UK HealthCare

UK Opioid Stewardship Team Receives ASHP Best Practices Award

Front: Stephanie Abel, Douglas Oyler, Kristy Deep, Phillip Chang, Noelle Leung and Barbara Vanderveer. Back: Komal Pandy  Kimberley Hite, Timothy Clifford, Brooke Herndon, Rachael Morgan and Abby Williams.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 19, 2019) — The American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists presents the Best Practices Award each year to outstanding pharmacy practitioners. Last week, UK’s Opioid Stewardship team was one of only six recipients nationally.

The Best Practices Award program was created in 1999 to recognize those who use innovative solutions to problem solve in the field of pharmacy. The main goal of UK’s Opioid Stewardship program is to give providers the tools, skills and knowledge to safely prescribe opioids for analgesia, the inability to feel pain.

“We’re currently launching collaborations with state organizations to help other hospitals and health systems better understand and embrace their roles in responding to the opioid crisis in Kentucky,” said Doug Oyler, director of UK HealthCare’s Office of Opioid Safety. “Internally, we are beginning partnerships with ambulatory providers to help ensure safe opioid use in the outpatient setting as well.”

When asked what the award means to the team, Oyler said it’s refreshing for Kentucky to be recognized for addressing the problem, rather than just having it.

“It was encouraging that a state known as the epicenter of the opioid crisis is beginning to be associated with the epicenter of the response,” said Oyler. “This additional recognition serves to further UK’s reputation as a leader in this field.”

This is the third time UK HealthCare has won this award, but the first time since 2007. Members of the team include: 

Oyler; Komal Pandya, PharmD; Stephanie Abel, PharmD; Kimberley Hite, PharmD​; Oyler, PharmD​; Timothy Clifford, PharmD; Dr. Kristy Deep; Brooke Herndon, PharmD; Dr. Phillip Chang; Rachael Morgan, PharmD; Noelle Leung, PharmD; Abby Williams, PharmD; and Barbara Vanderveer.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" two years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.