Rho Chi Boblitt Lecture

Sponsored by The Rho Chi Society UH Beta Omicron Chapter and UH College of Pharmacy, the Robert L. Boblitt Lecture Series is held in the fall of each academic year. During the lecture, UH Rho Chi members present the chapter’s Teaching Excellence Award to the outstanding faculty members from the college’s three academic departments.

Rho Chi Boblitt Lecture - Noon to 2 p.m. April 24, 2015, Agnes Arnold Auditorium # 1

Chandima Deegala photo

"Advanced Pharmacy Practice in the U.S. Public Health Service"

Cmdr. Chandima B. Deegala, Pharm.D., NCPS-PP, 
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Indian Health Service,
Northern Navajo Medical Center, Shiprock, N.M.

Holding the rank of Commander in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, Chandima B. Deegala, Pharm.D., NCPS-PP, serves as an Advanced Practice Pharmacist and Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in the Health Education Center for Wellness (HECW) at the Indian Health Service’s Northern Navajo Medical Center (NNMC) in Shiprock, N.M.

A member of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps since 2004, Cmdr. Deegala’s work at the HECW includes providing care to more than 5,000 diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia patients to prevent the onset of cardiovascular disease. This role also involves supervision of four clinical nurses as Senior Performance Improvement Officer for health clinics; and precepting PGY1 Pharmacy Residency Program participants.

Cmdr. Deegala holds National Clinical Pharmacy Specialist Pharmacy Practitioner (NCPS-PP) certification as well as NCPS certification in both Cardiovascular Risk Reduction and Anticoagulation.

Cmdr. Deegala serves as a faculty trainer for national certifications on pharmaceutical care of diabetes for the APhA and tobacco cessation management for the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy. He also is a graduate of the Pharmacist Clinical Physical Assessment Certification at the University of New Mexico, the Navajo Area PHS Leadership Training program and the Navajo Area PHS Officers Deployment Readiness Training.

Cmdr. Deegala served as a contributing author on the USPHS 2011 National Pharmacy Prevention Strategy, coordinated the Pioglitazone Drug Utilization Evaluation Project at NNMC that has results in annual savings exceeding $2 million.

Cmdr. Deegala has received several honors during his PHS career, including being awarded the Commendation Medal; the Achievement Medal three times; the PHS Citation three times; the Unit Commentation twice; and the IHS Director’s Special Recognition Group Award & Navajo Area Director’s Award twice.

Cmdr. Deegala serves as a mentor in the Commisssioned Corps Pharmacy Mentoring Network, the PHS University Point of Contact for the University of New Mexico and, since 2011, the President for the Commissioned Officers Association Four Corners Branch.

In addition, he is an active member in the New Mexico Medical Reserve Corps, the NM Mission of Mercy (New Mexico Dental Association), and numerous health, cultural and community service initiatives in the Shiprock area and beyond. He also is a member of the American Diabetes Association-Professional Section and the American Pharmacists Association.

About Robert L. Boblitt

Robert “Bob” Boblitt, Ph.D., joined the college’s faculty in 1953, shortly after the college’s founding. He served as assistant and associate dean from 1971 unti his retirement in 1987.

After receiving a baccalaureate in pharmacy from Ohio Northern University in 1948, Dr. Boblitt completed his Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry from the University of Minnesota in 1953. His honors included membership in Phi Eta Sigma, Rho Chi, Sigma Xi and the   Samuel Melendy Fellowship. He also was the recipient of the University of Houston Teaching Excellence Award in 1972.

Boblitt was an extraordinary teacher, a practicing pharmacist and a friend for students. Those who sat in his classroom during the 33 years he taught will always remember how fast he could draw chemical structures and the way in which he skillfully drew structures with one and erased them with the other. He could never have too much information or structures on the chalkboard.

About Rho Chi Society

The Rho Chi Society, pharmacy’s academic honor society established in 1922, encourages and recognizes excellence in intellectual achievement and fosters fellowship among its members. Further, the Society encourages high standards of conduct and character, and advocates critical inquiry in all aspects of pharmacy. Membership is by invitation and based on high academic achievement in the professional curriculum. The UH Beta Omicron chapter of Rho Chi was founded in 1958.

Past Lecturers

Stuart T. Haines, 2013
Lourdes M. Cuéllar, 2012
Diane Ginsburg, 2011
Judith Jacobi, 2010
John D. Grabenstein, 2009
Cynthia L. Raehl, 2008
Cynthia Brennan, 2007
Bruce Berger, 2006
Traci Metting, 2005
Mustafa Lokhandwala, 2004
Lucinda Maine, 2003
Karen Rascati, 2002
Victoria Roche, 2001