North Carolina AHEC Program
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Bruce Canaday Retires from SEAHEC After 35 Years of Service

Dr. Bruce CanadayIn 1972 the Wilmington AHEC was established and soon thereafter, in 1975, a young pharmacist was hired as the pharmacy coordinator. Over the ensuing 35 years, Bruce Canaday, PharmD, FASHP, FAPha, (photo: right) served the Wilmington/Coastal/South East Area Health Education Center and the North Carolina AHEC Program with distinction. Canaday retired from SEAHEC on August 2, 2010 to take the position of professor and chair, Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmacy Administration, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, College of Pharmacy.

During Canaday’s tenure at SEAHEC the pharmacy program evolved from the single position of pharmacy coordinator to the current Department of Pharmacotherapy. Canaday helped develop two pharmacy residency programs, trained hundreds of students, developed a clinical teaching practice in association with the Internal Medicine teaching service of New Hanover Regional Medical Center, including the provision of pharmacotherapy consult services to attending, house staff and private physicians and served on the faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Canaday’s final position at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Pharmacy was vice-chair for practice, Division of Pharmacy Practice and Experiential Education.

A colleague and long-time friend of Canaday, Steve Caiola, MS, FRSPH, associate professor and chair, Division of Pharmacy Practice and Experiential Education at the UNC-Chapel Hill Eshelman School of Pharmacy, had this to say: “Few North Carolina pharmacists have contributed as much to their profession as has Bruce. It’s not even arguable that he has led the way in the breadth of his influence on professional and postgraduate education, professional practice and organizational leadership. He is the only North Carolina pharmacist who has been elected to leadership positions to a statewide pharmacy organization and to the two largest national organizations as well. He has been an educator and practitioner 'in the trenches' as well as at the policy-making level, and we will miss his leadership, plus his great sense of humor(!), as well.”

In addition to his contributions to the UNC School of Pharmacy, as Caiola mentioned, Canaday served as president of the North Carolina Society of Hospital Pharmacists for 1989, president of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists for 1998-1999 and the president of American Pharmacists Association for 2006-2007.

Canaday reflected on his AHEC career prior to his retirement. “For the last 35 years, I have devoted my career to the education and practice mission of the AHEC system. It is with considerable pride that I reflect upon the 300-400 pharmacy students, 20 pharmacy residents and numerous other health professional learners that I have had the pleasure to help educate and the hundreds of patients for whom I have helped manage their drug therapy. With the support of AHEC I have served not only as president of the state hospital pharmacy organization, but also of the two largest pharmacy organizations in the country, providing me with the opportunity to impact my profession at a level that few ever experience.”

Mark Darrow, MD, president and CEO of SEAHEC had this to say about Canaday: “Dr. Canady has led our Pharmacotherapy department since its founding and has brought well-deserved recognition to our AHEC Pharmacotherapy program from around the country. He has mentored hundreds of students over the past 35 years, and our Pharmacotherapy department has been successful because of his leadership. Dr. Canady leaves SEAHEC to take a top position at a prestigious School of Pharmacy in Philadelphia. Please join me in wishing Bruce the best of luck in his new position, and to thank him for his incredible 35 years of service to this AHEC and our community.”