Steven Chen, PharmD, chair of the Titus Family Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Economics & Policy, received the 2016 Pinnacle Award from the American Pharmacy Association (APhA) at a ceremony Sept. 19 at the APhA headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Chen has received the award, one of the nation’s highest pharmacy honors, twice previously, in 2007 and 2013. He is being recognized this year as part of an interdisciplinary team of public health leaders for their collaborative work on two significant initiatives: the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Patient Safety and Pharmacy Services Collaborative and the USC School of Pharmacy’s three-year, $12 million Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation program — in partnership with Geoffrey Joyce and the USC Schaeffer Center — which placed clinical pharmacy teams in AltaMed Health Services safety-net clinics in Los Angeles.

In announcing the award, APhA noted that synergistic federal and private-sector initiatives like these have generated substantial reductions in adverse drug events nationwide, with 2.1 million fewer incidents of patient harm in 2011–2014, and a 40 percent reduction in adverse drug events.

“This is a remarkable and well-deserved honor for Steve,” says Glen L. Stimmel, the USC School of Pharmacy’s interim dean and John Stauffer Dean’s Chair in Pharmaceutical Sciences. “As far as I know, there never has been a three-time winner of the Pinnacle Award in its long history. This exemplifies what a tremendous leader and innovator we have in Steve, and his achievement reflects well on all faculty, staff and students of the School of Pharmacy.”

Chen — the Hygeia Centennial Chair in Clinical Pharmacy and an associate professor at the USC School of Pharmacy — received the 2013 Pinnacle Award for Individual Career Achievement for promoting clinical pharmacy services, especially for underserved populations, as a way to improve patient outcomes and save healthcare dollars. He also was a member of the USC School of Pharmacy team that received the 2007 Pinnacle Award for the School’s pioneering work in safety-net clinics.

— Michele Keller