A Pharmacy Leadership Action Study


Clifton Louie, Elizabeth Mertz, Brett Penfil, Ed O'Neil

Jan 2009

OBJECTIVES: To report on the creation of a leadership development program targeted exclusively at pharmacists working in management in the professional community.

SETTING: Large staff-model health maintenance organization (HMO) in California between 2004 and 2008.

PRACTICE DESCRIPTION: The Pharmacy Leadership Institute (PLI; a joint effort of the School of Pharmacy and the Center for the Health Professions at the University of California, San Francisco) tested a program in a large staff-model HMO with hundreds of pharmacists in leadership roles. This program included learning seminars, psychometric assessments, leadership goals, intersession activities, coaching/mentoring, and leadership projects.


MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: PLI collected survey data in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the institute's leadership development program. In addition, an external evaluator was hired to conduct interviews with the pharmacy directors of the organization which chose to pilot the program.

RESULTS: The evaluations from the participants indicate that the leadership development program met many but not all of its initial objectives. Consistent with action research methodology, the faculty of the institute met to redesign some sections of the program in order to meet the established goals. Adjustments were made to different components of the program over the next 4 years. Evaluation data show that these revisions were successful. In addition, follow-up evaluations with participants showed a lasting impact of the program on both individual leadership skills and organizational outcomes.

CONCLUSION: Given the positive outcomes indicated by the evaluation data used in this study, the work of PLI indicates that broader leadership skills can be identified and enhanced within a group of pharmacy managers.