An interesting 525,600 minutes...

Happy American Pharmacists Month!

Happy American Pharmacists Month!

As with all celebrations, I find myself reflecting on events over the past year…and it’s been anything but dull! As I began writing, I found myself singing Seasons of Love from the Broadway musical, Rent. The lyrics go:

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes.

Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear.

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes.

How do you measure,

Measure a year?

In daylights?

In sunsets?

In midnights?

In cups of coffee?

In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.

In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes.

How do you measure a year in a life?

Well, this has been an interesting 525,600 minutes.

American Pharmacists Month last year was great and typical. Another year of celebrating important contributions we make to health care. We wore buttons and t-shirts sporting our pride, held parties in our pharmacies, and showcased ways we contribute to patient outcomes. We finished the year strong by touting increased immunization rates, enhanced continuous medication monitoring, and countless examples of team-based care.

Then we turned the calendar. The first days of the pandemic feel like an eternity ago and yet just yesterday as you - providers on the frontlines - navigated ways to provide care to patients, while protecting your own vulnerability to COVID-19. As an essential worker, you suited up in PPE and went to work, putting yourself and your family at risk for the infection. It was incredible. And I was so very proud of our profession during the toughest of times.

So here we are. 525,600 minutes later. We’re scarred, but we’re better. And I couldn’t be prouder to call myself a pharmacist. We’ve risen to the occasion every single day with our knowledge of medications and care in our hearts. We’ve finally been recognized as essential health care workers and given authority to contribute to public health in a greater way. No doubt there are continued challenges ahead. But this American Pharmacists Month we can hold our heads high as trusted, accessible, knowledgeable, critical members of the healthcare team.

And as we begin to count down 525,600 minutes until the next American Pharmacists Month, we all need to take advantage of the opportunities provided by these times. Learn from your experiences and from each other. Provide what is needed by our patients – immunizations, point of care testing, evidence-based medication therapy selection, continuous medication monitoring, and good old-fashioned “care”.

WE ARE PHARMACY, and not only is this is our month, but this is our year. Cheers and happy learning!

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