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PTCB Hosts Twentieth Anniversary Celebration, Releases Film, and Honors 2015 CPhT of the Year

October 29, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC -- The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) hosted a special twentieth anniversary reception on October 27 to celebrate two decades of advancing patient care and safety, and to recognize the 2015 CPhT of the Year, Hortense Jones. More than 80 guests attended the festive event, including pharmacy leaders, employers, educators, PTCB staff, and 20-year CPhTs.

“This 20-year anniversary celebration is a great occasion to showcase PTCB’s progress in advancing patient care and safety, honor certified pharmacy technicians, and strengthen support for PTCB’s mission,” said Paul W. Abramowitz, PharmD, ScD (Hon), FASHP, Chair of the PTCB Board of Governors. “This milestone is really about the nation’s more than 280,000 dedicated CPhTs. We applaud them for their essential roles on the health care team.”

PTCB Board of Governors members Larry Wagenknecht, BPharm, and Scott Meyers, MS, RPh, and PTCB staff presented a timeline of PTCB’s history and the expanding role of CPhTs in advancing patient safety over the years. Presenters highlighted events that occurred before and after PTCB was founded in 1995. These included the 1992 Scope of Pharmacy Practice Project, which defined skills and knowledge needed by pharmacy technicians to perform their functions and responsibilities. Also highlighted was PTCB’s 2011 summit focused on consumer awareness, resources, education, state policy, and testing related to CPhTs, and PTCB’s decision to implement new certification requirements beginning in 2014.

“We are here to celebrate the PTCB Certification Program’s contribution to advancing patient safety as the roles of pharmacy technicians have evolved during the past 20 years,” said Everett B. McAllister, MPA, RPh, “PTCB is a nationally accepted certification program that helps position pharmacy technicians for the changing roles experienced in today’s pharmacy settings, and for career advancement. Given the program’s rigor, strength, and national acceptance, PTCB anticipates increasing demand, and we look forward to meeting the needs of pharmacy technicians for the next 20 years.”

The festivities included a premiere showing of PTCB’s short 20-Year Anniversary film. Guests enjoyed this 5-minute mini-documentary and its candid interviews with CPhTs, pharmacy leaders, and stakeholders who point out expanding technician roles and the growth of PTCB’s Certification Program in the past 20 years. 

A high point of the evening was a special ceremony to honor Hortense Jones, the 2015 PTCB CPhT of the Year, when PTCB Executive Director and CEO Everett B. McAllister, MPA, RPh, presented Ms. Jones with a trophy and honorarium. Ms. Jones is the Pharmacy Technician Supervisor at the Lincoln Community Health Center in Durham, NC, a primary care facility providing accessible outpatient health services to the medically underserved. Lincoln Pharmacy processes more than 1,000 prescriptions daily for nearly 30,000 patients. Ms. Jones has empowered her team to integrate new pharmacy practices into care for Lincoln’s high-risk patient population. Ms. Jones created a ‘Walk In My Shoes’ study whereby technicians and pharmacists experienced the Lincoln Pharmacy from a patient’s perspective, which led to new cultural competence training for staff and improved patient communications.

“Thank you PTCB for this honor,” said Ms. Jones. “This is the Academy Award for pharmacy technicians! I am so fortunate to be recognized for the role I enjoy most: leading the devoted pharmacy technician team at Lincoln Pharmacy. We have a stellar team of engaging, innovative technicians who are passionate about patient safety. A visiting pharmacist who toured our pharmacy recently told me technicians in his practice are ‘not doing half’ of what Lincoln technicians are doing. Lincoln's technician team is excellent, he said, and an example for other pharmacies to follow. I would tell a technician who wanted to advance in their career, 'embrace your career, prepare yourself, and continue to obtain as much knowledge as possible. If there is a pharmacy associate degree program in your area, go for it. The need for specialty technicians is growing expeditiously. Advocate the need, and always be about why and who you are doing this for: your patients.'"

PTCB acknowledges and commends its founding organizations for their vision and ongoing commitment to a single national standard for certifying pharmacy technicians. PTCB was established 20 years ago by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists, and Michigan Pharmacists Association. In 2001, PTCB expanded its Board of Governors to include the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP).  

Members of PTCB's Board of Governors recognize 2015 CPhT of the Year Hortense Jones at PTCB's twentieth anniversary celebration.