Baptist Memorial Hospital Receives Award for Excellence in Medication Safety

Anaheim, CA (Dec. 3, 2018) — The ASHP Foundation and the Cardinal Health Foundation yesterday honored Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., with the 2018 Award for Excellence in Medication Safety for its work in reducing the use of opioids for pain management in the emergency department.

This is the only national award that recognizes a pharmacist-led interprofessional team for implementing significant systemwide improvements related to medication safety in a hospital or health system.

At a ceremony held during the 2018 ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting in Anaheim, Baptist Memorial Hospital received $30,000 to further its innovations in medication safety. Two finalists, Straub Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, and the University of Florida College of Pharmacy in Gainesville, were also recognized. Each received $10,000. Both finalist initiatives also focused on safer opioid prescribing practices.

“The finalists and recipients of this award are an inspiration to all institutions looking to expand their medication safety efforts,” said ASHP Foundation Chief Executive Officer Steven A. Rubloff. “Baptist Memorial Hospital and the two finalist organizations tackled tough challenges that confront every hospital and health system in the United States. This program provides an opportunity for us to recognize those who make improvements that not only benefit their institutions, but also the entire profession.”

“We know that safer prescribing and alternatives for pain management are key to turning the tide on the opioid epidemic,” said Jessie Cannon, Vice President of Community Relations at Cardinal Health. “We recognize that this is difficult work that requires a multidisciplinary approach, with pharmacists collaborating with physicians and other care providers. This year’s Excellence in Medication Safety honorees showcase the effectiveness of that work, and the Cardinal Health Foundation applauds their achievements.”

The award recipient and finalists were chosen by an interprofessional review panel of accomplished safety experts who evaluated all applicants. Finalists were selected based on the initiative’s scope, pharmacist leadership, demonstrated impact, innovation, sustainability, and generalizability. Reviewers visited each finalist’s site before selecting the award recipient.

Awardees’ Initiatives

2018 Recipient: Baptist Memorial Hospital
Memphis, TN
Transitioning to an Opioid-Light Emergency Department

A pharmacist-led multidisciplinary approach allowed the Baptist-Memphis Emergency Department to become “opioid-light” with a focus on alternatives to opioids for patients’ pain management. Through a patient-centered approach, provider and nurse education, system changes, and teamwork, Baptist Memorial has sustained more than a 70-percent reduction in opioid usage per 100 patient visits, while increasing patient satisfaction.

2018 Finalist: Straub Medical Center
Honolulu, HI
Orthopedic Surgery Opioid Stewardship

Straub Medical Center achieved meaningful reductions in perioperative and postoperative opioid use by integrating a pharmacist into its surgical home to optimize pain management and implement opioid stewardship in all patients undergoing elective joint replacement surgery.

2018 Finalist: University of Florida College of Pharmacy
Gainesville, FL
Personalized Medicine Program

The University of Florida Health Personalized Medicine Program, a pharmacist-led effort to overcome barriers and facilitate clinical adoption of pharmacogenetic testing, focused its attention on opioids to improve patient outcomes through better-informed prescribing decisions.

About the Award for Excellence in Medication Safety
The Award for Excellence in Medication Safety was established in 2004 to recognize on a national level pharmacy professionals who have assumed a leadership role in promoting safety in the medication-use process. For more information regarding this award, visit For details about the specific initiatives being recognized this year,

About the ASHP Research and Education Foundation
The ASHP Foundation (, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, was established in 1968 by ASHP ( as a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization. As ASHP’s philanthropic partner, our vision is that pharmacists, with their knowledge of safe and effective medication use as well as clinical and leadership skills, improve patient outcomes. Our mission is to improve the health and well-being of patients in health systems through appropriate, safe, and effective medication use.

About ASHP
ASHP represents pharmacists who serve as patient care providers in acute and ambulatory settings. The organization’s 45,000 members include pharmacists, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians. For more than 75 years, ASHP has been at the forefront of efforts to improve medication use and enhance patient safety. For more information about the wide array of ASHP activities and the many ways in which pharmacists advance healthcare, visit ASHP’s website,, or its consumer website,

About the Cardinal Health Foundation
The Cardinal Health Foundation supports local, national and international programs that improve health care efficiency, effectiveness and excellence and the overall wellness of the communities where Cardinal Health, Inc.'s (NYSE: CAH) approximately 50,000 employees live and work. The Cardinal Health Foundation also offers grants to encourage community service among its employees and works through international agencies to donate much-needed medical supplies and funding to those who need them in times of disaster; because at Cardinal Health, Inc. we #LiveforWhatMatters. To learn more, visit

About Cardinal Health
Cardinal Health, Inc. is a global, integrated healthcare services and products company, providing customized solutions for hospitals, healthcare systems, pharmacies, ambulatory surgery centers, clinical laboratories and physician offices worldwide. The company provides clinically proven medical products, pharmaceuticals and cost-effective solutions that enhance supply chain efficiency from hospital to home. To help combat prescription drug abuse, the company and its education partners created Generation Rx, a national drug education and awareness program. Backed by nearly 100 years of experience, with approximately 50,000 employees in nearly 46 countries, Cardinal Health ranks #14 on the Fortune 500. For more information, visit, follow @CardinalHealth on Twitter, @cardinalhealthwings on Facebook and connect on LinkedIn at

Contact Information
Barbara B. Nussbaum, B.S.Pharm., Ph.D.
Vice President
ASHP Foundation

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