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Rodriguez de Bittner Receives Excellence in Pharmacy Practice Award

School of Pharmacy professor is an innovative leader in community and ambulatory pharmacy.

By Steve Berberich
February 6, 2013

Magaly Rodriguez de Bittner, PharmD, BCPS, CDE, FAPhA of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy has been selected to receive one of the highest honors of the American Pharmacists Association’s (APhA) Academy of Pharmacy Practice and Management.

The APhA awards and honors program is the most comprehensive recognition program in the profession of pharmacy.

The 2013 Daniel B. Smith Practice Excellence Award cites Rodriguez de Bittner’s significant contributions to advance patient care services within community and ambulatory pharmacy. Rodriguez de Bittner, professor and chair of the School’s Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science, will be officially recognized during the APhA Annual Meeting and Exposition in Los Angeles, March 1-4, 2013.

“Dr. Rodriguez de Bittner is a thought leader on innovation in community pharmacy practice,” says Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, BSP, FAAPS, FCP, dean and professor of the School of Pharmacy. “Through the numerous programs she has implemented, she has revolutionized patient care in Maryland at the community pharmacy level. The entire School of Pharmacy is proud of her efforts and excited for her to receive this award.”

Rodriguez de Bittner also is executive director of the School’s Center for Innovative Pharmacy Solutions and director of the Maryland Patients, Pharmacists, Partnerships (P³) Program of specially trained pharmacist coaches who help reduce employer and employee health care costs while eliminating obstacles to chronic disease care for employees and their families, and improving health care outcomes. She also serves as a clinical pharmacist at the Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Her practice interest areas are in the ambulatory care and community pharmacy practice sites, including the development, implementation, and evaluation of innovative practice models in these settings.

The award nomination states, “Dr. Rodriguez de Bittner’s career is a model of innovation. She has established cutting-edge practices in anticoagulation, diabetes, and general pharmacotherapy/medication therapy management.

“She developed the first diabetes center in a chain pharmacy to achieve provider-status recognition from the American Diabetes Association and gain a Medicare provider number. She led the effort in Maryland as a participant in the APhA Foundation’s Diabetes Ten City Challenges, or Maryland’s P³ (Patients, Pharmacists, Partnerships) Program, which has touched the lives of many families and caregivers, pharmacists, and other health care providers.”

Says Rodriguez de Bittner: “I am so proud that we have implemented innovative programs that are unique and have advanced the profession of pharmacy by bringing together all the key stakeholders including government agencies, legislative bodies, universities, businesses, and pharmacy organizations.”

Rodriguez de Bittner earned her Bachelor of Science pharmacy degree at the University of Puerto Rico and her PharmD at the University of Maryland. She is past president and past chair of the board of the Maryland Pharmacists Association and past president of the APhA Foundation. She has earned numerous honors including the 2010 Pinnacle Award from the APhA Foundation, the 2008 Distinguished Practitioner Award from the National Academies of Practice in Pharmacy, the 2007 APhA Community Pharmacy Residency Excellence in Precepting Award, and the 2005 Bowl of Hygeia from the Maryland Pharmacists Association.

Daniel B. Smith was the first president of APhA, a professional group founded in 1852 and now representing more than 62,000 practicing pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and others interested in advancing the profession. The Smith award recognizes a pharmacy practitioner, in any practice setting, who has distinguished himself/herself and the profession through outstanding performance and achievements.

But Rodriguez de Bittner says the effort is ultimately all about the patients’ health. “I love the opportunity we have as pharmacists to impact the lives of our patients, often right in their neighborhoods,” she says. “Medications are critical in health care and we have the knowledge and skills to help our patients achieve the best outcomes of medication therapy, as well as prevent so many side effects and unnecessary deaths.”

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