Ed Bell, professor of pharmacy practice, is retiring on June 30, 2020, after 30 years of service to Drake University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (CPHS). Bell received his B.S. and Pharm.D. from the University of Maryland in Baltimore. He joined CPHS and Blank Children’s Hospital in the fall of 1989.
“I found the academic environment enjoyable and stimulating, as those working in such an environment constantly asked questions,” said Bell. “I have always enjoyed working with children – they are fun to be with. Thus, I sought to combine pediatrics and academics.”
Bell’s teaching philosophy stems from his days as a student. On several occasions, when he did not understand the class material and would ask for help, some professors did not seem interested in helping him learn. The impression he received was that their research was more important to them. Dismayed, Bell began to think about becoming a teacher one day to help students learn. He found the environment at Drake University matched his philosophy of helping students learn.
“Over the years that I have taught at Drake, I have always strived to be empathetic to students, wanting them to learn in an encouraging and comfortable environment,” said Bell. “As pharmacy education involves people’s health and lives, I have also strived to maintain high standards in the classroom, to ensure that each graduating student would be a competent pharmacist.”
And that perspective has had an impact on more than 3,000 pharmacy students over the past 30 years who are competent and able to provide health care to infants and children. “I have enjoyed working with and getting to know these students in the classroom and at my clinical site,” said Bell. “It’s a special treat when I meet a student again, years after his or her graduation.”
Bell has also made an impact on other professionals and the public through numerous publications and books centered on the pediatric population. For the past 20 years, Bell has been a monthly columnist for Healio’s Infectious Diseases in Children publication – publishing 210 columns and approximately 500 pages. He’s also served as a reviewer for several publications including The Annals of Pharmacotherapy. He wrote two books – A Parent’s Guide to Children’s Medications, published in 2012, and Children’s Medicines: What Every Parent, Grandparent, and Teacher Needs to Know, published in 2017. He also received a Pediatric Recognition Award from Blank Children’s Hospital. But Bell has most enjoyed teaching Drake pharmacy students about pediatrics and working with colleagues to make a difference.
“The best memories I have from Drake relate to the people I have worked with – the students, the staff and faculty, the patients and their families, the nurses, pediatricians, and the numerous other health care workers at Blank Children’s Hospital,” said Bell. “I would like to thank everyone I worked with at Drake University and the clinic. I enjoyed these times, and our collective efforts have been truly worthy of our hard work.”
After retiring, Bell plans to spend more time caring for his parents in Maryland and riding his bike, along with volunteering with his wife at the Animal Rescue League. As an avid runner, he will continue to enjoy running races in his retirement. As he ends his 30-year run as a professor at Drake University, he has made a tremendous impact on pharmacy students and his colleagues.