Chaplain and pharmacist at UTHCT each awarded board certification in their respective fields

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

George Richardson, director of pastoral care and counseling at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler, and Joe Sartor, Pharm. D., a pharmacist at UTHSCT, each has been awarded board certification in their respective fields.

Richardson recently achieved the status of board certified chaplain, which was awarded by the Association of Professional Chaplains. This certification demonstrates that he is clinically trained to offer pastoral care in a health care setting to patients, families, and staff.

Georgia Melton, chief human resources officer at UTHSCT, said, “We are extremely fortunate to have a chaplain such as George, who is tremendously dedicated to his calling.

"Every day, he goes out of his way to support Health Center patients, their families, and employees. Achieving board certification as a chaplain is not an easy process, but it’s something George wanted to do because of his deep commitment to his profession," Melton said.

To achieve board certification, Richardson had to complete 1,600 hours of clinical pastoral education and have a minimum of one year’s full-time experience in pastoral care after completing clinical pastoral education.

In addition, he had to demonstrate in writing and before a committee of his peers that he met 29 specific criteria outlined by the APC, a professional membership organization that certifies chaplains based on objective standards of professional education and competence.

Richardson served as senior minister at Woodland Christian Church in Longview for nine years before coming to the Health Center in 2001.

He graduated with a Master of Divinity degree from the Graduate Seminary of Phillips University in Enid, Okla., and has been a pastor since he was ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in 1970.

Sartor was awarded board certification by the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties.

It was founded by the American Pharmacists Association in 1976 to recognize specialties and certify pharmacists in specialized areas of advanced pharmacy practice. Phamacotherapy is the use of medicine to treat diseases, conditions, and symptoms.

Melissa Maeker, a registered pharmacist and director of pharmacy at UTHSCT, said, “Joe is an incredible asset to our pharmacy department and UTHSCT. We are proud to have him. Joe expertly manages patients’ medications and is able to clearly communicate with our patients and staff.”

To achieve board certification, Sartor was required to have at least three years’ experience as a practicing pharmacist and to pass a comprehensive exam, in addition to holding a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.

There are just 3,688 pharmacists currently board certified in pharmacotherapy by the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties.

Before joining UTHSCT in 2002, Sartor worked at Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler for 20 years, where he helped establish clinical programs for pharmacists in the surgery and ICU departments.

He also worked as a clinical pharmacist in the SeniorCare geriatric clinic. Sartor graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy in May 1973. He went on to receive his Doctor of Pharmacy from Texas Tech University in May 2002.

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