Robert Pittman soared in Public Health Service

pittman.jpgRobert Pittman worked with 1,200 pharmacists across the country in multiple kinds of pharmacy practice before he retired in 2010. He also worked with pharmacy leaders in the U.S. Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs, “working to protect, promote and advance the health of the nation.”

Pittman, who graduated from the College of Pharmacy in 1984, was the Public Health Service’s chief pharmacy officer and principal pharmacy consultant for the Indian Health Service.

“Serving as the chief pharmacy officer for the PHS was very exciting and rewarding,” he says, adding an aside about the pharmacists he worked with, “I was constantly amazed by the innovative projects they were working on and how their pharmacy knowledge helped many of them excel in areas traditionally outside of pharmacy.”

While he was an undergraduate at The University of Arizona, Pittman chose to enter pharmacy school as a pre-medicine major.

“I felt that pharmacy knowledge would make a perfect undergraduate program since having knowledge of pharmaceuticals is essential for a physician,” he says. “During my second year of pharmacy school, I decided I enjoyed pharmacy and wanted to make it my career.”

He became involved with the Indian Health Service through an IHS scholarship program that paid for his pharmacy education. In return he had a three-year service obligation to the service after graduation, which led to a career in the IHS.

“As an IHS pharmacist I found I was able to put into practice all the things that I had been taught in pharmacy school and much more,” he says.

Pittman received the George F. Archambault Award in Pharmacy from the PHS in 2005. It is the highest award a senior-level PHS pharmacist can receive. He was given the award in recognition of “outstanding career achievements and exemplary contributions to the pharmacy profession.”

During Homecoming 2006 he received the UA Alumni Association Professional Achievement Award and the College of Pharmacy Jack R. Cole, PhD, Distinguished Alumnus Award.

In 2009, Pittman received the Professional Fraternity Association's Career Achievement Award. The PFA is made up of 36 inter-professional fraternities from across the nation. Pittman was nominated for the award after winning Kappa Epsilon Fraternity's achievement award for his "integrity, leadership and dedication to the discipline of pharmacy."