Yakima pharmacist recognized for excellence in practice, teaching

YAKIMA, Wash.—Angelo Ballasiotes, a clinical pharmacist at Central Washington Comprehensive Mental Health, has been named the 2015 Preceptor of the Year by the College of Pharmacy at Washington State University.

Ballasiotes was surprised with the award Thursday, August 27, just before the WSU Doctor of Pharmacy White Coat Ceremony in Yakima, Wash. The white coat ceremony was a formal welcome for the student pharmacists entering the WSU professional program and Ballasiotes was the keynote speaker at the event this year.
“The profound impact Dr. Ballasiotes has on our program and student pharmacists is immeasurable,” said Luke Rice, assistant director for the college’s experiential programs. “Preceptors like him genuinely care for and prepare our student pharmacists to be exceptional patient care providers and leaders who advance the profession of pharmacy to unprecedented levels.”

The award was presented by Rice and WSU College of Pharmacy 2015 graduate Glen Chase, who submitted a nomination for Ballasiotes to receive the recognition.

“He is an example to us as students that if we work to rise to the very top of what our license allows us to do, we can open new areas for the profession of pharmacy,” wrote Chase in his nomination letter.  “It was impressive to me that he has set a precedent for pharmacists as primary mental health care providers and shown that our background and knowledge can make us uniquely qualified to serve these populations.”

The Preceptor of the Year Award is given annually to a WSU pharmacy preceptor for outstanding contributions to the educational development of future pharmacists by demonstrating high standards of professionalism, ethics and clinical practice within the experiential training environment. Ballasiotes was selected for his consistent commitment to mentoring and empowering student pharmacists on rotation, and his continuous efforts to innovatively expand pharmacy services and care to patients at Central Washington Comprehensive Mental Health, said Rice.

“He is candid and honest, and is extremely genuine with people, which I think is a noteworthy trait—especially in health careers with patient interactions,” said Chase. “He understands the importance of training the next generation of pharmacists.  He expects a lot of his students, but he gives them an amazing opportunity to rise to the occasion.”

[August 28, 2015] By: Lori J. Maricle