LANDSTUHL, Germany -- A Landstuhl Regional Medical Center pharmacist has been selected as the top pharmacist in a United States based competition, selected from among more than 600 pharmacists nominated from the civilian sector and the Department of Defense.

Dr. Lindsay Morris, a clinical pharmacist for LRMC Behavioral Health, won the national-level title of 2018 Next Generation Pharmacist at an awards gala Oct. 5 in Boston, Mass. Morris initially won one of the nine award categories in the finals round in July.

"I was overjoyed to win the Rising Star category this summer and I was not expecting to be selected as the overall winner as I was in the company of so many distinguished peers," said Morris. "It was truly incredible to earn this top honor when all of the finalists were so greatly accomplished."

According to the Pharmacy Times website, the Next Generation Pharmacist Awards is a national awards program honoring pharmacists, technicians, students and industry advocates who are defining the future of pharmacy. The program's top honor, the Next Generation Pharmacist, is selected from among the winners of the nine finals round categories and is awarded to the pharmacist who is defining the future of pharmacy by his or her uncompromising vision for a specific pharmacy or for the pharmacy industry overall.

"Dr. Morris truly embodies the next generation of pharmacists and where our field is headed," said LRMC Deputy Director of Pharmacy, Air Force Lt. Col. Julie Meek, who nominated Morris for the awards. "She built up a new clinical service from scratch, with minimal guidance and a whole lot of support from the behavioral health team. She is one of only a few behavioral health pharmacists across the Army, and has been sharing her experiences and lessons learned with the entire career field."

In the nomination that Meek submitted, she cited Morris' many accomplishments, including creating a new clinical pharmacy program in behavioral health to fit the needs of the patients, directly improving safety and health outcomes for behavioral health patients.

"I am thankful for the opportunity I was given to build a program from the ground up, which has provided me with invaluable experience that I will take with me in my future endeavors," said Morris.

Additionally, Morris' efforts led to a decrease in opioid and controlled substance prescriptions throughout Army Medicine in Europe. Morris also works to educate fellow pharmacists throughout the Army on the unique medication management challenges affecting behavioral health patients.

Morris' fellow Department of Defense pharmacists were also recognized at the gala, including her nominator, Meek, who won the Health-Systems Pharmacist category; Air Force Maj. Burke Wilson who earned an honorable mention in the Rising Star category; and retired Army Lt. Col. Kevin Ridderhoff, who earned an honorable mention in the Civic Leader category.

"All of these pharmacists represent the best of the best in military medicine and their remarkable achievements are leading the way in the pharmacy community," said Army Lt. Col. Leslie Walthall, the director of LRMC's Department of Pharmacy and the pharmacy consultant for Regional Health Command Europe.