Dr. Stephanie Phelps Receives the Helms Award for Excellence

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Stephanie J. Phelps, PharmD, associate dean of Academic Affairs in the College of Pharmacy and professor of Clinical Pharmacy and Pediatrics, received the Richard A. Helms Award for Excellence in Pediatric Pharmacy Practice.

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) is pleased to announce that Stephanie J. Phelps, PharmD, associate dean of Academic Affairs in the College of Pharmacy and professor of Clinical Pharmacy and Pediatrics, received the Richard A. Helms Award for Excellence in Pediatric Pharmacy Practice during the 20th annual meeting of the Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group (PPAG). The award — named after Richard Helms, PharmD, department chair of Clinical Pharmacy at UTHSC — recognizes sustained and meritorious contributions to the practice of pediatric pharmacy.

Pediatric pharmacy was not recognized until the late 1970s when Dr. Helms and others began to offer specialized training in pediatrics. In 2006, the PPAG Board of Directors moved to establish an award that recognized excellence by those practicing pediatric pharmacy.

Dr. Phelps was at the forefront of this developing subspecialty when she obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy from Samford University in 1979. She then received a PharmD from the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy in Memphis in 1982 and subsequently completed a pediatric subspecialty residency at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, where she would continue to shape this specialized area of pharmacy.

For more than 25 years, Dr. Phelps has practiced at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital where she was director of the Therapeutic Drug Monitoring Service. During her career she has participated in the education of five postdoctoral fellows and more than 80 pediatric pharmacy residents. She is editor of “The Teddy Bear Book: Pediatric Injectable Drugs” and is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Dr. Phelps has published numerous manuscripts, book chapters, and reviews that focus on pediatric pharmacotherapy and epilepsy.

Having held elected offices in the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy and the American Society of Health System Pharmacists, she has also served on the Board of Directors for the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition and PPAG. Dr. Phelps is currently chair of the Pharmacy Academy of the National Academies of Practice. She is a past recipient of the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacist Outstanding Chapter Advisor Award, and of the 2009 Tennessee Society of Hospital Pharmacy’s Distinguished Service Award. Her numerous teaching awards include being the first Pharmacy faculty member elected to the UTHSC campus Academy of Distinguished Teachers. She is an elected fellow in the American College of Clinical Pharmacy and the American Pharmacists Association and is also a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist.

The Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group is an international, nonprofit, professional association representing the interests of pediatric pharmacists and their patients. Dedicated to improving medication therapy in children, the group’s sole purpose is to promote safe and effective medication use in children through communication, education, and research.