Washington, DC – The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Foundation Board of Directors is today announcing its’ unanimous appointment of senior vice president of research and innovation of the APhA Foundation, Benjamin Bluml RPh, as the executive director and confirmed support for another new Project IMPACT (IMProving America’s Communities Together) initiative.
“Ben Bluml has served the APhA Foundation for over 26 years as our lead research and innovation scientist and we are pleased that he will now be leading the entire organization”, said APhA Foundation President, Dr. Anjanette Wyatt. “We are excited about Ben’s commitment to continuing with our cutting-edge research and innovation initiatives while simultaneously advancing the overall mission of the organization as already evidenced by this week’s confirmation from the Helmsley Charitable Trust that they will be funding our next Project IMPACT initiative designed to improve patient access to continuous glucose monitoring (CGM).”
Upon joining the team in February, 1996, Ben was already hard at work providing leadership and development for the Foundation’s practice-based research and innovation activities. Through this work, Bluml and his team have designed effective structure and process models that enable pharmacists to implement innovative clinical services in a variety of practice settings. Under his leadership, a myriad of ways that pharmacists can add value to the health care team and help patients achieve better health have been identified and demonstrated. Along with his nearly three decades of service as the principal architect for the patient care models at the APhA Foundation and 12 years of pharmacy practice experience, Bluml is the author of numerous innovative health care software applications and professional journal publications related to his work on collaborative practice, health information technology, interdisciplinary patient care, and quality improvement. He works with pharmacists, physicians, payers, technology companies, research and public health organizations across the United States to design and implement innovative patient-centered, team-based care programs and health care service delivery systems.
“I’m honored to take the helm as the APhA Foundation’s executive and am excited to increase our momentum for improving health by inspiring philanthropy, research and innovation that advances pharmacists’ patient care services,” said Benjamin Bluml, RPh, Executive Director and SVP, Research & Innovation. “We are passionate about improving patient access to team-based care services that include pharmacists and sincerely grateful to the Helmsley Charitable Trust for their commitment and partnership in advancing CGM services. Just imagine, pharmacists in community practice settings being credentialed by a health plan the same way as their physician colleagues and that they, along with physicians and other providers, will be equitably paid for their team-based care CGM services.”
In August 2022, the APhA Foundation will begin work on the new Project IMPACT: CGM Access initiative, implementing a process for community pharmacists to offer CGM services (screening, referral, prescription, initial education, monitoring, and management) to their insulin using patients, improving outcomes for people with diabetes. This patient-centered, team-based care initiative is designed to improve access to CGM services offered by pharmacists who will be credentialed and paid as members of the health care team in the same manner that health plans currently engage physicians.
This project is informed by and will utilize results from the APhA Foundation’s 2021 Helmsley Charitable Trust supported Expanding Access of CGM to Community Pharmacies Roundtable. It will pilot and standardize processes for improving patient access to CGM, through community pharmacies, utilizing pharmacists’ patient care services (see Patient Insights report from APhA). With diabetes being a prevalent chronic disease, people with diabetes make up a significant portion of consumers in a community pharmacy. Over the past several years, CGM has become more affordable, easier to use, and has proven to be a useful tool for self-management; decreasing A1c levels and incidences of hypoglycemia. However, there are relatively low levels of CGM adoption among patients using insulin. This initiative is designed to change that and improve access to CGM for the patients we all serve.
About the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Foundation
The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. works to design solutions to optimize medication use and optimize care delivery in America. The APhA Foundation is affiliated with the American Pharmacists Association, the oldest and largest national professional society of pharmacists in the United States established in 1852. The APhA Foundation’s mission is to improve health by inspiring philanthropy, research and innovation that advances pharmacists’ patient care services. For more information, please visit www.APhAFoundation.org.
About the American Pharmacists Association
The American Pharmacists Association is the only organization advancing the entire pharmacy profession. Our expert staff, and strong volunteer leadership, including many experienced pharmacists, allow us to deliver vital leadership to help pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists and pharmacy technicians find success and satisfaction in their work, while advocating for changes that benefit them, their patients and their communities. For more information, please visit www.Pharmacist.com.