Dr. Yankellow is the president and chief executive officer of Correct Rx Pharmacy Services, Inc., a privately owned and operated institutional pharmacy in Hanover, Md. She is a national leader in the advancement of clinical pharmacy for institutions and is regarded as one of the leading women pharmacists in the country. She started Correct Rx after a long career as a top executive in the pharmacy services industry. Her phenomenal business success is matched by her commitment to and passion for community activism and philanthropy, and she serves on the boards of numerous nonprofit organizations. Dr. Yankellow graduated from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy with a bachelor’s degree in 1973 and a PharmD in 1996. She has served on the University of Maryland Baltimore Foundation (UMBF) Board of Trustees since 2014 and is the current vice chair.
SPOTLIGHT: How did you first get involved with UMB?
ELLEN YANKELLOW: I have been actively involved since graduation from the School of Pharmacy; first, serving in leadership positions in the Alumni Association and then on the School of Pharmacy’s Board of Visitors, eventually chairing the board for many years. In 2013, I made a significant investment in the School of Pharmacy to develop scholarships for a master’s program and a two-year fellowship in data analytics. The Ellen H. Yankellow Grand Atrium was dedicated and remains a highlight of my pharmacy career. In 2014, I was asked to join the UMB Foundation Board. This was a wonderful opportunity to learn in greater detail the advantages of each professional school along with the deep-rooted community involvement of UMB.
How has UMB and the greater higher education landscape in Baltimore changed throughout your years of service?
UMB has grown and evolved into a national and world leader in professional education. Many of our schools rank in the top 10 among our peers in the country. The campus has been totally transformed with new construction fostering research while attracting the very best talent across the campus. The unbelievable success and continued expansion of the BioPark is a remarkable accomplishment. The BioPark is the launching pad for innovation and has established UMB’s undeniable positive presence in the West Baltimore community.
How has the pharmaceutical education landscape changed?
My original class had 77 students, and only seven were women. This is just one example of how pharmacy has changed throughout my years of service! Sophisticated clinical pharmacy programs are now a critical part of the School of Pharmacy education. This curriculum and clinical experience trains the students as experts in key areas shaping the future of pharmacy. Clinical experience within interdisciplinary teams positions the pharmacists to be drug therapy experts. These students are graduating from one of the top 10 schools of pharmacy in the country. Having pharmacists as part of the health care team is an essential factor in optimizing patient outcomes.
Looking back at the Catalyst Campaign, what do you feel was a successful outcome of this endeavor? What contributed to this success?
UMB has a rich history that includes a wonderful story of excellence and giving back to the greater community. Each school contributed to the success of the Catalyst Campaign. Setting specific goals and measuring these metrics was important to the steady progress and positive results of the campaign. In addition to the enthusiasm around the professional schools, UMB’s involvement in the West Baltimore community was an important factor that raised awareness and interest in the campaign for many donors.
Which causes at UMB do you feel have a special impact?
There are many programs that allow UMB to have a special impact. I am listing a few examples, but there are many others.
Education: The excellent education offered to every student on campus is well-regarded statewide and nationally. The quality of the professors is essential to UMB’s impact.
Research: The large body of research that is ongoing throughout the campus. UMB is devoted to always expanding the exploration of new ideas. UMB’s scientists and department chairs are among the top recipients of grants and research funds in the country.
Community engagement: UMB’s community-impact programs. The Community Engagement Center in the Poppleton neighborhood is an important cornerstone in the community. The other program that has a tremendous impact is CURE Scholars. These young high school students are exposed early to science and medicine. This program, operating for many years, is well-established and changing lives one at a time. It is truly uplifting to see the hope and the tangible results.
The real reason for this impact is UMB’s commitment to excellence in everything it does.
What are your hopes for the future of UMB and its impact in Baltimore, the state of Maryland, and beyond?
I know that UMB will continue to thrive and make a difference in Baltimore and beyond. UMB’s impact on each graduate and the community will be carried forward long after graduation or the community encounter.
Why do you give to UMB?
I am excited about the future of our graduates and their amazing accomplishments yet to come. Truly, I am investing in the future as I have every confidence in the impact of UMB’s education, research, and community outreach.