OXFORD, Miss. – Two Mississippi pharmacists were named fellows of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists this summer.
Kristopher Harrell, director of experiential affairs at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, and Wesley Pitts, clinical pharmacy manager at North Mississippi Medical Center and clinical assistant professor at the pharmacy school, were presented with the title at the ASHP Summer Meeting and Exhibition in Las Vegas.
ASHP recognized 32 fellows this year. The designation is given in recognition of excellence in pharmacy practice.
“I am sincerely humbled and honored to be selected as a fellow and recognized nationally for my contributions to health-system pharmacy,” Harrell said. “It was even more special because I received the recognition during the same year as another faculty member.”
Harrell received his Pharm.D. in 1998 from the UM School of Pharmacy. He has served numerous roles in health-system pharmacy, from practicing in ambulatory care to serving as president of the Mississippi Society of Health-System Pharmacists.
“Of all of my experiences, though, I am proudest of my role as an educator,” Harrell said. “I have been an ambulatory care preceptor of students and residents, and I have been the pharmacy school’s experiential education director for the past seven years. I have mentored students and residents who have gone on to become excellent practitioners, faculty members and leaders all over the nation.
“Just as I was fortunate to have a preceptor who introduced me to the world of health-system pharmacy and led me to a fulfilling career in ambulatory care and academia, I hope to continue to do the same for others for many years to come.”
Pitts graduated from the UM School of Pharmacy in 2000 and joined NMMC’s pharmacy department immediately after receiving his PharmD. He has served as a clinical assistant professor for the UM pharmacy school since 2001.
“It is truly an honor and humbling to be recognized by my peers for sustained practice excellence,” Pitts said. “I count it a blessing and am excited to get to do what I do every day for our patients and our profession.”
Pitts has contributed to the advancement of pharmacy practice in numerous ways; some of those include sharing best practices through networking with and educating other pharmacy professionals.
“I have found it very rewarding to volunteer and get involved with professional associations on the state and national level to help promote the profession of pharmacy and to be a preceptor to pharmacy students and pharmacy residents,” he said. “Being an advocate for pharmacy as it relates to public policy has also been passion of mine.”
Leigh Ann Ross, the UM pharmacy school’s associate dean for clinical affairs and chair of pharmacy practice who became an ASHP fellow in 2012, congratulated the two new fellows.
“Dr. Harrell and Dr. Pitts are very deserving of this recognition,” Ross said. “Both have provided outstanding service for patients through their clinical practices, for pharmacy students and residents through educational opportunities and mentorship, and for the profession of pharmacy through leadership in state and national organizations.
“Many individuals work hard every day to improve health care for patients, and it is rewarding for two of our Mississippi pharmacists to be recognized for their accomplishments in this regard.”
Pitts and Harrell join a number of other Mississippi ASHP fellows, including David D. Allen, Phil Ayers, Kristie M. Gholson, Harold J. Kornfuhrer, Dianna H. McGowan, Sara L. Noble, Thomas R. Brown, H. Joseph Byrd and Barbara G. Wells.