January Newsletter

By: SPA Executive Vice President Steven Webbenhurst

As 2018 came to a close, and 2019 approached, I was reminded of Y2K. For those of you in your 20’s, Y2K was the term that was used to refer to the year 2000 in the preceding decade. Although computers had become common in the ‘90’s, most computer systems hadn’t been programmed to deal with the change in the year format, from 19XX to 20XX. Although a lot of work was done to ensure programs wouldn’t crash as 1999 rolled over into 2000, many people were skeptical. We weren’t sure if bank ATMs would function, gas pumps would work, if we’d have power and water, and if businesses would be able to operate. Our Y2K fears proved to be unfounded.

Many things in our lives have changed in the last 19 years. First thing that comes to mind is the way cell phones have changed over those years. From simple phones with keypads similar to traditional phones, to ones that connect us to the internet, control our TVs and lights, and our course, allow us to text friends. Another thing that has changed is the way we practice pharmacy.

One thing that stands out is how pharmacy and pharmacists have impacted the health of our patients by providing immunizations. Pharmacists have always been famous for being accessible their patients, and that made us perfectly aligned to provide immunizations. Last year, roughly 30 million flu shots alone were administered by pharmacists/interns. And Idaho has begun a program allowing trained technicians to administer immunizations under the supervision of a pharmacist.

There are many other areas in pharmacy that have changed as well. The role of technicians continues to expand and they have become an integral part in the operation of pharmacy. Medication therapy management (MTM) has become more commonplace. Collaborative practice agreements have allowed pharmacists to pursue areas that interest them, from health testing to prescribing select medications and beyond. These are just a few of the changes I’ve seen.

On a day-to-day basis, it seems like pharmacy remains relatively stagnant. But looking back to a prior time (like Y2K), reminds us of how far pharmacy has come.

My two questions for you are, “Where do you envision pharmacy 19 years from now? Where can we take it?”

2017 Fall Newsletter

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: Continue reading “2017 Fall Newsletter”

Summer Newsletter

It’s June and summer weather is officially here. Thank goodness! I do not know about you but I am excited for a few months of warm weather to help forget about the long winter and wet spring we have had here in Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho.

The Board of Managers has been busy working on your behalf. We have coordinated a number of excellent continuing education presentations and are well above our goal for CE opportunities for this year. Have you enjoyed one yet? Keep a look out for future offerings. We had the opportunity to host an exhibitor booth Continue reading “Summer Newsletter”

President Spring Message

Dear Colleagues,
The Spokane Pharmacy Association (SPA) hit the ground running in 2017 and we are planning a diversity of events and activities that will not fail to benefit your practice and fill your calendar with fun networking. The SPA Board of Managers met for the Annual Winter/Spring Retreat the middle of February and I am so excited for what our highly talented and dedicated team will achieve this upcoming year! Continue reading “President Spring Message”

2016 Wrap-Up

SPA Newsletter: 2016 Wrap-Up

We ended our year with a later-than-usual, but better-than-ever Annual Awards Meeting. We had great vendors representing many different companies and organizations, a WSU student poster, and fun raffles! We had some truly deserving people recognized for the work they are doing in the world of pharmacy, and of course, we had an exceptional group of people gathered to celebrate SPA.

The highlight of the evening was an engaging and energizing presentation by Dr. Tomkowiak, dean of the WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, who encouraged all people in the pharmacy world to use innovation, imagination, and futuristic thinking to move OUR profession into a new era. Some of the current changes would have been unthinkable a few years ago, and his recommendation is to push past today’s limits and reach out to create new and different applications of pharmaceutical medicine that are “bold and audacious!” Continue reading “2016 Wrap-Up”

Fall President’s Message

October is a curious month – outside the fall foliage and garden produce is present in wild abandon, and yet we all know that we’re about to enter the winter season. All around us, activities at work, school or play of all kinds proceed at a feverish pace, and yet we’re all aware that we’re nearing the end of the calendar year. So if we “start with the end in mind,” let’s look at the SPA events and activities for the remainder of 2016.

Everything always looks better if we can look forward to a party at the end, so let’s do that…

 picture1 Please plan on attending our
Spokane Pharmacy Association Annual Awards Meeting December 1, 2016!

We are planning a fabulous event at the Grand Hotel. The pre-dinner networking features vendor interaction, no-host bar, hors d’oeuvres, and the winning WSU student poster. After the elegant buffet dinner, our keynote speaker is Dr. Tomkowiak, dean of the new WSU medical school. The focal point of the evening then follows with the announcement of the awards for Pharmacist and Pharmacy of the Year, Technician of the Year, Speaker of the Year, Student/Resident of the Year. You’ll be getting more details soon, or you can see the information on www.spokanepharmacy.org. Register early and gather up a table of friends! (Buy tickets now!) Continue reading “Fall President’s Message”

Summer 2016 President’s Message


As the Olympics end, I noticed that there are some parallels to having a professional career:

  • Integrity matters, even in the smallest of details. Enough said.
  • Personal excellence is something that requires daily effort in order to grow and to show small but continuous improvement.
  • Recognizing achievements of team members and being an advocate for your team can make a difference, both in the moment and in the long term.

The first two are givens for pharmacy professionals, but we could do better at the third one. I’m sure you each thank your co-workers when they provide exceptional service, do innovative problem-solving, or lend their expertise to make a situation better for someone, but have you considered nominating a co-worker for one of SPA’s annual awards? Sure, it won’t get them a gold medal or a spot on a sports commercial, but it does provide an opportunity to let them know that their hard work is noticed. Remember that anyone can nominate in any category – pharmacist, technician, student preceptor, and across all practice sectors. We’ll be asking soon for nominations for our annual awards, so please consider nominating at least one person as a thank you for their efforts. Continue reading “Summer 2016 President’s Message”

Spring President’s Message

Dear SPA Members,

We are off to an awesome start for 2016! We have already had a social networking event at Liberty Ciderworks, two C.E. events (Washington State Immunization Records System review in January and the dynamic, student organized, WSU-NCPA event on “Technology Innovations in Community Pharmacies”) and a third C.E. on the Washington State Pharmacy Review Process coming up on March 22nd and 23rd.

Before we continue on with 2016, I’d like to acknowledge two outstanding SPA Board members who left the Board at the end of 2015:

  • Jason Doss, your amazing source of great education opportunities for the last few years, has turned the C.E. duties over to Brett Haney
  • Past-President Manpreet Chahal has stepped off the SPA Board, but is still representing the Spokane area on the WSPA Board
  • Chris Greer is now the SPA past-president, but continues to provide leadership in many areas, especially with the Community Pharmacy Forum, and working with the Spokane Regional Health District on their immunization and tobacco education programs.

These three people have raised the quality of all of the SPA educational and community projects to a whole new level in the last few years. Continue reading “Spring President’s Message”

Dec 2015 President’s Message

Dear Colleagues,
It has been extremely gratifying to serve as the president of our association this year. I am so happy to have had the chance to meet many of you at our events and look forward to seeing you in the future. Now is an important time for our profession with exciting opportunities for us to expand access to care. I would like to quote from the WSPA webinar invitation on ESSB 5557 Pharmacists as Providers:

Washington State is taking the lead in being the first state to require reimbursement by medical insurance carriers of pharmacists for care provided to patients. Numbered ESSB 5557, this legislation was ushered through the legislative process in the spring of 2015. The legislation required the formation of a Collaborative Workgroup. The workgroup’s deliverables have now been released… details for implementation still need to be outlined for the profession. In response, the WSPA is forming four workgroups to aid in the development of tools and guidelines.

It is important for you to be involved in our professional associations. Continue reading “Dec 2015 President’s Message”

Nov 2015 President’s Message

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to personally invite you to our second ‘Community Pharmacy Forum’ to discuss common issues and solutions encountered in the practice of community pharmacy. It is hoped that this will be a recurring meeting of value to those who participate. Our first meeting had an excellent discussion on regulatory and contract compliance issues.


Community Pharmacy Forum

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

7:00-8:00 a.m.

Frankie Doodles Restaurant
30 East 3rd Ave
Spokane, WA 99202

No registration required.