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Clinical pharmacy pioneer Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD, dean of the School of Pharmacy at University of California, San Francisco, was awarded the 2010 Remington Honor Medal, the highest honor given by the American Pharmacists Association, at its recent annual meeting in Washington.
"I still have a feeling of disbelief. I have never done my work with an external award in mind," Koda-Kimble told Drug Topics.
Koda-Kimble's contributions to the world of academic clinical pharmacy have been extensive. In addition to publishing 16 books and 36 articles, Koda-Kimble was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2008 and has served on the boards of the United States Pharmacopeia and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.
The role of pharmacists in healthcare has progressed significantly since she joined the profession, Koda-Kimble said. "Rather than imagining the future, I simply turn to examples of how pharmacists' roles have changed. Who would have thought that my colleagues and former students would become, for example, CEOs of hospitals, senior editors of international journals, chief science officers in biotech companies, and senior vice presidents at major pharmaceutical companies?"
Today, many pharmacists are in a position to affect the healthcare landscape "by addressing the gaps in patient care, especially as they relate to medicines," Koda-Kimble said. "My focus is on preparing those who will create the future - our students - and to nurture and encourage those who are taking risks to change practice approaches for the betterment of patients."
Preparing pharmacy students
To that end, Koda-Kimble said, she must prepare students who are adept in scientific, clinical, and policy arenas. Pharmacy students must also be leaders "who will move things forward, improve systems, and make breakthroughs," she said.
As for Koda-Kimble's own future work in the field of pharmacy education, there are many important issues she would like to address, she said, including access to medicines, safe use of medicines, personalized medicines, medication management of patients with chronic diseases, geriatric medicine, preventative care, self-care, and the operational management of complex systems of medication distribution.
Koda-Kimble's single-mindedness in advancing the profession led Dr. Robert D. Gibson, the 2006 Remington medalist, to write in his letter of nomination: "It is not only the sheer quality and quantity of her accomplishments, but also her leadership, her steadfast dedication, and her sustained commitment to education, the public good, and the advancement of the profession that make her a more than deserving nominee."