowledgeable about their medication, is available to communicate important medication information, and provides a private setting to have such discussions. While the majority highly value their close professional relationship with their pharmacist, another 40 percent are missing such a relationship and the value it would provide them. Consumers should be counseled regarding the fact that just like it may take several attempts to find the right family doctor of psychiatrist, it may also take several attempts to find the community pharmacist with whom they can develop a comfortable, trusting professional relationship. Such a relationship is possible, and desirable, to maximize their treatment outcomes.

The CPNPF will now shift its focus toward initiatives with NAMI to encourage more of their members to establish a closer professional relationship with their pharmacist, and to also develop collaborative efforts with community pharmacy organizations to offer strategies to enhance both the competence and comfort level of community pharmacists as they work with individuals with mental health conditions. While there are perhaps 2000 psychiatric pharmacists in the United States, there are 118,000 pharmacists working in retail settings that interact with the millions of individuals who take medication for mental health conditions. Community pharmacists represent an untapped resource for improved treatment outcomes for these individuals.

Robert J. Haight, PharmD, BCPP

Chair, Resident and New Practitioner Committee, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist – Psychiatry, Residency Program Director – BHS Program, University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, Minneapolis, MN

This past October, 2012, the Veteran's Health Administration sent a Request for Proposals (RFP) as part of their Interprofessional Mental Health Education Expansion Initiative. These proposals focused on creating new training opportunities in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) behavioral and mental health clinical training programs. Trainee positions in psychiatric pharmacy as well as nursing, psychology, and social work were eligible for this funding.

Over the past two weeks, VA pharmacy residency programs in psychiatry and neurology have been notified if they received funding for new pharmacy residency positions or additional positions in their currently established programs. At this time, we have learned approximately 42 new pharmacy residency positions were funded. The majority of funding appears to have been for PGY2 program expansion and the development of new PGY2 residency programs. New PGY1 programs, some of which may be linked to PGY2 programs, also appear to have received funding.

These new VA-based positions are in addition to eight other new PGY2 psychiatric pharmacy residency positions listed on the CPNP Residency Directory in the past year.

Due to the timing of the funding notifications and the large number of new residency positions for the upcoming residency year, we are asking all CPNP members to assist us in reaching out to current PGY1 pharmacy practice residents who may be interested in a PGY2 Pharmacy Residency program in psychiatric or neurologic pharmacy. A number CPNP members attended the ASHP Midyear Meeting in Las Vegas and found many candidates looking for a residency in psychiatry or neurology are aware of these new opportunities. CPNP also sponsored a booth during the Residency Showcase, highlighting the Residency Directory on the CPNP website.

We also encourage you to work with other preceptors at your site(s), state pharmacy organizations, and affiliated Colleges of Pharmacy to help spread the word about all pharmacy residency opportunities in psychiatry and neurology. Remind potential candidates to check the CPNP Residency Directory frequently over the upcoming weeks as sites update their program information and as new sites list their programs for the first time.

You can submit abstracts online for the 2013 CPNP Annual Meeting from now through January 15, 2013. Accepted abstracts will be displayed at the poster session

Monday, April 22 at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Presenting authors of accepted posters must be paid registrants for a minimum of the day of the poster session. The registration must be received by February 14, 2013, or the abstract will be administratively removed. The registration for the presenting author cannot be cancelled.

Abstracts may be submitted in one of five different categories:

  • Original Research

    Abstracts should describe original research in therapeutics, pharmacodynamics, pharmacoeconomics, outcomes, drug utilization, kinetics and genetics. Abstracts must not have been published in abstract form nor presented elsewhere before the CPNP 2012 Meeting.

  • Encore Presentation

    Abstracts that have been previously presented and peer reviewed. Submission must include where it was previously presented or the abstract will be disqualified. Encore submissions are not eligible for any of the award categories and should not be submitted for award consideration.

  • Work in Progress (WIP)

    Abstracts describing preliminary results or status of ongoing work may be submitted by principal investigators at any stage of their career. Abstracts submitted without results at the time of submission will be considered for this category only.

  • Innovative Practices

    Abstracts describing the development, justification, documentation, and/or delivery of innovative services or activities applicable to psychiatric and neurologic pharmacy. The descriptive abstract should not duplicate any other poster category and should describe the development of innovative services/activities and should provide background/rationale, a description of the innovative service, the impact on patient care/institution and a conclusion.

  • Therapeutic Case Report

    Abstracts describing the various aspects of pharmaceutical care relating to individual psychiatric and/or neurological pharmacy cases. Abstracts should provide a complete patient history including age, gender, time from first diagnosis, social background, and details of, and response to, previous and current treatment(s). Cases should include background, complete patient history, review of literature, and conclusion.

Abstracts may also be considered in one of five different award categories:

  • Research Trainee Award

  • New Investigator Award

  • Original Research

  • Innovative Practices Award

  • Therapeutic Case Report Award

Please note that for the Research Trainee category, Works in Progress are allowed, provided there is an interim data analysis and timetable for completion included in the abstract. Individuals who have completed a residency within the last 12 months are eligible for this award.

For more information, visit the abstract center online. It provides abstract examples, a database of prior years' abstracts, judging criteria, and other valuable resources as you prepare your abstract for submission. If you have any questions, please contact the CPNP office at [email protected].

Susie H. Park, PharmD, BCPP, FCSHP

University of Southern California, School of Pharmacy, Los Angeles, CA

This Month's CPNP Volunteer

Susie Park is currently a member of the CPNP Recertification Editorial Board, and she dedicates approximately 4 hours to the organization each month. Below, she explains in her own words why she volunteers for CPNP.

How I Benefit from Volunteering with CPNP

I enjoy working with other BCPPs all across the country.

How CPNP Benefits from my Volunteering

My 11 years of experience as a clinician put into selecting appropriate, relevant and applicable articles for recertification purposes, as well as question-writing skills after being part of the Recert Committee in the past.

Why I recommend volunteering for CPNP

You should give back to the organization that helps you to be a better Board-Certified psychiatric pharmacist. You also meet other pharmacists who enjoy volunteering their time to make CPNP stronger and internationally recognized. More members should see what the behind-the-scenes activities are in order to really appreciate the amount of work and dedication it takes to make the organization operate effectively and efficiently.