Pharmacy mentor awarded California Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ highest honor
For more than four decades Steven J. Thompson ’77, PharmD has networked with colleagues and future pharmacists through the California Society of Health-System Pharmacists (CSHP). He served as CSHP president from 2017 to 2019 and in multiple leadership roles for his local chapter, South Bay Long Beach. In October 2022, Dr. Thompson was named the CSHP Pharmacist of the Year.
“I was truly honored to receive the award,” said Dr. Thompson. “I know there are so many deserving pharmacists who have done so much for our profession. It humbles me to receive this recognition.”
Dr. Thompson embraces the identity of a lifelong learner. Early on in his career, he took classes at a local college to learn computer programming. He implemented those skills at Torrance Memorial Medical Center, where he currently serves as director of pharmacy. Through this role, Dr. Thompson and his team have launched innovative programs to enhance the center’s clinical pharmacy services to provide comprehensive care. The center was an early adopter of an IV piggyback program and unit dose system. They also implemented an automated dispensing system and mobile satellite service.
“Over the years the staff has grown significantly in size and ability, enabling us to provide our patients with optimal use of medications in a safe manner,” he said.
At the height of the pandemic, Dr. Thompson oversaw the COVID-19 vaccination efforts of the Center’s staff and volunteers. In addition, his team, in collaboration with the Torrance Fire Department, went out to community members who, due to a lack of transportation or mobility issues, had limited access to COVID-19 vaccines.
“Be involved in whatever your passion is, whether it is being active in CSHP, taking on new responsibilities at work or taking advantage of all the opportunities Pacific has to offer.”
Dr. Thompson encourages his fellow pharmacists to seek opportunities to both mentor and be mentored.
“As a mentor, you learn and grow from interactions with your mentee,” he said. “It is so important to help our next generation become successful so they can continue to improve on the work you started.”
He added, “Be involved in whatever your passion is, whether it is being active in CSHP, taking on new responsibilities at work or taking advantage of all the opportunities Pacific has to offer.”
Reflecting on his time at Pacific, he said, “Some memories that stand out are working in a small independent pharmacy in downtown Stockton while going to school and being a member of Phi Delta Chi. Pharmacy is a very small community and the relationships you build will be with you always.”
He enjoys fishing and meeting up with other artists to get inspiration for his next woodworking project.