St. Louis College of Pharmacy Professor Elected to National Pharmacy Leadership Role

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The anticipation is building for Terry Seaton, Pharm.D., BCPS, as he’s about to embark on a three-year journey which will take him all over the country. Seaton, professor of pharmacy practice at St. Louis College of Pharmacy, was just named president-elect of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) after a national election by its members. The organization is one of the premier professional groups in pharmacy and represents more than 14,000 clinical pharmacists across the country.

Seaton already knows one of the biggest issues he’ll tackle.

“Right now, ‘provider status’ in pharmacy is the hot issue,” he says. “It may even be the hottest issue in pharmacy in a long time.”

Currently, Medicare beneficiaries have limited access to pharmacist-provided clinical services beyond those related to dispensing prescriptions. Other members of the interprofessional team that pharmacists work with, including physicians, physician’s assistants, social workers and certified nurse practitioners, are already recognized as providers under Medicare Part B. Legislation was recently introduced in the U.S. Congress that adds pharmacists to that list. ACCP is supporting additional legislation, soon to be introduced, that would provide yet another benefit of comprehensive medication management for seniors.

“We need to convince legislators that pharmacists provide critical access and unique value that leads to desirable patient outcomes,” Seaton says. “We have to make sure they fully understand the roles pharmacists can play, especially as we’re transitioning into a new era of team-based care, and compensated for the quality and safety of care.”

Seaton was instrumental in developing the medication therapy services rules now in place for pharmacists and physicians in Missouri to work together for the benefit of the patient. The new law allows specially certified pharmacists, working under a protocol with a state-licensed physician, to monitor, initiate, and adjust medications for patients to manage diseases, such as asthma, diabetes, and high blood pressure. These rules have benefited patients by increasing access to pharmacist-provided care.

“I’m looking forward to applying the lessons I learned about the advocacy process onto a national level,” Seaton says.

Another major agenda item for ACCP is nurturing student chapters at colleges of pharmacy across the country. Seaton says the infrastructure is now in place to strongly support these young pharmacists as they begin their careers. St. Louis College of Pharmacy will have one of the largest ACCP chapters in the country.

“Students at the College have the ability to affect change across the profession,” Seaton adds. “The men and women I see every day in the classrooms and hallways are well positioned to take on national leadership roles.”

Seaton will begin his year as president-elect in October. He’ll be inaugurated as president of the organization at the ACCP global conference in San Francisco in October 2015. That conference will draw clinical pharmacists from all over the world.  Seaton’s time will conclude on the ACCP board by serving as past president for a year. St. Louis College of Pharmacy President John A. Pieper, Pharm.D., is a past president (1993-1994) of ACCP. More information about ACCP can be found on their website, www.ACCP.com.

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