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A Well-Deserved Tribute to a Pharmacy Legend: Dr. Joseph A. Oddis

Dec 21, 2015
Paul W. Abramowitz, Pharm.D., Sc.D. (Hon.), FASHP

Paul W. Abramowitz, Pharm.D., Sc.D. (Hon.), FASHP

We’ve just returned to ASHP headquarters after a spectacular 50th Midyear Clinical Meeting in New Orleans. One of the highlights was the opportunity for us to pay tribute to someone whose vision and extraordinary leadership were instrumental in building ASHP into the strong and influential organization it is today — ASHP CEO Emeritus Dr. Joseph A. Oddis. In case you were not able to attend, I thought you might be interested in a recap of our tribute to Dr. Oddis.

Dr. Oddis led ASHP for nearly four decades, from 1960 until 1997, transforming ASHP from an organization with 3,300 members and one staff person to the organization we are today, with nearly 45,000 members and a staff of more than 200.

Many of the initiatives that ASHP carries on today can be traced to Dr. Oddis’ leadership. Under his direction, ASHP cultivated our core strength in drug information and introduced the acclaimed American Hospital Formulary Service, initiated the accreditation of pharmacy residency programs, created the ASHP Foundation, and expanded continuing education opportunities for our members with the meetings that would become the ASHP Summer Meetings and the Midyear Clinical Meeting.

Dr. Oddis was an early advocate for pharmacists as patient care providers on interprofessional teams, championed the creation of education and certification programs for pharmacy technicians, and drove early efforts to improve global pharmacy.

On a personal note, when I served as president of ASHP, I had the great pleasure of working very closely with Dr. Oddis. He was a mentor to me then, and I still seek his advice and wisdom today.

It is clear that Dr. Oddis has had a profound and lasting impact on the creation of modern clinical pharmacy practice. His contributions have undoubtedly improved patient care and public health, while setting the stage for pharmacists to play an ever-increasing role in advancing healthcare. He certainly deserves our thanks and appreciation for all that he has done to secure the future of our profession.

On behalf of the ASHP staff and the Board of Directors, please accept our best wishes for an enjoyable holiday season. We look forward to working with you to continue Dr. Oddis’ legacy in 2016.



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