Abby Kahaleh, one of the founding faculty members of Roosevelt University’s College of Pharmacy, has been named as Illinois’ top volunteer pharmacist for 2017.
A resident of Schaumburg, Illinois, Kahaleh received the award from the Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists (ICHP) in September.
The associate professor of pharmacy administration was recognized for engaging students in public health research as well as policy advocacy on behalf of pharmacists in Springfield.
“One of my goals as a Roosevelt professor has been to encourage students to become involved in the field not only to help others but also to achieve their own recognition in the field,” Kahaleh said.
A pharmacist for more than two decades, Kahaleh has a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the University of Damascus in Syria. She also received a Masters in Health Management and Policy degree and a Doctorate in Philosophy (Pharmacy) from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Michigan. She also has a Master in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Toledo, Ohio, where her volunteering work included organizing a networking luncheon.
“I enjoyed that first experience so much that it encouraged me to keep going with my volunteering work,” Kahaleh said.
As a Roosevelt professor, Kahaleh annually takes a group of Roosevelt pharmacy students to Springfield to meet with legislators on issues of importance to pharmacists. Kahaleh has also been a speaker for ICHP annual meetings where she has addressed many issues including improvements in medical safety and congressional advocacy needed to increase men’s health issues awareness.
She is an advisor and vice president for the Polish-American Pharmacy Association, which recently collaborated with the University to locate a volleyball court at the Schaumburg Campus. Approximately 20 students from Kahaleh’s course participated in a cleanup of the court during Roosevelt’s American Dream Service Day held in September.
Earlier this year, Alex Heinz, a student in Kahaleh’s public health research course, received a 2017 U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) award for research that he did on the opioid painkiller, oxycodone. That research recently has been accepted for publication in the ICHP’s KeePosted. Kahaleh also encouraged Heinz in a wide range of activism on behalf of pharmacy patients in the Northwest suburbs.
“Dr. Kahaleh has been extremely helpful as a professor and mentor,” said Heinz. “She encourages students to explore beyond their realm of studies to put into practice what we have learned in the real world.”
Classes that Kahaleh teaches at Roosevelt include: Research in Public Health Systems, Public Health and Health Policy, and Medication Safety.
“We are proud that ICHP has recognized Dr. Kahaleh’s contributions to the field of pharmacy,” said Melissa Hogan, dean of the College of Pharmacy and associate professor of clinical science at Roosevelt University.