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Boucher retires after nearly 40-year “wonderful journey” in College of Pharmacy

Dr. Brad Boucher considers his year as the interim dean of the College of Pharmacy the capstone of his nearly 40 years at UTHSC. Above, he is shown reporting on the college to the UTHSC Advisory Board.

Ask Brad Boucher, former interim dean of the College of Pharmacy, what he is most proud of from what he calls the “wonderful journey” of his nearly 40-year career in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, and his answer is simple – teaching the students.

An accomplished educator, clinical pharmacist, and researcher, he holds many credentials, PharmD, FCCP, FNAP, MCCM. In addition to serving as interim dean from May 2022 to June 2023, he has other impressive titles, including associate dean for Strategic Initiatives and Operations in the college, professor in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Translational Science, vice chair for Institutional Programs and Strategic Planning in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy, associate professor and vice chair for Research in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy, and associate professor in the Department of Neurosurgery.

Still, he says, it is “the enjoyment that comes from teaching our students,” that is his major accomplishment. “I’d like to think of myself as having some skills as an educator,” Dr. Boucher says. “And importantly, I loved I was allowed to have fun doing it.”

Dr. Boucher retired from the College of Pharmacy on Monday, July 31. A party was held in his honor in the lobby of the Pharmacy Building.

“I’d like to think of myself as having some skills as an educator. And importantly, I loved I was allowed to have fun doing it.”

Dr. Brad Boucher

Dr. Boucher joined the College of Pharmacy in 1984, when department chair William Evans, PharmD, who went on to become CEO of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, was building the faculty of what was then the Clinical Pharmacy Department, now the Clinical Pharmacy and Translational Science Department.

“He wanted to not only build up the department in terms of its education and practice, but we were also very focused on us being scholars and clinical researchers,” Dr. Boucher says. The Elvis Presley Trauma Center at Regional One Health was less than a year old at that time, and Dr. Boucher became the first clinical pharmacist to practice there.

“Dr. Tim Fabian was basically the director of the trauma center at that time and wanted to have a pharmacy presence as part of their surgical team, and I will be forever grateful,” Dr. Boucher says.

The clinical work as part of the trauma team led Dr. Boucher to research looking into pharmacokinetics in the critically ill patient. It also led to establishing a two-year fellowship training program for clinical pharmacists in trauma teams. “I trained nine fellows during my time here,” Dr. Boucher says. It’s another point of pride for him.

Dr. Boucher also was instrumental in initiating a critical care pharmacy residency program that has trained more than 80 residents since it began in 1987.

“That’s very exciting as an educator, and they themselves, now have residency programs,” he says. “As mentors of these individuals, that’s very gratifying.”

Through the years, Dr. Boucher has been heavily involved in professional organizations in his field. He served as treasurer of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) for five years from 1992-1997 and was its president from 2001-2002.

Additionally, Dr. Boucher received the 2011 ACCP Clinical Practice Award. He was president of the National Rho Chi Honor Society from 2016-2018. Currently, he serves as treasurer of the organization.

“I wouldn’t have had these leadership roles without having the UT connection,” he says.

As proud as he is of his time at UTHSC, Dr. Boucher may be even more proud of his family. Dr. Boucher and his wife, Barb, will soon celebrate 44 years of marriage. Their three sons have followed their dad into health care. Alex is a pediatric hematologist and assistant professor at the University of Minnesota College of Medicine and an alumnus of the UTHSC College of Medicine. Andy, also a UTHSC College of Medicine alumnus, is at Semmes Murphey Clinic specializing in solid tumors. Adam is a College of Pharmacy graduate and the director of pharmacy at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Collierville.

Dr. Boucher will return to the college two days a week on September 13 to lead two initiatives. He will direct a project to engage College of Pharmacy alumni. He wants to create a network of ambassadors for the college. He will also head the planning for the College of Pharmacy’s new five-year strategic plan.

College of Pharmacy Dean Reginald Frye congratulated Dr. Boucher for his outstanding service to the college on Monday.

“The UTHSC College of Pharmacy was very fortunate to have someone so talented and dedicated to the students, college, and profession for nearly 40 years,” said College of Pharmacy Dean Reginald Frye, PharmD, PhD, FCCP. “Brad has made a lasting impact not only on our college and its students, but on critical care pharmacy practice and the profession of pharmacy.” 

UTHSC Chancellor Peter Buckley, MD, says he appointed Dr. Boucher interim dean because the longtime faculty leader held the respect, and thus the support, of the college. We are fortunate to have had such a senior and highly experienced leader as Dr. Boucher to serve as interim dean.”

Dr. Boucher sees his year leading the College of Pharmacy as the capstone of his tenure at UTHSC.

“One of my goals was to create a culture of positivity. I think strides were made in that regard,” he says. Mission accomplished, if you consider one junior faculty member dubbed him the CPO (Chief Positivity Officer) for the college.