Dr. Dorothy L. Smith

Founder and President of Consumer Health Information Corporation

The reason I formed Consumer Health Information Corporation is because both patients and health professionals desperately need health and medication information that is clinically accurate and translated into language people can understand.

Patient Adherence Expert Dr. Dorothy L. Smith is an internationally recognized author, patient advocate, clinical educator and expert in health literacy; plain language; patient counseling and patient adherence with medications. Her professional career has been devoted to developing patient information programs and materials for patients, employees, and consumers so they receive the information they need to make informed decisions about their health care and medication use.

She is founder and President of Consumer Health Information Corporation, a full-service patient education company which, since 1983, has developed highly successful patient education programs to help bridge the gap between health professionals, pharmaceutical companies, patients and consumers. For more information, click here.


Dr. Smith’s mission has stayed the same throughout her career: To serve the patient because the “patient is the most important member of the health team. The patient decides if, how and when to take medicine. Without enough information, consumers will continue to make serious home medication errors. With high quality information, consumers will be able to manage their medications safely.” 

Dr. Smith has focused her career on helping patients since the early days of her clinical practice.  Patients were suffering unnecessarily from side effects and some patients died because they did not know how to manage their medications.  To read the full story on how Dr. Smith worked with patients, physicians,national pharmacy organizations in Canada and the United States and national consumer organizations and pharmaceutical companies, click here.

Patient Education Programs that Increase Patient Adherence and Treatment Outcomes

Dr. Smith is an expert in the development of patient information programs on prescription drugs, medical devices and disease management that increase patient adherence. She is a specialist in health literacy,plain language and patient comprehension so that the average person will be able to understand the patient information. A clinical pharmacist with a specialty in drug information, Dr. Smith has experience identifying and integrating patient adherence research findings that have been proven to help patients overcome specific barriers that can be expected to occur with a specific medication or patient population.

Her experience ranges from working with medical, marketing, medical device, legal and regulatory experts in the development of patient information that meets FDA requirements to developing “patient-friendly” informed consent documents for clinical trials; FDA-approved Patient Package Inserts (PPIs); complete patient education programs for product launches for pharmaceutical companies; development of a patient adherence strategy for a product that can be incorporated into a company’s marketing plan; development of counseling tools for physicians and pharmacists that will save health professionals tims in counseling, as well as a variety of newsletters and programs for corporations to help their employees obtain the maximum benefit from their treatments and decrease overall health care costs. The company’s patient information programs have won many national and international awards for excellence in patient education and DTC programs.

Clinical Expertise in Pharmacy and Medicine

Dr. Smith has an outstanding background in academia and clinical pharmacy practice. She received the Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy (Great Distinction) degree from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, and received the highest academic standing in the national pharmacy licensure examinations. She was awarded the Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Cincinnati with a specialty in drug information and patient counseling.

Based on her real life interactions with patients in clinical practice settings, Dr. Smith developed one of the first ambulatory patient counseling programs in which patients received private counseling from a pharmacist every time they received a prescription. Unique counseling techniques were developed for use in teaching patients how to manage their medications, including side effects, so they could receive the most benefit from the therapy. Her extensive clinical experience has convinced her that consumers hold the key to controlling health care costs. The only way a medication can be cost-effective is to provide patients with all the information they need to make wise decisions while taking prescription medications.

Patient Adherence Expert and High ROI

At the outset of Dr. Smith’s career, she recognized the need for a clinical reference guide that translated medical terminology about medications into language patients could understand. Based on her clinical expertise and groundbreaking research in patient education, she developed the Medication Guide for Patient Counseling.

Designed to make it easier for health professionals to counsel patients, the work became a required textbook in many schools of pharmacy and medicine in the U.S. and Canada. Recognizing that patients still needed patient information they could take home with them, Dr. Smith created patient information leaflets on the most commonly prescribed prescription medications. These leaflets give pharmacists and doctors a new and effective patient counseling tool to help improve patient adherence.

Patient education programs developed by Consumer Health Information Corporation have increased patient adherence more than 50% and increased product sales dramatically with a very high ROI (return on investment).

Patient Advocate

Dr. Smith is a strong patient advocate and has appeared on hundreds of television and radio programs across the country to increase consumer awareness of their important role in prescription drug therapy. She has been interviewed and quoted on patient adherence and education topics in numerous publications, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, Woman’s World, and Cosmopolitan.

Internationally regarded as a patient information authority and patient advocate, Dr. Smith has delivered more than 200 addresses to professional, regulatory, government, and consumer audiences in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.


Dr. Smith is a recognized authority on the use of prescription and nonprescription medications. She has published 130 papers and is the author of 23 books that provide consumers with clinically accurate, easy-to-understand advice on how to use their medications effectively. These books include the best-selling Understanding Prescription Drugs (Simon & Schuster) and Understanding Canadian Prescription Drugs (Key Porter Books), both of which have been endorsed by national pharmacy associations.

Dr. Smith has also written a number of books for health professional, including the Pharmacist’s Therapeutic Reference, Medication Guide for Patient Counseling, and the Patient Counseling Resource. Dr. Smith presently writes and produces the popular newsletters, Patient Education Update SM and Taking Control of Your MedicinesSM

Educator and Policy Advisor

Dr. Smith has held academic appointments in schools of pharmacy and medicine throughout her career. She is committed to helping students learn how to effectively counsel patients and her company is presently affiliated with more than 30 Schools of Pharmacy in the United States. Dr. Smith is a distinguished practitioner-member of the National Academies of Practice (NAP). She also has served on many national professional committees, several elected terms to the Board of Directors of the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE), National Board of Advisors for the University of Arizona, College of Pharmacy; Dean’s Advisory Council, College of Pharmacy, University of Cincinnati; and is a founding member of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP).

The company continues to do pro bono work for many audiences and its teaching programs for students in pharmacy, medication and business are exemplary and one-of-a-kind in the United States and probably worldwide.


2008 100 Most Inspiring People in the Life-Sciences Industry, PharmaVOICE magazine 2008
2007 100 Alumni of Influence, University of Saskatchewan for contributions to society
2006 Global Awards Finalist for Patient Education Program (International Competition)
2004 Gold Award, National Health Information Awards for Patient Mentor Program (USA Competition)
2004 Honorary Life Membership Award From Canadian Pharmacists Association
2003 The Honorable Paul G. Rogers/National Council on Patient Information Medication Communicator Award
2003 Gold Award, National Health Information Awards for Patient Transplant Program (USA Competition)
2003 Robert J. DeSalvo Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Cincinnati for health literacy
2001 University of Cincinnati Master Alumni Award for leadership in business and pharmacy

Program Affiliations

  • American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
  • American College of Clinical Pharmacy
  • American Pharmacists Association
  • American Society of Consultant Pharmacists
  • American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
  • Canadian Pharmacists Association
  • Drug Information Association
  • European Society of Clinical Pharmacy
  • International Pharmaceutical Federation
  • National Council on Patient Information and Education
  • Ontario College of Pharmacists
  • Saskatchewan Pharmaceutical Association