Dr. Vera R. Jackson, who began as ASCP executive director and chief executive officer January 3, 2012, says that one of her most important goals is to let people know about the good things ASCP is doing. "I want members, legislators, and regulators all to know that ASCP is the voice of senior care pharmacy," she says. "ASCP offers me the opportunity to contribute to the medication management needs of older individuals through the support of our members."
Dr. Jackson's interest in geriatrics and the health of older adults grew out of her closeness to her maternal grandmother, who had several chronic illnesses. She considered going into direct health care -- she comes from a family of doctors and nurses -- but decided, instead, to lead organizations that deliver services to an aging population.
"She’s very passionate about health care," said Penny Shelton, PharmD, CGP, FASCP, 2011-2012 ASCP president. "She understands who we are and what we do."
Dr. Jackson came to ASCP from the Epilepsy Foundation where she was both the senior director of National Special Program Initiatives and president and chief executive officer of the Epilepsy Foundation of Metropolitan Washington. In this capacity she worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for public education and corporate outreach supporting the national epilepsy agenda before Congress and with the media. This included providing management and technical assistance in the delivery of five CDC-funded programs: on employment and for seniors, veterans, and those with Traumatic Brain Injury or families experiencing Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy.
Dr. Jackson has extensive knowledge of long-term care and geriatrics. She was the chief director for a program supporting retired senior volunteers, served as a consultant for other programs serving the aged, and led a reaccreditation team at a geriatric facility seeking renewal from The Joint Commission.
Dr. Jackson definitely wants to raise the Society’s profile. "ASCP has long been known as ‘the best kept secret,’" Dr. Jackson said. "I plan to change that."
Shelton agrees that Dr. Jackson will promote ASCP to other health care associations as well as to other pharmacy associations, and she is already laying the groundwork for this. "I also believe she can demystify the field of consultant pharmacy," says Shelton.
Dr. Jackson has a PhD in social work from Howard University, Washington, DC. She has managed educational programs for school-aged students; and worked with social service agencies and education for abused, neglected, and homeless children and young adults. She is formerly an adjunct professor at Strayer University, Washington, DC, teaching psychology and sociology. She has published books and a number of articles on geriatric issues focused on abuse, aging families and values transmission, volunteerism, and ethics associated with death and dying.
Dr. Jackson wants members to know that ASCP has created new opportunities for them to network and build their practices. "As we gather at this Spring Meeting, our members will get an ‘up close and personal’ view of the methodologies that can make them more successful,” she said.“Everything we do is to enhance the lives of seniors.”