Pharmacy Focus: Public Health Matters- Celebrating American Pharmacist Month Part 2 with Autumn Zuckerman


The specialty pharmacy space can tie into public health populations through many different initiatives.

Today's second installment in our American Pharmacist Month special features Dr. Autumn Zuckerman, Director of Health Outcomes and Research at Vanderbilt Specialty Pharmacy, who discusses her experience in the specialty pharmacy space and how she is aiming to make an impact in public health.

Through strategic collaborations, Dr. Zuckerman and team utilize research findings to drive innovative, evidence-based practices changes that improve specialty patient care. Dr. Zuckerman and team have produced several peer-reviewed publications, presentations, and podcasts evidencing the benefit of the health-system specialty pharmacy model in helping patients access, initiate, and maintain on optimized specialty medications.

After receiving her PharmD degree from Samford University McWhorter School of Pharmacy and completing two years of ASHP-accredited residency training at the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System VA, specializing in ambulatory care, Dr. Zuckerman began working at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in July 2015. As the first integrated specialty pharmacist in the Infectious Diseases Clinic, Dr. Zuckerman established a collaborative practice agreement to provide clinical pharmacy services for those with HCV infection and at high risk for HIV acquisition. In 2017, she created the Vanderbilt Specialty Pharmacy Health and Outcomes Research program to demonstrate health system specialty pharmacists’ value through research and quality improvement.The Program has been recognized regionally and nationally and has enabled Vanderbilt Specialty Pharmacy to innovate and elevate patient care and collaborate with other specialty pharmacy stakeholders to improve medication access for patients.

Dr. Zuckerman mentors and trains students, residents, and colleagues in outcomes research. Since developing the Vanderbilt Specialty Pharmacy Student Research Program in 2017, over 45 students have completed the program, most presenting nationally and/or publishing in peer-reviewed journals. She also serves as an affiliate faculty member at three schools of pharmacy. After hosting a national Summit for health-systems and specialty pharmacy stakeholders to learn how to start and sustain outcomes research as part of practice, her team created the Health Systems Specialty Pharmacy Outcomes Research Consortium, composed of over 45 sites that collaborate on studies and best practices idea sharing.

As an active member in the ASHP Section of Specialty Pharmacy Practitioners (SSPP) since its inception, Dr. Zuckerman recently served as the Chair of the Outcomes and Value Section Advisory Group in the SSPP, was on the inaugural SSPP Nominations Committee, and participated on the ASHP inaugural Specialty Pharmacy Summit Steering Committee. Her passion is to improve patient care by advocating for pharmacists to demonstrate the value of the services we provide in helping patients access and benefit from treatment.

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