OXFORD, Miss. – Recognized for her outstanding work with pediatric infectious diseases and commitment to student mentorship, University of Mississippi pharmacy alumna Ashley Crumby has been named the 2013 American Pharmacists Association Distinguished New Practitioner.
“This is such exciting news,” Crumby said. “I’ve been a member of APhA for a really long time and I’m so humbled that they chose me as the Distinguished New Practitioner. It also humbles me that my fellow coworkers appreciated me enough to nominate me for this award.”
Crumby is a clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice at Purdue University College of Pharmacy. She received her PharmD in 2009 from Ole Miss.
After earning her PharmD, Crumby completed a post-graduate year-one residency at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock followed by a post-graduate year-two residency in pediatric infectious disease, also at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.
Through her practice site at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, she provides clinical pharmacy services for the pediatric HIV clinic in the Ryan White Center for Pediatric Infectious Disease.
“When I was about halfway through my first-year residency, I identified infectious diseases as the area that I was most interested in pursuing as a career,” Crumby said. “In pediatric pharmacy, it’s not something that many people have done.
“I was actually the first one to ever complete a PGY2 in pediatric infectious diseases in the entire country. The program that I completed is the only one that exists right now, and to my knowledge I don’t think anyone has done it since.”
Pharmacists who work with pediatric infectious diseases have a challenging job, Crumby said.
“HIV is definitely a polarizing disease state because it’s not something that you really think of pediatric patients having,” she said. “It’s more something people think about with adults. I get to know my patients really well because I see them about every three months, and I’m the only pharmacist who sees them. It’s a tough job for a pharmacist because there’s so much emotion that goes into it. You can’t help but form close relationships with them and their families.”
Kristen Nichols, a pharmacist at Riley Hospital for Children, nominated Crumby for the award. Crumby has been “an outstanding example for the concomitant patience and drive of a new practitioner,” she said.
“It has been motivating and encouraging for me as I have watched Ashley concurrently implement brand new pharmacy services in the Riley Hospital HIV clinic while creating a new advanced pharmacy practice experience for her Purdue University students,” Nichols said in her nomination letter. “Throughout these ventures, Ashley has exemplified an outstanding new pharmacy practitioner. She has utilized her training and ingenuity while sticking to her beliefs in order to accomplish all that she has.”
Monica L. Miller, clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice at Purdue, wrote a letter of recommendation for Crumby. She said that Crumby is dedicated to patient care and student learning.
“At (Riley Hospital), she takes students on rotation and tirelessly helps the children and families who attend the clinic,” Miller said in her letter. “One example of her tireless dedication came on a Friday night. She received a call from a mother stating that she was out of her daughter’s medication and couldn’t get refills. To assist with this situation, Ashley worked with the mother, the dispensing pharmacy and the physician to ensure the patient received her medications. All of this occurred after 5 p.m. on a Friday night when most people would have simply sent this work to the on-call staff.”
Crumby credits UM pharmacy faculty for her success.
“I had some really great mentors at Ole Miss,” she said. “Because I was so involved as a student, I was really fortunate to get to know the faculty really well.
“Alicia Bouldin was my biggest mentor while I was there. She was the APhA-ASP chapter adviser. She always supported me and challenged me to step outside of the box. Thanks to her encouragement, I actually ran for a regional APhA office and won when I was only a second-year pharmacy student.”
Bouldin, associate dean of outcomes assessment and learning advancement at the UM School of Pharmacy, said that Crumby strives to make a difference in the lives of her patients and in her profession.
“Ashley tirelessly shared her energy with other student pharmacists through her involvement with APhA-ASP at the local, regional and national level throughout her time in pharmacy school,” Bouldin said. “As the UM chapter’s faculty adviser, it was such a joy for me to observe her infectious enthusiasm spread as she continued to seek ways to contribute, blazing trails and encouraging her peers.
“And she has carried that cheerleading into other roles. As a practitioner and as a teacher, her goal is obviously to do what she can to help everyone – patient, colleague or student – achieve his or her potential. She is a model in so many ways, and I am proud to be her colleague.”
Crumby has enjoyed telling her patients about the award.
“The parents of my patients were very appreciative,” she said. “I think it helps them to know that they’ve got good physicians and good nurses and pharmacists taking care of their children and that we’re recognized in our profession.”
Crumby will receive the award at APhA’s annual meeting, set for March 1-4 in Los Angeles.