Pharmacy Practice

Learning Event Tackles Needs of Community Pharmacy, Ambulatory Care

Published: August 18, 2021

ASHP’s inaugural Community Pharmacy and Ambulatory Care Conference, held virtually Aug. 17–18, showcased innovations and offered insights on critical issues affecting practitioners who care for patients in a variety of community-focused settings.

The conference’s educational sessions covered pharmacogenomics, telehealth, transitional care, bias in healthcare, and other clinical and professional topics that are increasingly vital in ambulatory care and community practice.

The second day of the conference featured a special treat for attendees — a screening of the PBS documentary film Vaccination From the Misinformation Virus, which explains why vaccines are safe and explores bias and efforts to discredit these lifesaving products. The screening included a live question-and-answer session with documentary producer Chris Schueler.

Special keynote sessions from family and palliative care physician Ronald Epstein and engagement expert Kelli Vrla focused on self-care and offered practical tips for nurturing well-being during stressful times.

Epstein’s Aug. 17 presentation, Well-Being and Resilience Throughout Healthcare, emphasized that small actions, done consistently, can have an outsized effect on one’s outlook and well-being.

“Think about what would happen if you spent two minutes a day, or twice a day, just paying attention to what thoughts and emotions you have,” he told attendees.

Epstein has long urged clinicians to practice mindfulness to improve personal well-being and patient care. Mindfulness, he said, requires being attentive and curious and able to shift one’s perspective, especially during a crisis.


“Often, we don’t see clearly what’s in front of us,” he said. “We all make these moment-to-moment choices about where we look, what we listen to, what we pay attention to.”

Vrla brought high energy to the Aug. 18 program with her presentation, Putting Traction and Action Into All the Distraction. She described simple “stress-busters” for helping people stay focused during chaotic times.

“If you are super stressed you cannot be super productive in a healthy way,” she noted. “You’re in the business of helping people, and you’ve got to make sure you’re in a good place, in healthy ways, before you can help other people.”

She said something as simple as thinking about a favorite taste or song and cultivating “a lighter attitude and a healthy sense of humor” can help people feel better and improve their focus and productivity.

Another feature of the conference was the Aug. 18 virtual poster sessions, which underscored how community-based clinical and specialty pharmacy services are helping patients with diabetes, infections, cardiac conditions, and other health needs. Poster sessions also addressed layered learning and experiential education in ambulatory care settings. The poster event included live question-and-answer sessions with the presenters.

ASHP’s Community Pharmacy and Ambulatory Care Conference was created to assist pharmacists who are intricately involved in transitional care services. Participants are eligible for up to 14 hours of continuing-education credit. The educational sessions were recorded and are available for credit for up to 60 days after the conference.

Network and learn from pharmacy colleagues in ASHP's Section of Ambulatory Care Practitioners and the Section of Community Pharmacy Practitioners. ASHP's membership sections were created to meet the specific needs of practitioners in settings that encompass all aspects of health-system pharmacy practice.

Posted August 18, 2021

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