ASHP Federal Forum named for Mike Heath

Roby Hill
November 11, 2020

MUSC pharmacy celebrates 2020 Veterans Day with the news that longtime MUSC pharmacy leader Col. (ret.) Mike Heath has been given a singular and fitting honor. The American Society of Health-system Pharmacists (ASHP) announced last week that the annual Midyear Clinical Meeting Federal Forum is being named after Col. Heath, who served in the United States Army for more than 30 years and retired as the branch’s chief pharmacist.

“Mike is an inspirational leader who has had a positive influence on so many individuals, both inside and outside of the uniformed services,” said ASHP Chief Executive Officer Paul W. Abramowitz.

Col. Heath has been the federal forum program manager and planner for more than a decade. The 2020 W. Mike Heath ASHP Federal Forum will have a live, virtual poster session on Dec. 6 along with additional prerecorded material.

MUSC pharmacy has been a major beneficiary of Col. Heath’s leadership. He was the founding chair of the “Building the Future of Pharmacy campaign” for a new pharmacy facility on MUSC’s campus, shouldering an effort that had been decades in the making. The new facility is now an approved and funded project that will soon begin site work with construction slated to begin in May 2021 and be complete by July 2022.

“When we were launching that campaign, we knew we needed someone who would be undaunted by its scope and importance,” said Philip Hall, dean of the MUSC College of Pharmacy. “Mike Heath was the perfect choice. He has made a tremendous difference in the lives of everyone in the MUSC pharmacy family and we’re delighted he’s being honored in such an appropriate way.”

Col. Heath served as an officer in the United States Army for 31 years, culminating in his final active duty senior leadership position as chief pharmacist for the chairman of the Department of Defense Board of Directors from 1999-2005. This post is the highest-ranking pharmacist in the army. His awards include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal (six awards), Army Commendation Medal (five awards) and the United States Army Medical Department Order of Military Medical Merit. 

Heath earned an MBA from Boston University, his bachelor's in pharmacy from the MUSC College of Pharmacy and a bachelor's in pre-medicine from Clemson University.

For his work in the advancement of pharmacy, he has been recognized with several honors including the Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S. (AMSUS) Andrew Craigie Award–in recognition of outstanding accomplishments in the advancement of the profession of pharmacy within the federal government –and the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Distinguished Federal Pharmacist Award. He has also consulted for APhA’s Federal Pharmacy Program for many years, including serving as interim head.