Metta Lou Henderson Receives AIHP Robert P. Fischelis Award

Metta Lou Henderson

AIHP’s Board of Directors has awarded the 2021 AIHP Robert P. Fischelis Award to Metta Lou Henderson, PhD, for her extraordinary contributions to the Institute and the field of pharmacy history. Dr. Henderson is Professor Emerita at Ohio Northern University College of Pharmacy, where she was a faculty member for 20 years before her retirement in 1998.

The AIHP Robert P. Fischelis Award is conferred by 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.

Dr. Henderson received a BS and MS degrees in pharmacy, and a PhD, from the University of Arizona. Dr. Henderson has been an AIHP member since 1974, making her one of the Institute’s longest-tenured members.

In awarding the Fischelis Award to Dr. Henderson, AIHP’s Board of Directors cited her pioneering work to develop the history of women in pharmacy. The Board’s citation hailed Dr. Henderson’s work for helping to remedy the insufficient attention prior historians had given to the role of women in the pharmacy profession:

Thanks to your groundbreaking research and analysis, the role of women in the history of the profession, and their many contributions to pharmacy practice, is now far better understood and documented. Your work has filled important gaps in the history of pharmacy and pharmaceuticals and has produced a richer and more complete understanding of the profession’s heritage.

Dr. Henderson’s book, American Women Pharmacists: Contributions to the Profession (Pharmaceutical Products Press/Haworth Press, 2002) was cited as “an invaluable contribution to the field of pharmacy history.” Also mentioned were several important articles she published in AIHP’s journal, Pharmacy in History, about pioneering women  pharmacists.

Dr. Henderson was also awarded the Fischelis Award for her significant contributions to AIHP. The Board of Directors cited her donation of the “Metta Lou Henderson Women in Pharmacy Collection” in 2009, described as a “treasure trove” of research materials about women in pharmacy. The Board described the collection as “one of the Institute’s most prized possessions.”

Dr. Henderson was also cited her role in AIHP’s receipt of a generous donation of funds in 1991 that became the corpus of what is today known as AIHP’s “Women in Pharmacy Fund.” The Board noted that each year the fund generates income to support the Institute’s operations and programming.

W. Clarke Ridgway, AIHP’s President, said that “the Institute is delighted to recognize Metta Lou’s important contributions to the field of pharmacy history and her extraordinary support for AIHP. She is truly deserving of the Fischelis Award.”

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