SPOKANE, Wash. – WSU Spokane pharmacotherapy department chair Lawrence J. Cohen has been named to the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties Specialty Council on Psychiatric Pharmacy. Appointed by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Cohen began his term on Jan. 1.


During his three-year term, Cohen will join with specialists across the nation in developing processes to certify and recertify specialists in the area of psychiatric pharmacy. Representative duties will consist of attending annual specialty council meetings, maintaining correspondence, exhibiting at national pharmacy meetings and participating in item development.


Before coming to WSU Spokane in May of 2002, Cohen was a professor of clinical pharmacy, psychiatry and medicine at the Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy, University of Cincinnati (Ohio).  He was in the first group of pharmacists to become board certified in psychiatric pharmacy (1996). Cohen earned a doctoral degree in pharmacy from the University of Southern California (1978) and completed a postdoctoral psychiatric pharmacy residency at the Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center. 


Among his achievements, Cohen has been elected Fellow of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, is a Fellow of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists and is a founding director of the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists. He is a noted lecturer who has authored and co-authored numerous articles in professional journals.  He has also served on the editorial boards of the “Primary Care Companion of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry” and the “Journal of the American Medical Directors Association.”


The BPS was formed in 1976 by the American Pharmaceutical Association. It serves as a source of information and as a coordinating agency for pharmacy specialties.  BPS recognizes specialties in pharmacy practice, sets standards and evaluates individuals for certification and re-certification. Five specialty practice areas are recognized by BPS, including nuclear pharmacy, nutrition support pharmacy, pharmacotherapy, psychiatric pharmacy and oncology pharmacy.  By becoming board certified through the BPS, a pharmacist demonstrates a level of experience, education, knowledge and skills beyond what is required for licensure.


The Doctor of Pharmacy degree program at the WSU College of Pharmacy is fully accredited by the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education. WSU Spokane houses the completion of the PharmD program, which begins at WSU’s main campus in Pullman. The College of Pharmacy strives to advance human health through world-class research and the preparation of students for successful professional and research careers in pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences, health policy and administration, and delivery of pharmaceutical care.


The Department of Pharmacotherapy is actively engaged in developing collaborative research partnerships with the Spokane and regional medical community, which will serve to broaden the department’s and WSU Spokane’s visibility and reputation as a research facility, as well as develop productive working relationships within the community. Additionally, the Department of Pharmacotherapy is actively engaged in providing clinical training in institutional and community practice settings through collaboration with the Spokane and regional medical community.



Related Web Links:

WSU College of Pharmacy



WSU Spokane Faculty Honors and Awards



Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties



American Society of Health-System Pharmacists



College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists