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As CSHP President-Elect, KGI’s Dr. Daniel Kudo Highlights the Value of Service Within the Pharmacy Profession

Dr. Daniel Kudo, Professor of Practice for Keck Graduate Institute (KGI)’s School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, was recently named President-Elect of the California Society of Health-System Pharmacists (CSHP). His primary responsibilities include helping to ensure that the CSHP continues to build and maintain its membership, increase its effectiveness in the legislative arena, and promote public awareness of the many ways in which pharmacists benefit society.

Kudo’s new role for the CSHP spans three years. In the first year, he will serve as President-Elect, the second as President, and the third as Chairperson of the Board of Directors, where he will coordinate the board’s activities.

“To build the CSHP’s membership, I will help answer the question that most practicing pharmacists and student pharmacists have: ‘Why should I be active in a pharmaceutical organization?'” Kudo said. “We must demonstrate that by influencing legislation, you can play a role in the types and number of jobs available to you as a pharmacist over time.”

This leads to Kudo’s second primary responsibility to help the CSHP strengthen relationships with stakeholders in the legislative arena to help pass bills that they support as an organization. Such stakeholders include the California Medical Association, California Nursing Association, and patient advocacy organizations.

“We want to develop and build relationships with these organizations so that we can find the right common ground and areas where we can be mutually supportive of each other,” Kudo said. “My ultimate goal is to create legislation that permits pharmacists to practice at the top or the upper limit of their license.”

Finally, Kudo plans to help shed light on the value pharmacists deliver to local communities and society. Many people traditionally associate pharmacists with dispensing medication in a community pharmacy. They would be surprised to learn how many activities pharmacists participate in regarding their medical care.

“Pharmacists are authorized in certain settings to modify, add, or delete medication therapy,” Kudo said. “They are often not readily recognizable to patients as distinct from other healthcare professionals when they are participating in interdisciplinary rounds in hospitals.”

Only recently has the public started to become aware of precisely how vital pharmacists are.

“The most important reason for my wanting to spread this message is that the public is just now seeing, through COVID, how valuable pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacy students have become in administering vaccines that are quite literally saving lives,” Kudo said.

Kudo feels that in his new leadership position, he will inspire other pharmacists to take an active role in improving the profession of pharmacy.

“I also believe that my serving as President of CSHP lends a lot of credibility to the idea that KGI is an institution that really supports active participation in and service to pharmacy societies,” Kudo said.

At KGI, he currently mentors around 60 students. Part of this process involves helping the students identify the areas within the profession that best fit their abilities and passion and help them better qualify for these opportunities.

“I try to make the students aware of the fact that as healthcare professionals, they all have a responsibility to give back to their community,” Kudo said.

Thus, Kudo’s goal is to ensure that students recognize the value of community service, figure out meaningful community service activities to engage in, and articulate these activities in their CV.

This belief in service value extends to Kudo’s role in the CSHP.

“I’m hoping that the example I set here, both as a faculty member and as an individual that’s part of the KGI family, sends a signal to all the faculty as well as the students that they have an important responsibility to remain active in the profession,” Kudo said.

“Because my ultimate goal is to help change the profession for the better.”