Washington, DC – The Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) is pleased to announce the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Pharmaceutical Department has been named the 2021 recipient of the Warren E. Weaver/Richard P. Penna Award in the organization category. For the individual category in 2021, the BPS Board of Directors chose to issue the award to CDR Anna Santoro, PharmD, MA, BCPP, BCGP, NCPS.
Nominations for the Weaver/Penna Award were solicited separately for organizations and individual persons, and an Award is provided to one recipient in each category at the discretion of the BPS Board of Directors.
Organization Category Award
The mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of our founder, Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay. Care is provided primarily by faculty and staff working from the main St. Jude campus; all care is overseen by the assigned treatment team until such time as the patient is released from St. Jude. Patients treated at St. Jude come from nearly every state in the United States, and from multiple international locations. Inpatient capacity is 78 beds; the majority of care provided is conducted in the outpatient setting. Major patient services are focused on oncology, non-malignant hematology, and pediatric infectious disease/HIV.
The Pharmaceutical Department has a longstanding history of actively contributing to the advancement of BPS Board Certification. Spearheaded by a group of pharmacists, including St. Jude’s Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, the Pharmacy Collaborative Practice Act in Tennessee was passed in 2014. Building on the success of passing this Act, Clinical Pharmacy Specialists are now credentialed as “Allied Health Providers” of the medical staff at St. Jude. BPS Board Certification is a requirement of the credentialing process. Clinical Pharmacy Specialists are dedicated to every significant patient service on both an inpatient and outpatient basis, with 24/7 services. All the 16 credentialed Clinical Pharmacy Specialists are Board Certified in at least one BPS certification, and 8 of them (50%) are dual certified.
“Our Pharmaceutical Department carries a high level of commitment and responsibility to help assure optimal outcomes of all medication therapy for our patients. This department consistently recognizes and promotes the values of specialized training, knowledge, skills and Board of Pharmacy Specialties certification,” said Ellis J. Neufeld, MD, PhD, Physician-In-Chief and Executive Vice President.
“We are a mission-driven institution,” said James R. Downing, M.D., St. Jude president and CEO. “Each day, we work to ensure that patients have the highest caliber of treatment and the best experience possible while in our care. The Pharmaceutical Department is integral to realizing this goal through its collective expertise, leadership and stewardship.”
Dr. P. David Rogers, chair and faculty member of the St. Jude Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, said he has long admired the work of the department. Rogers joined St. Jude in mid-2020. “It has been enlightening to see from the inside what makes this team of clinical pharmacists so effective,” Rogers said. “It is clear to me that the commitment to board certification from this group has been part of their success.”
The presentation of the Board of Pharmacy Specialties Weaver/Penna Award to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Pharmaceutical Department will be announced at a later date.
Individual Category Award
The recipient of the Weaver/Penna Award in the individual category is CDR Anna Santoro an officer in the US Public Health Service, assigned to the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). In the BOP, CDR Santoro is a Psychiatric Pharmacist Practitioner at Federal Medical Center (FMC) Devens in Ayer, MA and serves as a Regional Psychiatric Consultant.
CDR Santoro has been a trailblazer in psychiatric pharmacy practice:
- She pioneered the development of a National Mental Health Clinical Pharmacist Consultant Program which consists of five pharmacists that are responsible for addressing pharmacotherapy issues related to mental health treatment throughout the 122 institutions within the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
- She has active collaborative practice agreements for comprehensive care with a focus on mental health with over 1,700 patient encounters which led her to being recognized with National Clinical Pharmacy Specialist Certification.
- She serves as the Regional Mental Health Clinical Pharmacist Consultant for the Southeast Region consisting of 19 institutions in 6 states, and over 30,000 offenders.
- She serves as an active member of the USPHS Pharmacy Advisory Committee and is a voting member and lead of the career development subcommittee.
- She was awarded Clinical Pharmacist of the Year by the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) Pharmacy Professional Advisory Committee for her impact on patient care.
She has been instrumental in advancing pharmacy practice through board certification on a local, regional, and national level.
- She holds active BPS board certifications in Psychiatric Pharmacy and Geriatric Pharmacy.
- She serves as a member on the BPS Psychiatric Specialty Council and is the first member of any uniformed service selected to serve in this role.
- She promoted the value of board certification and pursued the successful addition of national level certification documenting advanced training to the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) pharmacy category benchmarks for pharmacy officer utilization in the pursuit of promotion.
- She served as presenter, a course moderator, and as a case developer for board certification review materials for more than 300 pharmacists prior to her service on the Psychiatric Pharmacy Specialty Council.
The presentation of the Board of Pharmacy Specialties Weaver/Penna Award to CDR Anna Santoro will be announced at a later date.
The Board of Pharmacy Specialties offers congratulations to these deserving recipients of the Warren E. Weaver/Richard P. Penna Awards for 2021.
About the Warren E. Weaver/Richard P. Penna Award
BPS announced the establishment of the Warren E. Weaver/Richard P. Penna Award as part of the BPS 40th Anniversary celebration. The award recipient must be an individual or organization who has advanced health quality and/or patient care by promoting the recognition and value of specialized training, knowledge, and skills in pharmacy and the BPS board certification of pharmacists.
The award will be conferred at a meeting or venue deemed appropriate by the BPS Board of Directors based upon the affiliation of the award recipient. The award will bear the images of Warren Weaver and Richard Penna and the BPS logo inscribed with the recipient’s name and date of presentation. In addition, the BPS offices will display a perpetual plaque recognizing previous award recipients.
The award honors Warren E. Weaver who was the first Chair of the Board of Pharmacy Specialties. Weaver was a founding trustee of the Virginia Pharmacists Association Foundation and, on the national level, he served as 1968-69 president of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP).
In 1973, Weaver was appointed by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) to the Taskforce on Specialties in Pharmacy, which led to the establishment of the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties—now the Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS). Weaver went on to serve BPS from 1975 to 1981 and was elected the first chairman, serving in that role from 1976 to 1979. Weaver passed away in July 2014 at the age of 93.
The award also honors Richard (Dick) P. Penna who joined the staff at the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) in 1966. Among his many professional accomplishments, he was a co-developer of APhA’s Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs and was an advocate for pharmacist patient counseling and clinical activities. Penna served as the APhA staff member assigned to the Taskforce on Specialties in Pharmacy in 1973, and he went on to assume responsibility as the first secretary/executive director of BPS in 1975.
In 1985, Penna joined the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy as associate executive director and was named executive vice president and chief executive officer in 1995. The prestigious APhA Remington Honor Medal was presented to Penna in 2002, recognizing his distinguished service to the profession of pharmacy. Penna passed away in August 2011 at the age of 75.
About the Board of Pharmacy Specialties
The Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) was established in 1976 as an autonomous division of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). The mission of BPS is to improve patient care by positioning BPS Board-Certified Pharmacist Specialists as integral members of interprofessional healthcare teams, through recognition and promotion of specialized training, knowledge, and skills for pharmacists in the United States and internationally. Board certification is a recognized credential for determining which pharmacists are qualified to contribute at advanced practice levels given the rigorous standards mandated by BPS board certification and recertification. BPS currently recognizes more than 50,000 active pharmacist certifications across 14 specialties.
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