National recognition for MUN pharmacy prof

Published on November 15, 2012
Debbie Kelly. — Memorial University photo

Debbie Kelly, a Memorial University pharmacy professor, was recently named a fellow of the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (CSHP), the highest honour bestowed by the society.

Memorial University said in a news release, Kelly’s status will be formally acknowledged in February 2013 at the CSHP professional practice conference in Toronto.

The fellow program was started more than 40 years ago to recognize people who have made a significant, long-term and sustained contribution to CSHP and the profession of pharmacy through outstanding leadership, dedication and commitment to practise excellence and professional growth while working in a variety of areas of service to the society, patient care, education or research, and to the profession.

Kelly’s induction is based on her achievements over the past 13 years. She’s also the first person from Newfoundland and Labrador to receive this distinction.

“It’s a wonderful honour to be recognized by my peers for my contributions to patient care and pharmacy practice,” said Kelly. “I am privileged to work with many amazing pharmacist colleagues, as well as with a supportive and collaborative clinical team through the HIV program. I hope this is the first of many future CSHP fellows to be recognized from Newfoundland and Labrador.”

A graduate of Memorial University’s pharmacy program, Kelly went on to receive a doctor of pharmacy from the University of Toronto. She is an associate professor with the School of Pharmacy at Memorial University with a cross appointment to Memorial’s Faculty of Medicine. Kelly is the clinical pharmacotherapy specialist for the provincial HIV program through Eastern Health, a board member with the AIDS Committee of Newfoundland and Labrador and the past-chairwoman of the Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board.

Over the last 13 years, Kelly has played a key role in the development of HIV patient care in Newfoundland and Labrador, significantly expanding her scope of practice in all aspects of HIV treatment, education and awareness. Most recently, she was the principal investigator on a Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) application to host a Café Scientifique event on World AIDS Day in 2011. In March 2012, Kelly was a co-organizer and speaker for the first provincial HIV conference for primary health-care providers in Newfoundland and Labrador.

She has also had research published in a number of peer-reviewed journals and has many other publications, posters and oral presentations to her credit. Kelly has also received numerous awards for her teaching and professional activities. She has held leadership positions and is an active member of several professional organizations at both a provincial and national level.

Jason Kielly, president of CSHP’s Newfoundland and Labrador branch who is also an assistant professor at Memorial’s School of Pharmacy, nominated Kelly.

“I believe Debbie fully embodies what it means to be a CSHP fellow,” Kielly said. “She has been at the forefront of patient care and advanced pharmacy practice in this province for as long as she has practised here. Debbie is a pillar of the pharmacy community and has made invaluable contributions to the profession through her work at the School of Pharmacy, our provincial association and our local CSHP branch. I cannot think of a person more deserving of this honour.”

The Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists is a national, voluntary organization of pharmacists, committed to patient care through the advancement of safe, effective medication use in hospitals and other collaborative health-care settings.

CSHP is also an advocate for the profession and is focused on equipping pharmacists to enable the greatest potential for practice.