ACCP Member Spotlight: Khalid Eljaaly
Khalid Eljaaly, Pharm.D., M.S., FCCP, BCPS, BCIDP, graduated with a Pharm.D. degree from King Abdulaziz University (KAU) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He completed an ASHP-accredited PGY2 infectious disease (ID) pharmacy residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a Harvard Medical School–affiliated hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. He then went on to complete an ID/antibiotic stewardship pharmacy postdoctoral fellowship and an M.S. degree in clinical translational science at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
Eljaaly is currently an associate professor in the college of pharmacy and head of the Health Interprofessional Research Branch in the university vice presidency for development at KAU. He is a consultant ID pharmacist and ID pharmacy residency program director at KAU hospital. He was elected as the first chair of the ID Pharmacy Specialty Network (PSN) of the Saudi Society of Clinical Pharmacy (SSCP). Eljaaly also serves as an honorary research fellow in the college of pharmacy at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
Eljaaly has enjoyed attending and presenting posters at ACCP conferences in addition to participating in the networking and educational opportunities in the ACCP Infectious Diseases (ID) PRN group. He has served as an active member of the ID PRN Social Media Committee for 3 years and was an administrator of the PRN’s Facebook page. He then served on the ACCP Research Affairs Committee. Currently, he is serving on the PRN’s Awards Committee and the Programming Committee of the 2022 ACCP Global Conference on Clinical Pharmacy. At the Global Conference, Eljaaly will moderate the session titled “Global Antimicrobial Stewardship Forum: Current Controversies and Future Pathways.” He is currently a mentor in the ACCP ID PRN/Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists Research Mentorship Program. Eljaaly cowrote a paper titled “Global Contributions of Pharmacists During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” led by Debra Goff, which won the 2021 Editor’s Choice Award for the Journal of American College of Clinical Pharmacy (JACCP).
Eljaaly’s interest in clinical pharmacy and ID pharmacotherapy began during pharmacy school. He found the ID pharmacy topics challenging; however, his true passion for ID pharmacy came after investing more time and effort to master the area during his internship and residency years. With time, he specifically became interested in antimicrobial stewardship and global infectious diseases.
Eljaaly believes that advocacy is highly important for pharmacists. “Through advocacy, we can understand the processes and improve our leadership skills,” he states, adding that “advocacy includes communicating with local, national, and international representatives.” Eljaaly feels strongly that pharmacists should specifically advocate for their expanded scope of practice as health care providers. When Eljaaly was a student, clinical pharmacy was far less advanced in Saudi Arabia than it is today. Therefore, he traveled to the United States, where clinical pharmacy was established, so that he could advocate for expanding clinical pharmacy in Saudi Arabia and globally.
Eljaaly was a member of the Saudi Antibiotic Stewardship Implementation Team. He remembers a letter sent from the national committee to recommend the enforcement of prohibiting antimicrobial dispensing without a prescription. Many people pushed and advocated for this. Recently, it was approved that a prescription is now required to dispense antimicrobials in Saudi Arabia. Eljaaly is very pleased about the establishment of SSCP because it will advocate for growth and on behalf of the profession in Saudi Arabia. He expects the SSCP ID PSN will advocate well for the profession and ID field in Saudi Arabia, as does the ACCP ID PRN in the United States.
Eljaaly was invited by the International Pharmaceutical Federation as one of three antimicrobial resistance advocates for the Eastern Mediterranean region. In 2021, he received the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America International Scholarship Award for his contribution to infection prevention and antibiotic stewardship. This was the first time a pharmacist had been a recipient of this annual award, which began in 2007. Eljaaly considers research an important area of focus for advocacy efforts for the profession and antibiotic stewardship. His PGY1 residency project regarding a new antibiotic stewardship intervention won the ASHP Foundation Award for Innovation in Pharmacy Practice. Eljaaly also believes that social media should be targeted, and he is an antimicrobial stewardship advocate through frequent posts on his verified Twitter account “Antibiotic Tweets” @khalideljaaly.
People would be surprised to learn that both Eljaaly’s father and aunt died the same year with multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacteria (MDR-GNB). As a pharmacist and antibiotic steward, Eljaaly knows all pharmacists can protect people from MDR-GNB by reducing the emergence of resistance and optimizing antimicrobial therapy. He strongly believes in what Alexander Fleming said in 1945:
The thoughtless person playing with penicillin treatment is morally responsible for the death of the man who finally succumbs to infection with the penicillin-resistant organism. I hope the evil can be averted.