Steven Chen receives 2013 Pinnacle Award in Washington, DC

Image of Dr. Chen and Dr. StevenSteven Chen, the Hygeia Centennial Chair in Clinical Pharmacy, was presented with the 2013 Pinnacle Award for Individual Career Achievement at a ceremony of the American Pharmacists Association Foundation held at the association’s headquarters on the National Mall on June 24. This was the third Pinnacle Award received by the USC School of Pharmacy, the only pharmacy school nationwide with that distinction.

The Individual Career Achievement Award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in enhancing health care quality and medication use.  Special emphasis is placed on candidates whose work improves patient adherence to medication therapies and programs that promote the use of and adherence with national treatment guidelines.

Chen has been a leader in Los Angeles, statewide and nationally in promoting clinical pharmacy services, especially for underserved populations, as a way to improve patient outcomes and save health care dollars.  He currently oversees services in 19 clinics in Southern California, including six sites that are part of a $12 million grant from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation that is studying this model of care and its impact on outcomes and costs.

“Dr. Chen is an extraordinarily unique leader whose energy and passion make his interactions with patients, colleagues and students inspiring,” said R. Pete Vanderveen, dean of the USC School of Pharmacy.  “He certainly personifies the pinnacle to which our profession strives – providing optimal care for patients in an efficient manner.”

On the national scene, Chen has been active in the Health Resources Administration’s Patient Safety and Clinical Pharmacy Services Collaborative, previously serving as co-chair and developing a medication intervention and safety measurement tool that has been adopted by pharmacy teams in clinics nationwide.  He led the development of a resource guide to assist California pharmacists in initiating advanced medication management programs while serving as chair of the California Society of Health-System Pharmacists Medication Therapy Task Force.

At USC, Chen is also the director of the pharmacy practice residency program in primary care where he oversees multiple residents in safety net clinics sites throughout Southern California.  He is a faculty fellow of the USC Center for Excellence in Teaching which consists of a group of creative faculty who are recognized by their peers for excellence and innovation in teaching, learning and scholarship.

Chen received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from USC in 1989 followed by a residency in primary care pharmacy practice completed in 1990.  This is Chen’s second Pinnacle Award, as he was among the School of Pharmacy faculty recipients of the 2007 Pinnacle Award for Group Practice.

Presenting the award to Chen was Dan Luce, president of the American Pharmacists Association Foundation Board of Directors.  A video featuring Chen’s work was shown during the ceremony.

Photo by Craig Thoburn Photography.