When deans at the University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy wanted to expand their experiential practice program, Michel Disco fulfilled all of their criteria—she has strong community connections, a proven track record, and a drive garnered from 31 years in community pharmacy.
“As Michel’s inspiring CV demonstrates, she has undertaken more than merely practicing pharmacy in her long and prolific career,” her nomination read. “Rather, Michel has been a pioneer in fostering a public health system that delivers free or affordable health care to those who are not in a position to seek it.”
Her involvement with the School Kids Influenza Immunization Program (SKIIP) since its 2008 inception allowed her students to administer vaccinations to children 17 years and younger, contributing to vaccination rates that exceed national standards for that age group.
“The 2012-2013 program immunized 51,000 students at 450 schools,” her nomination noted. “And because these healthy kids didn’t pass the dodged flu to family members and their many contacts, SKIIP minimized the spread of illness. SKIIP has grown every year since 2009, vaccinating many kids who otherwise wouldn’t be, and lessening flu in New Mexico.”
Recognizing public health problems unique to her state, Disco also participated in New Mexico Pharmacists’ Association teams responsible for prescriptive authority legislation covering narcotic overdose treatment, contraception, immunizations, tobacco cessation, and tuberculosis testing.
Her 40-year career in pharmacy includes holding posts in health-system and retail pharmacies as a staff pharmacist, assistant manager, pharmacy manager, and regional pharmacy manager. At the University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy, Disco served as an associate clinical professor, assistant dean for external programs, and director of interprofessional education.
She has received awards from the New Mexico Pharmacists Association, the University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy, the National Association of Retail Druggists, McKesson, the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, the New Mexico Pharmaceutical Association, Merck, and the new Mexico Public Health Association.