News Release

2017 Ton Hoek Scholarship Recipient Shares Impact of Attending FIP World Congress

December 18, 2017

2017 Ton Hoek Scholarship Recipient Shares Impact of Attending FIP World Congress

Members of the International Pharmaceutical Students' Federation at the FIP World Congress. Pictured from left to right: Colin Situ (New Zealand), Ashma Nepal (Nepal), Naomi Lee (New Zealand), Jason So (New Zealand), Brian Wong (New Zealand), Valerie Nolt (United States of America).



Washington DC - The Ton Hoek Scholarship was established to provide a student pharmacist, fellow, resident, or PharmD graduate pursuing graduate studies the opportunity to attend the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) World Congress. During pharmacy school, I was active in the international pharmacy community; I participated in the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF) student exchange program, completed a research project about international pharmacy practice, and arranged a new international advanced pharmacy practice rotation site for my school of pharmacy. I furthered my participation in IPSF serving two terms on the Development Fund Committee, charged with reviewing grant applications. As a PGY1 pharmacy resident, I travelled on a medical mission trip to provide care to small villages in the Retalhuleu area of Guatemala. With an unwavering passion for international pharmacy practice, I applied for the Ton Hoek Scholarship.  I felt this would assist in providing me with an opportunity to attend the FIP World Congress to continue to learn about global health and become integrated into the Young Pharmacists’ Group of FIP, advancing my involvement within the international pharmacy community as a new practitioner. I was motivated by my past international pharmacy practice experience and the way interacting with people from around the globe has allowed me to expand my horizons.

The most significant experience for me at the FIP World Congress, was engaging in discussions surrounding international pharmacy practice in various sections or forums of the meeting, including hospital pharmacy practice, academic pharmacy practice and Pharmabridge®.  In these forums, I was reminded how the United States has many ways it can continue to improve pharmacy practice.   

The Hospital Pharmacy Section continues to promote the Basal Statements, a consensus document created by FIP to reflect the profession's preferred vision for practice in the hospital setting. I see some of these statements are already very relevant to my career:

  • Hospital pharmacists should promote seamless care by contributing to the transfer of information about medicines whenever patients move between and within health care settings.
  • Hospital pharmacists should develop and implement policies and practices that prevent route errors. Use of enteral feeding catheters that cannot be connected with intravenous or other parenteral lines.
  • The training programs of pharmacy support staff should be nationally formalized, harmonized, and credentialed within a defined scope of practice.

I would encourage all of my hospital pharmacist peers to familiarize themselves with this document and see how they can incorporate the recommendations into their institution’s practice.

The Academic Pharmacy Section, in combination with outside organizations, has spearheaded FIPEd, an initiative to transform pharmaceutical education to meet the societal and workforce needs around the world. This project advocates for evidence-based practices and required competencies for practitioners with some of the stated objectives are:

  • To provide a global platform for exchange, mentoring and learning for all professional leaders, focusing on the development of leadership skills, academic provision and pedagogic skills
  • To foster innovation that will advance professional pharmacy and pharmaceutical science education which will lead to improving global health services quality, delivery and productivity

The Pharmabridge® program, supported by the FIP Foundation, was established as a voluntary initiative aimed at strengthening pharmacy services in low-income and emerging countries. The purpose of this program is to link individuals and institutions together to actively exchange resources and training in pharmacy practice, pharmaceutical science, pharmaceutical industry and professional pharmacy education. This is accomplished by establishing institutional and personal connections between schools of pharmacy, pharmacist associations, drug information centers, hospital pharmacies and individual pharmacists from more advanced developing countries with developing and transitional countries.

Other key areas in which FIP is actively working include combatting counterfeit medications, developing pictograms for patient health literacy, raising awareness about tuberculosis, addressing medication shortages, the role of pharmacists in crisis management, and encouraging antimicrobial stewardship. Clearly many of these issues are also “hot topics” in the United States pharmacy practice right now, demonstrating the globalism of our profession. Additional information on each of these initiatives including position statements, print materials, and useful links is available on the FIP website.

As a young pharmacist, the FIP World Congress was also a wonderful chance to network with leaders in pharmacy practice from both the United States and around the world. I was immersed in a conference surrounded by people who have a passion for the practice of pharmacy and were more than willing to share their personal past experiences, seasoned tidbits of advice, and outlook on the future of the profession. I have a strong belief that participation in pharmacy organizations allows for professional development and this is exemplified at the FIP World Congress at the international level with idea sharing and celebrating our profession.

More information about the Ton Hoek Scholarship and the application can be found HERE.