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Connie (bleeping) Chung?

What do Connie Chung, Betty White, Marie Osmond, Lily Tomlin and Penn & Teller have in common?  
  1. New owners of an WNBA Franchise?  
  2. Candidates for SNL spoofs?
  3. Victims of a Jon Stewart lashing?
  4. Keynotes for a clinical pharmacy meeting? 
    Wah, Huh– What was that last one?

   The American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) is losing it.  A number of people in pharmacy leadership capacity around the country expressed their displeasure with the speaker choices for an upcoming CLINICAL meeting.  So I am fine being the bad guy and making these bizarre choices public and calling on the ASHP leadership to be accountable.  Let's review.
   First they have Connie Chung as the Keynote for the 2010 summer meeting. Hello? The demographic of people who watch the evening news is my mother’s age (and I am in my 50's).  The CBS evening news is so irrelevant it is not even funny.  Check out the ratings.   In a response to questioning this, an ASHP official cited interest in health reform and national leadership.  Google "Health Reform and Connie Chung" and you get  an embarrassing set of links, with this precious piece listed first from the Daily Show. OMG. Connie Chung is no more qualified to comment on health reform than Marie Osmond.  I jokingly mentioned who is next, Simon Cowell?  Well, it could not have gotten worst; Betty White, Lily Tomlin, Marie Osmond? — I could not make this up.  Btw, Ms. Chung was a train wreck at the Summer meeting.  While I did not attend, numerous folks that did attend the keynote where not impressed.  The only people defending here where ASHP staffers.  Not a single attendee had a good thing to say about this horrible choice.

   Last year they had Dennis Quaid the actor as keynote.  That seemed very good at the time, as his twins where victims of a horrible medication error.  Mr Quaid either lied or embellished much of the details of his speech. At  the time a noted leader in hospital pharmacy said to me "ASHP is becoming the People Magazine of Pharmacy".  Even I thought that was over the top.  Not anymore.

   Keep in mind that the title of the meeting is the Midyear CLINICAL Meeting.  So the proposed keynotes, in the choices above, are tied to pharmacy and clinical in what way?  I have been to 30+ Midyear Clinical Meetings and never have I seen such irrelevant choices.  Penn & Teller have a Showtime series called "Bullshit", that exposes fraud.  Perhaps they might be good speakers to expose those who think that ASHP leadership is stellar.  Nah, that would be too easy.  What are they thinking? What are you thinking?

   To be solution orientated, ASHP could pick any of the speakers at random from the TEDMED2009 or TEDMED2010 conference and they would be 1,000x times better than the current choices.  My personal choice would be ePatientDave, but after this rant, I may not be on the most favorite nation status with my professional organization.  Oh well, someone needs to make them accountable.

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