Dean R. Pete Vanderveen announced the appointment of Steven W. Chen as the Chair of the Titus Family Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Economics & Policy effective June 1.
In his announcement, Dean Vanderveen said, “Dr. Chen is a recognized national leader in designing and implementing innovative clinical pharmacy practice models, a two-time winner of the American Pharmacists Association highest honor (Pinnacle Award) and a truly superb clinician.”
Chen is a co-investigator on the largest grant ever received by the School, a $12 million innovation grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This project, currently in its third year, aims to improve medication use and safety and access to primary care among underserved populations in Southern California. The principal investigator on the project is Geoffrey Joyce, an associate professor at the School and director of Health Policy at the Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics.
A faculty member at the School since 1998, Chen holds the Hygeia Centennial Chair in Clinical Pharmacy. He has been among the faculty leaders in expanding the School’s footprint in safety-net clinics throughout Southern California, providing disease management and medication consultative services to vulnerable populations by teams of clinical pharmacists, residents and students. He currently oversees teams at over 20 clinics throughout Southern California.
“Steve is a tireless and passionate advocate for utilizing the pharmacist as an integral member of the healthcare team because he knows how effective this is in improving health outcomes for patients while saving health dollars,” said Vanderveen. “We are very fortunate to have him lead our Titus Family Department.”
A 1989 graduate of the School’s Doctor of Pharmacy program, Chen completed a residency in primary practice in 1990 at the Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic in Los Angeles, which at the time was an affiliate of the USC School of Pharmacy. Before joining USC as a faculty member, he helped develop the ambulatory care and education program at the Sepulveda Veterans Administration Medical Center and returned to the Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic in Los Angeles where he served as the clinical and residency coordinator. Among his previous faculty roles at USC, Chen provided administrative and clinical services to Cedar Sinai Medical Group in Beverly Hills and served as faculty-in-residence at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.
Chen is recognized as a national leader in establishing the pharmacist as a pivotal member of the health-care team and in utilizing the pharmacist in this role to improve health outcomes while saving health-care dollars in clinics serving homeless and uninsured patients. His pioneering work in Los Angeles safety-net clinics has emerged as a national model that has been replicated at clinics across the country.
Further, he has served as national Co-Chair of the Health Services Research Agency’s (HRSA) Patient Safety and Clinical Pharmacy Services Collaborative which has exponentially expanded the footprint of clinical pharmacy services in clinics nationwide.
At USC, Chen is a Distinguished Faculty Fellow of the Center for Excellence in Teaching which strives to foster and enhance learner-centered education. He is also among the leaders of the Interprofessional Education Committee on the Health Sciences Campus, designed to promote collaboration in the training of the next generation of health professionals among USC health science schools.
In 2013, Chen was recognized as “Alumnus of the Year” by the School of Pharmacy Alumni Association. He has also been recognized numerous time by students and residents as “Professor of the Year” and “Preceptor of the Year.”