Robert Mancini, PharmD BCOP
Bone Marrow Transplant Pharmacy Program Coordinator
PGY-2 Oncology Residency Program Director
St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute
Clinical Adjunct Faculty–Oncology
Idaho State University, College of Pharmacy
Boise/Meridian, ID

David “Dave” W. Henry, MS BCOP FASHP, was the winner of the 2015 HOPA Award of Excellence. This award, first given in 2005, recognizes a member who has made a significant and sustained contribution to improving or supporting hematology/oncology pharmacy or has given excellent leadership in that area. The award winners receive a lifetime membership in HOPA and are recognized at an awards ceremony at HOPA’s annual conference and given a platform presentation regarding their contributions. Dave is chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice and associate professor at the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy.
In a January 2018 interview, he spoke about his career and what this award has meant to him.

What first drew you to HOPA, and how long have you been a member?

I joined HOPA a few months after its formation. Many of the founding members were oncology pharmacists whom I knew from attending previous national meetings. About this time it seemed to me that other organizations had fewer oncology programs at their national meetings, so having an organization, meetings, and opportunities for networking that were connected purely to oncology appealed to me at the time and still does.

How have you been involved in HOPA over the years?

In the early years of HOPA my involvement did not go beyond attending all the annual meetings and presenting at a few of them. From 2006 to 2011, I served on the Board of Pharmacy Specialists (BPS) Oncology Specialty Council, and I intentionally did not get too involved in HOPA because it was suggested to me that being heavily involved in HOPA or the American College of Clinical Pharmacy might represent a conflict of interest. (The BPS Oncology Specialty Council approves board certified oncology pharmacist [BCOP] continuing education and also oversees the BCOP examination.) In more recent years I have participated on HOPA’s committees working in the areas of nominations, awards, and leadership development.

What have you done to improve oncology pharmacy care at your places of employment that may have contributed to your winning this award?

I am a faculty member of the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy, although I practice at the University of Kansas Health System. I can’t honestly say that I have directly improved care processes much, but I was the only experienced pediatric oncology pharmacist for about 30 years. I go on rounds with the team most of the time and try to follow patients in the electronic medical records close to 365 days per year and help in any way I can. I have helped in the training of our PGY-2 oncology residents every year, and I participate in most of their research projects, many of which I believe have affected oncology practice at our institution.
I served as chair of the Pharmacy Committee of the Pediatric Oncology Group from 1991 to 2000 and then was active in the Pharmacy Committee of the Children’s Oncology Group until 2010. I also served on the BPS Oncology Specialty Council for 6 years. I have coauthored the pediatric malignancies material in Applied Therapeutics for the last six editions and published a fair amount. I suspect that these activities played a large part in my receiving the award.

What did winning this award mean to you?

I have received other awards, but receiving this award from my oncology pharmacy colleagues at HOPA was the thrill of a lifetime. I was also lucky to have a number of past residents, current University of Kansas colleagues, and my pediatric oncology colleagues there at the conference; some of them arranged a group dinner for that evening that magnified the fun of the event.

What career or personal advice do you have for established or new oncology pharmacists?

My best advice is to always give your best effort and be reliable—people will notice. You also need to have patience because expertise and most forms of success usually come only with time. Last, do what you love doing, not what pays the most.

How would you describe oncology pharmacists in one word or one sentence?

I could describe them with one word: colleagues. The fact that so many oncology pharmacists are selfless patient advocates is what impresses me the most about my colleagues and makes me proud to be one.