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Pharmacy professor receives national honour

By David Penney

Dr. Debbie Kelly received the highest honour the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (CSHP) can bestow when she was recently named a fellow of that organization. An associate professor with the School of Pharmacy at Memorial University with a cross appointment to Memorial's Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Kelly will be formally acknowledged with the honour at the CSHP Professional Practice Conference in Toronto, Ont., this coming February.

The fellow program was started over 40 years ago and it distinguishes individuals who have made a significant, long-term and sustained contribution to CSHP and the profession of pharmacy through outstanding leadership, dedication and commitment to practice excellence and professional growth.

Dr. Kelly's induction is based on a 13-year career of progressive achievements that reflect an exceptional level of commitment to patient care, practice and education. She also carries the distinction of being the first person in the history of the CSHP fellow program to come from Newfoundland and Labrador.

"Having the ability to provide patient care and teach at the same time is wonderful for me. I learn so much from both and they complement each other tremendously," said Dr. Kelly. "To be recognized in this way is humbling and it reminds me how privileged I am for the opportunity to work every day with such exceptional students and colleagues."

A graduate of Memorial University's pharmacy program, Dr. Kelly went on to receive her doctor of pharmacy from the University of Toronto. In addition to her role as a faculty member with the School of Pharmacy and Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Kelly is the clinical pharmacotherapy specialist for the provincial HIV program through Eastern Health, a board member with the AIDS Committee of Newfoundland and Labrador and a past-chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board.

Over the last 13 years, Dr. Kelly has played a key role in the development of HIV patient care in Newfoundland and Labrador, significantly expanding her scope of practice in all aspects of HIV treatment, education and awareness. She is also an accomplished scholar and educator with numerous publications, teaching and professional awards to her credit. Included in that list of accolades is the Bristol Myers Squibb Award for Teaching Excellence. Voted on by graduating students at Memorial's School of Pharmacy, Dr. Kelly has received the award on three different occasions.

Dr. Linda Hensman, dean of the School of Pharmacy, talked about Dr. Kelly's contribution to the school and the significance of the CSHP fellow program.

"When a faculty member receives an acknowledgement like this it raises the profile of the entire school," she said. "We are already aware of Dr. Kelly's exceptional contribution both as a clinician and teacher, but recognition at a national level as a CSHP fellow helps us share with others the quality of those accomplishments. Our faculty has a culture of pursuing that level of excellence and the end result is that it makes Memorial a very desirable place to be for students, faculty and staff. I'm extremely proud of Dr. Kelly and feel very fortunate to have her as a member of our team."