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Don Downing Named 2008 “Pharmacist Leader of the Year” by the California-based Pharmacy Access Partnership


Don Downing, ’75, clinical professor, was named the 2008 “Pharmacist Leader of the Year” by the California-based Pharmacy Access Partnership in recognition of Professor Downing’s excellence and courage in promoting reproductive health access in pharmacies. Downing also received a “Certificate of Congressional Recognition” from Representative Nancy Pelosi’s office in recognition of his outstanding and invaluable service to the community.

Downing is known both locally and nationally for his tireless efforts to promote numerous pharmaceutical care initiatives to include Emergency Contraception (EC), on-going hormonal contraception, immunizations, tobacco cessation and diabetes management.

Downing received his appointment to the University of Washington School of Pharmacy (UWSOP) almost 33 years ago. He maintained a clinical practice for many of those years as pharmacy director with the Puyallup Tribal Health Authority and as owner of two community pharmacies in Bonney Lake and Federal Way. In 1996 Downing became pharmaceutical care coordinator at UWSOP and Washington State College of Pharmacy. In this position, supported by Washington State Pharmacy Association (WSPA), he helped to implement innovative pharmacy service in the state of Washington and taught students how to provide those services. Currently, Downing is involved in pharmacy care legislation in a number of states and serves as counsel on the national level as an expert resource on health care policy regarding women’s health issues. Downing is also Co-Director of the School’s Institute for Innovative Pharmacy Practice (read about I2P2) and Co-Director of the UW School of Pharmacy Residency Programs.

In his current role as liaison between UWSOP research and practice, Downing provides an important bridge of understanding between the two. Along with his wider efforts in addressing and advancing forward-thinking pharmacy issues – statewide and nationally -Downing has become an invaluable resource not only to the School but to the greater pharmacy community. In 2005, Downing was awarded the American Pharmacists Association’s Academy of Pharmacy Practice and Management Distinguished Achievement Award for his efforts in contraception and other public health endeavors.

Pharmacy Access Partnership, founded by the late Jane Boggess, PhD, was established in 1999, as a center of the independent, nonprofit Public Health Institute. Its purpose is to expand consumer access to contraceptive commodities and reproductive health services in pharmacies, and to give pharmacies a stronger role in promoting community health. Pharmacy Access Partnership, a leader in this emerging field, works to:

• Develop and facilitate new policies
• Advance new practices in pharmacies and clinics
• Create more educational opportunities for consumers in pharmacies
• Promote greater public awareness.


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