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Am J Pharm Educ. 2010 October 11; 74(8): 155.
PMCID: PMC2987299

AACP 3.0

I would like us to look at things for a moment from an operational perspective under the theme “AACP 3.0.” I wish I could tell you that title was originally mine! I borrowed it from our Chief Operating Officer Dan Cassidy who gleaned it from a conversation with one of the consultants we have used on AACP work several times. In discussing an AACP staff retreat on implementation of the strategic plan, Josh Mintz synthesized what he had heard were our goals for the meeting by saying “It sounds like you want to create AACP 3.0!” Bingo!

Those that know me well know that on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of technology adoption and use I am probably somewhere in the 1 to 2 range with 10 being a real techno wizard! Yes, I am on Facebook. I have to admit that I created a page accidentally and do not go there much, except to accept new friends and occasionally check on my teenagers and their cousins! I am linked in and profiled on a few other social networking sites, but I have never tweeted, rarely IM, and find that all of these new tools and tricks seem just to keep my bulging e-mail inbox overstuffed! Imagine my surprise when my 13-year-old son came home one day and said, “Mom, I found your picture on the Internet today!” In a worried minute, he popped my face up on Google Images and I relaxed as I realized it was the official AACP headshot you have seen numerous times!

About 18 months ago AACP launched our 2.0 Web site after months of design work and a time intensive rebuilding of a repository of so much information that people struggled to find the items they knew must be there but were not always so accessible. We continue to work on features, content, and search ability, and will launch additional communication features in the months ahead so that committees and other governance groups can work on projects and enhance resources for and communications with members. This will include new webinar capabilities that we are testing at this year's meeting. I realize that with communications and technology you are never “there,” instead we will constantly be scanning the horizon to make sure – to use a really 90's term – we do not become roadkill on the information super highway in G3, G4, or G whatever Apple, Verizon, and ATT next invent!

It is not in the realm of informatics that I see the greatest potential in AACP's new plan and planning model, however. We had 2 specific goals in mind when we charged Rod Carter's strategic planning committee with responsibility for redesigning our approach to planning this year. We wanted a planning framework that went deeper into the organization than the current planning process did. And it was an aim to make plan implementation more intentionally operational and accountable.

AACP might have adopted an “if it's not broken don't fix it” attitude about planning. Certainly the “envisioned future” of pharmacists serving as the patient's leading advocate responsible for achieving all the positive outcomes intended from well-designed medication plans has not yet been achieved. The 2004 plan was written so broadly that virtually anything we thought of or elected to do for members likely would fit into the framework of those 11 goals. Our recent success can be seen tangibly in our growing membership, meeting attendance, expanding publications, effective advocacy, and healthy finances. Pretty good planning, right?

Perhaps it was the sense of potential vulnerability stemming from the near collapse of global finances and the realization that many organizations like ours, even some of our pharmacy association counterparts, were hurt significantly by the recession. Couple this with the recognition that the March 2010 health insurance reforms included many opportunities and likely some very real landmines in implementation, and AACP leaders recognized that a loose and inclusive strategic plan that primarily reflected the priorities of the Board of Directors was likely insufficient to guide the Association in service to members across a period of whitewater of unknown duration.

In March, AACP began implementing a new approach to involving sections, council leaders, and other Association officers and staff in planning, which now extends to objectives and action plans developed by all levels of governance except our special interest groups (SIGs). We will work with the SIG Cabinet in the coming months to determine how we might also include priorities from these membership groups into the new planning model.

As noted earlier, AACP staff members will continue working with the new approach to planning in a retreat in just a few weeks. It is our goal to work toward a 3-year picture of objectives and action plans with the financial analysis that will provide clarity on the need for and availability of resources to accomplish our goals over this 3-year timeframe. The plan includes the specific provision for looking for new revenue sources to supplement those that are the current backbone of our $11.6 million budget.

The most critical element of the new model and the one that will help us advance to that AACP 3.0 position I mentioned, is where this new cycle of planning began – with you. Our consultants from Bernard Consulting Group emphasized how critically important it is to always ground your planning in input from key stakeholders. We gathered that last fall as we embarked on the process of building a new plan, and it is our intention to continue to gather fresh input on an ongoing basis to ensure that we are able to hear and interpret your needs going forward. That input does not always have to wait for us to send you a link to a short survey; it can be in comments you make today during open microphone time, during our outreach visits, or the AACP/NABP district meetings that start in just a few short weeks. And notwithstanding what I said about my e-mail inbox, I appreciate hearing from you throughout the year when you find something that another organization is doing well that we should consider or identify an unmet need in your faculty or administrative team.

So perhaps just as Web 2.0 was not such a radical improvement on Web 1.0, I do not think that AACP 3.0 will be remarkably different from the wonderful organization we have been for 110 years. That said, I and the Board and staff thank you for your consistent support and engagement and pledge our continued commitment to understanding your needs and finding the programs, products, and services to meet them.


Articles from American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education are provided here courtesy of American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy