Chanel Whittaker, PharmD, BCGP, BCPS, FASCP, associate professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) and director of education and training for the Peter Lamy Center on Drug Therapy and Aging at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, was named the 2017 recipient of the Armon Neel Senior Care Pharmacist Award by the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP). Presented annually, the award recognizes individuals who apply their knowledge of geriatric pharmacotherapy on a daily basis to significantly improve the quality of life of the senior population while also contributing to the goals of ASCP.
“Dr. Whittaker has dedicated her career at the school to providing superior medication management services not only to the patients at her practice site but also to the older adults living in the local community,” says Jill A. Morgan, PharmD, BCPS, BCPPS, associate professor and chair of PPS. “Her passion for her work is evident. She takes the time to get to know and understand all of the individuals with whom she works and develops quality educational programming aimed at optimizing medication-related outcomes for our senior population. Our department was thrilled to learn that she had been recognized with this prestigious award.”
A Chance Career
Whittaker received her Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) from Rutgers University in 2003. After completing a managed care pharmacy practice residency with Kaiser Permanente and a primary care specialty residency at the Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center, she joined the faculty at the School of Pharmacy in 2005 as an assistant professor in PPS, where her practice and teaching specialties focused on geriatric pharmacotherapy and chronic kidney disease. She was named an associate professor in 2015 and became the director of education and training programs for the Lamy Center in 2016.
“Since joining the Lamy Center more than a year ago, Dr. Whittaker has taken great strides to develop and implement quality educational initiatives not only for our students and trainees but also for older adults and their caregivers in the local community,” says Nicole Brandt, PharmD, MBA, BCPP, BCGP, FASCP, professor in PPS and executive director of the Lamy Centerl. “She has been the catalyst behind a number of new partnerships for the center and continues to look for opportunities that leverage our geriatric pharmacotherapy expertise to educate older adults and other health care professionals about safe medication use. We are fortunate to have her as a member of our team and could not be more proud of her recent accomplishment.”
Whittaker currently practices with the Geriatric Aligned Patient Care Team (GeriPACT) Medication Management Clinic and the Renal Interdisciplinary Safety Clinic (RISC) at the Baltimore VA Medical Center.
Excelling in the Field
The Armon Neel Senior Care Pharmacist Award is named for Armon B. Neel Jr., PharmD, CGP, a consultant pharmacist and co-author of Are Your Prescriptions Killing You?: How to Prevent Dangerous Interactions, Avoid Deadly Side Effects, and Be Healthier with Fewer Drugs, who has practiced in the field of geriatric pharmacotherapy for more than 40 years. It honors a senior care pharmacy practitioner who consistently exemplifies the practice of pharmaceutical care to the senior population and contributes significantly to ASCP’s goals. Awardees are selected each year by the ASCP executive committee.
“It was a pleasant surprise and an honor to be named a recipient of ASCP’s Armon Neel Senior Care Pharmacist Award,” Whittaker says. “The previous pharmacists who have received this award have had an incredible impact in the field of geriatrics, not only through their interactions with their patients, but also through their efforts to change pharmacy practice across the country. Receiving this award has encouraged me to continue my work to develop great medication safety programming not only for older adults in the community, but also for pharmacists and other health care professionals. I want to ensure that all practitioners have the skills, knowledge, and tools necessary to best care for older adults regardless of the setting in which they receive care.”
Whittaker received her award at ASCP’s annual meeting and exhibition in November.
— Malissa Carroll