The Massachusetts Pharmacists Association honors UMass Medical School pharmacist for prescription drug abuse prevention efforts

September 11, 2017

The Massachusetts Pharmacists Association (MPhA) bestows UMass Medical School pharmacy leader Kimberly Lenz, PharmD, with the Cardinal Health Generation Rx Champions Award Sept. 14 for her efforts to combat prescription drug abuse.

Dr. Lenz, clinical pharmacy manager in UMass Medical School's Office of Clinical Affairs and an assistant professor of Family Medicine and Community Health, will receive the award during the MPhA Annual Awards & Installation banquet at Foxwoods Resort & Casino in Connecticut during the New England Pharmacists Convention. Lisa McDonnell, retail independent pharmacy business consultant at Cardinal Health, will make the presentation.

The award, given annually since 2011, recognizes a pharmacist who has demonstrated excellence in community-based prescription drug abuse prevention. The award is intended to recognize outstanding efforts within the pharmacy community to raise awareness of this serious public health problem. It is also intended to encourage educational prevention efforts aimed at patients, youth and other members of the community. She was nominated by her colleague, UMass Medical School Pharmacy Director Paul L. Jeffrey, PharmD.

Lenz is being recognized for her work to prevent opioid abuse and misuse as well as raise awareness of available overdose treatments. She is a member of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) medication addiction advisory group, and has presented and written extensively about the role pharmacists can play to stem the tide of the opioid overdose epidemic.   

Last year, Lenz partnered with MPhA and pharmacies across Massachusetts to develop information sheets about naloxone, a medication that stops overdose, that were attached to prescription bags. The sheets, in both English and Spanish, include a QR code to access a naloxone website with additional resources. More than 260,000 sheets were distributed.

As part of her role at UMass Medical School, Lenz is the clinical pharmacy manager for the Massachusetts Medicaid program, MassHealth. Lenz helped design the MassHealth opioid management program, which implements several steps to better manage opioid use among MassHealth members. The program has reduced the average daily dose of opioids between nine to 15 percent.

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