By: SPA Past-President Linda Vierra

“Back to School” sales for new tools and more learning slowly but surely lead us all into becoming more aware that we are actually “always in school” in order to do our best.

Backpacks are a visible means of carrying one’s new tools needed for learning, as well as an indication that the person is anticipating and “leaning into” the task (joy?) of learning new and valuable information. Little did we know as children when we eagerly donned those backpacks that we were taking our first steps into being perpetual learners. This is particularly true of the pharmacy profession.

A colleague of mine told me that he tried to read a minimum of 15 minutes (after work!) and to learn one new thing every night. What amazed him was how often he needed to know that one piece of information shortly after he’d learned it.

As we head into the home stretch of the year, the Spokane Pharmacy Association will be offering you a virtual backpack – full of new tools and ideas to help you stay current, stay connected to your fellow pharmacy colleagues, and stay excited about your profession.

SPA has planned varied CE topics and social events for this fall, so look for more information to be up on the website soon, and watch your email for the dates and details:


  • Law with Eleanor Doss
  • Diabetes Update with Josh Neumiller


  • Technician Day (Oct 7)
  • COPD with Mitch Kayser
  • Naloxone with Kyle Frazier
  • An industry presentation with our own Manpreet Chahal

November 2nd

  • Please mark you calendars and join us for our Annual Meeting at the Historic Davenport! Outgoing WSU Spokane Chancellor Lisa Brown will be our keynote speaker this year.

Is your email or business fax current? Send updates to

There are other opportunities available for member participation and involvement in our support of the development of future pharmacists and technicians, and in developing our connections with Spokane and regional healthcare leaders & programs. If you are interested in getting more involved in SPA, please let us know at!

Internally, the SPA board members have been very busy this summer revising the SPA Constitution so it better reflects our organizational structure and processes. The purpose of SPA remains the same: to support and promote the profession, the practitioners and the students to ensure our optimal provision of patient care.

The responsibilities of the SPA board members are also being reviewed to help us be as efficient and effective in achieving those purposes as possible. If you as a member have any suggestions or comments that you would like to share with the board, NOW is the time! Your input is always welcome and encouraged. (

You will soon see some new and more vibrant changes in our visual image. A new logo has been selected for the Spokane Pharmacy Association, and some dynamic changes in our website are also being prepared. SPA also has a new banner to help us promote our profession when we are present at interactive health care events. Be sure to check these out!

A primary reason that we can make the ongoing improvements in the appearance and function of our website, as well as the more efficient changes in event management, is due to our website and communications manager Lori Maricle. This summer, she earned accreditation in public relations with the Public Relations Society of America, an organization that provides national certification in strategic communications. She has worked for WSU for nine years, and at the WSU College of Pharmacy for five. Strategic communicator she is! SPA is so lucky to have her assisting us with our ongoing technical renovations.

Additional announcements

The Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission has proposed to completely overhaul and re-write our rules and regulations. This massive undertaking has potential to immensely effect how we practice. Everyone, especially individual pharmacists and technicians, is encouraged to look at the Rules in Progress page on their website and go to the comment section.

In regard to re-writing all the rules, everyone is encouraged to comment about what rules should stay the same, what they would like to see changed, and how. For example, one issue to be discussed is the tech ratio: should it go up, down or be done away with?

The next meeting on the 11th will discuss these topics and solidify the changes to the inspection process. The proposed new process will be a statement of deficiencies/plan of correction model instead of the previous point system. How this will be implemented is still to be determined.

The Department of Health is sending the following to all regulated professions:

Your feedback is requested on the Bree Collaborative’s draft Dental Guideline on Prescribing Opioids for Pain. Please read the documents and take our survey here: The survey should only take 10-15 minutes to complete. Comments must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday, August 25.

Also remember that the Suicide Prevention Awareness training is now mandated.

2017 has brought several changes to the Spokane pharmacy community with Multi-Care becoming the new owner of one of our major hospital systems, and several of our longtime community pharmacies closing. There will likely be several other changes happening in the healthcare environment at the state and national levels.

SPA will continue to represent the various aspects of the pharmacy profession in Spokane and to help you maintain connections with each other and other healthcare professions. Take a moment to consider what pharmacy means to you, both personally and professionally, and let’s start some discussions about actions each of us can take to create beneficial points of change for our patients and the healthcare community.

Hoping to see many of you at our fall events!


Landa Vierra

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