Infectious Diseases — August 31, 2017

Goff Recognized for Global Health Efforts in Pharmacy

Dr. Debra Goff, an infectious disease specialist and a clinical pharmacist at the Wexner Medical Center, is being honored for work to improve and expand global health pharmacy practices.

The American College of Clinical Pharmacy established the award to honor the passing of the founder of the its Global Health Practice and Research Network, Renee Holder.

Goff's work during her 35 years of clinical practice includes establishing a network of pharmacists across six continents who share her passion to improve antimicrobial stewardship.

"Her global work is most notable in South Africa where she was nominated in 2012 to serve as the international advisor to the Federation of Infectious Diseases Society," said Dr. Karri A. Bauer in her nomination letter to ACCP. Bauer is the infectious diseases research director at Merck's Global Center for Scientific Affairs.

"There are no pharmacists trained in infectious diseases in South Africa, and only around 20 ID physicians. Debbie developed the first pharmacist 'train the trainer' antimicrobial stewardship mentoring program funded by a grant she received in 2014 from The Ohio State University. Similar to Dr. Holder's initiative in Guatemala, Debbie established a rotation at Ohio State for South African pharmacists and students. The South African pharmacists work side by side with Debbie's team of pharmacists and physicians. Students from the College of Pharmacy assist in showing them around campus and sharing several Buckeye traditions. After they complete training at OSU, Debbie works alongside each pharmacist in their South African hospitals. Her program mentors each pharmacist in clinical, research and publication skills."

Goff also was recognized in the letter for a TEDxColumbus talk she gave in 2016 titled "Antibiotics: Just-in-case". More than 7,500 people from multiple countries have viewed the talk on YouTube.

Goff might never have been chosen for TEDx if not for a training class started in March 2016 by the Infectious Diseases program, one of eight areas of the Discovery Themes initiative. Recognizing a need to shed light on antibiotic resistance, co-leads Michael Oglesbee and Cathie Smith enlisted the help of speaking expert Ruth Milligan to teach 10 faculty members to give TED-style talks as a way to translate complex research into everyday language. The program has continued to expand and now includes graduate students.

The American College of Clinical Pharmacy will present the award to Goff at its annual meeting in Phoenix in September.