The rapid advancement of drug therapy creates a need for pharmacy practitioners who specialize in specific treatments and aspects of care. Nicholas G. Giller, PharmD, a pharmacist with FirstLight Health System, recently earned the designation of board-certified infectious disease pharmacist. With his latest achievement, Giller is one of just two pharmacists in the world who actively holds credentials as a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist, board-certified oncology pharmacist, and BCIDP.
“Nick’s passion is to ensure that we provide the highest levels of expertise—and ultimately the best care—close to home,” said FirstLight Pharmacy Director Brent Thompson, PharmD. “With roots in small-town, rural America, Nick is dedicated to caring for our FirstLight patients, who are his friends and neighbors. As part of a pharmacy team in a rural health system, we are honored to work with and learn from one of the best in the world. With Nick, our pharmacists and physicians have access to a specialist that few big-city hospitals do.”
While board certification is not required to practice pharmacy, it is a tool to determine the expertise and experience of a pharmacist in a particular field. A state requires every pharmacist to hold a current license, but board certification is an extra step a pharmacist may take to assure a patient of specialty training. As part of board certification, pharmacists pursue extensive continuing education hours and examinations every seven years.
Granted by the Board of Pharmacy Specialties, BCIDP is pharmacy’s highest credential in the practice of infectious disease pharmacy. The primary purpose of health-care specialization is to improve the quality of care that individual patients receive, promote positive treatment outcomes and ultimately improve the patient’s quality of life.
The mission of BPS is to improve patient care by positioning board-certified pharmacist specialists as integral members of multidisciplinary healthcare teams, through recognition and promotion of specialized training, knowledge and skills for pharmacists in the United States and internationally. Board certification is a recognized credential for determining which pharmacists are qualified to contribute at advanced practice levels, given the rigorous standards mandated by BPS board certification and recertification.
Board-certified pharmacists are also acknowledged by many government agencies, employers and education institutions. BPS currently recognizes more than 41,000 active pharmacist certifications across 11 specialties, including 23,482 in pharmacotherapy, 2,842 in oncology pharmacy and 468 in infectious disease pharmacy.
“You are to be commended for having a pharmacist of this caliber on your staff,” said Brian Lawson, PharmD, senior director, professional affairs and international engagement at BPS. “And Dr. Giller should be commended for having achieved this designation.”
For more information, visit www.firstlighthealthsystem.org.