Pharmacy Times Editor-in-Chief Fred M. Eckel, RPh, MS, has been honored with the Annual Alumni Award from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (USP). He received his bachelor of science degree in pharmacy from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science at the university in 1961. He received his master's degree from Ohio State School of Pharmacy.
"I felt quite honored,"Eckel said about winning the award. "The individuals who have won the award in the past are quite distinguished in their profession. I did not know I had been nominated; it came as a real shock."
In his letter nominating Eckel, Daniel A. Hussar, PhD, said, "Fred has been a leader in American pharmacy since the mid-1960s."Eckel's first experience in pharmacy was during high school. He worked in a community pharmacy that had a soda fountain. He served ice cream as well as delivering prescriptions.
Eckel is currently the executive director of the North Carolina Association of Pharmacists, a professor and director of the Office of Practice Development and Education at the School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the executive director of the North Carolina Center for Pharmaceutical Care.
"Just as he was at the beginning of his professional career, Fred continues to be on the cutting edge of programs that are extremely important for the advancement of the profession of pharmacy,"wrote Dr. Hussar. "There have been several very innovative pharmaceutical care programs established in North Carolina that have served as the models for the development of other programs throughout the country. Fred has had an important influence in the development of these programs."
Eckel has enjoyed his 40-plus years in the pharmacy profession. "Pharmacy has been a good career for me. I would recommend it to anyone,"he said. Careers in the health field run in the family. Eckel's wife, Peggy, is a nurse, and his children, Sarah and Stephen, are both practicing pharmacists. "I'm proud my 2 children have followed me in their career,"he said.