Dear Friends and Colleagues,
It is with great sadness we share that Dr. Amy Pakyz, Pharm.D., M.S., Ph.D., and SIDP Board Member at Large (2017-2019) has passed away. Amy was an Associate Professor of Pharmacy at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) with an international reputation for her work in infectious diseases epidemiology.
In Amy’s short career, she created a legacy for herself and for the ID pharmacy family. Amy started her career as an Infectious Diseases fellow with Ron Polk. After fellowship, Amy left VCU for University of Virginia (UVA) and then returned to VCU in a faculty role in the early 2000s. While a full-time faculty member she received her Master’s in Health Evaluation Science at UVA in 2003, and then her PhD in Health Services Organization & Research at VCU in 2013. Amy received funding from AHRQ and CDC for research related to antimicrobial stewardship and utilization measurement as well as examining the incidence of and risk factors for C. difficile infection. She authored over 60 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. One of Amy’s most significant contributions was her 2008 Archives of Internal Medicine paper “Trends in Antibacterial Use in US Academic Health Centers 2002 to 2006” describing increasing use of antibiotics driven by broad-spectrum agents and vancomycin.
A proud SIDP member since 1996, Amy served the Society as chairperson, vice-chair or member on nearly every SIDP committee. Amy was also highly involved with SIDP-partner organizations, including serving on SHEA’s Antimicrobial Stewardship Committee, the Vizient Antimicrobial Stewardship Task Force, and the Virginia Healthcare-associated Infection Advisory Group.
In Amy’s candidacy statement for SIDP Board Member at Large she shared that “I have personally treasured SIDP’s networking and education opportunities. Importantly, I value the comradery with colleagues who face the same challenges I do in infectious diseases pharmacotherapy. I am continually impressed by the enthusiasm and commitment of fellow members. I look forward to the opportunity to give back to SIDP”
Amy was a wonderful colleague, mentor, and leader across our ID pharmacy community. She was a quiet achiever and her work was highly impactful. Amy was also very private about her illness, and we all respected her wishes. As her Chairperson Don Brophy, Pharm.D., M.Sc., FCCP, BCPS said, “She simply wanted to be known for her work in the field of infectious diseases epidemiology, and this will indeed be her legacy.”
And finally, from her long-time mentor and friend, Ron Polk – “Amy showed a very strong interest in infectious diseases when she was a Pharm.D. student at Virginia Commonwealth University. When she expressed her interest in an ID fellowship at VCU I was thrilled. And at some point, when I became department chair, Amy was my first hire to add to the program. We enjoyed many productive years as colleagues and friends. Since my retirement 9 years ago, Amy continued to collaborate with members of the ID division at VCU as well as those outside of VCU. Amy has made important contributions to the stewardship literature, as well as having secured substantial funding from CDC. Finally, Amy was one of the most kind and thoughtful persons I have met. She will be missed by everyone fortunate enough to have gotten to know her. And I have lost a friend.”
From your SIDP family, thank you Amy, you will be dearly missed by all of us.
Jason, Susan, Kerry, Emily, Warren, Doug, and Julie
Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists Board of Directors