Sister Mary Louise Degenhart to Receive ASHP's 2016 Whitney Award
ASHP has administered the Harvey A. K. Whitney Lecture Award, established in 1950 by the Southeastern Michigan Society of Hospital Pharmacists, since 1963. Harvey A. K. Whitney, ASHP’s first president, was an editor, author, educator, practitioner, and leader in hospital pharmacy. The award recognizes significant contributions to the advancement of pharmacy practice. Nominations for the award are made by past recipients and ASHP members. The winner is selected by a majority vote of past honorees.
Sister Degenhart, a member of the religious community of Adorers of the Blood of Christ, is Special Assistant to the President at St. Louis College of Pharmacy. For nearly 30 years, she held leadership positions at hospitals in Illinois, including St. Clement Hospital in Red Bud (1961-72), the University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics (1972-75), and St. John’s Hospital in Springfield (1978-89). During her tenure as a pharmacy director, Sister Degenhart modernized drug-distribution systems, expanded the hours of pharmacy services, and strengthened interprofessional ties with physicians and nurses.
Serving as a preceptor, mentor, and coach, Sister Degenhart played a key role in the success and growth of the pharmacy residency program at St. John’s Hospital. In 1989, she joined ASHP’s Accreditation Services Division, where she contributed to the development of pharmacy residency programs as well as training and continuing education programs for pharmacy technicians. Sister Degenhart remained active with ASHP’s residency accreditation and technician training efforts until March 2015.
From 1996 to 2003, Sister Degenhart served as Executive Director of ASC Health in St. Louis. For the seven years that followed, she worked with the Precious Blood Reconciliation Center, a ministry located in the Back of the Yards/New City neighborhood in Chicago. She has been in her current role at St. Louis College of Pharmacy since 2011.
Sister Degenhart has also been active in professional organizations. She was one of the founders of the Southern Illinois Society of Hospital Pharmacists and the Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists, and was later named an honorary member of both organizations. She is also an honorary member of the Pharmacy Technician Educators Council and ASHP. She has received numerous other awards and honors, including recognition as a Fellow of ASHP in 1996.
Sister Degenhart received a Bachelor of Science degree from the St. Louis College of Pharmacy and an M.B.A. from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.
ASHP represents pharmacists who serve as patient care providers in acute and ambulatory settings. The organization’s more than 43,000 members include pharmacists, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians. For over 70 years, ASHP has been at the forefront of efforts to improve medication use and enhance patient safety. For more information about the wide array of ASHP activities and the many ways in which pharmacists advance healthcare, visit ASHP’s website, www.ashp.org, or its consumer website, www.SafeMedication.com.
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