Jo Ellen Rodgers, Pharm.D., has been named the recipient of the 2017 Clinical Practice Award from the American College of Clinical Pharmacy. Rodgers is a clinical associate professor and associate director of clinical fellowship programs in the Division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.
The ACCP Clinical Practice Award recognizes an ACCP member who has developed an innovative clinical pharmacy service, provided innovative documentation of the impact of clinical pharmacy services, provided leadership in the development of cost-effective clinical pharmacy services or shown sustained excellence in providing clinical pharmacy services.
Rodgers is the first member of the School’s faculty to receive the award since Peter Gal, Pharm.D., won it in 1990.
Shannon Finks, Pharm.D., a professor in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, nominated Rodgers for the award. Finks said she has known Rodgers for more than 15 years and has seen the effect that her clinical practice and field expertise have had on her national cardiology peers.
“I have yet to attend an ACCP meeting where practitioners have not stood in lines to ask her clinical questions, seek her input on clinical issues at their own institutions or to collaborate in service to the overall cardiology patient population,” Finks said. “She is an extremely well-respected clinician whose contributions through clinical care and research broadly impact the practice of pharmacists, residents, and other health-care professionals within her local, state and national arena.”
Rodgers’ primary research interest is in the care of heart failure patients, and she is a member of the Scientific Statements Committee of the Heart Failure Society of America. She maintains an active clinical practice with the UNC Heart Failure and Cardio-Oncology Clinic, and she routinely provides coverage for the inpatient UNC Cardiomyopathy and Cardiac Transplant Service.
When on the inpatient service, Rodgers addresses all aspects of clinical practice, including daily rounds with medical staff, order verification and all aspects of transitions of care, including patient education. More recently, she has started a clinical practice in the outpatient setting in cardio-oncology, a new area of practice that serves patients with heart conditions who also have been treated for cancer.
“By expanding my practice to the outpatient setting, I’ve been able to gain a better appreciation of the journey that the patients I care for undergo,” Rodgers said. “I have the chance to care for them in the clinic, develop a relationship, and then provide care for them on the inpatient side, including assisting them with the transition back to their home and the community.
“This not only allows me to better understand their disease state and obstacles to achieving optimal care but also gives me a greater appreciation for the health-care system and ways pharmacists can work to further improve outcomes.”
Rodgers said that her current-day clinical practice is shaped by all that she has learned working alongside other pharmacists and health-care providers at UNC, which includes countless students, residents and fellows.
“Equally important is all that I have learned from the patients we serve. I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to work in such a challenging yet rewarding environment,” she said.
Rodgers currently serves a chair of the Board of Pharmacy Specialties Pharmacotherapy Specialty Council. She is a fellow of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, the Heart Failure Society of America and the American Heart Association. Rodgers is a 2015 recipient of an ACCP Cardiology Practice and Research Network Service Award.
“This is well deserved recognition for Dr. Rodgers, who is a remarkable practitioner and faculty member of DPET.” said Angela Kashuba, Pharm.D., chair of DPET and the John and Deborah McNeill, Jr. Distinguished Professor at the School. “We are very proud of all that she’s created at UNC: innovative inpatient and outpatient practice models, unique patient care initiatives and outstanding learning opportunities for our students and pharmacists nationally. She also represents our profession exceptionally by her contributions to the Heart Failure Society of America.”
Professor J. Herbert Patterson, Pharm.D., executive vice chair of DPET said, “Dr. Rodgers is a superb example of a faculty member who excels in all three areas – clinical practice, teaching and research. However, the foundation for her success has always been her clinical practice. It has informed her teaching and her research in cardiovascular pharmacotherapy generally and heart failure specifically. Thousands of patients have benefitted from Dr. Rodgers expertise and clinical acumen. She clearly is deserving of this most prestigious award.”
Rodgers is a recipient of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy Academic Excellence in Teaching Award, the Kappa Epsilon Outstanding Advisor Award and the Kappa Epsilon Career Achievement Award. She has also been recognized as a distinguished practitioner and fellow of the National Academies of Practice. She has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, including 50 manuscripts, 19 book chapters and more than 50 abstracts. She has provided more than 100 invited presentations at local, national and international meetings.
After receiving her Bachelor of Science in pharmacy and a Doctor of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Rodgers completed a pharmacy practice and critical care specialty residency at the Medical College of Virginia, followed by a fellowship in cardiovascular pharmacotherapy at UNC.