National pharmacy advocate to speak at commencement

Laura Cranston, executive director of the Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA), will be the keynote speaker at the commencement ceremony of the Washington State University College of Pharmacy on Thursday, May 5.

The non-profit PQA’s primary role is to promote appropriate medication use and improve the quality of medication management across health care settings through the development and implementation of performance measures used in federal, state and commercial programs.

Cranston oversees the development of medication use measures, which are individual or sets of data points related to the use of medications that are measured and tracked with the purpose of improving patient care and better health outcomes.

Previously, Cranston served as the executive director for the Institute for the Advancement of Community Pharmacy, an organization focused on advancing innovative practices and pharmacist-delivered services in ambulatory care and also independent and chain community pharmacies.

For over a decade, Cranston served as the vice president of pharmacy affairs for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS). While at NACDS she was responsible for working with chain corporations and developing policy and positions on issues that impacted the industry, including state board of pharmacy regulations, DUR/counseling, training pharmacy technicians, and legislation to establish a Medicare prescription drug benefit.

Cranston is very active within the pharmacy community, and currently serves as chair of the board of visitors of the St. John’s University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, as president of the St. John’s University Washington, D.C., alumni chapter, and she also serves on the University of Notre Dame College of Pharmacy board of advisors.

Cranston’s selection as the commencement speaker for pharmacy maintains the college’s practice to bring thought leaders to campus. Last year, Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona delivered the keynote address.

[May 4, 2016] By: Lori J. Maricle