Christopher Edwards, PharmD, BCPS, assistant professor in the University of Arizona R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science, was named a Fellow of the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) through their Practitioner Recognition Program.
“Being selected and recognized in this fashion is quite an honor,” Dr. Edwards said. “There are only around 1,000 people who hold this designation out of an organization with 60,000 current members. Several of my mentors are also Fellows of ASHP, so this feels like a major career milestone.”
The Practitioner Recognition Program recognizes ASHP members “with a record of outstanding service to ASHP and at least 10 years of professional service to pharmacy practice in acute or ambulatory care settings,” the website states. Fellows must also demonstrate a sustained commitment to excellence in pharmacy practice, contribute to the total body of knowledge in pharmacy practice, participate in educating practitioners and be actively involved in ASHP leadership.
Dr. Edwards also is a clinical pharmacy specialist in emergency medicine at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson.
“Most of my research is centered around issues related to medication use in the emergency department. Working in the emergency department, I have the honor of being part of an outstanding multidisciplinary team that helps to provide care for people living in our community who are probably having one of the worst days of their life,” said Dr. Edwards. “As a pharmacist, I am able to use my unique perspective to help optimize the medication use process, identify potential drug related causes of emergency department visits and teach the next generation of pharmacists, physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, paramedics and other health care workers everything they want to know about drugs.”
In addition to his academic and clinical work, Dr. Edwards plays an active role in ASHP leadership. He was part of a group that represented ASHP and was formed to petition the Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) to recognize emergency medicine as a specialty area for pharmacists.
“This petition was reviewed by the board and approved in 2020. In 2021, BPS established the first council on emergency medicine to develop the standards for awarding this certification and to develop an exam to ensure competence among individuals holding this certificate. I was selected to serve on this council and was elected as chair by the other members of the council,” he said.
Dr. Edwards said the college has been an amazing place to build his academic career. “I have had the opportunity to collaborate on research and other projects with several of the wonderful faculty members from my department. My department head, Brian Erstad, PharmD, MCCM, FCCP, FASHP, has been exceptionally supportive of my career development, and Dean Rick Schnellmann, PhD, continues to foster an outstanding environment at the College of Pharmacy,” he said. “The students are also engaged and enthusiastic about pharmacy.”
The ASHP Fellows were honored during a ceremony at the ASHP Summer Meetings and Exhibition in Phoenix last month.