Dr. Lindsey Welch Receives Inaugural GPhA “Faculty Member of the Year” Award

By Anna Jense

She’s worn many different hats and crowns throughout her personal and professional lifetime.  However, one of the most crowning achievements Dr. Lindsey Welch ‘08 has received is the inaugural Georgia Pharmacy Association (GPhA) “Faculty Member of the Year,” presented at the organization’s annual meeting held in June.

“I am very honored to receive this recognition from GPhA,” said Dr. Welch, who is the Director of Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences at CoP. “I’ve been a member and convention attendee since I was a pharmacy student, and I’m thankful for the professional growth and networking opportunities that GPhA has provided. To be named the first ‘Faculty Member of the Year’ is incredibly humbling and fulfilling.”

The award, approved just this year by the GPhA Board of Directors, has several criteria. Among them: recognition of academic achievement and exceptional leadership of student pharmacists at the local, state, or national level; long-term service and contributions that have benefited GPhA and/or the GPhA membership; and skills in student mentoring and professional development, especially as it relates to membership to the state association.

Dr. Welch has a long-standing connection with the Georgia Pharmacy Association. She currently serves on the Georgia Pharmacy Foundation Board of Directors.  In addition, she has been a member of the GPhA Board of Directors, the Convention CPE Planning Committee, and the Membership Linkage Committee.

Bob Coleman, GPhA Executive Director of GPhA, remarked, “Dr. Welch has prompted increased participation within GPhA by encouraging legislative involvement and advocacy.  In fact,  each year, approximately 140 UGA first-year pharmacy students are required to attend our annual ‘Day at the Dome,’ which has been incorporated into a required course and embedded in a multi-faceted political advocacy module that she created. This module was subsequently incorporated into curriculum by the other three colleges of pharmacy in the state.”

A self-proclaimed life-long Georgia Bulldog fan and a proud alumna, Dr. Welch completed her undergraduate coursework and her Doctor of Pharmacy at UGA. After graduating with her Pharm.D. in 2008, she completed a PGY-1 Pharmacy Practice Residency at Columbus Regional Healthcare System. At the start of her career, she worked as a clinical pharmacist at Columbus Regional’s Employee Health Pharmacy, and in 2010, she joined CoP as the third-year IPPE Coordinator. In this role, she worked diligently to establish an employee wellness program called Healthy Dawgs and coordinated mobile influenza immunization clinics around UGA’s Athens campus and the surrounding community. In 2014, she advanced to her current position as the APPE Director for the College, in which she oversees the organization, implementation, and delivery of the fourth-year practical curriculum for the PharmD program.

“​The primary reason I am where I am today is because of the late Dr. Charles McDuffie, a faculty member, who served both as a faith and pharmacy mentor for me,” reflected Dr. Welch. “He encouraged me and so many others to pursue pharmacy as a career, and I was inspired by his love for this profession.”

She has served as the faculty advisor for the College’s American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP), one of the College’s largest and most active organizations. She has been regularly recognized for her dedication to mentoring student pharmacists. In fact, the UGA Career Center Student Career Development Contribution Recognition is presented to a faculty member who has contributed greatly to the career development and success of at least one graduate in that year’s graduating class. During her tenure at UGA, she has received this recognition multiple times.

Along with the previously mentioned awards, Dr. Welch has a received the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy’s Excellence in Assessment Award (2014); one of only 12 pharmacists in the state to be selected for the inaugural class of Leadership GPhA; the GPhA  Distinguished Young Pharmacist Award (2015); and the UGA Gordon and Francis S. Davis Student Organization Achievement and Recognition (SOAR) Award’s Advisor of the Year (2019).

Dean Kelly Smith recognized Dr. Welch as a dedicated and valued faculty member. “Dr. Welch is an inspiring leader, teacher, and advisor. She has made a significant impact on our students, her colleagues, the GPhA organization, and the communities we serve. She is certainly deserving of this award, and we are proud of her achievements.”

Dr. Welch lives in the Athens area with her husband, who was her high school sweetheart, and their two elementary-aged children. They are active members of their church and enjoy sports and traveling together.

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