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5/23/2002
Press Release

ASHP and United States Army Join Forces for Patient Safety

Lieutenant Colonel Jasper W. Watkins, III, will join the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), as an Officer in Residence in Patient Safety. This 12-month Army Training With Industry (TWI) program is designed to provide a selected Army pharmacy officer with the opportunity to gain additional education, training, and hands-on experience on ways to make the medication-use system safer for patients and staff.

Watkins will be located in the ASHP Center on Patient Safety where he will work on projects and initiatives related to improving the safety and quality of the medication-use processes in hospitals and health systems. LTC Watkins will also spend time with the ASHP Research and Education Foundation, focusing on patient safety research.

"LTC Watkins will be a valuable addition to our dedicated team that is diligently working to improve patient safety in the nation's hospitals and health systems," said Henri R. Manasse, Jr., Ph.D., Sc.D., ASHP executive vice president and CEO. "We are very pleased to have this opportunity to team up with our partners and colleagues in the U.S. Army."

LTC Watkins is currently the senior Assignment Officer and Career Manager for approximately 650 Army Medical Service Corps Officers in allied health science specialties assigned throughout the world. He previously served as the Chief of the Department of Pharmacy, at the 121st General Hospital in Korea.

"The ASHP Officer in Residence in Patient Safety program provides a wonderful opportunity for the Army, Department of Defense and ASHP to learn from one another new strategies to help improve the safety and quality of health care in America," said Colonel W. Mike Heath, Pharmacy Consultant to the Army Surgeon General. "We are pleased that ASHP has agreed to partner with the Army Medical Department to make this opportunity available."

The ASHP Center on Patient Safety was founded in 2000 to focus the Society's ongoing attention to the quality of medication use in the United States and pharmacists' contributions to patient safety.

The Center serves as the nucleus of the Society’s activities to help pharmacists lead the establishment of safe and effective medication-use standards in hospitals and health-systems.

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.