Pharmacy professor helps make policies safeguarding health 

By Betsy Friauf

Annesha White, PhD

 

Annesha White, PhD, is passionate about improving health care and reducing its cost.

She’s Assistant Dean and Assistant Professor of Pharmacotherapy in the UNT System College of Pharmacy. Her research focus is on reducing the medication errors that harm about 1.5 million Americans annually.

Dr. White’s expertise and hard work in this arena have earned her a position as a Foundation Trustee of the Academy of Managed Care-Pharmacy (AMCP).

She has an intense interest in the current epidemic of opioid abuse and overdoses. One avenue of her work involves better ways to help opioid users taper off.

Dr. White helped present an education session for health care providers at the recent National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta, where President Barack Obama was the keynote speaker. Also at that conference, she had discussions with the Centers for Disease Control group that recently published new guidelines on use of opioids for chronic pain.

“One pillar of the Health Science Center’s Patient Safety Institute will be prescription management,” she said. “We will be working intensely on solutions such as more precise medication, coordination of drugs from multiple providers,  and what is called ‘polypharmacy,’ or a patient’s use of four or more medications that may interact poorly.”

Her new role with the AMCP allows her to enrich students’ education, as well.  “We’ve already begun a student chapter of AMCP,” she said. “We will have a speaker every month, and we are creating new internships and rotations.”

Two College of Pharmacy students have secured an advanced pharmacy practice experience with OmniSys, a nationally recognized leader in medical claim billing and Medicare compliance for pharmacies, with a focus on health information and technology.

Although she hasn’t yet finished her first year at UNTHSC, Dr. White is enthusiastic about the organization’s future. “There’s a great interprofessional collaboration here,” she said.

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