Mel Baron was in private practice from 1957 to 1987 and developed a unique home healthcare center providing infusion therapy, ostomy care, durable medical equipment, and respiratory and incontinence care. He joined the USC School of Pharmacy faculty on a part-time basis in 1981 and became a full-time faculty member in 1990.
As a member of the clinical faculty, Baron served as director for the first-level externship program, which he helped create. In addition, he co-directed the PharmD/MBA program and was responsible for teaching clerkships in pharmacy administration and healthcare needs of special populations.
He served as a consulting pharmacist for several community clinics that serve indigent patients in Los Angeles County and was a member of the California Safety Net Alliance Pharmacy & Therapeutics Committee. He is a fellow of the California Pharmacists Association, the American Pharmacists Association and the American College of Apothecaries. He is a managing partner of PharmaCom LLC, a consulting company.
Baron’s professional affiliations include the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, American Pharmaceutical Association, California Pharmaceutical Association, American College of Apothecaries and American Public Administration Association. He is also a member of Rho Chi Society, was faculty adviser to Phi Lambda Sigma, and has been honored as Preceptor of the Year and the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year.
In 2008, Baron was named “Pharmacist of the Year” by the California Pharmacists Association. He and other faculty colleagues received the 2007 Pinnacle Award of the American Phamacists Association and the 2009 Transformative Community Service Award of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. In 2011, he was awarded a Pinnacle Award for individual achievement recognizing his health literacy projects. In 2012, he was inducted into the USC Half Century Hall of Fame and, in 2017, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Baron’s recent focus has been on the Health Literacy Program he created, which has the purpose of developing, distributing and evaluating health-related media for underserved and low-literacy Latino populations. Since the program began in 2000, it has produced 10 fotonovelas and three audio-visual novellas.