FORT EUSTIS, VA—McDonald Army Health Center (MCAHC) Clinical Pharmacist Dr. Adam Edward Lang was recognized with the 2021 Ralph D. Arnolds Pharmacy Award for Pharmacy Leadership and Innovation sponsored by the University of Cincinnati Master's in Pharmacy Leadership Program, held during recent a virtual Joint Federal Pharmacy Seminar.
The Ralph D. Arnolds Army Pharmacy Leadership and Innovation Award was established in 1994 to recognize leadership and innovation in the practice of Army Pharmacy. The award is for superior achievement, where an individual's or organization's vision was lifted to a higher standard recognized as functioning beyond the norm.
Dr. Lang was recognized for his education and research efforts regarding the effects of tobacco on Advanced Individual Training (AIT) Soldiers across Fort Eustis. His tobacco treatment campaign reached over 30,000 beneficiaries, while his research on smoking and nicotine resulted in a tobacco and nicotine-free policy for 1,500 AIT Soldiers.
"It's a special feeling. The United States Army has a lot of talented people working throughout the U.S. and globally. So to be recognized on that scale for this type of award is an honor," said Lang.
According to National Center for Biotechnology Information, military tobacco use impairs readiness, decreases performance, and reduces the productivity of active-duty Soldiers; smoking aggravates pre-existing health problems.
"The COVID-19 tobacco treatment campaign had an infectious respiratory disease that we didn't know much about in COVID-19, but we knew smokers do poorly with other respiratory viruses, including other coronaviruses. It was the only risk factor that could quickly modify, but no one had ever focused on tobacco dependence treatment in a respiratory disease outbreak. I ran this campaign to do as much as possible to help prevent admissions." said Lang.
Dr. Lang has worked at MCAHC for the past four years as a clinical pharmacist across MCAHC's Troop Medical Services Clinics.
"I chose MCAHC because it just felt like the right fit. It was a good opportunity to evolve my clinical practice while also allowing for creativity to help improve our population's health," said Lang.
"This national recognition highlights the talented staff at MCAHC and our innovative practices to improve readiness across the installation," said Dr. Kathleen Stack, MCAHC Psychiatrist, who nominated Dr. Lang for this prestigious award.
"Dr. Lang has published 13 peer-reviewed papers in the last year and has five pending publications, nine of which he is the first author. Dr. Lang's focus is tobacco and nicotine use within the Army training environment. His research included thousands of participants, identified the benefits of the basic training nicotine-free policy, the impact of the AIT environment on nicotine use, the high rates of nicotine use in AIT trainees, and the effect of use among cadre in the training environment" said Stack.
"My research and work with the U.S. Army trainee population focuses on changing the culture of tobacco and nicotine use. This is a young, vulnerable population, and we can help shape the future of our trainees. A nicotine-free policy that spans all of the training, and supplemented appropriate education, treatment, and resources, is instrumental to providing our trainees with an initial U.S. Army experience that doesn't promote regular tobacco and nicotine product use. The policy at Fort Eustis impacts thousands of young soldiers each year, and we've established a framework for implementing this process. If the Army and military as a whole carry this forward, it will have a lifelong impact on every active duty service member that joins for generations to come," said Lang.