UF pharmacy educator appointed to American Bar Association governing council in health law

A University of Florida pharmacy law educator has accepted a leadership role in the Health Law Section of the American Bar Association.

W. Thomas Smith, Pharm.D., J.D., a clinical associate professor of pharmaceutical outcomes and policy at the UF College of Pharmacy, joins a 13-member governing council that represents more than 9,600 members nationally. Health Law Section members of the ABA broadly serve the health-care industry, pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers, academic and research institutions, and governmental health care agencies and programs.

TommySmith_officeSmith teaches the pharmaceutical law and ethics course to third-year UF pharmacy students, and directs the college’s online master’s programs in areas of regulatory pharmacy and patient safety. He also lends his expertise to national pharmacy organizations and academic institutions as a speaker and leader in areas of cultural competency, health disparities, bioethics and disability law.

The ABA Health Law Section council oversees membership, budgetary matters and programs, and recommends policy to the ABA House of Delegates for sponsorship. The council will meet at least 10 times each year, Smith said. There are four scheduled meetings at national conferences and more than five additional meetings will take place through teleconferencing.

The schedule and responsibilities of the ABA Health Law council are demanding, but Smith finds it rewarding to have an ear and a voice at the intersection of health, law and education.

“I am in a great position to share the most current trends and debates with my colleagues and students,” Smith said. “When you can take issues happening right now in health care back to the classroom, students really engage and want to learn more.”

After receiving a doctor of pharmacy degree from the Saint Louis College of Pharmacy in 1994, Smith directed the operations of a long-term care pharmacy. In 2005, he earned a Juris Doctor degree and Certificate in Health Law at Saint Louis University School of Law, and served on the faculty of the St. Louis College of Pharmacy for three years. Smith joined the UF College of Pharmacy in 2008.