To further enhance the engaging experience, you will enter a virtual conference center lobby. Within the lobby, you can choose what they want to do next: go to the exhibit hall, attend educational programs, socialize at a networking activity, recognize award recipients, create a personalized schedule of events, obtain pharmacy resources, recognize award recipients at the awards reception, and vote on the MPA pharmacy talent show. Continue reading for additional information on these activities.
Opening Session – Officially kicking off the Convention is Dr. Parker Crutchfield, Ph.D., Associate Professor of the Program in Medical Ethics, Humanities and Law at Western Michigan Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine in Kalamazoo, Mich. In this role, Dr. Crutchfield conducts clinical ethics consultations, teaches medical students and residents, and conducts research in medical ethics. Throughout the pandemic, Dr. Crutchfield was part of a group of medical ethicists that were consulted during the allocation and distribution process of therapeutics. He will speak on the ethics of handling a pandemic and distribution of new therapeutics and vaccine policy specifically related to COVID-19. His presentation will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 26.
Keynote Session – Dr. Jason Wasserman, Ph.D., will deliver the keynote session on the timely topic of health equity and the impact of this has on health care. This session will be on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 8:30 a.m. Dr. Wasserman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Foundational Medical Studies at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine in Rochester, Mich. His scholarly work focuses on the medicalization of homelessness, the sociological impacts of the epidemiological transition on medicine, and the influences of neighborhood infrastructures and community networks on health outcomes among the urban poor.
Closing Session – The Convention’s closing session will feature Paul Osincup, a self-described speaker and positive workplace strategist who helps organizations create happier, healthier, and more connected places to work. His presentation on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 4:15 p.m. will focus on how pharmacy professionals can be resilient and battle burnout and stress.
General Session – The NASPA-NMA Self-Care Challenge is returning to the Convention with a few changes this year. The Self-Care Challenge provides students an opportunity to showcase their extensive OTC knowledge against their rival pharmacy students in a lighthearted competition while granting continuing education credits for attendees. This year’s competition will feature three students from each college of pharmacy in Michigan: Ferris State University, Wayne State University, and the University of Michigan. These three students will compete virtually in a three round jeopardy style competition for a chance to be crowned victor! Each round will have a lead from the team who oversees buzzing in and answering the questions for that round, while still being able to communicate with teammates. For the first two rounds the first team to buzz-in after a question is read will get a chance to answer the question. If they get it right, they get points. If they get it wrong, the question is open to the remaining two teams to buzz-in and try to answer the question correctly. The third and final round allows teams to bet all or a portion of their current points on the final question, either gaining or losing the amount of points they “gamble”. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins!
Careful attention has been given to create pharmacy continuing education programs that not only help pharmacists and pharmacy technicians fulfill licensure and certification requirements, but to also help you grow in your healthcare setting as a community, consultant, specialty or health-system pharmacist and as a pharmacy technician. General programs on the following topics will also be offered during the Convention: diabetes, workplace violence, USP updates, dealing with difficult coworkers, expanded roles of technicians, medication therapy management, precepting in a virtual environment, opioid use disorder, vaccine trends, pharmacy law, ethics, pain management and patient safety.
Full Convention registrants can earn up to 13 hours of live credit during the virtual event, plus have access to the Convention on demand to earn an additional 15 hours of non-live home study credit for one month after the Convention. One-day registrants will not have access to the Convention on demand.
As a registrant, you will be able to visit with exhibitors at various times on Friday and Saturday to learn of the latest in pharmacy-related products.
While the 2021 Convention may not be the same as when it’s held in Detroit, who said we can’t have the same fun events—virtual style? With a little creativity and lots of determination, organizational leaders and staff are working diligently to make this year’s conference as memorable as years’ past. Each day and night of the convention will offer a variety of customized networking and social events to give convention participants that traditional feel of the Convention.
Coffee Hour – On Friday morning, participate in the coffee hour to talk with MPA President Heather Christensen about her goals for the coming year. Another coffee hour on Saturday morning will feature MPA’s new CEO Mark Glasper.
Tech Connect – The Michigan Society of Pharmacy Technicians will be hosting their Tech Connect Social Friday evening immediately following the last educational program on Friday. Activities are being planned to promote comradery and networking among pharmacy technicians across the state. Typically, 20-30 technicians gather in a Marriott hotel room but this year, there’s no limit to the number who can attend this annual event.
Student Social – The Student Pharmacists Executive Council (SPEC) are planning a virtual student social for Friday evening. Plans are underway to host a game night with a Trivia Challenge to create friendly competition among students from each of the three Michigan colleges of pharmacy. Student pharmacists will also have the opportunity to participate in the Michigan Society of Health-System Pharmacists leadership networking program on Saturday. Usually students from every college would sit together for lunch with a health-system pharmacy leader to talk about professional practice issues, career options and share fun stories. At our virtual conference, valuable interactions like this will still be available and students won’t want to miss it.
Annual Banquet and Award Ceremony – Traditionally, MPA has honored the many distinguished individuals who serve and advance the profession of pharmacy and the health of our patients at our Annual Banquet & Awards Ceremony. At this ceremony and other Convention events, MPA recognizes a number of worthy awardees, including our 25-, 40- and 50-year members with the Years of Membership Awards; our volunteer leaders through induction into our Pharmacy Hall of Honor, as well as our elected boards, leaders and fellows for their service. MPA also honors scholarship recipients, PAC awards recipients, practice section awardees, the MPA Pharmacist of the Year, and other honorable awardees for their noteworthy achievements.
While the realities of the pandemic this year prevent us from gathering for a banquet, our virtual platform will still provide our distinguished awardees and our membership the excitement and ceremony they deserve. This is a unique opportunity to gather virtually to honor and thank those who have stepped up during a difficult and unusual year in our profession, as we reflect on the many accomplishments, victories, obstacles and innovations brought on by 2020, and as we look ahead to a brighter year, building on the lessons we have learned.
Talent Show – To create new excitement, MPA will be hosting its very own talent show. Anyone and everyone is encouraged to video tape a three-minute spotlight to show off their best talent. Videos will be prescreened and the best 20 will be featured on the virtual platform during the conference. Attendees will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite with the winner claiming a cash price. So, start practicing and submit your videos. Who knows, maybe a talent scout just might discover a new star!