Special to the Opelika Observer

There are 10 Division I football coaches in Alabama, and seven living Alabama governors, including current Gov. Kay Ivey. However, there are only six Board Certified Infectious Disease Pharmacists (BCIDP) in Alabama and the newest one resides at East Alabama Medical Center.

Darrell Childress, Pharm. D., BCPS, BCIDP, recently passed the strenuous testing to earn this prestigious certification. Childress, who has worked at EAMC for 12 years, graduated from the University of Georgia with a BS in biochemistry and molecular biology and followed that by earning his pharmacy doctorate at Auburn University.

Prior to his BCIDP, Childress earned a MAD-ID Advanced Antimicrobial Stewardship Certificate and also became Board Certified in Pharmacotherapy (BCPS). But, before mislabeling Childress as an overachieving student with no useful skills, it’s important to know how those who work closely with him describe his talents.

“Darrell is very passionate about what he does. He meets daily with Dr. Maldonado (EAMC’s infectious disease physician) and others who are actively involved in daily care of patients,” said Brooke Bailey, EAMC’s infection control director and a colleague of Childress’s on the hospital’s antimicrobial stewardship team. “He visits patients, calls patients and works with my department as well as microbiology, ICU, social work and other departments to help find solutions for the betterment of patients.”

“The commitment Darrell has shown to his field and to EAMC’s antimicrobial stewardship team enables us to provide the best clinical and evidence-based therapies, and to more rapidly resolve infections and provide better patient outcomes. Employees like Darrell help us provide high-quality, compassionate care,” said Chris Clark, EAMC’s vice president of clinical services.
Childress thinks his added certification will continue to give providers trust in the hospital’s antimicrobial stewardship efforts. 
“Overuse of antibiotics has led to bacterial resistance and adverse patient outcomes,” Childress stated. “Combating this epidemic requires proper knowledge and training.  With relatively few pharmacists in the state having this certification, it reflects that EAMC is working hard to combat antimicrobial resistance in our community and improving patient outcomes.”
The knowledge and passion of Childress not only helps patients in the east Alabama area. Childress is a founding member of the Alabama Infectious Disease Society (ALIDS) and works in collaboration with the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) and the Alabama Quality Assurance Foundation (AQAF) to offer antimicrobial stewardship statewide.

“Through education and sharing of protocols and successes, Darrell assists rural hospitals which have fewer resources with stewardship efforts that help treat patients and also helps decrease antibiotic resistance,” Bailey said.
For more information, visit www.eamc.org.