Richard Bertin Receives Outstanding Achievement Award

Award is the Highest Non-Degree Conferred by the University of Minnesota

Richard Bertin, OAA recipientRichard Bertin, a 1967 (MS) and 1976 (PhD) graduate of the College of Pharmacy, was selected by the University’s Board of Regents to receive the Outstanding Achievement Award. The award is the U’s highest non-degree honor. University President Dr. Eric Kaler presented the award to Bertin on April 13.

Bertin was recognized for his outstanding achievements in public health and advancing pharmacy board specialties.

“Dr. Bertin’s distinguished and unique record of national service has improved public health in America and throughout the world, has brought new treatments to patients with rare diseases, and has served to enhance the patient care role of pharmacists,” said Marilyn Speedie, dean of the College of Pharmacy.

For 30 years, Bertin served in the United States Public Health Service (PHS), the federal agency responsible for the public health of America. During this time he was both the chief pharmacist officer of the PHS and the director of the PHS division of commissioned personnel. Reaching the high position of assistant surgeon general at the grade of rear admiral, his duties were diverse and at a very high level nationally.

While he was the chief pharmacist officer of the PHS, Bertin also was director of the Orphan Products Grant Program where he managed a $12.5 million grant program to encourage development of products for use in rare diseases or conditions where no current therapy exists.

After retiring from the PHS in 1997, he became the nation’s first executive director of the Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS). The BPS is recognized as the nation’s premier post-licensure certification agency for pharmacists. Under Bertin’s leadership, the BPS experienced significant growth as the number of certificates, staff size and budget nearly tripled. BPS standards have greatly enhanced patient care by providing a standard of achievement beyond the generalist practice of pharmacy and communicating standards of competency to employers and patients.

“The college is very proud of Dr. Bertin’s leadership legacy,” said Speedie.