School of Pharmacy’s McPherson Honored with Leading AACP Award
The Robert K. Chalmers Distinguished Pharmacy Educator Award recognizes an individual’s excellence in pharmacy education.
By Steve Berberich
April 23, 2013
The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) will honor Mary Lynn McPherson, PharmD, BCPS, CPE, professor and vice chair for academic affairs in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, for her excellence as a teacher, her outstanding achievements as a researcher and scholar, and her overall impact on pharmacy education and the profession.
She will receive the Robert K. Chalmers Distinguished Pharmacy Educator Award on July 14 during the opening general session at the AACP Annual Meeting, Pharmacy Education 2013, in Chicago.
“With so many exceptional pharmacy educators in the United States, I am especially honored and humbled to have been chosen for this prestigious award,” says McPherson. “I am passionate about working with my colleagues to prepare student pharmacists not only for graduation but for the impact they surely will make in whatever paths they choose for their pharmacy careers.”
During the course of her 26-year career, McPherson has amassed an accomplished teaching portfolio and a highly regarded reputation among Maryland’s students and faculty. She has led the development and/or redesign of many courses in the School’s curriculum, using cutting-edge instructional methods to effectively teach courses such as Self-Care and Nonprescription Pharmacotherapy and Care of the Terminally Ill. She has served as the course manager for more than 20 classes.
McPherson is considered an international authority in the fields of pain management and palliative care. Among her accomplishments in these areas are expertise is the development of online training programs in pain management for physicians and nurses, as well as a critical thinking process for appropriate drug use in end-of-life patients that is used by numerous pharmacy and medical practitioners. She also created the first Pain Management and Palliative Care PGY2 Pharmacy Practice Residency in the United States at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy and led the effort to establish goals and outcomes for this residency, resulting in recognition by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.
Most recently, McPherson was awarded one of 11 National Institutes of Health grants to co-lead the University of Maryland’s Center of Excellence in Pain Education. In collaboration with colleagues from the University’s other health profession schools, the University is teaching the next generation of health care providers to be better equipped to manage and treat patients living with chronic pain.
“Dr. McPherson has had a sustained positive impact on her students, residents, and colleagues,” says School of Pharmacy Dean Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, FAAPS, FCP. “She clearly epitomizes the gifted, committed, and exceptional teacher that has instilled the lifelong learner concept into her students.”
McPherson’s commitment to and excellence in teaching extends outside the School of Pharmacy. For many years, she was the course manager of the nursing pharmacology elective in the University’s School of Nursing and she continues to lecture on pain management in the School of Medicine’s Department of Physical Therapy. McPherson implemented the School of Pharmacy’s annual Teaching Excellence Day (TED) program, a daylong symposium designed to present topics in instructional design and course development through “high-impact” presentations to faculty, preceptors, graduate students, and residents. In addition to her academic appointments, McPherson serves as a primary care pharmacist and director of pharmacotherapy services at UniversityCare Heritage Crossing (formerly UniversityCare Waxter) in Baltimore.
“It would be impossible to count the lives that have been touched and enhanced by the work of Dr. McPherson,” said Lucinda L. Maine, PhD, RPh, AACP executive vice president and CEO. “Her patient care roles in diabetes and pain, and her teaching and mentoring of students across the health professions translates into improved health outcomes in so many dimensions.”
The award, named for the late Robert K. Chalmers, former AACP president and distinguished educator, consists of a Steuben glass owl sculpture and a monetary prize.