Pharmacy community mourns a legendary diabetes educator and innovator

We were extremely saddened to hear the news that our friend Keith Campbell, a much-admired and beloved leader in pharmacy, had passed away suddenly. Keith had an untold impact on thousands of pharmacists as a diabetes researcher and educator and as an innovator in integrating pharmacists into diabetes management.

Keith was the former associate dean and distinguished professor in diabetes care and pharmacotherapy at Washington State University (WSU) College of Pharmacy in Pullman, WA, where he taught for 47 years. As his credentials suggest, he was well recognized as a fellow of three professional organizations—American Society of Health System Pharmacists APhA, and American Association of Diabetes Educators. His track record of excellence in pharmacy, patient care, advocacy, research, service, mentoring, and teaching earned him WSU’s lifetime achievement award—renamed the R. Keith Campbell Lifetime Achievement Award in his honor—just last month, and an applied patient care lab on campus will bear his name.

It’s poignant to reflect during National Diabetes Month on Keith and everything he did over his long and distinguished career to help position pharmacists in diabetes care. The overwhelming majority of us work or have worked with patients with diabetes, and chances are that our work was influenced by Keith’s contributions to the field. Keith worked with APhA many times on education programs and activities, and his brilliance lives on in the pharmacists he helped train to be more effective providers of diabetes care.

There was no better advocate than Keith Campbell for enhancing pharmacists’ role in the care of patients with chronic diseases and pharmacists’ ability to improve patient medication compliance. He brought that message to national and international audiences as a speaker, an editorial board member for journals across the health care spectrum, a consultant to managed-care organizations and federal agencies, an author of more than 700 publications, and the creator of hundreds of hours of education content.

I am so grateful to our friend and colleague Keith for all he has done to enrich the pharmacy profession. He will be affectionately missed, and his influence on pharmacy and patient care will last for a long time. Thank you, my friend.