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2021: Finally, Our First Face-to-Face Meeting!

by Hal E. Richards, PharmD, BCNSP
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in Critical Care Medicine
St. Joseph’s Candler Health System
Clinical Assistant Professor
PGY-2 Program Director Critical Care Medicine
The University of Georgia College of Pharmacy

The BPS staff, Board Members, and Specialty Council leadership recently met in Colorado Springs, Colorado for our first face-to-face meeting in nearly two years. The virtual option was also provided for those who could not make it in person. The meeting was filled with excellent content from specialty council leadership regarding the hard work they have done throughout the year. We also learned of challenges they faced given the circumstances of virtual meeting and exam construction. As always, the councils forged ahead and got the job done. BPS staff provided information to the Board on various projects and status reports on where BPS is headed. The Board also had many rich, forward-thinking discussions to ensure BPS is set for the next few years and for continued growth.


I have been involved with BPS for nearly 10 years – from the role delineation study for critical care, two terms on the critical care council, and now my second term on the Board of Directors for BPS. With no hesitation, I can say that BPS is an excellent organization from the top down. Excellence is given top priority to guarantee the rigor and value of certification. BPS is one of the only organizations in the certification community to hold accreditation from International Accreditation Service (IAS) and National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). It is dedication and hard work from the Board, volunteers and staff at BPS to make this happen.


In the area of growth, BPS celebrates over 54,400 active pharmacist certifications with thousands of pharmacists who are now board certified in one or more of the 14 specialty areas currently recognized. BPS also continues to grow internationally. This year BPS approved the recognition of PGY1 residencies accredited by the Canadian Pharmacy Residency Board. This is just another example of the forward-thinking atmosphere at BPS. Congratulations to our pharmacists north of the border in achieving this pathway for certification.


I realize that many are tired of the ad nauseam COVID-19 discussions; however, it would be a major oversight not to give credit to BPS for arranging live remote proctoring to ensure continue exam accessibility. The work that went into these arrangements was an arduous task, to say the least. Feedback from the examinees was very positive from their experiences with options for examination during the pandemic.


It has been an honor to serve in all capacities over the years for BPS, and especially as the 2021 Chair of the Board. I appreciate the support that I have received to perform my roles. Many great leaders have served before me and I can only hope I have done as fine of a job as they did. It has been great to finally see everyone in person and I hope to see more of you over my final two years on the Board.