Fifty Years of Greatness
Over a half a century after receiving his PharmD degree from the School of Pharmacy, Mel Baron is still active, not only with his alma mater, but within the field of pharmacy as a whole.
The 1957 grad was honored for his achievements in his field by the Half Century Trojans, who inducted him into their Hall of Fame during a luncheon ceremony at Town & Gown on October 16.
Baron was nominated for this honor by the School of Pharmacy for his many accomplishments within the school and beyond. He spearheaded the School of Pharmacy’s involvement in safety-net clinics, located in areas where many people are un- or underinsured, and has been actively working within them for more than a decade. These clinics have been shown to improve patient outcomes on a statistically significant scale, while also saving health care dollars.
During his time at these clinics, Baron saw a need for health literacy tools specifically geared toward Spanish speaking communities, so he developed a series of seven fotonovelas, written in comic book fashion in both Spanish and English. The books are based on research conducted in Latino communities to determine what common myths and misconceptions exist and how best to address these issues to remove barriers to treatment adherence. These fotonovelas address many of the prominent health issues in these populations, including medication compliance, diabetes, dementia, folic acid, depression, pediatric asthma and childhood obesity.
His ingenuity and dedication to his work in the field of pharmacy has already earned him the APhA Pinnacle Award for Individual Achievement (2011), the AACP Transformative Community Service Award (2009), and the CPhA Pharmacist of the Year Award (2008).
Baron received his latest recognition at the annual event hosted by the Half Century Trojans, an organization devoted to celebrating and connecting USC alumni who graduated more than 50 years ago. The luncheon was hosted by Dann V. Angeloff, president of the Half Century Trojans, and Scott Mory, associate senior vice president and CEO of the USC Alumni Association. School of Pharmacy Associate Dean Fred Weissman presented the award to Baron.
The Hall of Fame luncheon was attended by over 300 members of the university and alumni communities, including USC senior administrators, academic deans, alumni leaders, and family and friends. Among the attendees at the event were Baron’s wife, Lorraine, as well as his daughter, son-in-law and grandson, Jack, a recent USC graduate. Additionally, many friends and School of Pharmacy colleagues were there to cheer him on as he received this great honor.