Army Major, Double Alumnus, PhD Student Selected as 2022 Recipient of National Pharmacy Award for Early-Career Leadership

Graduate of MS in Palliative Care and MS in Pharmaceutical Health Services Research honored for leadership in the Department of Defense

By Pharmacy Leadership and Education Institution Staff
January 20, 2022

The Pharmacy Leadership and Education Institute (PLEI) has named U.S. Army Major Ryan C. Costantino, PharmD, MS ‘19, MS ’20, BCPS, BCGP, CPHIMS, the 2022 recipient of the Albert B. Prescott Pharmacy Leadership Award. Costantino, a student in the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s PhD in Pharmaceutical Health Services Research (PHSR) program, is recognized for his outstanding leadership in organizing the Department of Defense (DOD) Opioid Registry, Virtual Data Environment, and Digital Biobank, and serving as an advocate and pioneer for pharmacy quality measures within the Military Healthcare System. Costantino currently serves as the Director of Data Innovation for the Enterprise Intelligence and Data Solutions Program Management Office within the Defense Healthcare Management Systems Program Executive Office at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in San Antonio, Texas.

Costantino received master’s degrees in Palliative Care and PHSR from the School, is an expert in palliative care, and has written several peer-reviewed publications and book chapters on diverse topics early in his career. He is a strong advocate for patients and seeks out contemporary issues that directly affect patient outcomes in his leadership roles.

“The graduate and residency programs at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy have had a profound impact on my thought process and approach to leadership,” says Costantino. “These programs provided continuous opportunities to critically evaluate my own thoughts and assumptions while providing me insightful strategies to address problems facing the pharmacy profession and health care in the U.S. I’m grateful to the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy for the environment, support, and collaboration over the past 10 years, which has involved faculty, students, staff, and community partners.”

Educational and Professional Path

Costantino received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences in 2012 and completed a pharmacy residency in palliative care at the University of Maryland. He was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army following his residency and currently holds the rank of Major. He was deployed in early 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to provide pharmacy services at an Army Field Hospital in Seattle, Wash. His work in optimizing the DOD Opioid Registry improved a capability that screens and alerts clinicians to a person who meets DOD criteria for naloxone. Since December 2020, this tool has been used over 115,000 times and is used with 70% of patients receiving opioids at an Army Military Treatment Facility.

Additionally, Costantino has worked on implementing point of care intervention and clinical documentation tools, as well as volunteering to chair various quality related committees within the Defense Health Agency (DHA). His work directly improves the execution of DHA’s $7.4 billion pharmaceutical budget and the lives of 9.4 million Tricare beneficiaries. With the Enterprise Intelligence and Data solutions program office, Costantino leads several data science activities including the creation of a DOD Digital Biobank to house and analyze bacterial, viral, and human genomic data, a virtual nationwide de-identified military health system data asset, and a project to improve DOD health data quality.

Costantino holds appointments as an affiliate assistant professor at the School of Pharmacy and as an assistant professor in the Department of Military and Emergency Medicine at the Uniformed Services University. He served as Clinical Science Section Chair of the American Pharmacists Association – Academy of Pharmaceutical Research and Science and currently serves on the Council of Pharmacy Management within the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. He has also held leadership positions in Phi Delta Chi, the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, the Civil Air Patrol, and the Defense Health Agency Pharmacy Operations Division.

Albert B. Prescott Pharmacy Leadership Award

The Albert B. Prescott Pharmacy Leadership Award recognizes a pharmacist less than 10 years past graduation for demonstrating exemplary leadership qualities indicative of someone likely to emerge as a major leader in pharmacy over the course of his or her career. It evolved from an award first presented in 1987 by Phi Delta Chi to recognize leadership by a young pharmacist. It is currently coordinated by PLEI, with major support from the Phi Lambda Sigma Pharmacy Leadership Society.

“PLEI is proud to recognize an impressive string of pharmacy leaders early in their career with the Prescott Pharmacy Leadership Award,” says John D. Grabenstein, RPh, PhD, chair of PLEI’s Board of Directors. “Dr. Costantino clearly demonstrates how innovative pharmacists can improve health care for patients across the country.”

Costantino will receive his award and deliver a scholarly address during the APhA Annual Meeting in San Antonio in March 2022.
PLEI facilitates engaging professional leader development activities, to enable personal growth that will transform the delivery of healthcare. In 2021, PLEI established its Academy for Leader Development that offers online training to develop leaders, enhance teamwork, and drive success through personal, interactive sessions. It coordinates the Prescott Pharmacy Leadership Award, Leader Development Seminars, Leader Development Institute, the Lead←Grow→Shape leadership workbook, and other educational events for pharmacists and student pharmacists across the country.

Related News Stories