NACDS Director of State Government Affairs Mary Staples was honored this week with an award in her home state at the 41st Annual Convention of Texas Federation of Drug Stores for her outstanding service to chain pharmacy in Texas. caught up with her this week to discuss the recognition and what it means to her. 

Q: What does receiving this award mean to you?

A: It was such an honor, both personally and professionally. I was truly humbled Tuesday evening at the Texas Federation of Drug Stores annual meeting dinner when our members publically recognized me for my hard work and extra efforts.

Q: What accomplishments in your advocacy for chain pharmacy in Texas are you most proud of?

A: I am proud of getting members engaged on NACDS issues, because without their involvement, it would be difficult to make positive legislative regulatory advancements for pharmacy.

Q: What was your most challenging achievement?

A: Developing solid, respectful relationships throughout my diverse region, which includes not only Texas, but Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada and California. I pride myself on the relationships I have built with our members, in-state partners, associate members, regulators and board members. These groups want to be involved with NACDS and they rely on our engagement. Because of these positive connections, they readily seek me out to partner with them on issues.

Q: How has the changing healthcare landscape affected your advocacy work?

A: It has presented a whole new agenda of issues that are focused more on patient care rather than the business of pharmacy. I see the opportunity for NACDS members to become more involved in patient care issues because pharmacists see the potential for expanding their role in healthcare delivery. However, in order to be successful in taking on these new challenges, pharmacists are going to need to take their state advocacy efforts on behalf of pharmacy to the next level—and my colleagues and I are here to help.

Q: Are there any pharmacy precedents being established in Texas that you could see being applied nationwide?

Yes. The Texas Federation of Chain Drug Stores, our chain drug group, has great member participation. If our chain members would commit to support and get involved in every state with pharmacy advocacy groups, NACDS could significantly improve its advocacy efforts throughout the country.

Q: Do you have any additional comments you would like to add?

A: I am so appreciative to be publicly recognized for my hard work in my home state of Texas. I am also so grateful to NACDS management for giving me the tools I need to try new approaches to advance the value of pharmacy. Finally, I am thankful for the great support provided by my NACDS colleagues.