Posted on: May 13, 2020
The University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy’s list of Outstanding Alumni Award recipients reads like a Who’s Who of the pharmacy profession. Dating back to 1982 when alumnus Jack Watts received the college’s inaugural award, the honored recipients represent community, clinical and corporate pharmacy leaders throughout South Carolina and beyond. Until this year, this significant honor was bestowed annually upon one alumnus or alumnae who demonstrated commitment to his or her professional area and dedication to the college.
With the current COVID-19 pandemic, so many of our pharmacy alumni are on the front line serving as direct points of access for patients suffering from this infectious disease ...
Stephen J. Cutler, Ph.D. Dean, College of Pharmacy
Dean Stephen J. Cutler explains the college’s decision to award the 2020 Outstanding Alumni Award to pharmacy alumni working on the front line of the COVID-19 front line. “With the current COVID-19 pandemic, so many of our pharmacy alumni are on the front line serving as direct points of access for patients suffering from this infectious disease,” he says. “During this unprecedented period and with so many alumni making substantial contributions to health care, it would be almost impossible to select a single recipient of this high honor.”
Cutler believes that the heightened visibility of pharmacists’ important contributions during this crisis will help educate the public about the critical roles pharmacists have in health care.
“Pharmacists have a long and rich history of supporting the health care needs of patients during natural disasters like a pandemic. This includes services such as preventive measures like screenings and vaccinations as well as ensuring medication safety among other services. As we saw during the post-H1N1 epidemic, the value of pharmacists in serving on the front lines grew, and I’m confident that after we overcome the current pandemic, we will see an increase in the role of pharmacists,” Cutler says.
The College of Pharmacy graduated 103 new alumni in its Class of 2020, representing another 103 possible candidates for a future Outstanding Alumni Award. Should any of them aspire to such an achievement, Dean Cutler offers this advice. “The faculty and staff of the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy have prepared the graduating Class of 2020 to be among the best practitioners in the world. My advice to each of our graduates is to use the tools they’ve been given to effect change in our ever-changing health care landscape. I encourage them to lead and advocate for their patients.”