EDWARDSVILLE – The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy’s Jessica Kerr, PharmD, associate dean of Professional Student Affairs and professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, has been honored as the 2021-22 Illinois Diabetes Care and Education Specialist of the Year. The award is given to a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES) who has made a special contribution to the field and is seen as a role model by their peers and colleagues.

Jessica Kerr, PharmD, associate dean of Professional Student Affairs and professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice.“The multidisciplinary members of the Illinois Coordinating Body for the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (ADCES) is a passionate group of health care providers,” said Kerr. “It is thrilling to know that my individual and collaborative efforts through the years are valued.”

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Kerr has been a CDCES since 2004. Her interest in the study of diabetes first stemmed from her grandfather’s diagnosis while she was attending pharmacy school.

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“The complexity of the disease state and how it affects all aspects of one’s life should not be ignored,” said Kerr. “The position of pharmacists within a health care team brings great opportunity to directly impact the healthcare system for improved safety and efficacy while advocating for our patients that we have direct access to.”

Her passion for studying the disease has led Kerr to serve in a variety of roles including serving as the president of the Madison County American Diabetes Association Leadership Council, president and chair of the Pharmacy Community of Interest for ADCES, and a clinical pharmacy specialist for Texas Tech Internal Medicine Clinics and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center over the last 21 years.

Today’s pharmacists improve patients’ lives through the medication and education they provide. The School of Pharmacy is dedicated to developing a community of caring pharmacists through a curriculum that is nationally recognized as a model for offering students a unique combination of classroom education, research, community service and patient care. Areas of excellence include a drug design and discovery core, pediatric practice, chronic pain research and practice, and diabetes research and practice.

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