What is it like to be a board of pharmacy member? This feature goes behind-the-scenes for a closer look into a board’s inner workings.

Ashlee Bow, PharmD, RPh, AAHIVP

Member, District of Columbia Board of Pharmacy

When were you appointed to the Board of Pharmacy? Are you a pharmacist, technician, public member, or other type of member?

I have served as a pharmacist member of the District of Columbia Board of Pharmacy since March 2019. I have been a pharmacist for eight years, working in a community pharmacy, and have worked in the District of Columbia since 2016. I currently serve as chair of the Communications Subcommittee and am a member of the Pharmacy Laws and Regulations Subcommittee.

What steps should a board member take to be successful in their role?

Doing your homework before board meetings is the most important step in being a successful board member. Before each meeting, I go through all of the meeting materials and often research what is happening in other states so that I can fully understand any issues we may discuss. I also find myself constantly using NABPLAW® Online, depending on what we are discussing during our meetings. You can never be too prepared for a meeting.

What are some recent policies, legislation, or regulations that your Board has implemented or is currently working on?

The Board’s Laws and Regulations Subcommittee has been working diligently to update regulations. We have been reviewing each chapter of the District of Columbia’s Pharmacy Laws and Regulations, which include pharmacist-in-charge requirements, immunizations, 90-day refills, and tech-check-tech. We are also putting together a workplace survey for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, pharmacy technician trainees, and pharmacy interns in the District.

Has the Board encountered any challenges to developing and/or implementing these new policies, legislation, or regulations?

There are always challenges that arise when changes are being made. The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has been a major challenge for us, forcing us to put some things on hold while we worked to create emergency regulations. All of our meetings are now virtual, and pharmacists are really busy during this time, so scheduling can also be a challenge.

What advice would you give to a new Board member?

New board members should have the confidence to ask questions when they do not understand something or need more clarification. It is important to stay informed and up to date as much as possible on current events in pharmacy and to have a working knowledge of the regulations in your jurisdiction. It is very important that new members understand the commitment it takes to be on a board of pharmacy and the time that they will need to invest.

Have you served as a member of any NABP task forces or committees, or attended NABP or district meetings? If so, in your experience, what are the benefits of participating in these NABP activities?

I am not currently serving on an NABP task force, but I attended the virtual 117th NABP Annual Meeting in May 2021. It was very refreshing to hear new ideas from other board members, and there were great networking opportunities to meet members from other states. I particularly enjoyed the breakout rooms, as I was able to engage with other attendees on familiar topics in which I had some interest as well as gain exposure to new topics.

This article was originally featured in the January 2022 edition of Innovations.