USC School of Pharmacy Dean R. Pete Vanderveen, PhD,  announced the appointment of Steven W. Chen, PharmD,  as chair of the Titus Family Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Economics & Policy effective June 1.

In his announcement, Vanderveen said, “Dr. Chen is a recognized national leader in designing and implementing innovative clinical pharmacy practice models, a two-time winner of the American Pharmacists Association highest honor (Pinnacle Award) and a truly superb clinician.”

Chen is a co-investigator on the largest grant ever received by the school, a $12 million innovation grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

This project, currently in its third year, aims to improve medication use and safety, and access to primary care among underserved populations in Southern California.

A faculty member at the school since 1998, Chen holds the Hygeia Centennial Chair in Clinical Pharmacy. He has been among the faculty leaders in expanding the school’s footprint in safety-net clinics throughout Southern California, providing disease management and medication consultative services to vulnerable populations by teams of clinical pharmacists, residents and students. He currently oversees teams at over 20 clinics throughout Southern California.

His pioneering work in Los Angeles safety-net clinics has emerged as a national model that has been replicated at clinics across the country. Further, he has served as national co-chair of the Health Services Research Agency’s Patient Safety and Clinical Pharmacy Services Collaborative which has exponentially expanded the footprint of clinical pharmacy services in clinics nationwide.

A 1989 graduate of the school’s Doctor of Pharmacy program, Chen completed a residency in primary practice in 1990 at the Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic in Los Angeles, formerly an affiliate of the USC School of Pharmacy.

At USC, Chen is a Distinguished Faculty Fellow of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and among the leaders of the Interprofessional Education Committee on the Health Sciences Campus, designed to promote collaboration in the training of the next generation of health professionals among USC health science schools.

In 2013, Chen was recognized as “Alumnus of the Year” by the School of Pharmacy Alumni Association.

He has also been recognized numerous times by students and residents as “Professor of the Year” and “Preceptor of the Year.”

— Kukla Vera