The UConn School of Pharmacy is pleased to announce that on April 29, 2020, Dr. C. Michael White, Head of Pharmacy Practice, was named a UConn Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor. The Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor is the highest honor that the University of Connecticut bestows on faculty who have demonstrated excellence in teaching, research, and service, outreach, and public engagement, and who have worked at UConn for over 10 years.
Dr. White began his UConn career as a research fellow under Moses Chow, Pharm.D. from UConn and Jeffery Kluger, MD from Hartford Hospital in 1996. He has since progressed from Assistant Professor (1998) to Head of Pharmacy Practice (2011-Present) with a practice and research site at Hartford Hospital.
“This is very fitting recognition for all that Dr. White has done for our School and University,” says Dr. Phil Hritcko, Interim Dean. “He is a visionary and has absolutely influenced the role pharmacists play in health care through his collaborative models and engagement with media. Our School is extremely fortunate to have such a motivated leader teaching our state and nation’s future pharmacists.”
“I have the greatest admiration for [Dr. White] as a scholar, teacher, and university and public servant,” said Dr. James Halpert, former Dean and Professor of Pharmaceutics, who nominated Dr. White. “His individual accomplishments are all the more remarkable considering that he has spent approximately half of his time over the past nine years doing an outstanding job as Head of the Department of Pharmacy Practice. In fact, his achievements are so stellar that it is a formidable challenge to do him justice in a cover letter.”
Dr. Halpert summarized White’s major accomplishments as follows:
“Dr. White’s nearly 350 peer reviewed publications (h-Index: 59, citations: 12,148, i10: 207), 25 book chapters, and book focus on patient safety and comparative effectiveness of drugs, devices, supplements, and procedures. His scholarly work, in addition to being published in many of the elite medical journals, has been instrumental in advancing clinical practice and the development of national practice guidelines, performance measures, and coverage decisions.
He has served as the Director/Co-Director of the UConn Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) since 2007, one of only 12 centers designated and funded by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. He has received many major research awards including the American College of Clinical Pharmacy Young Investigator of the Year, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Drug Therapy Research Awards, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Lyman Award, and the ASHP Award for Sustained Contributions to the Literature.
Dr. White is also highly acclaimed for his teaching and service, having been recognized by the University in both categories. Thus, he is a UConn Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) Fellow and faculty finalist for the Provost’s Award for Public Engagement. As a four-time School of Pharmacy Teacher of the Year, he is a frequently sought-after speaker on achieving excellence in pedagogy for CETL, contributes to the UConn School of Pharmacy Teaching Certificate Program for adjunct faculty, and has participated in the CETL Teaching Exemplar Program.
He has also run a recurring multi-year consumer-oriented segment on Connecticut TV news (NBC30 and then FOX61) called Ask the Pharmacist. His OpEds have over 700,000 reads and he is a frequent interviewee for major media print, broadcast and online outlets including the Today Show, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, CNN and NPR. He has twice been awarded the Connecticut Society of Health System Pharmacists Meritorious Achievement Award for his service to the pharmacy profession.”
White notes that he was humbled to read the nomination packet and external reviews from eminent colleagues in clinical pharmacy, pharmacology, and health outcomes research. White says “I thank Jerry Bauman, Pharm.D., FCCP, BCPS, Joseph Bertino, Pharm.D., FCP, FCCP, Lindsey DeVane, Ph.D., Pharm.D., MBA, Milap Nahata, Pharm.D., MS, James Tisdale, Pharm.D., FCCP, FAHA, FCC, and Lauren Schlesselman, Pharm.D., M.Ed for taking the time to review the packet and provide their assessments.”
All the reviewers noted the international impact of White’s body of work including: the national ban on ephedra and rigorous assessments of natural products and drugs of abuse, changing the clinical prevention strategies for post-cardiac surgery complications and arrhythmias, impacting national clinical practice guidelines and coverage decisions, and identifying gaps in our national safety net for reliable and safe medications and clinical trials.
Former Dean and Emeritus Distinguished Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Dr. Jerry Bauman, commented that, “In my opinion, Dr. White’s academic rise can only be described as meteoric; he has become one of the most visible and productive clinical pharmacy scholars in the nation if not the world.”
Professor and CHOICE institute Associate Director at the University of Washington, Dr. Beth Devine, further commented, “In the area of public engagement, Dr. White has received more media attention than any other pharmacist I have known.”
Dr. White stated, “I have always been driven by the impact that my work could have on students, the Profession of Pharmacy, patients, and the healthcare system. I am so appreciative of my great collaborators including Craig Coleman, Pharm.D., Diana Sobieraj, Pharm.D., William Baker, Pharm.D., Beth Taylor, Ph.D., Paul Thompson, MD, Jeffrey Kluger, MD, Blair Johnson, Ph.D., Deborah Cornman, Ph.D., Robert Quercia, MS, R.Ph., and Adrian Hernandez, MD, Ph.D. from across UConn and Hartford Hospital,” says White. In addition, I need to thank the School of Pharmacy Deans (Michael Gerald, Ph.D., Robert McCarthy, Ph.D., James Halpert, Ph.D. and Philip Hritcko, Pharm.D.), my wonderful administrative assistants (Barbara Murawski and Kimberly Hopkins), the leaders of InCHIP (Jeffery Fisher, Ph.D. and Amy Gorin, Ph.D.), and research administration at Hartford Hospital (Laurine Bow, Ph.D. Tammy Weirs, MS, and Liz Roper, Ph.D.) for their unwavering support. Without a doubt, I need to thank my family including my wife (Laura White), our two children (Lyla and Zachary White), my parents (Harry and Nancy White), my In Laws (Lester and Margaret Milch), and my brother (Harry White) for their love, support, and understanding.”
“While the School of Pharmacy has had many eminent scholars honored with the Board of Trustees designation in Pharmaceutical Sciences, this is the first time someone from Pharmacy Practice has been selected,” concluded White. “With the strong pipeline that we have developed in Pharmacy Practice, I am confident I will not be the last.”