California Pharmacists Association Creates Novel ADR Program for Workplace Issues

The largest state association representing pharmacists has implemented a pilot program to offer the services of an Organizational Ombudsman to its members. The Pharmacist Resource Program will provide employee pharmacists--many of whom work for grocery stores and other large retailers--with a free, confidential resource to help them deal with workplace challenges such as staffing practices, patient safety, and working conditions.

It appears that this is the first Ombuds program to serve a group of stakeholders working for multiple employers. Most Ombuds are dedicated to issues arising out of a single entity. CPhA Chief Executive Officer Jon Roth told Drug Topics Magazine that he believes the program may be the first Ombuds within a professional association:
"CPhA isn't the first association whose members have workplace concerns, but we think we're the first association to take this direct approach to dealing with some of the things that concern employee pharmacists the most. We want to act as an agent of change for a sector of the industry that feels it is not being heard."
CPhA hired Michael Kilpatrick to create the Ombuds program. Kilpatrick earned his Masters degree from the Werner Institute for Negotiation & Dispute Resolution at Creighton Law School, a Masters of Theology at the University of Oxford and a BS Western State University College in San Diego. He is an experienced mediator and previously served as the Ombuds for Bridgepoint Education.

The association's board will discuss interim results in early 2012 before deciding whether to extend the program.

Read more at the Ombuds Blog and the California Pharmacists Association.

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