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Marie Chisholm-Burns, Dean of the UTHSC College of Pharmacy, Receives Prestigious Health Services Research Award

Dr. Marie Chisholm-Burns with husband John Fitzgerald Burns and son John Fitzgerald Burns, Jr., at the recent AACP awards ceremony.

The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Recognizes Her for Research Contributions Affecting Patient Outcomes

Marie Chisholm-Burns, PharmD, MPH, MBA, FCCP, FASHP, dean and professor in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), received the Paul R. Dawson Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) for her research contributions related to health services delivery affecting patient outcomes. The award was bestowed during the recent annual AACP meeting.

Dr. Chisholm-Burns founded and directs the Medication Access Program in Georgia, which helps to provide medication to more than 830 solid-organ transplant patients. The statewide network facilitates medication adherence as well as interdisciplinary care and support for transplant patients.

“Those who know me know I am committed to the pharmacy profession, education, and to improving health care for all,” Dr. Chisholm-Burns said in accepting the award.

Dr. Chisholm-Burns acknowledged that the profession and society are confronted with many challenges. “Today’s civil rights issues, I believe, surround health disparities, cost and financing of health care, access, and educational inequalities. But the challenges are also opportunities,” she said. “Someone once told me that life is like a camera. Focus on what is important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives, and if it does not work out, take another shot.”

A pharmacist since 1992, Dr. Chisholm-Burns became dean of the College of Pharmacy at UTHSC in 2012. Previously, she was a professor and head of the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science for the College of Pharmacy at the University of Arizona. She received her BS and PharmD degrees from the University of Georgia, her MPH from Emory University and her MBA from the University of Memphis.

“She is an exceptional researcher and scholar,” said Joseph T. DiPiro, PharmD, dean of the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy. “Her studies have demonstrated the significant impact that clinical pharmacy and medication access programs have on increasing transplant recipients’ adherence to medications, improving treatment of disease states and patient outcomes, and decreasing the health care-related economic burden faced by transplant recipients.”

“Dean Chisholm-Burns’ work is so deserving of recognition, especially as the Dawson Award criteria have been broadened to encompass a more diverse scope of research,” said Lucinda L. Maine, PhD, executive vice president and CEO of the AACP. “Certainly her work has transformed lives and health care delivery systems.”

The Paul R. Dawson Award recognizes an active scientist within the ranks of pharmacy education as a leader in the broad range of research related to health services delivery affecting patient outcomes. Originally focused on the teaching and scholarship of biotechnology and science that promised to revolutionize health and health services, the criteria expanded in 2015 to include all research that has made sustained contributions to changes in the quality of patient outcomes. Award recipients are honored with a glass sculpture and monetary prize.

Founded in 1900, the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) is the national organization representing the interests of pharmacy education. AACP is comprised of 134 accredited colleges and schools with pharmacy degree programs, including more than 6,600 faculty, 64,800 students enrolled in professional programs and 4,900 individuals pursuing graduate study. To learn more about AACP, visit www.aacp.org.