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Jay Mirtallo receives 2016 Distinguished Alumnus Award

Jay Mirtallo and Dana Fitzsimmons

Jay Mirtallo ’76 and Dana Fitzsimmons ’76

The College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences selected Jay Mirtallo, BSP ’76, for the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award. Mr. Mirtallo is considered to be one of the world’s pharmacy specialist pioneers. He has been instrumental in leading cost-effective practices in parenteral and enteral nutrition and advancing the role of the pharmacist in nutrition support services.

Parenteral nutrition, also known as intravenous feeding, and enteral nutrition, which delivers food to the gastrointestinal tract, are often essential to the life and health of children and adults with special medical needs.

The recipient of the Clinical Practice Award from the American College of Clinical Pharmacy in 2007, Mr. Mirtallo has focused his research comparative evaluations of amino acid injection products, the use of fat as a calorie source, parenteral nutrition compatibility and stability, and systems issues in the preparation, administration and management of parenteral nutrition.

Mr. Mirtallo has been a professor of clinical pharmacy and director of the Master of Science program in Health-System Pharmacy at Ohio State University in Columbus for 38 years. While he has made his mark in his field in research and teaching, he has also contributed through leadership and setting national policy.

Mr. Mirtallo served as president of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition in 2011, a 6,000 member organization made up of doctors, dieticians, nurses, pharmacists and scientists who are involved in providing clinical support to patients, and he advocated for reimbursement of enteral and parenteral nutrition in the hospital and home. As a representative to the Joint Commission on accreditation for health systems, he served on the task force that created the Nutrition Care Standards, and also he chaired a parenteral nutrition safety summit for the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, which led to the development of the safety consensus recommendations recently released by that organization and the American Society for Health System Pharmacists.

Mr. Mirtallo also recently co-authored an etiology-based definition of malnutrition which is the basis for an inter-professional malnutrition strategy that has been adapted by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The new definition improves access to appropriate medical care for those suffering from malnutrition.

A native of the Catskills region in New York state, Mr. Mirtallo was enrolled in the pre-med program at Ohio State when he decided that pharmacy was really where he wanted to be.  He transferred to UT after looking at other schools and credits iconic pharmacy professor Dr. Bob Schlembach for the impact he made during his time at UT and in his career.