2021 VISTA Millennial Superstars: James Curtis

Mark Hostutler

Dr. James Curtis, who was born and raised in Paducah, Ky., is the Associate Director of Pharmacy at Penn Medicine’s Chester County Hospital.

Curtis began working as a 12-year-old on his family’s tobacco farm, and when he turned 16, he got to grow his own acre of tobacco and keep all of the profits, which helped him purchase his first car.

He earned his doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of Kentucky and a master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Drexel. He credits one of his professors at Kentucky, Dr. Craig Martin, with having the biggest impact on his career.

“His career path really resembled something that I admired,” Curtis said of Dr. Martin. “He had a very strong clinical background in infectious disease, but also pursued academic and hospital leadership positions. I always wanted to have clinical expertise because I felt this was important as a foundation, but I also wanted to pursue a career in healthcare leadership. He helped teach me how to be a professional and was a role model for me early in my education.”

Curtis calls his current work, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the most rewarding in his career.

“I feel like I am well-positioned with both my clinical pharmacy and healthcare administration backgrounds to respond quickly and decisively to the evolving COVID landscape,” he said. “I have been able to help bring early access to novel therapies – Remdesivir, plasma, monoclonal antibodies, etc. – to patients in Chester County, and I have no doubt this has made a significant impact in numerous patients’ lives.

“There are so many unknowns and things change so rapidly that folks really look for leadership and guidance. I take great pride in providing exceptional care to our patients here in Chester County and being on a great team at Penn Medicine.”

Curtis’s favorite Chester County restaurant is Benny’s Pizza in West Chester.