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Bridge Endowed Professor of Pharmacy Peggy Odegard has been named the next chair of the Department of Pharmacy at the UW School of Pharmacy, effective July 1. Odegard, who is also a practicing pharmacist, is the first woman to hold this role.
She will succeed Professor of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutics Danny Shen, who will return to his full-time teaching and research responsibilities at the School.
In addition to being a licensed pharmacist in the state of Washington, Odegard is a certified diabetes educator and immunization provider. She works at the UW Medical Center outpatient Diabetes Care Center. She has served throughout her career as a pharmacist at health screenings, brown bag medication reviews, and other community education and outreach events. She has extensive experience in community and health system pharmacy. She worked for the Pay ‘n Save Corporation early in her career, and at Evergreen Hospital Medical Center in inpatient, outpatient and clinic practice settings for more than 20 years.
In 2008, she received the Shirley and Herb Bridge Endowed Professorship in Pharmacy. That same year, along with pharmacy faculty members Annie Lam and Jackie Gardner, she helped found the School’s consulting pharmacy program, UW Pharmacy Care. She has been active in UW Pharmacy Cares in forming business partnerships with area pharmacies and care facilities. She is a long-time faculty member and the director of the School of Pharmacy’s Plein Certificate in Geriatric Pharmacy Program.
Much of Odegard’s career has been devoted to highlighting the important role that pharmacists play in patient care and to promoting collaboration among health providers. At Evergreen, she led the development of several collaborative practice agreements, including in pain management, intravenous nutrition support and anticoagulation. She was also responsible for evaluating the impact of pharmaceutical care services and served on the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee.
She is a co-investigator on two interdisciplinary UW grants — from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation and the Hearst Foundation — in which the UW schools of Nursing, Medicine and Pharmacy are using high-tech simulation labs to help students improve interprofessional communication skills. Her own research evaluates pharmacy practice interventions to improve outcomes.
“It is indeed rare to find an individual with such a combination of academic, clinical practice and business experience,” said School of Pharmacy Dean Thomas Baillie. “I look forward to having Peggy join the leadership of the School, and to capitalizing on her experience and vision to build upon the solid foundation established by Danny Shen.”
Shen served as the chair of the Department of Pharmacy for 12 years. During that time, he helped to grow the nationally recognized pharmacy faculty at UW. He guided the expansion and evolution of the Pharm.D. curriculum, and supported the launch of innovative educational initiatives, outreach projects and research programs.
For her part, Odegard is looking forward to building on her predecessor’s efforts.
“I am honored to take over this role from Danny, who has provided so much support and leadership to the department, and strong mentoring to develop our research and teaching programs,” said Odegard, “I am excited to have the opportunity to lead the department in the next phases of its growth. The faculty are outstanding both personally and in their fields. That is matched by our motivated, professionally inspiring students and the excellence of the many clinical and affiliate faculty who support our programs.”
Odegard notes that Washington state is known for having progressive leaders in pharmacy education, research and practice. She said she is looking forward to working with those leaders throughout the state to ensure the further development of the School of Pharmacy’s programs, and the promotion of future innovations in pharmacy.