Palliative care innovator wins Remington Honor Medal award

February 10, 2015

Can-do exemplar is recognized for his many contributions to the profession of pharmacy.

Calvin H. Knowlton, BS Pharm, MDiv, PhD, has been named this year’s Remington Honor Medal award winner. He will be recognized next month at the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) annual meeting and exposition in San Diego.

Knowlton, known for his “out-of-the-box” thinking, was nominated by a colleague for the development of a practice model for hospice patients. He founded Hospice Pharmacia/excelleRx, a medication management and distribution company that specializes in palliative care, about 20 years ago.

“In this practice model, pharmacists work in a transdisciplinary environment with nurses, physicians, and other hospice and palliative care practitioners to select drug therapies that optimize clinical, humanistic, and economic outcomes,” stated one of his colleagues. “His efforts single-handedly  elevated the level of prescribing practices for these incredibly complex patients.”

See also: Last year’s Remington award winner

A man on a mission

Another colleague nominated Knowlton based on his passion to advance the role of the pharmacist in optimizing care for vulnerable patients, such as the elderly. Knowlton took medication management to new heights with the PACE (Programs of  All-inclusive Care of the Elderly) model of care and CareKinesis, a company he founded in 2009 to promote medication safety and the application of the science of personalized medicine.

“Starting with this extremely high-risk group [PACE enrollees], he is a man on a mission to make a measurable impact on the abysmal epidemic of iatrogenesis in the US (third leading cause of death), of which a larger proportion is due to medications. Accomplishing this mission elevates pharmacy as not only a major player in reducing medication misadventures, but also the player with the best tools to do the job,” his colleague wrote.

Ten companies, many honors

Knowlton is the founder and CEO of Tabula Rasa Healthcare, the parent company of CareKinesis, the tenth company he has founded over his career. He was also named the 2003 and 2013 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year in the Greater Philadelphia area. He has served as president of the American College of Apothecaries, APhA, and the American Pharmacists Association Foundation.

He earned his pharmacy degree from Temple University, his Doctor of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary, and his PhD in pharmacoeconomics from the University of Maryland.