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photo of Birtcher and ACC colleagues
UHCOP Clinical Professor Kimberly Birtcher, center, displays her 2017 American College of Cardiology Distinguished Associate Award with Cardiovascular Team Section Leadership Council Co-Chairs Janet F. Wyman, DNP, AACC, and George P. Rodgers, MD, FACC.

Distinguished Cardiac Care

UHCOP's Birtcher Earns American College of Cardiology's Distinguished Associate Award at ACC.17

UH College of Pharmacy Clinical Professor Kimberly K. Birtcher, Pharm.D., M.S., BCPS, CDE, CLS, AACC, was awarded the 2017 Distinguished Associate Award by the American College of Cardiology in honor of contributions to the cardiovascular profession March 19 during the ACC’s 66th Annual Scientific Session (ACC.17) in Washington, D.C.

"Dr. Birtcher’s invaluable contributions to the field of cardiovascular medicine show unparalleled dedication to excellence and boundless commitment to improving patient care," said ACC President Richard Chazal, M.D., FACC, who presented the award to Birtcher at the meeting. "It is a privilege to be able to honor Dr. Birtcher with the Distinguished Associate Award and celebrate her contributions to and achievements in cardiology."

The Distinguished Associate Award is awarded to a non-physician member of the American College of Cardiology whose outstanding contributions to College initiatives and the field of cardiology have encouraged and nurtured the ACC's team approach to cardiovascular care.

Birtcher has contributed significantly in many areas within the ACC since joining the organization in 2008, including as part of the CV Team Section Leadership Council, Co-Chair of the CV Team Section Pharmacists Workgroup and in several clinical quality committees, including Co-Chair of the LDL: Address the Risk Initiative and the Anticoagulation Consortium. She served on the team that developed the ACC Statin Intolerance App and the 2016 ACC Expert Consensus Decision Pathway on the Role of Non-statin Therapies. Birtcher also serves on the ACC/AHA Task Force for Clinical Practice Guidelines.

Her significant contributions to the establishment, understanding and success of the concept of team-based care within the ACC, as well as the important role the pharmacist plays in the cardiovascular team as a whole, make her a worthy recipient of the Distinguished Associate Award.

Specifically, Birtcher coauthored a 2015 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology highlighting pharmacists' unique contributions to the cardiac care team as well as the ACC's 2015 policy statement in support of advanced practice providers such as pharmacists in advancing health outcomes of cardiology patients.

"I feel truly blessed to belong to ACC, an organization that gives all members the opportunity to actively participate in the important and meaningful work of the organization," Birtcher said of the honor. "I do not think I have done anything that warrants special recognition as an individual, since every task and project has been completed through teamwork with my friends, colleagues and mentors. I am very proud of the work that we have accomplished together, and I look forward to seeing what we can do together in the future."

- by Chip Lambert