By: Timothy (Tim) R. Franson, B.S. Pharm., M.D. Convention President
Have you heard the one about the guy who wanted to help improve global health and ended up spending all his free time traveling to, being in, or on the phone with Rockville, Maryland? Yes, Rockville, Maryland. Not at Walter Reed National Medical Center, that’s down the road a bit. Not the National Institutes of Health, that’s across from the Medical Center. No, I’m talking about the building on the corner of Twinbrook Parkway and Fishers Lane.
When I set out to contribute to the improvement of global health (yes, that guy is me), I don’t know that I really thought it could be done from the building on that street corner – one of the offices of the US Pharmacopeial Convention (USP). And, while I’ve spent a good part of the last several years working with the folks there and a bit of time in the USP locations around the world, I have learned that successes in global health have just as much, or maybe even more, to do with everyone else who visits that building or other USP offices, and all who partner with USP in meaningful ways.
There are many of those partners who work with USP, most of whom are also USP Convention Member Organizations. USP will host one Delegate from each of its 460 Member Organizations at the 2015 Convention meeting in April in Washington, DC – about 15 miles away from the USP office in Rockville. These organizations are based in 37 countries around the world, and many work internationally. At the Convention meeting, their Delegates will elect USP’s officers and trustees along with members of the Council of Experts, each of whom will lead an expert committee setting scientific standards. They will also adopt Resolutions which will help inform the strategy for the organization over the next five years and make changes to USP’s bylaws, as appropriate. Official Representatives from nearly 80 Observer Organizations from around the world will also attend this meeting.
Why are these important discussions and decisions happening with hundreds of folks who aren’t from USP? Because improving global health depends on collaborations like those USP has with its Member and Observer Organizations and other key stakeholders. They bring their global perspectives and valuable insights from diverse health related constituencies to USP’s work.
To honor those relationships and recognize the powerful impact we have when we work together, the theme of the 2015 Convention will be “USP and You: Shoulder to Shoulder on the Path to Improve Global Health.”
Whether one is in Rockville, Maryland or Washington, DC, in Switzerland or India, in Brazil or China or Ghana, or anywhere else in the world, it will take meaningful collaborations to improve global health.
For more information about the upcoming USP Convention, visit the USP Website.