NARD's INTERIM TOP EXEC IS CHAIRMAN CHARLES WEST WHILE SUCCESSOR TO WILLIAM WOODS IS BEING SOUGHT; WOODS RETIRES OCT. 22 AFTER 20 YEARS
NARD's interim top exec is Chairman Charles West, succeeding William Woods, who retired as Exec VP, effective Oct. 22. The assn. announced the change in management on the same day. West, the exec VP of the Arkansas Phramacists Assn., is filling the position of NARD's chief exec, "with the participation of the Exec Cmte., in the management of the day-to-day business of the assn.," until a permanent replacement is chosen, NARD reported. West said that "other announcements will follow" concerning succession of leadership of the Natl. Assn. of Retail Druggists (NARD). The assn. has not announced a procedure for selecting the successor for Woods. One of six members of NARD's Exec Cmte., West was chosen as the cmte.'s chairman earlier this month at the assn.'s annual convention, in Miami Beach. A past president of the Arkansas Pharmacists Assn., West is president of Kavanaugh Pharmacy in Little Rock. As Exec Cmte. Chairman, West succeeded H. Joseph Schutte from Louisville. Schutte moved to president-elect of the assn. West is a 1963 grad of the University of Arkansas Pharmacy College, where as a senior he received the Rexall Award. He is a past president of the Pulaski County (Little Rock) Pharmacists Assn., a member of the Council of the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy, and a fellow of the American College of Apothecaries. NARD Contacts NWDA To Rekindle Relations The departing Woods worked in retail and hospital pharmacy manufacturing, govt. and education for more than 40 years. He was active in the NARD staff for 20 of these years. Now 67, he joined NARD in 1964 as Washington representative and associate general counsel. He was appointed exec director in 1976 when the assn. moved its headquarters from Chicago to Washington, D.C., and assumed the exec VP title in 1978. Woods' early career was in Texas, where he got his BS degree from the University of Texas Pharmacy College in 1938 and a law degree in 1953. He directed the Texas Health Dept.'s emergency medical service in 1942 and 1943, was asst. director of the Natl. Pharmacy Survey Office in 1947 and 1948, and was with Lilly 1948-51. The leadership change gives NARD opportunity to rekindle friendly relations -- at the top D.C. staff level -- with other natl. pharmacy assns., the Rx and OTC drug manufacturing industry, academia and Congress. Chairman West expressed his interest in communication with other leaders in pharmacy and in the industry immediately on becoming NARD's acting exec VP. West, for example, considered among his first responsibilities the personal notification of pharmacy and industry leaders, mostly by telephone, of Woods' retirement.AphA President Jack Schlegel, following West's call, responded with a letter, offering: "If there is anything I can do at a personal or professional level, to be of assistance, please do not hesitate to call." NARD also immediately moved to rebuild ties with the Natl. Whsle. Druggists' Assn. (NWDA). NARD asked NWDA if they could send representatives to the whslrs.' annual meeting in Orlando, Nov. 3-7. NARD had previously rejected the standard invitation to attend the meeting of the related trade assn., due to differences arising from the legislative progress of the pharmacy crime bill. The pharmacy assn. had also prevented NWDA from having an exhibit at the NARD annual meeting in Miami Beach. West reportedly will be attending the NWDA annual meeting as a sign of the improved staff relationships between the organizations. The dispute between NARD's D.C. staff and NWDA was presumably one of the catalysts for the change in the pharmacy organization's leadership. That dispute exemplified the difficulties NARD has been experiencing in working with other health care industry assns. on issues of mutual interest. NARD Has Been Isolated From Effective Coalitions On Washington Issues: New Leader Could Change That The prospect for friendly discussions of pharmacy issues common to NARD, APhA and other pharmacy groups is also enhanced by the NARD leadership changes. APhA President Schlegel, who is also new to his position, has declared a desire to work cooperatively and closely with all organizations. Schlegel accepted Woods' invitation to attend NARD's convention in Miami Beach and vowed in his first formal speech as APhA's president: "Pharmacists want peace in the profession, and they will have it." In his "disarmament" pledge, Schlegel declared: "We must work together and with others." NARD's vehement, and sometimes vindictive, defense of its positions during the last several years has increasingly left the assn. without reliable allies on important issues to pharmacy in D.C. While most assns. recognize the right of different groups to have different opinions on key issues, it has been important in D.C. dealings to keep channels of communication open on a day-to-day basis. Membership leaders within NARD apparently felt sensitive to the isolation that the assn.'s D.C. staff was creating. That put NARD in a poor posture for seeking coalition agreements in the pharmacy policy field. While offering its members a number of management services and continuing-education opportunities, NARD in recent years vigorously clashed with, and publicly attempted to ridicule, organizations with different points of view. Jealously guarding its view of its own turf, NARD's leadership feuded with APhA, the Natl. Assn. of Chain Drug Stores, Pharmaceutical Mfrs. Assn. President Joe Stetler, The Proprietary Assn., USP, the American Assn. of Colleges of Pharmacy, and pharmacy deans, among others. The change in leadership may also effect NARD in the legislative arena. For the past several years, NARD has sought the pharmacy crime bill as a central Capitol Hill focus. A new Exec VP could develop new issues and relationships on the Hill. Shortly after his appointment as NARD's exec in 1977, Woods was instrumental in the formation of the Joint Commission of Pharmacy Practitioners (JCPP), whose five assn.-members have been meeting a few times each year in Washington, D.C. on issues of common concern. While APhA declined to join JCPP, the organization has been cited as a preliminary effort by pharmacy to present a unified front on some issues. JCPP, which elects no leaders in orders to maintain the independence of its members, has never presented testimony to Congress, but HHS officials have addressed the organization. NACDS recently dropped its JCPP membership because of "a growing number of rather sensitive matters . . . which cannot be adequately handled within the framework of JCPP," The organization now has four assn. members. Besides NARD, they are the American Society of Hospital Pharmacists, the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, and the American College of Apothecaries. Lack of meaningful communication in past years between leadership of NARD and APhA has led to unrest within the pharmacy profession, with suggestions for an all-pharmacy natl. strategic planning conference -- possibly organized by JCPP but not necessarily linked to an existing assn. -- and efforts by state pharmacy assns. to organize their own strategic planning without input from natl. assns. The leadership changes at the two assns. could provide the climate for both groups to maintain their identities and work together more cooperatively on selected issues.
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