ASHP Pharmacy Executive Leadership Alliance Kicks Off with Discussion with AHA CEO Richard Pollack

Kate Traynor
Kate Traynor Senior Writer, ASHP News Center Published: November 3, 2020

ASHP’s Pharmacy Executive Leadership Alliance (PELA™) held its inaugural event virtually Oct. 29 to celebrate the creation of the new ASHP member engagement opportunity, share experiences, and brainstorm about innovations that will drive financial and organizational recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

PELA™ was created by ASHP for chief pharmacy officers and multihospital system pharmacy executive leaders who face distinct challenges working within highly complex vertically and horizontally integrated networks and multihospital health systems.

The inaugural session of what is just the start of a series of events included more than 160 pharmacy executives representing chief pharmacy officers and directors of pharmacy from more than 100 multihospital health systems and 80 major hospitals and academic medical centers.

“The idea for PELA™ has been at the forefront of ASHP leadership discussions for some time,” said ASHP Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Paul W. Abramowitz. “We understand that there is a growing need for opportunities to connect pharmacy executives in unique ways for peer-to-peer knowledge transfer and strategic planning around the specific issues and challenges they face.”

“Given that ASHP has always been the home of pharmacy leaders, and the growing number of members who serve in pharmacy executive roles, the creation of PELA™ was an important step to help ASHP continue to support these individuals who are all working to advance pharmacy practice and move pharmacists closer to the patient,” Abramowitz added.

The event kicked off with a virtual fireside chat featuring ASHP President Thomas J. Johnson and American Hospital Association CEO Richard J. Pollack.

Pollack expressed gratitude to ASHP and the pharmacy profession for their many and diverse patient-care contributions during the pandemic.

“You’ve been active in the public policy decision-making process, and you’ve contributed to the planning, development, and implementation of major public health efforts. You play a key role in developing pharmaceutical care plans and medication therapy management strategies to help prevent, detect, and manage coronavirus infections,” he said. “And like all frontline healthcare heroes, you are working long hours and going that extra mile to ensure that COVID patients have what they need to battle their way back to health.”


ASHP Past President Kathleen S. Pawlicki served as moderator for a panel discussion with Cleveland Clinic Executive Chief Pharmacy Officer (CPO) Samuel V. Calabrese, Ascension CPO and Vice President of Medication Management Lynn Eschenbacher, and Emory Healthcare Vice President for Pharmacy Services Christy Norman.

The PELA™ event also included breakout sessions for the discussion of organizational and pharmacy enterprise redesign, external factors that influence operational decisions, and pharmacy workforce considerations affected by the pandemic.

Common themes during the breakout sessions included the need to leverage the telehealth services that have become a vital component of patient care, expand pharmacy services that can generate revenue as institutions adapt to pandemic-related changes, and showcase how pharmacists’ contributions to team-based care make healthcare better and more efficient.

Participants also emphasized the need to ensure the resilience of a healthcare workforce that has been on an emergency footing for months and faces a nationwide resurgence in COVID-19 activity heading into the winter.

These and other discussions from the PELA™ event will form the basis of a resource for executive decision-making during and after the pandemic.

For additional information about PELA™, visit the initiative’s web page at

[This news story will appear in an upcoming issue of AJHP.]

Posted November 3, 2020

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