Rho Chi Honor Society National Office Returns to Michigan
Nearly 100 years after its founding at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy, the Rho Chi Society’s National Offices will be relocated to Michigan. Karen Farris, PhD, Charles R. Walgreen III Professor of Pharmacy Administration and Chair, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, has also been named the organization’s Executive Vice President and Treasurer.
The administrative functions of the national office will transition to the U-M College of Pharmacy in summer 2019, following over 25 years at the University of North Carolina and three years at the University of Southern California. The primary goal of the National Office is to facilitate member chapters in their pursuit of the mission and vision of the society – to advance pharmacy through sustained intellectual leadership.
“Students’ membership in the Rho Chi academic honor society is an achievement and an indication of the talent for one’s future career,” explains Dr. Farris. “Hosting the national office signifies U-M Pharmacy’s commitment to academic and intellectual leadership.”
“We welcome the return of the Rho Chi Society to its original home, as we have a history of excellence to support such an auspicious organization. In 1876, we became the first pharmacy program in a public university and Rho Chi was first chartered in the state of Michigan in 1922.”
The Rho Chi Society has its origins at the University of Michigan, where the local honor society within the Pharmaceutical Department was known as the Aristolochite Society since 1908. The society expanded in 1919 to the University of Oklahoma and what is now Oregon State University. The Aristolochite Society changed its name to the Rho Chi Society and was granted a charter by the State of Michigan on May 19, 1922. The American Conference of Pharmaceutical Faculties recognized Rho Chi as “the Honor Society of Pharmacy” in 1922. As of 2018, there were 128 active chapters with 113,646 members.
Dr. Farris is the Charles R. Walgreen III Professor of Pharmacy Administration at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy. She is Chair of the Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Director of the Clinical Pharmacy Translational Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowship and Graduate Programs, and is also Faculty Lead of Digital Education at the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation (IHPI). Dr. Farris studies medication adherence and reasons for non-adherence. She is currently working with the Michigan Oncology Quality Consortium to improve how medication adherence to oral oncolytics is assessed in oncology practices and how medication and symptom self-management can be improved.
Dr. Farris has over 135 peer-reviewed publications and has given numerous invited talks at national and international venues. She has obtained over $7 million in PI/co-PI grants and over $8 million as co-investigator on other grants, all involving pharmacists and their impact on health and health outcomes or medication adherence. Dr. Farris is a Fellow of the American Pharmacists Association, serves as a mentor in MeRIT and FIT for the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, and she was recognized in 2016 as a MICHR Distinguished Clinical and Translational Research Mentor. In 2017, she was a University of Michigan Interprofessional Leadership Fellow. She was inducted into the Rho Chi Society at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Pharmacy in 1985, and she comes to this position having been a chapter advisor for the Alpha Chapter at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy and a Regional Councilor of the Society from 2014-2018. Consistent with the strategic plan of the Rho Chi Society, Dr. Farris is excited to increase the visibility of the member’s professional achievements and grow the use of the Alumni Honor Roll to recognize sustained intellectual leadership.