This month, NACDS RxIMPACT achieved an all-time record of 124 in-district activities—to date. To put it in perspective, that is an increase of 77 percent over the same time period last year, January 1-July 7, 2014. The total number of in-district activities last year was 104.

[the pharmacy tour] was a wonderful opportunity to get a better understanding of the advancements made in our local pharmacies…

This is about more than numbers, though. The increased visibility and the personal connections that are forged during in-district activities have led to better congressional support of pro-pharmacy legislation. Case in point: on July 7, the Meijer pharmacy team in Washington Township, Mich., welcomed Emily Engelmann, a staff member from Rep. Candice Miller’s (R-MI) office, for an NACDS RxIMPACT pharmacy tour.

The team showcased the expanded clinical services that pharmacists provide—such as medication therapy management and point-of-care testing—and highlighted what provider status would mean for pharmacy.

The team explained that with an increase in people accessing healthcare through the Affordable Care Act, there is the potential for a shortage of primary care providers and pharmacists are well-positioned to fill that gap in healthcare services. The team also emphasized the importance of H.R. 592, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act, which would elevate pharmacists’ ability to improve patient health.

The upshot? On July 8, the day after the pharmacy tour, Englemann sent an email to NACDS Director of Grassroots and Advocacy Heidi Ecker saying that she had briefed Rep. Miller on H.R. 592, and the congresswoman agreed to cosponsor the bill. Englemann said the pharmacy tour “was a wonderful opportunity to get a better understanding of the advancements made in our local pharmacies, and the work that is done to help out the community.”