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AACP’s Lucinda Maine set to depart

The outgoing CEO and executive vice president of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy is retiring after 40-plus years in the pharmacy profession.
Lucinda Maine

Not one to sit still, Lucinda Maine, PhD, RPh, is entering a new phase of life next month that she’s calling “preferment.” The borrowed term more accurately describes how she will spend her time after a nearly five decade-long career in pharmacy. “It is my being able to do what I prefer to do when I’m no longer needing to work full-time,” she said.

As she embarks on this new path, Maine concerns herself with those tasked with the responsibility of recruiting students to the pharmacy field — one that she loves but that has seen declining enrollment numbers in college programs in recent years.

“It’s two years short of 50 years ago that I began my love affair with the profession of pharmacy, and it has never abated,” she said.

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As the outgoing CEO and executive vice president of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, or AACP, Maine wants students to recognize the exceptional career that pharmacy has been for her. “My bottom line is don’t miss the greatest opportunity of a lifetime,” she said, noting that that’s not what students are hearing from many pharmacists today. She pointed to the COVID-19 pandemic as exacerbating the stress and burnout often experienced in the field, causing the pipeline of pharmacists to dwindle. 

“I want your readers to understand they play a very, very critical role in addressing this,” Maine said. “And if they don’t, the profession is in peril.”

“No one has the knowledge, the expertise, to do what pharmacists do.”

Maine noted the increase in opportunities young people have today just entering the industry — with communications companies, contract research organizations, digital health companies and more. “No one has the knowledge, the expertise, to do what pharmacists do,” she said. 

For the past 20 years, Maine has supported pharmacy students through her work with AACP, which works to develop strong academic scholars and leaders. Maine joined the organization at another time when the profession was facing a national shortage of pharmacists. In 2002, there were 84 schools of pharmacy accredited by the accrediting body. Today, there are 141. The AACP staff increased from 15 to 36, and the top-line revenue is more than $10 million today. “One of the things I’m most proud of, and this was true when I got here and it’s true today: 100% of the eligible institutions are members of AACP,” Maine said.

[Read more: CVS’s Shea Manigo shares the reason she created a scholarship fund to honor her mother]

While she said she will be mindful of overcommitting, Maine plans to stay active in the field during her “preferment.” One of her projects will be to write the next portion of the AACP centennial compendium, where she will capture the history of what’s happened during the fifth-quarter century since the association was founded in 1900.

Prior to her role at AACP, Maine served as the senior vice president of policy, planning and communications with the American Pharmacists Association, or APhA.

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