The Passing of Dr. Bernard Mehl
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Dr. Bernard Mehl. Dr. Mehl served as the Director of Pharmacy at The Mount Sinai Hospital for 40 years, retiring in 2002. Dr. Mehl obtained his BS in Pharmacy from Fordham University, his MBA from Fairleigh Dickerson, and his DPS degree from Pace University. Under Dr. Mehl’s leadership, he initiated and implemented many innovative new services. He was an early adaptor of computerization in the Pharmacy with a focus on safety, drug information and prevention of medication errors in the early 1960s. He also developed one of the first Pharmacy lead IV, TPN and Chemo programs in New York. Dr. Mehl was a pioneer in bringing robotics to the department as well as automated computerized medication cabinets on the nursing units with early bar code technology to improve safety. Under Dr. Mehl’s leadership, the department of pharmacy was one of the first in New York to establish decentralized pharmacy services in the early 1980s. Throughout the years under Dr. Mehl’s leadership, the department of pharmacy at The Mount Sinai Hospital served as a model of progressive pharmacy services in New York State, and hosted several visits by local, national and international pharmacy leaders and other healthcare groups.
Dr. Mehl was also instrumental in developing the first PharmD program in New York State in the early 1970s. He served as a member of the faculty at St. John’s University School of Pharmacy, where he taught graduate classes in healthcare administration. In retirement, he joined the Faculty at Long Island University, Arnold and Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and State University at Albany, College of Pharmacy.
Dr. Mehl worked with the national organization, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) to establish The Mount Sinai Hospital Pharmacy residency programs in New York State in 1978.
Throughout his career, Dr. Mehl provided active leadership. On the national level, he served ASHP on several committees including Commission on Goals, Nominating Committee and the Council of Administrative Affairs. He was awarded the John W. Webb Visiting Professor Award from Northeastern University in 1992. He was named a Fellow of ASHP and awarded the Harvey AK Whitney Award in 2001, which is the highest award given to health-system pharmacists. For several years, Dr. Mehl published the annual Pharmco-economic Forecast article in the ASHP Journal, which served as a guide to Pharmacy Directors in budgeting for pharmaceuticals.
On a State level, Dr. Mehl served as President of the New York Society of Health-System Pharmacists and New York State Council of Health System Pharmacists as well as the Chair of various committees. He was the recipient of several awards, including the Award of Merit, the Pharmacist of Year Award, The Board of Director’s Award.
Dr. Mehl was an enthusiastic collector of apothecary jars dating as far back as the 16th century, some of his collection remains in the Pharmacy Department.
Dr. Bernard Mehl was a great leader in health care and will be greatly missed by The Mount Sinai Hospital community and by those who knew him. We extend our condolences to his family, wife, Florence, and children, Stephanie and Spence and their children.