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Press Release

ASHP Recognizes Physician Lucian Leape for Contributions to Patient Safety

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ (ASHP’s) Board of Directors recently bestowed its distinguished Award of Honor on Lucian L. Leape, M.D., for his service and achievements on behalf of patient safety and the pharmacy profession. Dr. Leape, adjunct professor of health policy at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, is widely recognized as an influential advocate of enhanced safety and quality in the U.S. health care system. He has long shared ASHP’s commitment to safe and effective medication use and has worked tirelessly to support pharmacists working collaboratively with physicians in devising optimal medication regimens for patients.

For more than two decades, Dr. Leape was a pediatric surgeon, challenging work that piqued his interest in improved patient safety in hospitals and other components of health systems. He worked tirelessly on behalf of patients, even persuading the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to better protect children by removing the most dangerous forms of concentrated liquid lye drain cleaner from the market.

Upon joining the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Health Policy and Management, Dr. Leape became a champion of the medical safety movement. His extensive writings and many lectures have examined ways to change the current culture of blame that exists in many health systems and eliminate medical system failures. Among many others publications, Leape helped author the landmark 1999 report, To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System as well as the groundbreaking study, "Pharmacist Participation on Physician Rounds and Adverse Drug Events in the Intensive Care Unit," in the July 1999 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The ASHP Board of Directors Award of Honor recognizes individuals who are not health-system pharmacists but who have made significant contributions to the health care field. Dr. Leape received his award today during the Opening General Session of ASHP’s Midyear Clinical Meeting in New Orleans.

ASHP is the 31,000-member national professional association that represents pharmacists who practice in hospitals, health maintenance organizations, long-term care facilities, home care, and other components of health care systems. ASHP, which has a long history of medication error prevention efforts, believes that the mission of pharmacists is to help people make the best use of medicines. Assisting pharmacists in fulfilling this mission is ASHP's primary objective. The Society has extensive publishing and educational programs designed to help members improve their delivery of pharmaceutical care, and it is the national accrediting organization for pharmacy residency and pharmacy technician training programs.