Dr. Dorothy L. Smith Receives APhA Foundation 2010 Pinnacle Award for Leadership in Patient Adherence

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President and CEO of McLean-based company that specializes in patient education programs is recognized as a pioneer in improving medication adherence.

Dorothy L. Smith, PharmD, Founder and President of Consumer Health Information Corporation in McLean, Virginia, is the recipient of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Foundation 2010 Pinnacle Award for Individual Career Achievement.

The Individual Career Achievement award recognizes a pharmacist who has demonstrated exceptional leadership in enhancing quality in health care and advancing better medication use; professional and personal commitment to increasing the well-being of people; and leadership in improving medication adherence. "The 2010 Pinnacle Award recipients are leaders in re-defining our health care system to focus on enhancing overall quality and improving patient outcomes," said William M. Ellis, APhA Foundation Executive Director and CEO. "Their example should inspire all health care stakeholders to develop innovative care models that are truly patient-centered."

Dr. Dorothy Smith (http://www.consumer-health.com/biography.htm) is an internationally recognized pharmacist, author, patient advocate, clinical educator and expert in patient adherence with medications. She has been a pioneer in patient education and safe medication use from the earliest days of her career in pharmacy. Dr. Smith received her Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Saskatchewan and her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Cincinnati. A strong patient advocate, she has built exemplary and leading edge pharmacy practices focused on improving patient adherence and helping patients learn how to manage their medications and treatments safely and wisely. She has specialized in translating complicated medical messages into language that the average consumer can understand.

Dr. Smith is the author of more than 130 professional articles and has delivered more than 150 professional and scholarly addresses. She is the author of 23 books including the pioneering textbook for health professionals, Medication Guide for Patient Counseling (Lea & Febiger) and the best sellers Understanding Prescription Drugs (Simon & Schuster) and Understanding Canadian Prescription Drugs (Key Porter). Dr. Smith has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV talk shows both in the United States and Canada.

In 1983, Dr. Smith founded Consumer Health Information Corporation. Under her guidance, the company has developed more than 4000 evidence-based patient education programs for medications, devices, disease management and Phase III clinical trials worldwide. Many of these programs have won “best in class” national and international awards. Her work in risk management (REMS) and patient safety has improved the lives of millions.

Dr. Smith has a solid commitment to “give back” to pharmacy and developed a specialized Patient Education/Drug Information Clerkship elective to help train Doctor of Pharmacy students interested in patient education. This unique program is now affiliated with more than 40 Schools of Pharmacy in the United States and Canada.

"This is truly a great honor.” said Dr. Smith." “I have always believed that the patient is the most important member of the health team. The patient decides if, how and when to take their medications. Yet today, millions of patients are dropping out of therapy because they do not understand how to take their medicines or what to do if they develop side effects. There is no sense purchasing a medication if the patient does not know how to use it.

Even though great strides have been made, there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure the safe and effective use of medications. Patients are unknowingly signing away their rights to receive counseling at many pharmacies. Patients in clinical trials need informed consent documents and patient education they can understand so that the dose approved for patients is not higher than it should be and doesn’t lead to increased toxicity and post-marketing dilemmas. In fact, patient education and adherence needs to be more carefully addressed in any research in which patients are making decisions that could affect treatment outcomes. Patient adherence – from research to every-day life – is affecting millions of individuals, families and businesses.”

About Consumer Health Information Corporation
Dr. Dorothy Smith founded Consumer Health Information Corporation (http://www.consumer-health.com) in 1983 to integrate her clinical expertise with the patient adherence research to develop patient education programs that would meet the needs of patients and consumers and decrease life-threatening complications due to improper medication use. The mission of Consumer Health Information Corporation is to help patients learn how to manage their diseases and prescribed treatments safely and wisely. The company has developed evidence-based patient education programs that have successfully bridged the communications gap between patients, health professionals, pharmaceutical companies, employers and insurance companies and mitigated medication risk (REMS). A respected clinical and educational source, Consumer Health has won major national and international awards for excellence in patient and consumer education programs that have significantly increased patient adherence.

The APhA Foundation Pinnacle Awards
The Pinnacle Awards, which recognize pioneering innovative contributions to health care quality through the medication use process, were established in 1997 by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Foundation's Quality Center (http://www.pharmacist.com/am/template.cfm?Section=home). The mission of The APhA Foundation is to improve the quality of consumer health outcomes that are affected by pharmacy. The APhA Foundation created the Pinnacle Awards because morbidity and mortality associated with improper medication use by patients is a serious public health problem. Appropriate use of medications can prolong life, relieve suffering, cure or delay the progression of disease and decrease overall health care costs. The 2010 Pinnacle Awards are made possible through the generous support of Pfizer.

Copyright 2010 Consumer Health Information Corporation. All rights reserved.

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