Blog Post

My experience at the 2019 ISMP Cheers Awards Dinner as an ISMP Fellow

Benedicta Asamoah, PharmD; 2019-2020 Safe Medication Management Fellow Supported by Express Scripts Foundation

On December 10th, 2019, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) held its  22nd Cheers Awards dinner ceremony in Las Vegas, NV. This annual award ceremony is a recognition of individuals, institutions, and groups who have demonstrated a remarkable commitment to and excellence in patient safety. This year’s Cheers award ceremony also celebrated ISMP’s historic milestone of 25 years of remarkable service and brought together an all-star line-up of medication/patient safety professionals and enthusiasts including ISMP staff, clients, industry representatives, ISMP Board members and many others. 

The theme for this year was “we have the winning hand” and the ceremony was held at Stoney's Rockin’ Country with country music, miniature golf, and casino table games where guests experienced the fun and excitement of playing real casino games for entertainment only. My co-fellows and I tried our luck at the blackjack, which turned out to be an exciting team bonding experience that also taught us the value of team-work. The food and drinks were exceptional, and the entertainment topnotch. 

The evening began with a mingle, eat and play session followed by the keynote and awards programs. Marcus Schabacker, the President and Chief Executive Officer of  ECRI Institute, delivered the keynote address. He provided a summary of ECRI and its mission, discussed the biggest challenges in healthcare communities such as persistent medication errors, the increase in chronic diseases and significant shortages of healthcare professionals and presented some perspectives on potential solutions in the form of emerging technology and digital health ecosystem. He also commented on the ISMP and ECRI affiliation and its potential to transform healthcare quality and safety.

After the keynote speech, ISMP’s President, Michael Cohen, presented the awards to the dignified honorees for their contributions towards medication safety. The award recipients were as follows:   

  • Cheers award: Anticoagulation Forum

  • Cheers award: Boston Children’s Hospital

  • Special Recognition Award: Arizona Safe Medication Collaborative Team

  • George Di Domizio Industry Award: Dennis Tribble, PharmD, FASHP, Director of Medical Affairs for the Medical Management Systems, Becton Dickinson

  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Rita Shane, PharmD, FASHP, FCSHP, Chief Pharmacy Officer and Professor of Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles; and Assistant Dean of Clinical Pharmacy Services at the UCSF School of Pharmacy

It was truly an honor to have the opportunity to network with great outstanding leaders, change-makers, and innovators who have achieved great successes in their respective fields, and to connect with alumnae of the ISMP fellowship program.   

My favorite part of the evening, however, was listening to the honoree’s speeches. I was impressed by the breadth of their experiences, especially their perseverance and commitment to patient safety amid challenges. They inspired me to work harder and continue in my efforts to contribute to medication/patient safety. Simply put, the evening was a humbling, memorable experience that reinforced my commitment to patient safety.


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