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UMSOP Faculty Members Receive Statewide MSHP Awards

Kimberly Claeys and Zachary Noel teach in the Department of Practice, Sciences, and Health Outcomes Research.

Kimberly Claeys and Zac Noel pose with awards at the MSHP awards dinner.

By Andrew Tie
September 21, 2022

Two faculty members at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy (UMSOP) have been recognized by the Maryland Society of Health-System Pharmacy (MSHP) for their outstanding achievements in pharmacy in the last year.

Kimberly Claeys, PharmD, an associate professor in the Department of Practice, Sciences, and Health Outcomes Research (P-SHOR), has been selected as the MSHP Health-System Pharmacist of the Year, and Zachary Noel, PharmD, BCCP, assistant professor of P-SHOR, has been selected to receive the MSHP Medication Safety Award.

“I am happy to see Drs. Claeys and Noel recognized for their outstanding work,” said Jill Morgan, PharmD, BCPS, BCPPS, FNAP, professor and chair of P-SHOR. “Dr. Claeys has worked hard to improve the care of patients with bloodstream infections admitted to a University of Maryland Medical System hospital. Dr. Noel has demonstrated his strengths of teaching and the practice of cardiology while striving to improve the use and safety of high alert medications.”

Monitoring Antibiotic Use

In addition to teaching at UMSOP, Claeys is an antimicrobial stewardship pharmacist at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). In her practice at UMMC, Claeys has focused on the optimal use of molecular rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) to aid in improving antimicrobial therapy in bloodstream infections. She has helped de-centralize and implement blood culture RDTs across 13 hospitals in the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS). Based on her efforts, she was made co-chair of the UMMS Sepsis Program Diagnostics Working Group and continues to work on improving system-wide diagnosis, and thus antibiotic use, in sepsis and other infectious diseases.

“I am very appreciative of MSHP’s recognition of my efforts to improve diagnosis and management of infections impacting our patients in Maryland,” Claeys said. “I’ve been given so many opportunities to show how pharmacist engagement in diagnosis can improve antimicrobial management, and I hope that my efforts have helped move the needle when considering the interdisciplinary nature of diagnostic excellence.”

Improving Patient Safety

Noel’s Medication Safety Award recognizes significant improvements related to medication use safety. Noel led research at UMMC of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs), high-risk medications that pose a serious threat to patients if mismanaged. He helped implement a pharmacist driven DOAC protocol to help pharmacists better order and monitor these medications at UMMC. The findings were published in the Journal of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by MSHP with this award and to bring recognition to pharmacists as anticoagulation stewards,” Noel said. “Anticoagulants remain one of the most common medications involved in adverse drug events, and pharmacists play an important role in reducing this. We implemented a systematic approach to reducing DOAC-related errors at UMMC, and it paid off; however, it wouldn’t have been possible without the awareness and careful attention to detail by countless pharmacists on the front lines of patient care.”

Claeys and Noel were honored at the MSHP Annual Awards Dinner on Sept. 20.

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