By Sara (Mandy) Reece, PharmD, CDCES, BC-ADM, BCACP, FADCES, FCCP
ADCES is celebrating 50 years!! ADCES has been my professional association home since 2012 when I began as a volunteer on the Pharmacy COI Scholarship Review Committee. Prior to 2012, I had attended a couple of annual meetings but considered myself on the periphery of the organization.
What ultimately drew me into the association was Ann Constance and the Michigan group who invited me to join them during an annual meeting in Las Vegas as I attended the conference in 2011 by myself and honestly did not feel connected to the association.
Since 2012, I have faithfully served with joy within various roles with Pharmacy COI, on the annual planning committee, member affiliate council, communications committee chair for the Atlanta LNG, co-facilitator of the Northeast Georgia LNG, on the national board of directors and as treasurer of ADCES. After my time as treasurer, I was unsure of my next steps but I also know this tends to happen organically.
Since 2020, I have served on the professional practice committee, technology advisory committee, advisory committee (chairing this year) and as ADCES media spokesperson. I share this thread of volunteerism with you to encourage you to start small and know that it will increase over time with intent and enthusiasm. It all started with that invitation from Ann which was then followed by my asking Sue Cornell how I could get involved with Pharmacy COI.
What has been the return on investment for this commitment? Professional development, ongoing challenge to step outside my comfort zone, lifelong learning and lifelong friendships. During my time on the board of directors, the opportunities to develop my “soft” skills, understanding of strategic planning and exposure to the larger landscape of the diabetes world were vital steps in my professional development.
Within my service on the advocacy committee (I love, love advocacy work!!), I have developed my advocacy skills when speaking to legislators and staffers and created opportunities to annually to practice those skills. I am not a risk taker as I prefer to play it safe. I can still recall the nervousness that I felt when I applied to run for chair of Pharmacy COI then board of directors then treasurer. Boy did each step in this progression push me further and further out of my comfort zone. In terms of lifelong learning, I absolutely cherish and utilize the education available from ADCES, in particular the webinars and certificate programs. My favorite certificate programs have been the CGM and insulin pump which propelled me to create a CGM and insulin pump service line within the family medicine clinic in which I work. Interestingly, this service line prompted creation of a diabetes rotation for family medicine residents in which the diabetes education department and I collaborate to educate and equip the residents to be proficient in diabetes technology. Lastly (but certainly not least), the lifelong friendships with colleagues across the country as we keep in touch, look forward to seeing each other in August each year at the annual meeting and collaborate on various projects and initiatives. Most recently, in my volunteer work with the ADA, I interviewed two my dear ADCES friends, Lucille Hughes and Rhonda Hammond-Moore, to create content and share their story of creating a CGM service line for a diabetes technology webinar. The return on investment has been more than I could have ever dreamed. It is truly more blessed to give than receive.
So why would encourage you to join and actively participate in the association and specialty? As I tell my colleagues at the School of Pharmacy, service with an association will give you opportunities to meet and collaborate with others, provide support and development, and create lifelong friendships that you would not have otherwise simply by working for your employer.
This fall I am submitting my dossier for full professor which I know would not be possible without ADCES in the learning community, stretching me beyond my belief of what is possible and networking that it has created. So what are the possibilities for you for you take the next step in joining and engaging within ADCES? The sky is truly the limit if you step out of your comfort zone and look beyond what you believe is the limit.