Ask the CEO: American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy

Lucinda Maine, CEO, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, answers questions from AACP member Amy Franks.

What is the foremost challenge you see for AACP in the next five years?

Both higher education and healthcare are in the midst of "disruptive innovation," and our members live at that intersection. AACP's challenge is to consider how to help our members prepare not just to survive but to thrive in the face of what may be very different business realities in the future. This makes the charge of the 2012–2013 Argus Commission [a group comprising the past five AACP presidents, who examine key professional issues] exciting and important. The commission's current charge is to assess the game-changers.

Given the current era of healthcare reform, how should we as academicians adapt our curricula to better prepare our students to enter the profession?

We must prepare graduates to be team-ready contributors to patient-centered care. We're not far from this focus today, and what is tremendous is that other players in healthcare now recognize that they really need the medication-use specialist (a.k.a. our graduates) on the team.

What excites you most about AACP's membership?

I'd have to say that it is their incredible level of engagement in the programs and meetings and services we provide. Even the person who conducted our member-needs analysis this past year remarked that he rarely encounters members of an organization as engaged and committed as AACP members.