Debbi Hodgins - ISOPP 2014 Summary Report

As a beneficiary of the travel grant from CAPhO Awards and Grants committee to attend ISOPP 2014 in Montreal, I want to say a heartfelt “Thank You” for a great experience. From the opening plenary, to the Friday night “Dinner at the Circus” and all of the sessions and symposiums throughout, ISOPP 2014 was a pleasure to attend. Not sure what to expect from a global symposium I was pleased with the organization, flow and content of the conference. The conference program offered a great variety of topics to choose from and I gained a lot of knowledge, information and insight into Oncology Pharmacy Practice that I will be able to incorporate into my practice immediately.
The opening plenary “Facts vs Stories” by Mike Lang was a great starting point. To me it was a great way to open the conference because it really reinforced that pharmacists are a part of patients’ healthcare team and we can have a great impact on the “cancer experience” of our patients. As pharmacists are being encourages to take on more clinical roles, particularly in oncology, the everyday interactions that we have with our patients can positively affect their cancer experience. I know I will look at my interactions with patients differently after this presentation. Mike Lang also gave a moving presentation on “Care Givers for Cancer Patients” that I won’t soon forget and his on-line web videos and adventure therapy program will be a useful resource to my practice as well.
I also attended a number of sessions that discussed Safe Practices in the Use of Oncology medicines, as well as checking best practices, the “Human Error” component, and handling of hazardous medications. Rachel White was an excellent speaker and inspired me to want to encourage improvements in my own institution. You could tell from the buzz that was generated in the conference rooms during her talks that this is a challenge and concern that many oncology institutions share across the country and across the world.
The Symposium also provided a variety of clinical sessions on Palliative Care, New Opportunities and Expansion in Clinical Pharmacy Services, and Oral Agents – Toxicities and management, as well as the Pediatric, Adolescent and Young Adult Update which I found very interesting and informative. I came away from these presentations with some expanded knowledge and references that I could use in my own practice and share with my colleagues.
I commend the CAPhO / ISOPP committee for putting on an outstanding conference. The venue and accommodations were impressive and the ISOPP 2014 committee did a great job with the content and organization of the conference. As a first time attendee I came away from ISOPP enlightened, inspired, and enthused about oncology pharmacy and I was thrilled to be able to experience all this  in the beautiful city of Montreal.   
Debbi Hodgins, Pharmacist 
Allan Blair Cancer Agency
Regina SK, Canada