‘Celebration of Life’ honors late diabetes, pharmacy leader Keith Campbell

By Kelly Sylvester, WSU College of Pharmacy

SPOKANE, Wash. – Washington State University’s College of Pharmacy and the family of Keith Campbell announced plans for a “Celebration of Life” to honor the late Professor Emeritus R. Keith Campbell, 2 p.m. Saturday, April 21, in Spokane.

Keith Campbell

Campbell, a national leader in both pharmacy and diabetes, served as a faculty member for more than 45 years at WSU. He passed away on Nov. 11, 2017, while attending the annual meeting of the Washington State Pharmacy Association in Centralia, WA.  He was 76.

“There is not a corner of the CougaRx Nation and pharmacy community that Keith did not impact in some way through his teaching, mentorship, leadership and friendship,” said Gary M. Pollack, dean of the College of Pharmacy. “We anticipate a large turnout on April 21 as we honor his remarkable life.”

The Celebration of Life will take place at the DoubleTree Hotel, 322 N. Spokane Falls Court, in Spokane. All are welcome to attend, and RSVP’s are requested online at bit.ly/rkc-memorial, or by calling the College of Pharmacy alumni relations office at 509-368-6675.

Campbell grew up in the Spokane Valley and was a WSU graduate. He worked for a few years as a pharmacist after graduating, then went on to become a clinical professor at WSU, where he helped start the college’s clinical pharmacy program. That program was a new concept at the time, allowing pharmacists to get “patient-orientated” training rather than product-specific training. In his 45-year tenure at the WSU College of Pharmacy, he served in a variety of roles, including program administrator, professor, director, student advisor and several years as associate dean of student services.

Outside the classroom, Campbell was known for being one of the founding fathers of the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE).  He also published more than 700 papers and contributed to countless books — including one he wrote in December 2008, called Medications for the Treatment of Diabetes that became a resource for many in the field. He developed numerous unique live and self-study programs about the management of chronic diseases, such as Type 1 diabetes. His list of professional accomplishments and awards is remarkable, and illustrates the profound impact he has made, both at WSU and on the pharmacy profession as a whole.

In 2017, the college honored Campbell by presenting him with the first Lifetime Achievement Award during the inaugural Crimson Gala, where it was announced that future awards would be known as the “R. Keith Campbell Lifetime Achievement Award.”  Alumni and friends of the college also continue to raise funds to name the R. Keith Campbell Applied Patient Care Laboratory in the Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences Building.

Campbell’s full obituary is available online at the Moscow Daily News.

For those who would like to share stories, photos, memories, condolences and well wishes, please feel free to post them to the Facebook page “Remembering Keith.”



Kelly Sylvester, director of development, WSU College of Pharmacy, 509-368-6675, Kelly.sylvester@wsu.edu

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