R. Donald Harvey, PharmD, director of Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University's Phase I Clinical Trials Program, has been named a recipient of the Fulbright Specialist Award.
The award is given to more than 400 U.S. citizens who share expertise and create partnerships with academic, government, cultural, nonprofit, and medical institutions abroad through the Fulbright Specialist Program. The goal of the program is to forge connections between U.S. and foreign experts by pairing recipients with a host institution that has created a unique project in support of the organization's goals.
Harvey, who is a joint professor in the Emory Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology and Emory Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, worked with Project PINK BLUE-Health & Psychological Trust Centre in Nigeria to train Nigerian oncology pharmacists on how to care for cancer patients.
As a part of this effort, Harvey spent two weeks in Nigeria in early December, attending a conference facilitated by Project PINK BLUE to bring together the oncology pharmacy practitioners of Nigeria (OPPAN). Project PINK BLUE is a cancer organization focused on cancer awareness and screening and advocacy for people battling cancer in Nigeria.
"Thirty-eight pharmacists across all six geopolitical areas of Nigeria were educated on safe chemotherapy admixture, anticancer agent pharmacology, pharmaceutical care plan creation, pain management, treatment supportive care, clinical trials, and other relevant topics to pharmacists on a cancer care team," says Harvey. The week-long training followed a week of cancer center tours and meetings with the Ministry of Health, US Embassy and consulate staff, the press, and many other entities in Nigeria.
In the future, Harvey plans to assist in creating an educational curriculum for the OPPAN group to deliver to Nigerian students and pharmacy graduates who want to specialize in oncology. Further down the line, Harvey hopes to create an exchange program for oncology pharmacists in Nigeria to visit Emory University for training.
The Fulbright Specialist Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State. The program operates in more than 160 countries and has selected more than 400,000 specialists, many of whom have made substantial contributions to shared international concerns in multiple disciplines.