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Ellie LaNou - Director of Professional Affairs

Stepping Into My New Role with BPS

by Ellie LaNou, PharmD
Director, Professional Affairs



Over the past week, I have been warmly welcomed back to the Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) team by staff, Board members, and Specialty Council members alike. As a final year student pharmacist, I completed an advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) at BPS in July 2019. I loved my time as a student with BPS and joked that I would have been happy to stay at BPS for the rest of the year and skip out on my other rotations! Now, in July 2021, I am honored to re-join BPS as the Director of Professional Affairs.


I graduated with my Doctor of Pharmacy from North Dakota State University. As I reflect on my time as a student, my attraction to a non-traditional pharmacist career makes sense. American Pharmacists Association – Academy of Student Pharmacist meetings, volunteer opportunities, and advocacy events energized me to continue studying for exams and to finish patient cases. I became acutely aware of the challenges facing pharmacists and patients – and it also became evident to me that the challenges were larger than anything that could be combatted by a single intern, a single pharmacist, or a single pharmacy team. Ignited in me was a passion to propel our profession forward, anchored in the central goal of improving patient care. I realized the value of a strong base in clinical experience from which to grow my passion, so I pursued post-graduate residency training in my home state of Minnesota.


I was fortunate to complete my residency at the Department of Veterans Affairs, where I learned from outstanding board-certified Clinical Pharmacy Specialists in the realms of primary care, mental health, cardiology, pain management, home-based primary care, long term care, anticoagulation, and pharmacy practice management. I certainly would not be the person or professional that I am today without the team or patients at the St. Cloud VA.


As a residency-trained new practitioner, I hope to bring fresh perspective and energy to the BPS team. One of my responsibilities at BPS will be assisting with the publication of the BPS Leadership Blog and I’m excited to showcase some fantastic new writers. While preparing to write this blog, I re-read the very first edition, written by Bill Ellis, Executive Director, in 2015. At the time, we had just surpassed 20,000 board-certified pharmacists in six distinct specialties. Today, we celebrate over 50,000 active pharmacist certifications and 14 recognized specialties. While many things have changed over the past six years, BPS’s core commitments have not changed. We will continue to recognize board-certified pharmacists’ high standard of specialized knowledge and skills while serving the needs of the public and the pharmacy profession.


I look forward to serving all of you in my new role – please don’t hesitate to reach out and introduce yourself!


Ellie LaNou, PharmD

Director, Professional Affairs

Board of Pharmacy Specialties