Author: Julie L. Kasap, PharmD Children’s Hospital of Illinois
The Gateway Pediatric Pharmacy Group (GPPG) is a collaborative group of pharmacists representing five children’s hospitals and was established in 2010. The GPPG consists of pharmacists from Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Mercy Children’s Hospital Saint Louis, Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital, Saint Louis Children’s Hospital (all in the Saint Louis, MO area) and recently Children’s Hospital of Illinois (Peoria, IL). The initial idea for the group came from a few Saint Louis, MO based practicing pharmacists that met at an annual Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group (PPAG) meeting in Saint Charles, MO. Realizing that making a more formal networking connection would benefit each other, the idea for GPPG was born. The desire to support and strengthen pediatric pharmacy practice in their own community began the group’s collaboration and sharing of evidence based practices. The group’s focus is to provide a forum for pediatric specific continuing education and provide networking opportunities amongst practitioners.
The group structure was set up to alternate meeting host sites so that group members felt a shared and equitable structure for participation and leadership. Leadership is handed off annually from one hospital to the next; as lead one member will coordinate presentations, continuing education credits and develop the agenda. The group meets every other month via webinar and/or local meeting space. As community minded activists for children’s health, at each meeting the attendees pick a cause that touches patients in the community and members donate gifts in kind or make monetary donations to a selected charity.
The group is currently collaborating on a clinical project, which involves the standardization of oral compounded medications. The idea was taken from the Michigan Pediatric Safety Collaboration (MPSC) to standardize the compounding of oral liquids in pediatric patients. As a group, we are reviewing the pooled GPPG formulations for shared concentrations and making recommendations for proposed standards for Missouri and working with the Missouri director of public aid. Next steps are to reach out to hospitals within Illinois to promote standardization, and also collaborate with PPAG members along with the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists.
The collaborative spirit of the pediatric pharmacists I have encountered through networking, national associations, and national meetings reaffirms that we, as pediatric pharmacy practitioners, truly can make a difference in the lives of the pediatric patients we serve.