History of the Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group
[updated January 2017]

Special thanks to Robert Poole, PharmD, a PPAG Founder, for his contibutions to this written history of PPAG.

The year 2014 marked the 35th year anniversary of the Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group. Like nearly all worthy causes, the idea for the Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group (PPAG) started with a conversation among a small group of friends and colleagues.  

The Early Years

In 1979 Dr. Doug Smith, Dr. Robert Poole, and Mr. Steve Allen began discussing the need for an organization aimed at helping pediatric pharmacy directors to better serve their unique patient populations. These trailblazers met informally and then formally at the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacist’s Midyear Clinical Meeting. Over the next six years, the group expanded and included Pharmacy Directors from across the United States.

At these meetings a core group of leaders emerged. Mr. Doug Smith (Chicago, IL) served as President and Chairman of the Board from 1985-1995. Other members of this charter group include: Mr. Stephen Allen (Washington, DC), Mr. Joe Sceppa (Boston, MA), Mr. Henry Wedemeyer (Denver, CO), Dr. Gary Greiner (Columbus, OH), Mr. Dave Grinder (St. Petersburg, FL), Dr. Chris Lomax (Los Angeles, CA), Dr. Robert Warren (Fresno, CA), Ms. Darlene Anderson (Dallas TX), and Dr. Robert Poole (Stanford, CA). As the network of directors grew so did the need for a more structured organization.

By 1985, their vision had taken form and the Pharmacy Directors of Pediatric Hospitals (PDPH) organization was born. PDPH held the first Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA during the ASHP Midyear Meeting. Annual Board of Director retreats in the Colorado mountains shaped the future direction of the organization. In 1987 interest in the group expanded to include Associate Directors, Clinical Directors, and Managers in the pediatric pharmacy setting. This prompted the group to change its name to the Pediatric Pharmacy Administrative Group (PPAG).  

The 1990’s: Momentum 

By the early 1990’s PPAG continued to grow and membership expanded to include pediatric clinical pharmacists and specialists as well as pharmacists academicians. Struggling to find a voice in the larger pharmacy community, PPAG was officially incorporated as a non-profit organization.

1991

PPAG received a $200,000 grant from the Kappour Charitable Foundation to establish The Kappour Center for Pediatric Drug Information at the Children’s Hospital in Denver with the help of then Director of Pharmacy Henry “Hank” Wedemeyer. The Center developed the Pediatric Adverse Drug Event and Reaction Reporting (PADR) Program. The PADR program was one of the first national ADR and ADE reporting programs in the US, and in 1995 received a $300,000 grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation’s Center for the Future of Children. The PADR Program expanded to 25 reporting and participating Hospitals by 1998. The findings of this study were published in the Journal of Pediatric Pharmacy Practice in 1999 and presented at the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists meeting in Madrid, Spain in 2000.

1992

Kellie McQueen became the first Executive Director of PPAG. PPAG held its 1st Annual Meeting in Copper Mountain, Colorado. At this Annual Meeting, the Board changed the name to the Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group to reflect the diverse membership of the organization. The PPAG Annual Meeting has grown over the years and has become the best educational and networking meeting for Pediatric Clinical Pharmacists worldwide (see list of Annual Meetings below).

1995

The Board of Directors established the Mission, Vision, and Values of PPAG. These statements of purpose remain as the organizing principles of PPAG.

1996

The Journal of Pediatric Pharmacy Practice became the official journal of PPAG. The founding editor was David Grinder. The Journal was a forum for practitioners in pediatrics to publish works such as original research, case reports, and drug therapy reviews.

1997

Kellie McQueen resigned as Executive Director and day-to-day management was outsourced to an Association Management Company.

On October 27, 1997, PPAG presented the need for regulation requiring manufacturers to assess the safety and effectiveness of new drugs and biological products in pediatric patients. Mr. Dave Grinder represented PPAG at the FDA public hearings on the issue.

PPAG partnered with Publications International to publish Guidelines for Children’s Prescription Drugs. This publication provided accurate information for families related to medication use. Later that year, PPAG lead the movement to avoid the use of drug name abbreviations (eight years before the Joint Commission).

1998

PPAG severed ties with its management group and named Henry “Hank” Wedemeyer as Executive Director. As Executive Director Hank continued to grow the organization and organized very successful Annual Meetings in Kiawah Island, SC, Vancouver, BC Canada, San Antonio, TX, St. Louis, MO, and St. Petersburg, FL.

PPAG launched its first website and PediNet, an electronic bulletin board dedicated to improving communication among the pediatric pharmacy community.

PPAG had 350 active members heading into its third decade.

1999

PPAG becomes an approved provider of Continuing Pharmacy Education by the Accreditation Council of Pharmacy Education

The 21st Century: Rapid Growth

2001

The Journal of Pediatric Pharmacy Practice became The Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Stephanie Phelps became Editor-in-Chief. The Journal became a peer-reviewed multi-disciplinary journal that is devoted to promoting the safe and effective use of medications in infants and children. To this end, the journal publishes practical information for all practitioners who provide care to pediatric patients. Each issue includes review articles, original clinical investigations, case reports, editorials, and other information relevant to pediatric medication therapy.

Soon after its launch, the Journal published a groundbreaking article, “Guidelines for Preventing Medication Errors in Pediatrics.”

2002

Hank Wedemeyer retired as Executive Director

PPAG sponsored and offered the first Specialty Conference for Neonatology.

Sumner J. Yaffe Lifetime Achievement Award in Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics was established. The Yaffe Award is given annually in recognition of significant and sustained contributions toward the improvement of children's health through the expansion of the field of pediatric pharmacology and therapeutics.

2003

Matthew Helms became the forth Executive Director of PPAG and moved the organization’s headquarters from Denver, Colorado to Memphis, Tennessee.

PPAG recognized Lifetime Honorary Members; Doug Smith, Steve Allen, Dave Grinder, Joe Sceppa, Gary Greiner, Hank Wedemeyer, and Bob Poole.  

2004 

The Association launched a new website, and began to offer a quarterly newsletter for membership. The official newsletter of PPAG became the Pediatric Pharmacy Advocate in 2007.

2006 

The Richard A. Helms Excellence in Pediatric Pharmacy Practice Award was established. The Helms Award recognizes (1) sustained and meritorious contributions to PPAG and to pediatric pharmacy practice, and (2) contributions of importance to education, new knowledge, and outreach. 

The Bruce Parks Memorial Residency Project Showcase was established in 2006. This showcase seeks to stimulate interest in the field of pediatric pharmacy by offering a highly competitive award for the best pediatric pharmacy resident presentation at the PPAG Spring Specialty Meeting each year. Approximately ninety (90) residents participate in this program each year.

PPAG offered its first online continuing pharmacy education program in 2006.

The Presidential Citation recognizing an outstanding Committee Chairperson was established.

PPAG reaches 500 members.

2007

In February, PPAG Board of Directors officially endorsed the "Shanghai Declaration," which outlines the organization's commitment to improving safe and reliable medicines for children worldwide." This endorsement also established PPAG as a member of the International Alliance for Better Medicine.

2008

The Fellowship in the Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group (FPPAG) Program was established. The program serves the following purposes: to recognize excellence in pediatric pharmacy practice; and to grant recognition and to promote public awareness of pharmacists who have distinguished themselves in pediatric pharmacy practice.

Local Communities and Networks (LCN) Recognition Program was also established. Through networking events, local programming, regional news and volunteer opportunities, the Local Networks build a community of peers, advance career and volunteer opportunities within the pediatric pharmacy community. Today, there are six (6) Local Communities.

The Board formally approved the establishment of the first permanent reserve fund.

PPAG launched a comprehensive Age-based Competency for Pediatrics Program online.

KidsMeds, a website dedicated to accurate pediatric drug information to parents and families, was launched.

The Spirit of PPAG Award was established recognizing "behind the scenes" contributors to the Association.

PPAG kept its commitment to improving safe and reliable medicines for children worldwide by planning the First International Pediatric Pharmacy and Pharmacology Summit in association with the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP). This exciting event was the first time that international pediatric pharmacy and clinical pharmacology organizations involved in the use of medicines in children came together to share research, practice, and ideas to improve the care of children. 

PPAG reaches 650 members.

2009

PPAG established the Neonatal Pharmacy Resident Research Small Grant Program.  

2010

PPAG began recognizing PPAG Student Groups dedicated to pediatric pharmacy within Colleges and Schools of Pharmacy. These student groups provide educational, networking, and community service opportunities. To date PPAG has recognized over twenty-eight (28) student organizations

2011

PPAG  introduced a new format for our Annual Conferences. Our Conference provides focused specialty blocks with review and advanced educational tracks. Also, PPAG began offering live webinars on a regular basis. We now offer one continuing education program per month.

PPAG reaches 750 members.

2013

Pediatric pharmacy was recognized by the Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS). PPAG successfully partnered with ACCP, APhA, and ASHP to develop the petition recognized pediatric pharmacy as a specialty.

PPAG reaches 950 members.

2014

PPAG established a Research Mentoring Program for young practitioners.

PPAG successfully advocates for a pediatric pharmacy voice on the FDA Pharmacy Compounding Advisory Committee. Kathy Pham, PharmD, is appointed to the post

PPAG has grown to 1,000+ members.

2015

PPAG offers its first BCPPS Exam Preparation and Review Course in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the Pediatric PharmPrep Advanced Guide. Over 530 pharmacists attend. 

PPAG is awarded the Professional Development Program (PDP) provider contract by the Board of Pharmacy Specialties.

PPAG begins to offer two (2) conference per year; our Annual Meeting and the Fall Pediatric Pharmacy Conference.  

PPAG publishes the Advanced Pediatric Therapeutics textbook. 

PPAG joins the The Patient Access to Pharmacists’ Care Coalition (PAPCC) 

​PPAG enters into a affiliation agreement with the American College of Clinical Pharmacology

PPAG launches a new and improved website to respond to new technological advances and the communication needs of our members. 

2016

​PPAG launches PPAG University (PPAG-U), a one-stop shop for pediatric pharmacy education and professional development. BCPPS Recertification Units during the Annual Meeting and Fall Conference.

​PPAG reaches 1,300+ members

Conclusion

From that first conversation among friends PPAG has grown in size and scope to truly become the primary resource for pediatric medication therapy in children. PPAG continues to develop educational programs for practitioners and families that will continue to be influential. 

Tables of Interest

Presidents/Chairman of the Board
PPAG recognizes the service of those that have served on the Board of Directors. We owe them a debt of gratitude for their voluntary service to PPAG.

1985-1995 Doug Smith
1995-1998 Dave Ginder
1998-1999 Steve Allen
1999-2000 Merrell Magelli
2000-2001 Christy Scott
2001-2002 Anne Lesko, PharmD, FPPAG
2002-2003 Sherry Luedtke, PharmD, FPPAG
2003-2004 David Gregory, PharmD
2004-2005 Robert Kuhn, PharmD, FPPAG
2005-2006 Robert Kuhn, PharmD, FPPAG
2006-2007 James Dice, PharmD FPPAG
2007-2008 Cindy Dusik, PharmD
2008-2009 Jeffrey Low, PharmD
2009-2010 Michael Christensen, PharmD, PPPAG
2010-2011 Michael Christensen, PharmD, FPPAG
2011-2012 David Knoppert
2012-2013 Amy Potts, PharmD
2013-2014 William Maish, PharmD
2014-2015 Kay Kyllonen, PharmD, FPPAG
2015-2016 Jared Cash, PharmD
2016-2017 Lisa Lubsch, PharmD
2017-2018 David Hoff, PharmD, FPPAG
   

 

Board of Directors- Past Members
Darlene Anderson
Nicholas Blanchard, PharmD
Bruce Carleton, PharmD
Michael Chicella, PharmD
Edress Darsey, PharmD
Lea Eiland, PharmD
Andrew Fariello, PharmD
Elizabeth Farrington, PharmD, FPPAG
Helen Fiechtner, PharmD, FPPAG
Tim Fuller, PharmD
Gary Greiner, PharmD
Kathleen Gura, PharmD, FPPAG
Karen Gurwitch
Tracy Hagemann, PharmD, FPPAG
Don Hamilton
Richard Helms, PharmD, FPPAG
David Hoff, PharmD, FPPAG
Larry Koester
Donna Kraus, PharmD, FPPAG
Karl Kubitz
Carlton Lee, PharmD
Stuart Levine, PharmD
Christine Lindsay
Christopher Lomax, PharmD
Ralph Lugo, PharmD
Jerrod Milton, PharmD
Brady Moffett, PharmD
Steve Moon
Stephanie Phelps, PharmD, FPPAG
Robert Poole, PharmD, FPPAG
Bert Price, RPh
Jeffrey Primovic
Joseph Sceppa
Pam Smith, PharmD
Cindy Stowe, PharmD
Julie Till
Timothy Todd, PharmD, FPPAG
John VanEeckhout
Bob Warren
Hank Wedemeyer, MS, FASHP

Executive Directors

1992-1997 Kellie McQueen
1997 Steve Glass (AMC)
1998-2002 Hank Wedemeyer
2003-present Matthew Helms

 

Honorary Members

2003 Induction

Doug Smith
Steven Allen
Dave Grinder
Joe Sceppa
Gary Greiner
Hank Wedemeyer
Bob Poole

Meetings and Conference History
 
Pharmacy Directors of Pediatric Hospitals (PDPH)
1985 New Orleans, LA*
1986 Las Vegas, NV*
1987 Atlanta, GA*
1988 Nashville, TN*
1989 Atlanta, GA*
1990 Las Vegas, NV*
1991 New Orleans, LA*
 
Pediatric Pharmacy Administrative Group (PPAG)
1992 1st Annual Meeting Copper Mountain, CO
1993 2nd Annual Meeting Vail, CO
 
Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group (PPAG)
1994 3rd Annual Meeting Napa, CA
1995 4th Annual Meeting Newport, RI
1996 5th Annual Meeting Scottsdale, AZ
1997 6th Annual Meeting Beaver Creek, CO
1998 7th Annual Meeting Kiawah Island, SC
1999 8th Annual Meeting Vancouver, BC
2000 9th Annual Meeting San Antonio, TX
2001 10th Annual Meeting St. Louis, MO
  NICU Specialty Conference  
2002 11th Annual Meeting St. Petersburg, FL
  PICU Specialty Conference Dallas, TX
2003 12th Annual Meeting Dana Point, CA
  NICU Specialty Conference Tucson, AZ
2004 13th Annual Meeting St. Petersburg, FL
2005 14th Annual Meeting Chicago, IL
  Hematology/Oncology Specialty Conference Memphis, TN
2006 15th Annual Meeting San Francisco, CA
  PICU/NICU Specialty Conference Baltimore, MD
2007 16th Annual Meeting Portsmouth, VA
  Technology/Safety Specialty Conference Austin, TX
2008 17th Annual Meeting Baltimore, MD
  PICU/NICU Specialty Conference Little Rock, AR
2009 18th Annual Meeting Cleveland, OH
  International Conference (held in conjuction with ACCP) Orlando, FL
2010 19th Annual Meeting St. Charles, MO
  Chronic Diseases Specialty Conference Salt Lake City, UT
2011 20th Annual Meeting
Focus: Hematology/Oncology and Critical Care
Memphis, TN
2012 21st Annual Meeting
Focus: Infectious Diseases and Clinical Leadership/Management
Houston, TX
2013 22nd Annual Meeting
Focus: NICU and PICU
Indianapolis, IN
2014 23rd Annual Meeting
Focus: Hematology/Oncology and General Pediatrics
Nashville, TN
2015 24th Annual Meeting
Focus: Board Examination Preparation
Minneapolis, MN
  Fall Meeting: Board Exam Preparation Houston, TX
2016 25th Annual Meeting
Focus: NICU/Nutrition
Atlanta, GA


* held in conjunction with the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting