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Community Health the Focus of 2018 Waller Lecture

C. Daniel Mullins
C. Daniel Mullins, professor and chair of the Pharmaceutical Health Services Research Department at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, will deliver the 2018 Coy W. Waller Distinguished Lecture at the University of Mississippi.
The lecture, “Patient-Centered Discovery,” at 11 a.m. Friday (Feb. 9) at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts, will focus on ways in which scientific and medical knowledge are translated into workable health solutions for patients. The School of Pharmacy and its Department of Pharmacy Administration are hosting the event, which is free and open to the public.
Mullins is director of the PATIENTS Program at the University of Maryland pharmacy school, which works to turn scientific research discoveries into practical information for health care providers to pass on to patients.
“Part of the program’s goals is to learn and teach about community health care, as well as about the health care system,” Mullins said. “This requires that we listen to patients and stakeholders, such as community leaders, who can help co-develop research and translate it into meaningful healthcare practice.”
This need for community leaders led Mullins to DeJuan Patterson, a community advocate in Baltimore and executive director of community development consulting firm The BeMore Group. Patterson’s work with underserved and minority populations focuses on ensuring that organizations working with members of a community engage them in socially responsible ways.
Patterson will co-present with Mullins at the lecture.
“DeJuan is an advocate for helping people live safe, healthy and holistic lives,” Mullins said. “He also understands how to engage people across generational and digital divides.”
Patterson was “intrigued and interested” in helping the PATIENTS Program with its meaningful involvement of patients, caregivers, clinicians and other healthcare stakeholders throughout the research process.
“It’s important today, more than ever before, that people of color are actively involved in research and clinical trials,” Patterson said. “As the country grows more diverse, the issues that impact people of color are going to be paramount.”
Patterson’s role in the program is to help provide authentic community engagement and assessment, and to expand the program’s exposure. His experience has benefited the PATIENTS Program by changing the way the University of Maryland conducts research in communities, as well as the way communities perceive the university.
“I learned through my partnership with the PATIENTS Program that anyone involved in community-based work has to be involved in ensuring community cohesion,” Patterson said. “It’s imperative that community members understand and be a part of their own health care.”
Another goal of the PATIENTS Program is to provide opportunities for students and pharmacy practitioners to be more involved in patient-centered research so they can actively contribute to an evolving body of knowledge Mullins said.
“Science alone doesn’t cure disease or improve quality of life,” he said. “We need to adopt and adapt evidence-based approaches to health care, which is best achieved with authentic patient and stakeholder engagement.”
The Coy W. Waller Distinguished Lecture series was established in 2004 to recognize the former director of the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences’ contributions to the field of pharmaceutics and the School of Pharmacy. Each year, a department within the school hosts a lecturer selected for their contributions to the host department’s discipline.
“We are honored to have Daniel Mullins deliver the Waller Lecture,” said John Bentley, chair of the pharmacy administration department. “He’s made significant contributions to our discipline with his pharmacoeconomics research and work on understanding how to engage patients and other stakeholders in the research process.
“We’re also excited to have DeJuan Patterson join Dr. Mullins. Mr. Patterson’s commitment to his community is evident and his passion is inspiring.”

By Sydney Slotkin DuPriest
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