HOPA Addresses Health Equity Head On with Conference Keynote Entitled “Dismantling Structural Racism in Pharmacy”

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The Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA) is honored to welcome Lakesha M. Butler, PharmD, BCPS, Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) to its virtual conference on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. central daylight time.

Equity in healthcare is a complex topic and oncology pharmacists have a unique vantage point, delivering care across the country and in a diverse range of settings. Additionally, pharmacists take an oath to consider the welfare of humanity and relief of suffering as their primary concern.

The Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA) is honored to welcome Lakesha M. Butler, PharmD, BCPS, Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) to its virtual conference on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. central daylight time. Dr. Butler will present the John G. Kuhn Keynote Lecture, Dismantling Structural Racism in Pharmacy. About 1,000 hematology oncology pharmacy professionals are expected to attend the live virtual session or view it on demand during HOPA’s 17th annual conference.

Pharmacists take an oath to consider the welfare of humanity and relief of suffering as their primary concern. Yet, some communities and patients disproportionately suffer. “The social determinants of health – a set of six environmental conditions – have a profound impact on death rates and life expectancy for everything from cancer to COVID-19,” explains Dr. Butler.

Economic stability, access to a quality education, health care access and quality, neighborhoods, social and community context, and access to healthy food can all impact outcomes. At the root of social determinants of health is structural racism, which is often perpetuated by implicit bias, along with a host of other behaviors and policies.

Dr. Butler’s keynote will address both the history of racism in America – inequitable policies that negatively impact Blacks and other people of color – and current-day practices that may perpetuate it. “We all need to look inward, at our own beliefs, biases, and socialization,” says Dr. Butler.

Equity in healthcare is an important and complex topic and oncology pharmacists have a unique vantage point, delivering care across the country and in a diverse range of settings.

In addition to her role as Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator, Dr. Butler is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice at SIUE. She and several colleagues recently published this article in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association.

About HOPA:
The Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA) supports hematology/oncology pharmacy professionals and promotes the role of the pharmacist in collaborative cancer care. Founded in 2004, HOPA provides crucial education, networking, and advancement opportunities frequently sought by pharmacists, pharmacy interns, residents, fellows, students, technicians, researchers, and administrators who specialize in hematology/oncology pharmacy. Its vision is to ensure that all individuals affected by cancer have a hematology/oncology pharmacist as an integral member of their care team.

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Michelle Sieg
HOPA
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