AIHP Presents Fischelis Award to University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy

Steven Swanson (left), the Dean of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy, accepts the Robert P. Fischelis Award from AIHP Executive Director Greg Higby in 2018.

AIHP’s Board of Directors recently voted to give the Robert P. Fischelis Award to the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy for its decades of support for the Institute and its contributions to the field of the history of pharmacy. AIHP Executive Director Gregory Higby presented the award to Steven M. Swanson, PhD, Dean of the UW School of Pharmacy, at AIHP’s Annual Business Meeting on November 15, 2018.

The Robert P. Fischelis Award is conferred at the discretion of AIHP’s Board of Directors to persons or organizations that have had an important impact on the field of the history of pharmacy or on the well-being of the Institute. The award is given in honor of the late Robert P. Fischelis, a gifted leader of the pharmacy profession and a generous benefactor of the Institute.

When presenting the award, Higby noted that “the Institute could not have existed over the past 77 years without the active and ongoing support of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy.” Higby explained that members of the School’s faculty founded the Institute in 1941 with a vision that it would work in partnership with the School to both advance scholarly research in the field of the history of pharmacy and curate the School’s extensive archive of historic pharmacy-related documents and artifacts. Higby said the “committed support of the School’s deans and faculty for the Institute’s mission over the ensuing decades has sustained the unique partnership AIHP’s founders envisioned.”

The School’s support for the Institute has been manifested in many ways, but Higby cited in particular the School’s provision of office space to house the Institute’s operations since its inception.

Higby also cited the contributions to the field of the history of pharmacy by the school’s faculty. Two members of the School’s faculty (Edward Kremers and George Urdang) authored the seminal treatise on the history of pharmacy, Kremers and Urdang’s History of Pharmacy, and another faculty member (Glenn Sonnedecker) later updated and expanded this definitive book. The UW School of Pharmacy also fostered scholarship in the history of pharmacy through its creation of a faculty chair in the field in 1947 and subsequent development of a graduate program. The School renewed its commitment to this academic tradition with the recent establishment of the George Urdang Chair in the History of Pharmacy.

Higby concluded that “no American school or college of pharmacy has contributed more to the field of the history of pharmacy than the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy.”

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