Kamakshi Rao, Pharm.D., clinical manager at UNC Hospitals and Clinics, is the recipient of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation Pharmacy Special Interest Group Lifetime Achievement Award, which she will accept at the annual Blood and Marrow Transplant Pharmacist Conference in February.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to an ASBMT Pharmacy SIG member who has made a significant impact to the field of pharmacy in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and has been in practice for at least 10 years not including postgraduate or residency training, according to the ASBMT.
“It is a privilege to be able to help patients and their families as they face some of the most complicated medical treatments of their lives,” Rao said. “It is important to me to feel connected to my patients and like I am contributing to making their experience better and giving them more control as they go through the process of a transplant.”
Rao is an associate professor of clinical education in the Division of Practice Advancement and Clinical Education at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. She came to UNC in 2005 where she established a service for every discharged patient to receive specific medication counseling from a pharmacist, the first program of its kind anywhere. She was later awarded a grant to establish one of the first pharmacist-specific outpatient BMT clinics in the country. The American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists and the ASBMT recognized this endeavor, which aimed to ease the transition from hospital to home for transplant patients who have especially complicated medication regimens, as a best practice.
Rao said this award is extra special to her because she holds the ASBMT organization very near to her heart and has been involved with it since she arrived at UNC-Chapel Hill.
“To be honored by people I respect so much is truly humbling,” Rao said. “I’d like to think that my efforts are helping to set the stage for several more years of contribution, achievement and progress by those who come after me.”