Award recognizes outstanding research that has made sustained contributions to the quality of patient outcomes.

The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) will recognize S. Suresh Madhavan, M.B.A., Ph.D., FAPhA professor and chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Systems and Policy at the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy, for his innovative research addressing the profound health disparities in West Virginia. He will receive the Paul R. Dawson Award for Excellence in Patient Care Research on July 23 during the Science Plenary at Pharmacy Education 2018, the AACP Annual Meeting, in Boston, Massachusetts. 

S. Suresh Madhavan
S. Suresh Madhavan

“I am thrilled, surprised and humbled by this kind recognition from an organization like AACP and owe it to all my collaborators, faculty colleagues and my PhD students with whom I have had the pleasure of working with during my career at West Virginia University. I stand on their shoulders,” said Madhavan. “I am grateful to those who nominated me and to the review committee that found my work worthy of this recognition. AACP has been a great organization for my professional development and growth and within which I have so many mentors and friends who I admire.”

Madhavan came to the School of Pharmacy in 1988. His primary areas of research interest include health services research, with particular emphasis on improving access to and quality of health and preventive care services.

During his tenure at WVU, Madhavan and his graduate students have studied health disparities — or inequalities in the prevalence of disease, health outcomes or access to care when comparing one population to another — in breast, colorectal, lung, and prostate cancers, multiple sclerosis, insomnia, depression, diabetes and autism, in a variety of West Virginia and national populations — including Medicare and Medicaid —with a focus on issues related to access, cost, affordability, quality of health care and the economic burden of care.

Madhavan has been involved as principal investigator on numerous grants and contracts exceeding $30 million from federal and state agencies and private corporations. He currently has over 100 research publications in a variety of journals, and his recent cancer disparities work has been published in Cancer Epidemiology, Journal of Gastrointestinal Cancer, Psycho-Oncology, Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, Journal of National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Journal of Cancer Survivorship and Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases. He has presented over 150 abstracts and presentations at various national conferences and as an invited speaker.

Madhavan has also been involved in developing, implementing and evaluating innovative roles for pharmacists in the health care system. Of particular note is a Centers for Disease Control-funded study, in partnership with the American Pharmacists Association, dealing with the pharmacist’s role in immunizations, which was a driving force nationally for pharmacists becoming providers of immunizations. Madhavan also developed and evaluated the pharmacist’s role as a prescriber educator to improve prescribing in the West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Agency (WV PEIA) program, for which his work received the Council of State Governments’ National Award for Innovation. Currently, he is working with a team of colleagues to expand the role of pharmacy to improve prescribing of pain medications to prevent opioid addiction and abuse in the WV PEIA and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (WV DHHR) Medicaid pharmaceuticals program.

Madhavan helped establish the Rational Drug Therapy Program in 1995 — a pharmacist-run program that provides prior authorization and consultative services for the West Virginia Bureau of Medical Services’ (Medicaid) pharmaceuticals program. Since 2005, it has provided services to the WV PEIA Public Employees Insurance Agency and the West Virginia Children’s Health Insurance Program (WV CHIP). He also helped establish the Ph.D. program in Health Services and Outcomes Research, designated as a “Program of Excellence” by the WVU Board of Governors.

“Dr. Madhavan has conducted transformative research and developed innovative programs, which have not only changed lives in West Virginia but set a path for others to follow worldwide,” said WVU School of Pharmacy Dean Bill Petros. “Through his leadership in the WVU School of Pharmacy and service to national organizations such as AACP, he has successfully mentored numerous faculty who follow in his footsteps.”

“AACP’s most prestigious award recipients are a reflection of the commitment to excellence in education, research and community service, as well as the diversity of talent in AACP’s membership,” said AACP Executive Vice President and CEO Lucinda L. Maine, Ph.D., R.Ph. “Their contributions range from pharmacogenetics to faculty leadership, the scholarship of learning and health services research. Drs. Medina, Madhavan, Giacomini, Benedict and Nahata represent the ‘best of’ pharmacy education.”

The Paul R. Dawson Award for Excellence in Patient Care Research—endowed by Amgen in honor of its former vice president of marketing and sales—recognizes an active scientist within the ranks of pharmacy education as a leader in the broad range of research health services delivery directly affecting patient outcomes, including basic, clinical, translational and health services research. The award consists of a glass sculpture and a $5,000 prize.

Pharmacy Education 2018 will be held July 21-25 at the Sheraton Boston and Hynes Convention Center. The conference offers educational programming, exhibits, networking events and award presentations.

Founded in 1900, AACP is the national organization representing the interests of pharmacy education. AACP is comprised of all accredited colleges and schools with pharmacy degree programs, including more than 6,600 faculty, 64,300 students enrolled in professional programs and 6,000 individuals pursuing graduate study.