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Nation’s First Hospital Pharmacy Residency Program on the Road to Accreditation

Recently, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) came to Pennsylvania to conduct a Residency Accreditation Survey. The ASHP is a national professional organization with nearly 40,000 members, including pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and students, who provide patient care services in hospital, health systems, and ambulatory clinics. For the past 70 years, the ASHP has been at the forefront of efforts to improve medication use and enhance patient safety by advocating and supporting pharmacy staffs so they may help people achieve optimal health outcomes.  


Shown clockwise from the bottom left in the PAH original Pharmacy space which is now the Great Court Conference Room are:  Tiffany So (Pharmacy resident), Poonam Chhunchhua (Pharmacy resident), Lisa Lifshin (surveyor), Jane Pruemer (surveyor), Sara Stahle, Dominic Mignone, Dan Wilson, Lindsay Varga, Liz Marino, Carolyn Orendorff, (program director), Jackie von Vital, Tracy Miller, Thanh Pham, Mina Ricciardelli, and Dennis Constan.

“The Pennsylvania Hospital Pharmacy did a terrific job on the ASHP survey,” said Suzanne Y. Brown, MS, RPh, director of Pharmacy Services.On behalf of the Department of Pharmacy Services, I would like to thank all who participated in the survey. The survey team was impressed not only with our level of Pharmacy services, but with the way we effectively addressed patient care from an interdisciplinary team approach. They commented that the collaboration across the disciplines was evident in every session of the survey,” said Brown.   


Pennsylvania Hospital Apothecary Shop, c.1920s.

As a result of the successful survey, the surveyors are recommending accreditation for the PAH Pharmacy Residency Program to the ASHP Commission on Credentialing at their bi-annual meeting in August. The Commission will then vote and the PAH Pharmacy will receive final notification in September.

“It’s really exciting for our Pharmacy Team and Residency Program to receive this recognition,” added Brown.  “We’re committed to working with our colleagues throughout the hospital to provide the best medication management for our patients. And we firmly enforce the ASHP vision that medication use will be optimal, safe, and effective for all people – all the time.”

The original Hospital Apothecary space is still actively in use as the current Great Court Conference Room, on the ground level of the historic Pine Building. Structural remnants of the apothecary's architecture still remain as a reminder of the room's unique past.


A plaque currently on the wall outside the Great Court Conference Room reads:  The First Hospital Pharmacy in the thirteen colonies was established at the Pennsylvania Hospital in 1752. It was moved into this room in 1800 and remained here until 1927. It was in this room in March of 2013, that the first hospital pharmacy learned that the first pharmacy residency program at Pennsylvania Hospital would be recommended for accreditation to the American Society of Hospital Pharmacists Commission on Credentialing. 

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