Crist honors faculty member

Ellen Campbell, professor at Florida A&M University’s College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, was recently appointed to the Medicaid Pharmacy and Therapeutics committee by Gov. Charlie Crist.

The committee develops and implements a voluntary Medicaid preferred, prescribed drug designation program, as mandated in the 2000 session of the Florida Legislature.

Campbell is one of 10 people appointed to the committee. She was denied the position two years ago but was recently called back to replace Jason Brodeur as a consumer representative. Campbell said she hopes she can play a role in addressing the issues surrounding Medicaid.

“I am looking at making incremental changes,” said Campbell, an associate professor of social and economic pharmacy. “As a member of the committee, I am not a big policy maker. All I can do is the job I was asked to do…which is to help decide which drugs should be covered by Medicaid.”

Campbell is the second member of the College of Pharmacy faculty to be appointed by Gov. Crist in recent months. In September, Marlon Honeywell, an associate professor in the College of Pharmacy, was appointed to the state Diabetes Advisory Council. Campbell, 53, studies the cost of drugs compared to the benefits.

Students welcomed Campbell’s appointment as well deserved.

“I’m very impressed,” said Anquan Brown, 22, a fifth year pharmacy student from Miami. “I think it definitely looks good for professors not only in the pharmacy program but in the FAMU community,” Brown added. “As a student in her class, she’s very passionate, and I know in her new position she will be equally as passionate and hardworking.”

The Medicaid Pharmaceutical and Therapeutics Committee meets every quarter to recommend policy for the operation of the state’s multi-billion dollar Medicaid drug program. The committee held its first meeting on Tuesday, Oct.21, in Tampa.

As a member in the committee, Campbell expects to increase her already sizable workload. In addition to classes and research, Campbell said the pharmaceutical industry has already approached her with calls, appointments, and letters from various pharmaceutical companies.

“Often, when one becomes a member of this committee, they are extremely committed to the added workload associated with it,” said Sterling Ivey, Crist’s press secretary. “However, many find that after a year they want to focus more on their lives and careers outside of the program.”

Ivey said Campbell’s professional background enables her to be an excellent member for the committee.

“Certainly she has experience in service and in education as a professor,” Ivey said. “Her experience and expertise will be very vital in this coming year.”

While there will be a lot of work involved, Campbell looks forward to serving her one-year term.

“We all need to work for each other,” she said. “If we were to only work for ourselves, then it would be a very lonely sight.”