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Pharmacy Practice Chair earns national recognition for cancer patient care

Monday, July 13, 2015

LAWRENCE — David Henry, associate professor and department of pharmacy practice chair at the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy, earned the 2015 Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association Award of Excellence.

The national award recognizes a member who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and made significant, sustained contributions to hematology/oncology pharmacy. Henry was nominated for the award by Susannah Koontz, Koontz Oncology Consulting LLC; Casey Williams, Avera Health, and Leigh Ann Scott, University of Kansas Medical Center.

Koontz said she and her peers nominated Henry not only for his dedication and service to the practice of hematology and oncology pharmacy over the years but also for his role in expanding the role of pharmacists in clinical settings.

Henry, a KU graduate, was among the first KU pharmacy students to complete his clinical rotation in a hospital setting and the first to accompany physicians and other health care workers as they visited patients to discuss their conditions and treatments.

“Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, when very few pharmacists were routinely rounding with physicians and providing clinical pharmacy services, Dave was quietly blazing the trail for everyone else to follow,” Koontz said.

Henry, a board-certified pharmacy specialist in oncology pharmacy, explained that he came to the pharmacy school as a student with the intention of becoming a retail pharmacist. He’s not certain when those plans changed, he said, but once he entered the hospital environment, momentum seemed to carry him along that path.

A short time after he joined the KU Medical Center Pharmacy, Henry began teaching pharmacy students, which led to a faculty position at KU. 

Although he has worked in several specialties, Henry has worked with the pediatric hematology/oncology team for the past 30 years. He has been active for more than 20 years in the Children’s Oncology Group, a national multi-institutional research group for the treatment of children with cancer.

Today, Henry is the chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice. KU Medical Center, where he completed his clinical rotation as a student, is now home to dozens of pharmacy students a year under the guidance of pharmacy practice faculty and hospital staff pharmacists.

Henry received the award in March at the 2015 annual meeting of the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacists Association in Austin.

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2nd among all schools of pharmacy in National Institutes of Health funding
Brings more than $20 million in external funding into the state each year
7 of 19 cancer drugs formulated through the National Cancer Institute were developed at the KU School of Pharmacy
3,000 free flu shots given to Kansans in need during the past 5 years
4,000 living alumni, 63 percent of them living and working in Kansas
KU pharmacists practice in 95 of Kansas’ 105 counties
20th among public schools of pharmacy.
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$20.2 million NIH research grant earned by Distinguished Professor Jeff Aubé was 2nd largest in Kansas history
100 percent placement after graduation for KU Pharm.D. students
Established in 1885 as the 1st professional program at KU