Ohio State Executive to Deliver Pharmacy’s Hartman Lecture

Blake Thompson earned three degrees from UM

Blake Thompson

OXFORD, Miss. – Blake Thompson, vice president for government affairs at Ohio State University and a University of Mississippi alumnus, will deliver the School of Pharmacy’s 2018 Charles W. Hartman Memorial Lecture.

Thompson, who is also secretary to Ohio State’s board of trustees, will speak on “Risk and a Prospective Payment System,” drawing from his background in health care policy and university leadership and governance.

“Leadership in today’s higher education and academic health care environments requires understanding risk and using risk to your benefit,” Thompson said.

The lecture, set for 11 a.m. Friday (Mar. 9) at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts, is free and open to the public.

A Mississippi native, Thompson earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees in pharmaceutical sciences from the School of Pharmacy and his Ph.D. from the school’s Department of Pharmacy Administration. Thompson’s wife, Jana, is also a graduate of the school.

The pharmacy administration department will give Thompson its 2018 Alumnus of the Year Award on the day of the lecture.

“Blake has achieved extraordinary professional success in a relatively short period of time,” said John Bentley, chair of the pharmacy administration department. “He has worked to create numerous partnerships and relationships on behalf of the Ohio State University.

“He is also an extremely positive person with a strong commitment to our department, school, university and his home state of Mississippi, and continues to give back to each one.”

After finishing his doctorate, Thompson worked as a senior staff member with U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.). He was instrumental in creating policies on pharmacy practice issues, working on the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 and helping to lead initiatives of the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations, including Hurricane Katrina recovery legislation.

Since leaving D.C., Thompson has held leadership roles at Battelle, the world’s largest nonprofit research and development organization, and at Ohio State, where he is responsible for the university’s economic development, public policy and governance agendas. He represents OSU at the city, state and national levels, holds an adjunct faculty position in its College of Pharmacy and has taught public policy in the John Glenn College of Public Affairs.

“I credit much of what I’ve been able to do to Ole Miss, its School of Pharmacy and the pharmacy administration department,” Thompson said. “They allowed me to take risks in my career and that has made all the difference.”

In his community, Thompson serves on the board of the KIPP Columbus public charter school system and is founding president of Our Ohio Renewal, a nonprofit established by “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance that addresses social and family challenges of rural Ohioans, such as the opioid crisis and education reform.

“Blake is one of the School of Pharmacy’s exceptional alumni,” said David D. Allen, UM pharmacy dean. “He has taken his pharmacy education and applied it not only to health care, but to the broader well-being of the people around him. I’m very much looking forward to hearing his talk.”