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Heavner Named New Assistant Dean for Experiential Learning

Mojdeh Heavner is an associate professor and vice chair for clinical services in the Department of Practice, Sciences, and Health Outcomes Research.

Mojdeh Heavner headshot

By Becky Ceraul
April 4, 2024

Mojdeh Heavner, PharmD, BCCCP, FCCM, FCCP, associate professor in the Department of Practice, Sciences, and Health Outcomes Research (P-SHOR) at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy (UMSOP) and the department’s vice chair for clinical services, has been named assistant dean for experiential learning at the School. A member of the School’s faculty since 2016, Heavner brings significant academic and practice experience to her new role, specifically in the area of critical care pharmacy.

“The Experiential Learning Program (ELP) at the School of Pharmacy bridges the classroom and practice by connecting the didactic curriculum to real-world applications,” says Agnes Ann Feemster, PharmD, BCPS, associate dean for academic affairs and associate professor in P-SHOR. “Comprising a third of the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum, it allows students to gain a deeper appreciation for the relevance and significance of their PharmD coursework, preparing them for success in a rapidly evolving and increasingly complex practice environment. Dr. Heavner has served as a preceptor for pharmacy students and residents for more than 15 years and, most recently, as vice chair for clinical services in P-SHOR. She is an esteemed professional with a significant background in health system pharmacy and critical care medicine and an outstanding national reputation within pharmacy and medical organizations.”

The Office of Experiential Learning at the School of Pharmacy recruits and oversees preceptors – full-time or part-time pharmacy practitioners and other professionals who serve as affiliate faculty for the School and supervise students during their experiential rotations – as well as manages introductory and advanced pharmacy practice experiences for students. As assistant dean for experiential learning, Heavner will work with staff to increase the roster of rotations and develop and implement the M-Pact Curriculum, the School’s reimagined PharmD curriculum.

“The Experiential Learning Program is an integral component of our PharmD curriculum,” Feemster says. “The program strives to develop in each student pharmacist the professional judgment and competencies needed to meet the responsibilities of a practicing pharmacist in a wide range of settings. I am excited to welcome Dr. Heavner into her new role and look forward to all that she will contribute.”

“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as the next assistant dean for experiential learning,” says Heavner. “It is an honor to follow in the footsteps of Dr. Feemster and other leaders who have established an impactful legacy on experiential education. I hope to leverage my experiences as vice chair for clinical services, preceptor, and alumnus to continue to enhance connections between the classroom and practice. I am committed to fostering a dynamic learning environment that inspires students to embrace challenges, think critically, and adopt a lifelong passion for pharmacy. I look forward to working closely with students, faculty, staff, and community partners to explore new frontiers in pharmacy education and positively impact the communities we serve.”

Heavner received a Bachelor of Science in physiology and neurobiology from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Doctor of Pharmacy from UMSOP. She completed a pharmacy practice residency and specialty residency in critical care and solid organ transplant at Yale New Haven Hospital.

Following her residency training, Heavner became board certified in pharmacotherapy and critical care, practiced at Yale New Haven Hospital as a clinical pharmacy specialist in the medical intensive care unit, served as residency director of the critical care pharmacy specialty program, and was supervisor of clinical pharmacy services. Heavner has been recognized with the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Yale New Haven Health System.

Since joining the faculty at UMSOP, Heavner practiced for several years as a clinical pharmacy specialist in the medical intensive care unit at the University of Maryland Medical Center and has been coordinator of the pharmacotherapy residency program since 2018. She is active in professional organizations including the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP), the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. She served on the 2020 ACCP academic affairs task force developing the position paper “Striving for Excellence in Experiential Education.” She is immediate past-chair of the ACCP Critical Care Practice & Research Network and received the Clinical Practitioner Award in 2018. Heavner is the current secretary-treasurer of the Clinical Pharmacy & Pharmacology section, vice chair for the Leadership, Empowerment, and Development Committee of SCCM, and has received Presidential Citations annually from that organization since 2018. She has served as associate editor of the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy since 2019.

Her practice and research interests have been focused on sleep, delirium, and analgesia in the intensive care unit. She is an advocate for equitable access to clinical pharmacy services and is a core investigator on the Optimizing Pharmacist Team-Integration for ICU patient Management (OPTIM) study.

Heavner succeeds Feemster, who was named the School’s associate dean for academic affairs in February. Heavner temporarily maintains her vice chair for clinical services role within P-SHOR.

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