General Sessions

General Sessions

APhA Opening General Session
Saturday, March 25
9:00 am–11:00 am
Convention Center, Hall E

Opioids are among the most effective available analgesics. However, combating opioid misuse, abuse and addiction, and opioid-related overdoses are national public health priorities. In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified prescription drug abuse and overdose as one of the top five health threats. In response to the White House calling on public and private organizations to help address prescription drug and heroin abuse and the recent guideline recommendations published by the CDC, APhA has dedicated the opening keynote presentation to address current thinking regarding the use of opioids in pain management.

Elliot J. Krane, MD, a practicing physician and professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine at Stanford University Medical Center, will explore these timely issues.

APhA Second General Session
Sunday, March 26
9:00 am–11:00 am
Convention Center, Hall E

As big data, consensus statements, and treatment algorithms pervade medicine, small gestures of kindness and spontaneity fall by the wayside. And while we might learn more about a particular patient’s preferences or tolerance for risk while explaining the pros and cons of a specific procedure or test, a more robust, more holistic understanding requires a deeper appreciation of “who is this person I am speaking with.” To better serve patients, we need to see not only who they are, but also who they were, and ultimately, who they hope to become, even at the end of life. These conversations allow patients to discuss and explore their preferences about an array of complex medical interventions. Come to this session to hear the patient’s story with Dr. Leana Wen.

Leana Wen, MD, is a Rhodes Scholar, TED speaker, and author of the critically acclaimed book, When Doctors Don’t Listen: How to Avoid Misdiagnoses and Unnecessary Tests. Dr. Wen received her medical training from Washington University and Brigham & Women’s Hospital/Massachusetts General Hospital, where she was a Clinical Fellow at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Wen is currently the Baltimore City Health Commissioner, overseeing the nation’s oldest public health agency.


APhA-ASP Opening General Session
Friday, March 24
6:00 pm–8:00 pm
Convention Center, Hall E

Alex Sheen is the Founder of because I said I would, the international social movement and nonprofit dedicated to the betterment of humanity through promises made and kept. Sparked by the loss of his father, Alex began sending promise cards to anyone who requested them at no cost. Since his father’s passing on September 4th, 2012, because I said I would has sent 4.47 million promise cards to 150 countries. Alex’s commitment to the betterment of humanity has inspired millions around the world. The story of his promises have been shared virally throughout social media and international news.

Alex’s promises include:

  • Walking 245 miles across the entire state of Ohio in under 10 days to fulfill a promise to the three Cleveland women who were held captive for 10 years.
  • Committing to volunteer at 52 different nonprofit organizations in a single year and honoring his word.
  • Promising children with cancer trips to Disneyland and personally delivering 100 tickets.
  • Driving through the night to deliver disaster relief aid to the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
  • Volunteering in Ferguson, Missouri on Thanksgiving after looters destroyed small businesses.

Alex’s work has been featured on CNN, ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, TODAY Show, Good Morning America, NPR, Fox News, Los Angeles Times, CBS Nightly News, and many other programs. He has been featured on the cover of Spirit magazine, honored as a Steve Harvey “Harvey’s Hero,” and was the closing TED speaker at TEDxUtica and TEDxYouth@Austin. Alex’s efforts in social media were featured in BuzzFeed’s “Most Important Viral Videos of 2013.” Alex’s posts have made the #1 spot on the front page of more than 10 times. As a nationally respected thought leader, Alex has spoken to 100's of organizations and all of his speaking fees are paid to the nonprofit.