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New chair appointed at USC School of Pharmacy

Steven Chen heads department focused on patient-centered care and socioeconomic analysis

by Kukla Vera
Steven Chen, USC School of Pharmacy
Steven Chen (Photo/ Phil Channing)

R. Pete Vanderveen, dean of the USC School of Pharmacy, announced the appointment of Steven Chen as the chair of the Titus Family Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Economics & Policy. The department focuses on patient-centered care with socioeconomic insight and analysis, and the faculty represents a wide range of clinical and research specialties, from community pharmacy and geriatrics to oncology and psychiatry.

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.”

A tireless advocate

Chen is a co-investigator on the largest grant ever received by the USC School of Pharmacy, 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.

Chen’s pioneering work in Los Angeles safety-net clinics has become a national model replicated at clinics across the country.

A faculty member 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 more than 20 clinics throughout Southern California.

“Steve is a tireless and passionate advocate for utilizing the pharmacist as an integral member of the health care team because he knows how effective this is in improving health outcomes for patients while saving health dollars,” said Vanderveen. “We are very fortunate to have him lead our Titus Family Department.”

Bringing healthcare to diverse communities

Before joining USC as a faculty member, he helped develop the ambulatory care and education program at the Sepulveda Veterans Administration Medical Center and returned to the Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic in Los Angeles, where he served as the clinical and residency coordinator.

Chen is recognized as a national leader in establishing the pharmacist as a pivotal member of the health care team and in utilizing the pharmacist in this role to improve health outcomes while saving health care dollars in clinics serving homeless and uninsured patients. His pioneering work in Los Angeles safety-net clinics has become a national model replicated at clinics across the country. Further, he has served as national Co-Chair of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Patient Safety and Clinical Pharmacy Services Collaborative which has exponentially expanded the footprint of clinical pharmacy services in clinics nationwide.

In 2013, Chen was recognized as “Alumnus of the Year” by the School of Pharmacy Alumni Association. He has also been recognized numerous time by students and residents as “Professor of the Year” and “Preceptor of the Year.”

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