2012 Next Generation Pharmacist Awards: Meet the Finalists

Author: Eileen Oldfield, Associate Editor


The 2012 finalists in 10 categories are revealed. The 2012 awards program by Pharmacy Times and Parata Systems, now in its third year, recognizes the leaders and innovators in the profession.


To skip to the nominees for a given category, click on the appropriate link below.

Rising Star of the Year
Entrepreneur of the Year
Civic Leader of the Year
Technology Innovator of the Year
Patient Care Provider of the Year
Military Pharmacist of the Year
Long-Term Care Pharmacist of the Year
Technician of the Year
Future Pharmacist of the Year
Lifetime Achievement

Rising Star of the YearRising Star of the Year



Monica Arora, PharmD

Rutgers University/Daiichi Sankyo
Morris Plains, NJ

Her career has spanned hospital pharmacy and the pharmaceutical industry, but caring for patients has been a constant for Monica Arora.

Dr. Arora began her career after graduating with honors from an accelerated 3-year PharmD program at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Science. Her desire to work directly with patients brought her to Mount Sinai Hospital in Chicago, where she learned several different aspects of hospital pharmacy.

During her time at Mount Sinai, Dr. Arora implemented a color-coded system for insulin vials to reduce dosing errors in the pharmacy, and served as a preceptor to pharmacy students from Midwestern University and the University of Illinois. Within 6 months, Dr. Arora was discussing chemotherapy regimens, interactions, and recommendations with the hospital’s cancer patients, at the request of the chief oncologist. Dr. Arora later organized monthly multidisciplinary chemotherapy work sessions meant to develop team expertise at chemotherapy administration.

At Holy Cross Hospital in Chicago, Dr. Arora set a pharmacy record for lowest costs by implementing standardized processes and by finding new opportunities for efficiency. In addition, Dr. Arora worked to create easy-to-read dosage forms for physicians and nurses that would improve turnaround times, ultimately creating 15 medication protocol order forms for physicians and nurses. She also drafted clinical interventions to record patients’ allergic reactions, drug interactions, and dosing rationales.

To reach patients in the community, Dr. Arora organized an informational drug fair for Chicago’s South Side community that included prescreening for cardiovascular and metabolic disorders.

A chance meeting with an oncology medical science liaison from a pharmaceutical company led Dr. Arora to the industry sector, and prompted her toward a 2-year post-doctoral fellowship at Rutgers University in New Jersey. During her fellowship, she helped develop an internal website to share oncology resources and relevant news, analyzed payer and provider gaps, and interpreted new research.

Through Daiichi Sankyo’s sponsorship of an innercity high school, Dr. Arora volunteers at a quarterly Pharmacy Day. The program led one student, whom Dr. Arora mentored, to enroll in pharmacy school.

She is currently a market researcher for Oncology at Daiichi Sankyo through the fellowship program, where her training as an oncology clinical pharmacist allows her to offer input on unmet diagnostic needs, therapeutic agents, and medications within a hospital formulary.


Zachary Marcum, PharmD
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA

Although he graduated with his PharmD degree in 2008, Zachary Marcum deftly straddles the worlds of pharmacy and medicine, forging a unique career path that focuses on clinical topics important to both disciplines.

Recognizing the importance of drug-related problems in older adults during residency training at Richard L. Rodugebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis, Dr. Marcum focused his clinical and research activities on that population. He hopes to become an independently funded investigator and research leader with an expertise in measuring and reducing medication problems in older adults.

His experience led him to complete a post-doctoral research fellowship in geriatric research while earning his Master of Science in Clinical Research from the University of Pittsburgh, which he received in 2011. In the summer of 2011, Dr. Marcum became an assistant professor focusing on geriatrics in the Department of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, the post he currently holds. He also conducts pharmacoepidemiologic research on chronic disease management, drugrelated problems, and medical adherence in older adults in the University of Pittsburgh’s Clinical and Translational Science PhD program.

Despite arriving at the University of Pittsburgh less than 3 years ago, Dr. Marcum has proved himself to be extremely prolific. Currently, he has 7 research manuscripts either published or in press, 1 research manuscript in preparation, 10 review articles published or in press, 1 review article in preparation, and 2 book articles in press.

In addition, Dr. Marcum’s research has been published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, Pain Medicine, The Journals of Gerontology, The American Journal of Managed Care, and The Journal of Pharmacy Practice. He has also published reviews in The Annals of Long-Term Care, The American Journal of Geriatric Pharmacotherapy, and Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension. His speaking experiences include local, national, and international meetings, including the American Geriatrics Society Annual Meeting and the European Union Geriatric Medicine Society Meeting.

Dr. Marcum is a member of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, the American Geriatrics Society, the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, the Gerontological Society of America, and the International Society for Pharmacoepidemiology. His honors include several scholarships, awards from the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and Mylan Pharmaceuticals, and the University of Pennsylvania’s Outstanding Thesis in Clinical Research Award.


LT Ian Waugh
Naval Branch Health Clinic
Mayport Pharmacy Services Mayport, FL

Many patients who have received care from Naval Medical Center Portsmouth in recent years have come in contact with a division or department that has been handled and improved by LT Ian Waugh.

In his 4 years as a Naval pharmacist, LT Waugh has worked in inpatient, outpatient, and deployed pharmacy environments, typically taking roles reserved for Lieutenant Commander or commander-level pharmacy officers. His division includes 50 personnel spread over active duty, civil service, and contracted areas, each with its own set of rules and guidelines.

LT Waugh’s duties have included managing one of the busiest outpatient pharmacies in the Department of Defense, coordinating 5 pharmacies while deployed, and serving as department head at the Navy’s second largest base.

LT Waugh presented his methodology on local best business practices to the Department of Defense Pharmacoeconomic Center, which in turn provided improvement information for other military pharmacies for a potential $1.2 million in savings. His work with emergency department personnel helped implement a fast-track prescription process to provide expedited pharmacy services for patients with legitimate urgent needs.

A connection to technology trends also led LT Waugh to implement a Tele-Pharmacy program to permit technician-only pharmacies that operate with pharmacist supervision and real-time video counseling for patients. In addition, LT Waugh led an important project for queuing automation at Navy pharmacies in his geographic area that will allow the Navy to gather patient demand data in that area.

Despite a 2011 deployment to Camp Arifjan in Kuwait, LT Waugh received the Junior Medical Service Officer of the Year Award. He was also recognized as the team leader on the pharmacy team that won the Command’s 2010 Best of the Best Award for outstanding customer service. He is also active in the NMCP MSC Association as a member of the education committee.

In addition to his duties in the pharmacy, LT Waugh works with a community volunteer group that coordinates with the Navy Relief Society to assist people in need. He has been a guest lecturer at Old Dominion University, is an assistant pack leader for a Cub Scout den, and coaches 2 soccer teams.

LT Waugh holds a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from the University of Idaho, and a master’s degree in public health and informatics from the University of Illinois Chicago. He currently serves as the department head for ancillary services at Branch Health Clinic.

Entrepreneur of the Year Entrepreneur of the Year



Mike Hoar, RPh
Foster’s Pharmacy
Mount Vernon, OH

Continually finding new ways to grow and offer patient care is a constant for Mike Hoar of Foster’s Pharmacy.

Although Foster’s Pharmacy has been in business for many years, and Hoar has been a pharmacist there since 1990, the business has modified to meet patient needs and compete with larger chains. The pharmacy has expanded to 3 locations since Hoar bought it, filling 500 to 550 prescriptions in its original location.

In addition, the original location offers an independent, in-store clinic staffed by 2 nurse practitioners. The clinic has increased patient care offerings while also increasing business at the pharmacy. “It’s a great service for our patients and it helps bring us business, too,” Hoar said.

Hoar embraces new trends in pharmacy, such as medication therapy management, which is offered in the pharmacy’s private consultation room, as well as stocking durable medical equipment. Its stock of medical equipment often has neighboring chain pharmacies referring patients to Foster’s for equipment needs.

At Foster’s Pharmacy, patient communication extends beyond regular pharmacy hours and even beyond the pharmacy doors. Hoar has embraced social media to appeal to various patient demographics, so the pharmacy is active on Facebook, Twitter, and other media sources, broadening its reach. Hoar also serves on 5 community boards, including the CareNet pregnancy board, the Station Break Senior Citizens board, and the American Cancer Society local board, and hosts a 15-minute radio call-in show where he answers patient questions.

Hoar embraces new approaches to pharmacy duties, particularly after seeing a 40% increase in prescription volume between 2007 and 2012. “At one point, we were hiring so many people we were tripping over each other behind the counter,” he said. Rather than hire additional staff and add to the overcrowding, Hoar opted for automated pharmacy technology for half his prescription volume.

Hoar is a graduate of Ohio State University and the University of Toledo, where he earned his pharmacy degree. He worked at Medical Arts Pharmacy, a local independent pharmacy in Mount Vernon before moving to Peoples Drug. After Rite Aid purchased Peoples Drug, Hoar remained there for a year before taking his post at Foster’s Pharmacy. Second and third Foster’s Pharmacy locations opened in 1996 and 2006, and Hoar purchased the original Foster’s Pharmacy location in 2007.

Foster’s Pharmacy received an Exceptional Growth award from McKesson in 2011.


David Kohll, PharmD
Kohll’s Pharmacy and Homecare
Omaha, NE


In his years at his family’s pharmacy practice, David Kohll has served as a delivery driver, janitor, information technology guru, and medical equipment salesman. His role as a pharmacist is his favorite, because it allows him to help patients and improve the company.

Kohll’s Pharmacy and Homecare, which opened in 1948, has 10 locations throughout Nebraska, Iowa, and Colorado. Dr. Kohll’s expansion into new pharmacy realms began as early as the 1980s and 1990s, when the company began offering oxygen and mobility devices. Dr. Kohll was particularly instrumental in founding the company’s compounding lab, Essential Pharmacy Compounding, in 1992 for patients on fertility medication, hormone replacement therapy, and other therapies. The compounding service also handles veterinary compounding.

Dr. Kohll’s focus on health care began earlier than modern trends as well, when he removed sales of cigarettes and liquor from Kohll’s locations in 1994. The locations now offer free community health screenings for osteoporosis, cholesterol, diabetes, venous deficiency, and respiratory disease, as well as mastectomy product open houses. Kohll’s also offers medical equipment that ranges from mobility equipment and home and vehicle modifications to respiratory equipment and nutritional feeding equipment. Its vaccination clinics expanded to include travel vaccinations, such as yellow fever and Japanese encephalitis.

The pharmacy has also expanded to new markets, offering wheelchair equipment and vehicle lifts in 2005. For patients who needed to remain in wheelchairs while in vehicles, the pharmacy offers wheelchair vans for purchase or rent.

In 2008, Dr. Kohll opened the Preventative Medical Clinic of Kohll’s, which provides bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, medically supervised weight loss programs, and other aesthetic services. The clinic services were popular enough for the pharmacy to open a second clinic in 2011.

Dr. Kohll has served on the Durable Medical Equipment Advisory Committee for Medicare, and as a member of the Emergency Response Team. He is currently a member of the Creighton University Alumni Board for the School of Pharmacy and Applied Health, serving as chairman of the board’s development committee. He is also an associate professor at Creighton University and the University of Nebraska Medical Center School of Pharmacy. He is pharmacy preceptor with the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and coordinates an education program for UNMC’s Pediatric and Internal Medicine residents.


Joseph Moose, PharmD
Moose Pharmacy
Concord, NC


Joseph Moose grew up in his family’s business, and the fourth-generation pharmacist has expanded on the innovative practice models at Moose Drug Company. His experience and training focuses on entrepreneurship, professional service, and educational development.

After receiving his PharmD from Campbell University School of Pharmacy in 1990, Dr. Moose began his career at the family business. Within his first year there, Dr. Moose began offering patientcentered care, starting by working with a physician to educate a patient on prescription medication.

In addition to his duties as a pharmacist, Dr. Moose has worked as a nursing home consultant and a clinical pharmacist within a diabetes clinic, and he also serves as director of clinical services with the Southern Piedmont Community Care Plan.

In 2001, Dr. Moose became the first independent pharmacy partner in the University of North Carolina’s Eshelman School of Pharmacy Community Pharmacy Residency Program. Dr. Moose increased the number of PGY1 residents at Moose Pharmacies in 2009, and added mentoring PGY2 residents.

Dr. Moose recently began implementing a specialty pharmacy, and is also a consultant to the North Carolina Medicaid program. He maintains professional affiliations with the National Association of Community Pharmacists, American Pharmacists Association, and the North Carolina Association of Pharmacists. Within North Carolina, Dr. Moose has served as chairperson of the North Carolina Medicaid Drug Utilization Reviews, and has participated on the North Carolina Medicaid P&T Advisory Board since 2005. Within NCPA, Dr. Moose has contributed to advisory boards on medication therapy management development. He has also completed in diabetes, hypertension, asthma, medication therapy management, and immunization certificate programs.

Dr. Moose is active in his community, serving as the fund-raising chairperson for the Boy Scouts of America, and volunteering at the Free Clinic of Cabarrus County. He supports the Hospice of Cabarrus County, the Hospice of Stanly County, Eastern Cabarrus County Historical Society, the Cabarrus County Department of Aging, and the Salvation Army. The pharmacy also supports local youth sports and the Hincapie–Coca-Cola Elite Cycling Team.

The North Carolina Association of Pharmacists recognized Dr. Moose as the Young Pharmacist of the Year in 2000, and as the Community Pharmacist of the Year in 2008. He has also been awarded Campbell University School of Pharmacy’s M. Keith Fearing Jr. Community Pharmacy Practice Award.


Civic Leader of the YearCivic Leader of the Year



Peter Crouch, RPh, CCP
Eden Drug
Eden, NC

Peter Crouch’s commitment to serving his community and his patients is reflected in the investments he makes every day, which range from the monetary to the professional to the personal.

A pharmacist since 1976, Crouch began working at Eden Drug in 2001 and assumed ownership of the pharmacy 6 years ago. A busy pharmacy, Eden Drug handles 500 to 600 prescriptions per day, and reached the 1,000,000 mark in 2010. Crouch provides as many services as possible, including drug testing for local businesses and educating the community about healthy lifestyles. Employing quality control measures such as customer surveys and secret shoppers, Crouch works to make sure that the pharmacy continues to meet the evolving needs of the community.

Crouch also offers his patients unique travel-related services to help ensure their good health, even outside of their North Carolina community. In fact, one of the guiding mottos of Crouch’s pharmacy is, “Vaccine here, stay safe there.” Currently, Eden Drug is the only pharmacy in North Carolina to administer the yellow fever vaccine, and Crouch has helped provide vaccination services to patients traveling to various locations abroad, including South America, Afghanistan, and Africa.

Another way in which Crouch demonstrates civic leadership is by encouraging members of the Eden Drug staff to give back to the community. The “Golden Egg” project rewards employees for providing supplies or food donations to different charitable organizations, including the American Red Cross, Cooperative Christian Ministries, and Lord’s Pantry.

Crouch also spearheads an innovative “spread the wealth” initiative designed to support the local economy. Inspired by the idea that 70% of money spent locally directly benefits the community, Crouch distributed $2000 in specially stamped $2 bills to each of his 35 employees. The initiative stipulates that the employees must spend the money locally without paying bills and give at least 10% to charity. The stamps allow Crouch to track the bills as they make their way through the community. Employees explain the initiative when they are asked about the currency.

In 2011, Eden Drug won the Member of the Year Award from the local Chamber of Commerce. Eden Drug also recently won the Reader’s Choice Award of Rockingham Country for the fourth year in a row. Crouch is a board member of the Eden Chamber of Commerce, trustee on the Board of Morehead Memorial Hospital, a pharmacist consultant for Hospice of Rockingham County since 1995, and a member of the North Carolina Association of Pharmacists.


Kenneth Fletcher, PharmD
Safeway, Inc
Thatcher, AZ


Despite a 21-year career in banking and finance, Kenneth’s Fletcher’s goal was always practicing community pharmacy in a rural setting to help people improve their quality of life.

Dr. Fletcher received his PharmD from Midwestern University’s College of Pharmacy in Glendale in May 2010, 7 years after his decision to return to school. His first position after college was as a pharmacist at Safeway, which he began in August 2010. One year later, Dr. Fletcher became pharmacy manager at the Thatcher Safeway, where he oversees a pharmacist and 5 certified pharmacy technicians.

An advocate of the positive impact pharmacy can have on patients, Dr. Fletcher often focuses on methods of reaching more people, as well as emphasizing pharmacists as the most accessible health care professionals. Living in a smaller community allows him to see patients during their everyday lives, rather than just from behind the pharmacy counter, and offers myriad opportunities for health counseling.

Dr. Fletcher also encourages high standards of care from his staff. As the medication provider for all hospice patients in his county, his staff often offers sympathy and a friendly face to the families of patients in hospice care.

Shortly after moving to Thatcher, Dr. Fletcher joined the Graham County Substance Abuse Coalition, bringing pharmacist expertise to activities on prescription drug abuse. The force, which is composed of behavioral health workers, law enforcement, probation and jail staff, educators, medical personnel, recovering addicts, and concerned community members, has a mission to educate the community about substance abuse. As the only pharmacist in the coalition, Dr. Fletcher often presents to the community on prescription drug abuse, and has become a go-to person for local media.

Dr. Fletcher served on the Eastern Arizona College GIFT program advisory board, which governs high school juniors and seniors completing pharmacy technician training.

Dr. Fletcher received the American Pharmacists Association Good Government Student Pharmacist of the Year award in 2010, prior to graduation. He ran for an elected position with the Arizona Pharmacy Association after graduation, receiving a 2-year term as southeast district director. Dr. Fletcher coordinates information and activities for pharmacists and pharmacy staff in the 5 counties in southeast Arizona. He cosponsored a training meeting for law enforcement officers, pharmacies, and doctors offices in 6 Arizona counties that covered the state’s prescription monitoring database.


Shauna Markes-Wilson, RPh
Walgreens Pharmacy
Buford, GA


Shauna Markes-Wilson’s primary goal is to provide the best patient outcome, regardless of whether the patients visit her pharmacy or a competitor’s. Her belief that it is her duty to exhaust all resources to help patients’ in her community has her finding ways support patients’ health needs.

Currently a registered store manager at Walgreens Pharmacy in Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, a post she took in 2009, Markes-Wilson built a service-driven pharmacy that provides a bedside medication delivery program. She also organizes and teaches a pharmacy technician certification class to prepare students for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board exam.

Markes-Wilson developed and managed the patient bedside delivery program to ensure a smooth transition from hospital to home. The program integrates counseling from experienced pharmacists who ensure patients or caregivers receive their medication and any dosing instructions.

Markes-Wilson received a BSPharm from St. John’s University in 1997. In 2000, she joined Walgreens as a store manager and district emerging leader for pharmacies located in New York and New Jersey. During her time there, Markes-Wilson managed a 24-hour pharmacy and assisted the district pharmacy supervisor in overseeing pharmacy operations.

Knowing that access to medication can be an issue for many patients, particularly those who are chronically and critically ill or who are uninsured, underinsured, or have high out-of-pocket expenses, MarkesWilson works with patients to find manufacturer, patient, and copay assistance. She helps patients find funding from foundations, including offering assistance with funding applications.

Her commitment to her community has led to involvement in several nonprofit organizations, such as Hearts Everywhere Reaching Out for Children, Inc, which works with children infected with or affected by HIV and AIDS. Markes-Wilson also volunteers at the organization’s Camp High Five program, a weeklong summer camp, securing a $7500 donation from Walgreens to support the program. Advocacy work has secured donations of backpacks, school supplies, tuberculosis testing medication, first aid kits, and pill packs, as well as recruiting additional volunteers.

Markes-Wilson has also presented at a nonprofit organization’s retreats for HIV-positive women, encouraging women to focus on medication adherence and compliance. She is actively involved in AID Atlanta, which strives to reduce new HIV infections, volunteering for programs to help reduce the barriers to medical care and to improve health.

Technology Innovator of the YearTechnology Innovator of the Year



Mark Gagnon, PharmD
Via Christi Health
Wichita, KS


Mark Gagnon is using technology to answer health care needs and a shortage of pharmacists in underserved areas of rural Kansas.

The retail and hospital pharmacist saw opportunities for technology for rural hospitals in 2006, prompting him to launch a remote-order entry company. The company allowed registered pharmacists to remotely enter incoming prescriptions in the hospital computer system, alleviating the strain from a shortage of hospital pharmacists. The company, Frontier Pharmacy Services, was later acquired by Via Christi Health Systems, the largest health system administrator in the state.

Following the acquisition, Dr. Gagnon served as clinical pharmacist and IT pharmacist, handling both traditional health-systems pharmacy tasks and tasks related to remote operations. He was later promoted to e-pharmacy director, where his tasks included developing and implementing remote order entry programs and a telepharmacy system.

His work led to the development of a virtual desktop that allows pharmacists to access the system from any location. The use of technology has connected 11 rural Kansas hospitals, which would normally rely on a local retail pharmacist to review medication orders with licensed hospital pharmacists. The pharmacists, who are also licensed in Kansas, reside anywhere in the state to Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Oregon.

An e-training program allows Dr. Gagnon to train e-pharmacists, without either party leaving their home state. The e-training encompasses medication reviews and patient care and safety, which many hospitals and patients did not have access to on a daily basis. In a Kansas hospital that cares for fewer than 15 new patients per day, the team documented approximately 20 medication interventions in a month, including drug interactions, duplicate therapy, and dosage adjustments.

Dr. Gagnon collaborated with the Kansas State Board of Pharmacy to develop regulations that permit electronic supervision of pharmacy technicians, if a pharmacist is unable to be on site. The regulations were adopted in September 2011.

In addition to his innovations in e-pharmacy, Dr. Gagnon helped establish a bedside bar-code scanning system at a Kansas hospital to reduce medication errors.

Dr. Gagnon holds a BSPharm and a PharmD, both from the University of Kansas Lawrence. He has been recognized with the Kansas Pharmacy Association’s Outstanding Service Award in 1995 and its Innovative Pharmacist of the Year award in 2007. The Wichita Business Journal recognized Dr. Gagnon as a Health Care Hero in the field of Innovations in 2011.


Chad Hardy, PharmD
RX Point/Jackson Pharmacy Professionals
The Woodlands, TX


Pharmacy runs in Chad Hardy’s family, and his focus is using technology to improve pharmacy operations whether through electronic medication records or other means.

While at the University of Texas, Dr. Hardy’s interest in technology led him to explore ways to improve the College of Pharmacy’s performance, an effort that launched the college’s first Windows-based pharmacy networking system. After obtaining his PharmD degree in 2000, Dr. Hardy began his career in the United States Navy, where he managed inpatient pharmacy operation at a naval hospital and oversaw $25 million budget and 38 employees. His interest in technology had him implementing $2.8 million in automated medication system upgrades to improve performance, and also had him leading a task force aimed at reducing medication errors within the facility.

Through his efforts, one of the first intervention programs that used personal digital assistants launched in Virginia military hospitals, and allowed pharmacists working in the hospitals to document intervention activities in real time. The program increased incident reporting by more than 200%.

His interest in the design and implementation of clinical systems prompted him to obtain an MS in information technology from Capella University in 2005, while he also worked as a strategic accounts manager at McKesson. His experience at McKesson allowed Dr. Hardy to assist hospitals in designing, building, implementing, and training hospital staffs on the McKesson hospital system.

Dr. Hardy later transitioned to the Harris County Hospital District, leading the pharmacy informatics team in installing and integrating electronic medical records into existing hospital operations. His operations extend to inpatient hospital pharmacies throughout the country, as well as outpatient pharmacies, and his accomplishments include the building, designing, training, support, and maintenance of systems.

Dr. Hardy published several articles on technology in pharmacy practice, as well as computerized physician order entry guidelines and bar-code administration guidelines. He is also an author of the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists’ The Pharmacy Informatics Primer.

Dr. Hardy has served on the Executive Committee of the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists Section of Pharmacy Informatics and Technology, where he served as subcommittee chairman from 2009 to 2010. He helped create publications, public comments, and presentations to teach and inform pharmacists about technology.


Stephen Vogt, PharmD
BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy
Altamonte Springs, FL


For Stephen Vogt, technology was a natural way to increase patient focus and ensure proper treatment and better outcomes. During his 34-year career, Dr. Vogt has found ways to improve his practice through technology, whether with mechanical or computer innovations or by bringing health care to patients’ homes.

Dr. Vogt earned his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Mercer University in Atlanta in 1982, and completed an American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists post-doctoral residency in metabolic support. His experience in the program allowed him to practice as a clinical pharmacist in metabolic support in Florida Hospital, where he saw a need for total parenteral nutrition patients to be treated at home.

He founded his homecare infusion pharmacy, InfusionCare, Inc, in 1984. InfusionCare provided intravenous medications in patients’ homes to fulfill the special needs of certain patient populations. The company expanded to a national level, with 38 centers that employed more than 400 employees, before Dr. Vogt sold the business in 1989.

Dr. Vogt’s business ventures expanded in the mid- 1990s, when he created his own specialty pharmacy model that included individual pharmaceutical care plans for each patient. The plans allowed patients to ensure that their biological medications had the best possible outcomes.

The company, BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy Services, Inc, employs a staff of 100 to serve tens of thousands of patients with chronic diseases while using technology to improve outcomes. It currently serves more than 22,000 patients with hepatitis C, hemophilia, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and Crohn’s disease. The company reports a 91% compliance rate with medication regimens, compared with a 50% compliance rate for retail and mail-order pharmacies.

Technology innovations include an application for prescribers, Therapy Access Portal, that gives immediate access to the patient’s pharmacy chart. Prescribers can also see information about patient compliance, refills, drug profile reviews, and pharmacy intervention. The application can also be used to e-prescribe and uses a direct electronic transmission to connect the prescriber with BioPlus.

Dr. Vogt has served as a founding board member for the Florida Association of Nutritional Support and the president of the Florida Association of Nutritional Support. He has also served on the Government Affairs Committee of the American Society of HealthSystem Pharmacists’ Home Care sector. He has served as a total parenteral nutrition consultant to the Health Care Financing Administration.

Patient Care Provider of the YearPatient Care Provider of the Year



Tracey Cole, RPh
Holyoke Health Center
Holyoke, MA


Tracey Cole fosters a team feeling between pharmacists, nurses, physicians, and patients that advances traditional pharmacy to a primary care service that is integrated into health center procedures.

Currently pharmacy director at Holyoke Health Center Pharmacy, Cole oversees a state-of-the-art $340 billion community pharmacy serving a lowincome Latino community of about 23,000 patients. Although she provides services in line with pharmacy practice standards, Cole noticed the opportunity to depart from a traditional pharmacy model and collaborate with medical and administrative staff.

As a result, Cole has developed pharmacy and medication therapy management programs to address needs of the high-risk, low-literate community. Like most patients at the health center, the high-risk population speaks only Spanish, leading Cole to create consultation teams of pharmacy, nursing, and patient navigators to support patient needs.

The team-oriented care model permitted a better flow of information and greater access to patient support services. Because many patients who visit the center are considered high risk, with an average of 8 chronic medical conditions and 12 maintenance medications, the collaborative practice allows for better understanding between providers and patients. In addition, pharmacy staff is engaged in hospital admissions and discharge planning to monitor pharmaceutical care at all stages of the hospital process.

Many of the Holyoke Health Center’s patients speak only Spanish; Cole implemented systems to ensure accurate pharmacy communications. The system applies to in-office communications, pharmacy counter activities, and specialist and hospital information transfers, ensuring cost-effective medication management and an avoidance of adverse outcomes. Technology plays a large role in implementing many of the pharmacy practices and procedures. Innovations include robots, will-call systems, and blister packaging, despite their usual absence from a primary care setting.

Cole is also a faculty member of the federal Patient Safety and Clinical Pharmacy Services Collaborative. The program allows her to train other health centers nationwide as they adopt similar pharmacy practice initiatives.

Cole has also received the FDA’s Office of Women’s Health Education Protocol Award in 2010. She has been recognized with performance awards from Holyoke Health Center, and received an alumni achievement award from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in 2007 as well as grants from the University of Massachusetts Holyoke Health Center and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts.


Marty Feltner, PharmD
Kohll’s Pharmacy and Homecare
Omaha, NE


Marty Feltner’s drive to ensure better patient care has led him to host vaccination clinics and cholesterol and diabetes screenings, coordinate with physicians on patient care, and invest in systems to meet his patients’ specific needs.

Dr. Feltner advocates decreasing disease burden, whether for his patients or staff. As a community pharmacist at Kohll’s Pharmacy and Homecare since 1999, Dr. Feltner has offered vaccination clinics centered on international travel, as well as planned and hosted free diabetes and cholesterol screenings.

His Corporate Wellness program, which initially began in his local location, spread to other locations within Kohll’s Pharmacy. In addition, a Show and Tell Prescription Delivery method, which Dr. Feltner implemented in all Kohll’s locations, increases communication between pharmacists and patients and offers an avenue for pharmacist counseling.

To accommodate his visually impaired patients, Dr. Feltner incorporated ScriptTalk Talking labels into pharmacy operations. The labels, which are read aloud when placed within an inch of a special reader, ensure patients have the correct medications and reinforce the dosage indication.

Dr. Feltner also works with Medicare and Medicaid enrollees through Kohll’s in his role as pharmacy provider for Medicaid’s Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. The program allows Dr. Feltner to work alongside physicians and patients to reduce medication errors while also increasing cost savings.

In addition to his work in the pharmacy, Dr. Feltner is a national vaccine speaker for Merck Pharmaceuticals, a post he undertook after a beloved pharmacy patient died from complications due to a vaccine-preventable disease. As a vaccine speaker, Dr. Feltner visits pharmacists throughout the nation to speak about the importance of vaccines. His presentations focus on shingles, pneumonia, flu, and other adult vaccines, as well as covering the basics of planning a pharmacy-based vaccination program. In addition to traditional vaccines, Dr. Feltner also concentrates on travel vaccinations, drawing on his successful clinics in Nebraska.

Dr. Feltner received the 2005 Nebraska Innovative Pharmacist of the Year Award, the 2008 Creighton University Young Alumni Achievement Award, and the 2012 American Pharmacists Association Immunization Champion National Award for Individual Practitioners.

He is a distinguished member of the Pharmacy Academic Counsel for International Travel Medicine, and works with approximately 12 rotational pharmacy students each year as an associate professor at Creighton University School of Pharmacy.


Robert Nickell, RPh
Nickell Physician and Pharmacy Services
Torrance, CA


As the role of the pharmacist has continued to evolve over the decades, Robert Nickell has always been at the frontlines of the changes in pharmacy practice.

Since purchasing his first pharmacy just a year after graduating from pharmacy school, Nickell has diversified his talents to include mail-order, retail, and compounding businesses, as well as businesses outside of pharmacy. His ventures include drug manufacturer MedChem Manfacturing, Inc, a compounding and mail-order pharmacy, Pharmco Inc, a staffing and equipment service, MISSEL INC, a billing and collection company for worker’s compensation, a medication management service to provide physicians with physician dispensaries, an online medical scrubs company geared toward fathers awaiting their child’s delivery, and a prescription drug screening company.

His expansions into the compounding field promote a greater role for pharmacists in the treatment and care of patients, while also fostering collaboration between physicians and pharmacists. The company allows physician’s offices to obtain pre-packaged medication from registered facilities for in-office dispensing. The service also provides drug–drug interaction screenings, patient drug usage, and patient history and an on-call pharmacist to answer any drug-related questions from either the patient or pharmacist.

In addition to the more traditional patient care populations he serves, Nickell has played a unique role in providing pharmaceutical services for athletes. He served on medical teams as a pharmacist during the 2004 Summer Olympics, and also ran SportPharm, the first national pharmacy service that employed pharmacists to supply and consult on medications to NBA, NFL, and college basketball teams. He is an honorary member of the National Athletic Trainers Association.

Nickell taught compounding at the University of Southern California’s School of Pharmacy, and served on the boards of the Entrepreneur Pharmacy Practice Program at the University of Pacific and the Entrepreneurs Organization of Los Angeles. In recognition of his work, he received the California Innovative Pharmacist of the Year award in 2005 and the California Pharmacist of the Year award in 2000.

In addition to his personal business success, Nickell recognizes his peers and promotes the role of the pharmacist as a founder of the California Pharmacy Hall of Fame and a founder of the Don and June Salvatori California Pharmacy Museum.

Nickell currently owns Nickell Physician and Pharmacy Services, which combines physician dispensing services, medical compounding, mail order pharmacy, health education, and other medical services.

Military Pharmacist of the YearMilitary Pharmacist of the Year



MAJ Debra Cosby, PharmD
Brooke Army Medical Center
Fort Sam, Houston, TX


MAJ Debra Cosby’s devotion to inter-professional education and collaboration furthers pharmacy practice and helps both the students she oversees and patients she treats.

Since joining the Army in the 1990s, MAJ Cosby’s experiences include hospital, outpatient, and activeduty pharmacy. Her career began with a post as a pharmacy chief at Schweinfurt Health Clinic in Germany, where she managed a budget of $1.03 million and was responsible for an outpatient pharmacy that filled 72,000 prescriptions per year. Her deployments included a chief of pharmacy post in Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo, where she handled 24-hour pharmacy operations in a combat support hospital, assisted trauma teams and educated the local community on medications.

When deployed to Qatar as pharmacy consultant to the Central Command Theater of Operations, MAJ Cosby was responsible for the procurement, distribution, and management of all medical materials as well as the management of vaccines and cold chain management of temperature-sensitive medications.

MAJ Cosby established the first PharmD psychiatric clinical practice site within the Department of the Army to treat war-related psychiatric illness in active duty service members. She is also a member of the Veterans’ Administration and Department of Defense working group that revised clinical practice guidelines for treating post-traumatic stress disorder.

MAJ Cosby later became the psychiatric consult liaison to the Institute of Surgical Research Burn Unit at Brooke Army Medical Center while also serving as chief of clinical pharmacy services. When the programs transitioned to the San Antonio Military Medical Center, MAJ Cosby oversaw the incorporation of new staff and learning experiences that included pediatrics, hematology and oncology, and burn care. MAJ Cosby and her staff are also responsible for screening approximately 2200 active duty medication profiles, and have made more than 500 individual interventions during a 3-month period.

MAJ Cosby partners with colleges of pharmacy for preceptor development and continuing education programs, particularly programs with experiential training and a focus on patient care. MAJ Cosby promotes continuing education to clinical staff, while also endorsing residency training for active duty pharmacists. A partnership with Army Medical Recruiting Command allows her to promote Army pharmacy opportunities.

MAJ Cosby has lectured on major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder at national conferences and has also provided continuing education lectures on opioids and psychotropic medications.


Jennifer Hirsh, PharmD
CAPT James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center
North Chicago, IL


The first-year success of the first Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs health center can be attributed, in part, to Naval Reserves pharmacist Jennifer Hirsh.

Dr. Hirsh began her career as an active duty Naval Pharmacy Officer at Naval Station Great Lakes in North Chicago, Illinois. A transfer to the Naval Reserves netted her a post at the CAPT James A Lovell Federal Health Care Center, which provides patient care for active duty and veteran beneficiaries.

As information technology pharmacist at the health care center, Dr. Hirsh worked with 2 separate computer systems within a facility with 2 campuses, 5 ambulatory care clinics, 5 outpatient pharmacies, an inpatient hospital, and a community living center. In addition, her responsibilities included managing $4.1 million worth of automation equipment.

Dr. Hirsh’s duties included maintaining a local drug-to-drug mapping database that contained more than 4000 line items, restructuring and standardizing medication naming procedures, and verifying quantities for more than 10,000 drug file entries. Creating a standard naming procedure for medications improved work flow for providers and pharmacy staff, while also reducing medication errors. Dr. Hirsh was also responsible for fiscal and business operations, ensuring that the health center’s mission and business plans were aligned.

In response to plans to improve medication reconciliation, Dr. Hirsh developed a health center website for her division to improve communication between pharmacy and health center staff. The site spanned departments and locations, improving communication and allowing access to pertinent pharmacy information. In addition, staff is able to access information on pharmacy formulary changes, medication recalls and back orders, medication warnings, medical necessity criteria, downtime procedures, and other information. The resource is constantly updated so that staff has access to the latest information.

Dr. Hirsh has also been responsible for implementing new pharmacy automation equipment throughout all of the health center’s divisions, a task that improves work flow. In addition, the automation technology incorporates bar-code reading technology for greater patient safety. The task required coordination between the system vendor and Veterans Administration and Department of Defense information systems personnel on the local, regional, and national levels.

In addition to her technology-oriented tasks, Dr. Hirsh provides training and education to more than 50 pharmacy staff members that cover proper system use and system benefits.


MAJ Michael Ronn, PharmD
US Army Medical Material Center Europe
Pirmasens, Germany


MAJ Michael Ronn’s background in retail pharmacy prepared him to combine his medication expertise with a strong desire to serve his country as an officer in the US Army.

MAJ Ronn began his career at an independent retail pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia, specializing in dermatologic and hormone replacement compounding. He joined the Army after 9/11 and spent 2 years as chief of inpatient pharmacy at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Washington. Since his first deployment as chief of pharmacy with the 47th Combat Support Hospital in Mosul, Iraq, in 2005, MAJ Ronn has served as pharmacy director for the Bavaria Medical Department Activity in Vilseck, Germany, and chief of the clinical advisory division and pharmacy logistics consultant at the US Army Medical Material Center in Pirmasens, Germany.

As pharmacy director at the Bavarian Medical Department Activity, MAJ Ronn managed pharmacies in 7 US Army medical treatment facilities. His focus on automation capabilities, cold chain management education, and pharmaceutical care for wounded soldiers led to significant improvement in those areas.

At his post in Pirmasens, Germany, MAJ Ronn works with registered nurses and maintenance, laboratory, and dental technicians to help customers determine their medical needs and coordinate medical material and equipment orders. He handles the requirements for pharmaceutical care to Department of Defense and Department of State organizations ranging from embassy clinics to Army medical centers and combat hospitals to Special Forces.

His responsibilities also include the Army’s Cold Chain Management program, which ships over 200 temperature-sensitive vaccines and medications per month, including more than 400,000 doses of influenza vaccine per year. During the 3 years MAJ Ronn has handled the vaccines, which are shipped to US personnel and their families in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, his planning, tracking, and management of cold-chain shipments ensured that there were no vaccine losses for any shipments.

As the US Army representative to the NATO Pharmacy Committee, MAJ Ronn works to coordinate health support systems within NATO’s Afghanistan operations, creating a greater understanding of inter-allied capabilities.

MAJ Ronn has earned the Army’s Expert Field Medical Badge, and is Airborne qualified. He has been selected to begin a pharmacy residency at Womack Army Medical Center in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in June 2012.

Long-Term Care Pharmacist of the Year Long-Term Care Pharmacist of the Year



Labinot Avdiu, PharmD
Medication Management Partners, LLC
Alsip, IL


Labinot Avdiu has 3 daily goals as director of a longterm care pharmacy: accuracy, customer service, and clinical expertise. That attitude has led him to excel in patient care, operations, and technology at Medication Management Partners in Illinois.

In his year and a half at Medication Management Partners, Dr. Avdiu has grown company operations from 200 beds in a single group home to more than 1500 beds across 20 assisted living facilities. According to Dr. Avdiu, safety problems with pharmacies often result in lost customers, so ensuring accuracy and customer service is a driving force. This led him to implement a quality assurance protocol that tracks prescriptions from the pharmacy through to delivery, ensuring documentation at each step. Errors, however, are sometimes unavoidable, leading Dr. Avdiu to create a safe environment for his team to examine the process and work to find a solution.

Dr. Avdiu strives to create a pharmacy model that incorporates technology resources and human experience to improve patient outcomes. “I challenge my pharmacists to be clinically involved to help nurses optimize efficiently in clinical services,” he said.

Dr. Avdiu emigrated to the United States from the Republic of Kosovo at age 14, leaving behind his family, childhood friends, and political turmoil. While living with his host family, Dr. Avdiu learned English and graduated from high school at age 16. Although he is close with his host family, leaving for college essentially left him on his own—but allowed him to learn to be independent, accountable for his own actions, and appreciative of achievement.

During pharmacy school at the University of Oklahoma, Dr. Avdiu secured competitive internships with both CVS and Walgreens, learning how each handled high-volume operations while ensuring patient care. His experience at the internships offered insights he would later bring to Medication Management Partners.

Dr. Avdiu graduated from the University of Oklahoma and completed his community practice residency at the Medicine Shoppe from 2004 to 2005. He attributes his success in long-term care pharmacy to his mentor at the Medicine Shoppe, Brian Jensen, who taught him long-term care is more than dispensing pills.

He then became a staff pharmacist in Illinois and an independent pharmacy manager in Chicago in 2006 and managed an outpatient pharmacy at Rush University. Dr. Avdiu is a member of the National Chain Pharmacists Association, the Independent Community Pharmacists Association, and the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists.


Bent Gay, BSPharm
Gayco Healthcare
Dublin, GA


When opening his longterm care pharmacy in 1993, Bent Gay had a simple mission: serving 4 longterm care facilities with integrity and good customer service.

Since its beginnings, the operations of Gay’s company, Gayco Healthcare, have expanded 10-fold, but the focus on quality and comprehensive care remains the same. This commitment is reflected in the company mission statement, which states that Gayco Healthcare strives “to add value to each of our longterm care facilities through our focus on quality and comprehensive resident care.”

Today, Gayco Healthcare serves more than 10 longterm care facilities, including skilled nursing, hospice, and correctional institutions. Gay strives to reduce the risk of medication errors by streamlining operations and by promoting open communication between the pharmacy and the facilities it serves. In addition, Gay promotes quality care by encouraging the use of clinical tools to ensure appropriate medication regimens and to help improve patient outcomes.

The pharmacy offers services that extend beyond the delivery of prescription medications, including pharmacist reviews, nurse medication pass reviews, and nurse regulatory reviews. The company also offers consulting and strives to maintain clear, concise, and easy-to-understand medical records.

Gayco Healthcare opened a 13,500-square-foot building to accommodate the expansion of its operations. The facilities offer a state-of-the-art IV room, stations for 22 pharmacists, and on-site day care.

Gay holds bachelor of science degrees in microbiology and pharmacy from the University of Georgia. After completing his BSPharm in 1988, Gay took a post at Bellevue Pharmacy, a local retail pharmacy. From there, he moved in 1990 to Tomlinson Pharmacy, another retail pharmacy, and purchased MBP Institutional Pharmacy in 1993. The company served 4 facilities when Gay purchased it; he later renamed the company Gayco Healthcare. The company has been recognized as one of the fastest growing businesses owned or operated by a University of Georgia alumnus in 2010, 2011, and 2012.

Gay served on the board of directors for the Laurens County Alzheimer’s Association from 1997 to 1999, and has been secretary of the Hospice of Laurens County since 1998. He served on the pharmacy technician advisory board at Heart of Georgia Technical College from 2000 to 2002, and was chairman of the Leadership Forum at Pine Forest United Methodist Church from 2009 to 2010. He has been active with the Dublin, Georgia Exchange Club, and with the Boy Scouts of America, serving as the Central Georgia council chairman in 2012.


Russ Zakarian, PharmD
Model Drug
Kingsburg, CA


According to Russ Zakarian, the key to successfully running a long-term care pharmacy is the ability to change with the times.
This philosophy is something that he has attempted to embody since purchasing retail pharmacy Model Drug in 1989. The pharmacy’s subsequent growth and expansion have led it to become one of the top long-term care providers in the San Joaquin Valley.

The history of the pharmacy’s expansion can be traced to Dr. Zakarian’s attentiveness to the needs of his community. After purchasing Model Drugs, Dr. Zakarian noticed a need for pharmaceutical care in long-term settings in his area. His services quickly expanded to include pharmacist consulting, nursing consulting, infusion therapy, and durable medical equipment sales and rental. Noticing the demand for hospice services, Dr. Zarkarian also added hospice care to Model Drug’s offerings. The original Model Drug location has been modified several times to accommodate growth and to incorporate new services, but despite all the changes, the pharmacy maintains a small town community approach to personal care.

Recent changes to his pharmacy model allowed it to incorporate technology for medication processing and delivery, IV preparation, and an automated individual medication packaging system. Dr. Zakarian also began offering an electronic MAR system to the facilities he serves to improve the process of medication passing.

Dr. Zakarian received a bachelor of science degree from California State University at Fresno in 1972, and his doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of California San Francisco in 1976. He has served as a board member and as board president of the FresnoMadera Pharmacy Association, and a member of the Board of Governors at the University of California San Francisco School of Pharmacy Alumni Association. He has also been a board member on the National Community Pharmacists Association’s Long-Term Care advisory board.

Dr. Zakarian is an assistant clinical professor in the department of clinical pharmacy at the University of California San Francisco, a post he has held since 2004. He has been a clinical preceptor for the school’s Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience since 2003.

Dr. Zakarian is a member of the California Pharmacist Association and is on the Board of Governors at the University of California San Francisco School of Pharmacy Alumni Board. He holds a fellowship from the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists.

In addition to his work with Model Drug, Dr. Zakarian is president of PharmD Consultants.

Pharmacy Technician of the YearTechnician of the Year



Michelle Earich, CPhT
The Wellington Group, LLC
Medina, OH


During her 36-year career as a pharmacy technician, Michelle Earich’s experiences span retail, hospital, home infusion, and sales, each playing an important role in forming her unique outlook on the pharmacy technician profession.

Her diverse experience helped Earich develop work flow and organizational improvements in each pharmacy market, with the aim of improving patient care and pharmacy services and promoting certified pharmacy technicians as a profession rather than a job.

As an entry-level technician at Aultman Hospital, Earich began her career filling medication carts, taking inventory of stock IV solutions before switching to community retail pharmacy after 9 years. Her work there exposed her to the management portion of pharmacy, as she undertook advertising, computer entry, billing, inventory control, and OTC ordering. In addition, she would often assist in the entry of patient information, counting, and filling prescriptions. She became a certified pharmacy technician in 2002.

In 2004, Earich had the opportunity to use her IV Technician training as an operations support specialist in an infusion pharmacy. There, she assisted the pharmacist in computer entry, including new and refill prescriptions, managed pharmacy work flow, maintained computer records, and coordinated personnel. Working with her IV technician colleagues, she assisted with the calculations necessary for IV preparations and coordinated with patients and nursing contacts. In addition, Earich served as the primary customer and nursing personnel contact, which involved handling patient supply needs and inquiries.

Her focus on care at the infusion pharmacy had her focusing on work flow improvements to streamline the infusion order process, coordinating personnel, inventory control, and home delivery of glycemic and enteral therapy. Earich also developed and implemented a program to explore patient clinical concerns that centered on communication between patients, pharmacists, nurses, and physicians and ensure followup with the appropriate health care provider.

Earich is currently a lead salesperson for The Wellington Group, LLC, a health care consulting and software solutions firm that assists hospitals in improving financial and operational performance. The post draws on her background in various health care settings, as it often has her working with chief financial officers, revenue cycle directors, health information management directors, and pharmacy directors. She is responsible for marketing and advertising, including trade shows, conferences, and publicity. Earich is also on the advisory board for a local college.


Mike Johnston, CPhT
National Pharmacy Technician Association
Spring, TX


Eliminating medication errors and advocating for the advancement of pharmacy technicians are 2 of the factors guiding Mike Johnston’s career. Those goals have led to collaborations with industry leaders, regulatory bodies, legislators, and other practitioners.

Johnston’s desire to further the voice of pharmacy technicians led him to create the National Pharmacy Technician Association (NPTA) in 1999. The group now represents 50,000 pharmacy technicians, having grown from the 3 initial members, and is the largest professional organization for pharmacy technicians in the United States and internationally.

The association is among the ways Johnston achieves his goal to bridge gaps between trade organizations, employers, government, practitioners, consumers, and the media. A noted speaker, Johnston has testified before several state legislators, advocating for regulations and formal education within his profession, including Ohio’s Emily’s Law. His experience has also led to interviews that include Reader’s Digest, Ladies’ Home Journal, and The New York Times.

Johnston’s desire to increase professional knowledge for pharmacy technicians mirrors his desire to expand his health care knowledge and skills. He holds a bachelor of science in business management and ethics from Dallas Christian College and is currently working toward a master’s of business administration at Dallas Baptist University.

Johnston is also the publisher of Today’s Technician, a trade magazine for pharmacy technicians, which is published 6 times per year and includes relevant articles and a minimum of 2 hours of accredited continuing education for pharmacy technicians.

In addition, he is a voting delegate of the United States Pharmacopeia and serves as an Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Educators (ACPE)–certified continuing professional education administrator. He is the author of several textbooks for covering calculations, career options, compounding, and other areas.

Johnston has served as a pharmacy technician, pharmacy manager, adjunct professor, and launch manager during his career. He currently serves as the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer (CEO) of NPTA, co-founder and CEO of Asyntria, Inc, and founder and CEO of Straden-Schaden, Inc. His appointments include committee memberships on the Committee of European Pharmacy Technicians and on the American Society of Association Executives.


HM1 Aaron Ocampo, CPhT
US Naval Hospital Guam
Dedo, Guam


During his time as a Hospital Corpsman 1st Class in the US Navy, Aaron Ocampo has consistently impressed superiors with his dedication to professional growth, leadership, pharmacy services, and patient care.

HM1 Ocampo began his career with an appointment as the supply pharmacy technician in Naval Hospital Guam, a post typically reserved for more senior technicians. After serving as the senior pharmacy technician of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Support Squadron in San Diego, HM1 Ocampo was deployed to Camp Korean Village and Camp Al Taqqadum, Iraq, also as a senior pharmacy technician. His duties included supervising 12 technicians and providing care to more than 3000 military personnel, Department of Defense contractors, and foreign nationals. In addition, HM1 Ocampo provided medical support for 8 explosive ordnance disposal sweeps, which recovered more than 1500 pounds of unexploded weapons and explosive remnants.

Upon returning from deployment, HM1 Ocampo transferred back to Guam, where he is currently a leading chief petty officer and senior pharmacy technician at the Naval Hospital Guam. His responsibilities include supervising 23 pharmacy technicians and assisting more than 25,000 active duty military, retirees, and beneficiaries at a 40-bed inpatient nursing service unit. HM1 Ocampo is also responsible for a $5 million hospital pharmacy budget.

His hands-on approach allowed HM1 Ocampo to proactively monitor expired medication inventory, which netted the department $300,000 in supply credits. In addition, he spearheaded an initiative to revamp the hospital’s refill storage and dispensing system and installed an automated queuing system that reduced patient wait times from 45 to 15 minutes. His attention to detail helped identify pharmacy “choke points” that led to missing medication doses, ultimately reducing incidences by 75%.

HM1 Ocampo also coordinated the island wide National Drug Take Back Initiative in 2011 and 2012, which collected more than 1000 medications. His dedication to pharmacy education led him to complete numerous Navy Knowledge Online courses, college-level courses, and industry-related courses. He holds a bachelor of science in physical therapy from Emilio Aguinaldo College, and is currently working towards a bachelor of science in health care administration from the University of Phoenix.

He has received the Admiral Letter of Commendation in 2002, 2004, 2011, and 2012, Commanding General Certificate of Commendation in 2002 and 2008, and was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal in 2006, 2008, and 2010.

Future Pharmacist of the YearFuture Pharmacist of the Year



Jonathan Magness, PharmD Candidate
University of Utah College of Pharmacy
Salt Lake City, UT


Jonathan Magness’ interest in pharmacy and its services started at age 8, and since that time the University of Utah student has directed his focus toward becoming a pharmacist.

At age 18, Magness began working at a local pharmacy chain and received on-the-job training as a pharmacy technician. He became the lead technician within a few years, serving in that post until his admission to the University of Utah College of Pharmacy, graduating in May 2013.

As a student, Magness has led vaccination clinics, initiated and promoted medication therapy management services, and assisted with medication takeback events. During the past 3 years, his focus has been advocacy and leadership programs, which he develops as president of the University of Utah Student Pharmacy Alliance (USPA). He is also a co-coordinator of the USPA Charity Auction and Dinner fund-raiser for Maliheh Free Clinic, a medical home for underprivileged patients in the Salt Lake Valley. USPA had helped raise $30,000 during a 4-year period.

After his election as USPA president, Magness began 2 Rural Outreach Clinics in Panguich and Blanding, Utah, using student funds and resources. The clinics, staffed by USPA students, offer flu services, diabetes and cardiovascular education and screenings, and high school drug abuse education opportunities in a medically underserved area.

Magness focuses on offering clinical services throughout Utah pharmacies, which he believes can be achieved by advocating for change and advancement. Magness has been the student representative of the university’s PharmD program, allowing him to lobby for pro-medication therapy management legislation in Washington, DC. Within Utah, Magness has initiated conversations, debates, and petitions within the pharmacy community to increase participation in the legislative system, and coordinates with members of the state legislature and pharmacy association members.

Magness planned a Pharmacy Legislation Day in Utah’s Capital Building with the American Pharmacists Association and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists chapters, students, and policymakers. Students provided screenings for blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol, and medication takeback for members of the legislature.

Magness served as a teaching assistant for the University of Utah’s pharmacy information systems course, and also created an elective course on pharmacy advocacy and leadership. He has also edited continuing education courses for pharmacy technicians and presented seminars.


Huy Nguyen, PharmD Candidate
Drake University
Des Moines, IA


Huy Nguyen is pursuing a PharmD and a master of public administration from Drake University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Science and College of Business and Public Administration, respectively. His anticipated graduation date is May 2013. During his time at the college, Nguyen participated in the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists, the Iowa Pharmacy Association Student Leadership Conference, Phi Lambda Sigma Pharmacy Leadership Society, and Rho Chi Pharmacy Honor Society. Nguyen has served as Rho Chi treasurer and president, as well as coordinating the inaugural Running of the White Coats event for the role of pharmacists in health care and the college’s Script Your Future Event Campaign.

Nguyen’s desire to advocate for pharmacy became evident during his work as the Iowa Pharmacy Association’s Max W. Eggleston summer intern in 2011. His work on the state’s medication disposal system, Take Away, led to an invitation to continue as the program intern after the formal internship period concluded. Nguyen also helped promote the Iowa Pharmacy Association’s Legislative Day, encouraging student attendance.

Nguyen pursued several volunteer and educational service opportunities that cover pharmacy leadership, disease state management services, and community health. These include the Drake University Rho Chi chapter’s student roundtable event to increase interprofessional development, which was planned as a submission for the Spring 2012 National Project Proposal Award. The project, a Health Care Students’ Forum on Collaborative Care, will be held in fall 2012.

In addition, Nguyen assisted the college in sponsoring its first ethics symposium, and led efforts for the 3rd Annual Southridge Mall Health Fair, which involves collaboration between pharmacy organizations and professional fraternities.

Nguyen is also a teaching assistant within Drake University’s College of Pharmacy, assisting the school’s Intermediate Pharmacy Skills and Applications class. Nguyen created weekly quizzes on frequently dispensed medications, created patient cases for the course’s lab curriculum, led simulated patient counseling sessions, and procured educational OTC devices through outreach to manufacturers.

His experiences as a student leader caught the attention of local organizations, leading those organizations to award him the Lon N. Larson Engaged Practitioner award in spring 2012, and the Iowa Pharmacy Association Jerry M. Karbeling Leadership Award.


Sheri Winner, PharmD Candidate
University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy
Oklahoma City, OK


As a pharmacist, Sherri Winner feels she can help improve the standard of care and raise it to a higher level. Her love of patients and goal to make a difference in their care has been evident during her years as a pharmacy technician, and is a motivating factor in the PharmD candidate’s decision to pursue pharmacy as a career.

Winner, whose anticipated graduation date is 2012, has made patient advocacy her motivating factor during her time at the University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy. For example, Winner offers education sessions and promotes medication adherence with her patients in the pharmacy where she works. She has also coordinated speaking sessions with local schools, where pharmacists can speak to students about the dangers of prescription medication. The program, “Road to Nowhere,” addressed prescription drug abuse in Oklahoma and presented information to 5th to 7th grade students.

Winner does not limit her efforts to education and behind-the-counter work. She has been actively involved as a student member of the American Pharmacists Association, the Oklahoma Pharmacists Association, and the National Community Pharmacists Association. Her tasks as political liaison involved her in policy discussion and voter registration campaigning, and creating community outreach and networking opportunities for students.

Her advocacy efforts led to an appointment on the national American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists Policy Standing Committee, and she is also the college representative to the Oklahoma Pharmacists Association, providing a voice for students in state pharmacy affairs.

In addition, Winner’s involvement with the Oklahoma Pharmacists Education Foundation has led to coordinating the organization’s Annual Silent Auction in 2011 and 2012.

For 2 years, Winner has assisted in organizing the Oklahoma Legislative Day, where pharmacy students can learn more about pharmacy legislation and its impact in health care. She is an active advocate for the student voice, often informing them about the impact of letters, e-mails, or visits to their legislator on the political process. She has been particularly vocal about issues directly related to the future of pharmacy, including pharmacy benefit management and choice in using mail order pharmacy. Winner’s efforts led to collaborative efforts between the University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy, the Oklahoma Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists, and the Oklahoma Pharmacists Association.

Lifetime AchievementLifetime Achievement



Lonnie Hollingsworth, PharmD
L&H Drugs
Lubbock, TX


Actions that inspire others to dream, learn, and do more in pharmacy could be used to describe the example set by Lonnie Hollingsworth. Dr. Hollingsworth enrolled in the University of Texas Pharmacy School following service as a storekeeper in the US Navy and service in Korea. Two years after obtaining his pharmacy degree in 1957, Dr. Hollingsworth became owner of L&H Drugs, an independent community pharmacy.

During his time as owner of L&H drugs, Dr. Hollingsworth served as both a community and a pharmacy leader as an active member of several committees and as volunteer for several organizations. Dr. Hollingsworth often made himself available to patients in need of emergency prescriptions, regardless of the hour of day or night. Dr. Hollingsworth has promoted policies that improve community pharmacy practices, and is an active consultant among his pharmacy colleagues and a mentor to young entrepreneurs.

Dr. Hollingsworth served as committee leader in several state organizations, including the West Texas Pharmaceutical Association, and chairman of the Dean’s Advisory Counsel at Texas Tech University School of Pharmacy. He has also served as president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer of the Texas Pharmaceutical Association, and secretary-treasurer of the Texas Pharmaceutical Education and Research Foundation, where he worked to develop scholarship opportunities for students. Within national organizations, Dr. Hollingsworth has served as president, secretary-treasurer, third vice president, and vice president of the National Association of Retail Druggists. He has also served as treasurer of the National Community Pharmacists Association Foundation.

Dr. Hollingsworth is known within his community for his civic and charitable involvement. He is a deacon at Second Bapist Church in Lubbock. Dr. Hollingsworth has held most leadership positions in his local Lions Club, and has also held local government posts, including mayor of Lubbock.

Dr. Hollingsworth received the Bowl of Hygeia Award from the Texas Pharmacists Association in 1976 and was recognized as Texas Pharmacist of the Year in 1981 and 2001. He received the Merck, Sharp, & Dohme Outstanding Achievement Award and the William J. Sheffield Outstanding University of Texas School of Pharmacy Alumni Award in 1986. In 2007, the National Community Pharmacists Association awarded Dr. Hollingsworth the John W. Dargavel Medal.

Dr. Hollingsworth served as owner and operator of L&H Drugs from 1959 to 1996, and is currently chairman of the L&H Pharmacies Board.


Robert Nickell, RPh
Nickell Physician and Pharmacy Services
Torrance, CA


Robert Nickell has made attention to patient needs, innovation, and expansion into new pharmacy fields a lifelong goal. This has led him to fields beyond the typical pharmacist’s realm to encompass sports medicine, drug manufacturing, and other areas.

Since purchasing his first pharmacy just a year after graduating from pharmacy school, Nickell has diversified his talents to include mail-order, retail, and compounding businesses, as well as businesses outside of pharmacy. His expansions in the compounding field promote a greater role in the treatment and care of patients, and foster collaboration between physicians and pharmacists through PharmCo, Inc, a company that allows in-office physician prescribing. The company allows physician’s offices to obtain pre-packaged medication from registered facilities for in-office dispensing. The service also provides drug–drug interaction screenings, patient drug usage, patient history, and an on-call pharmacist to answer any drug-related questions from either the patient or pharmacist, and medication management service to assist with the physician dispensaries.

Nickell’s interests encompass areas outside of pharmacy and physician practices. These include MedChem Manfacturing, Inc, a staffing and equipment service; MISSEL INC, a billing and collection company for worker’s compensation; Daddy Scrubs, an online medical scrubs company geared toward fathers awaiting their child’s delivery; and a prescription drug screening company that performs screenings for prescription drug abuse.

Nickell’s interest in sports allowed him to serve on medical teams as a pharmacist during the 2004 Summer Olympics. He also ran SportPharm, the first national pharmacy service that employed pharmacists to supply and consult on medications to NBA, NFL, and college basketball teams.

Nickell taught compounding at the University of Southern California’s School of Pharmacy, and served on the boards of the Entrepreneur Pharmacy Practice Program at the University of Pacific and the Entrepreneurs Organization of Los Angeles. He received the California Innovative Pharmacist of the Year award in 2005 and the California Pharmacist of the Year award in 2000.

He is a founder of the California Pharmacy Hall of Fame and the Don and June Salvatori California Pharmacy Museum.

Nickell currently owns Nickell Physician and Pharmacy Services, which combines physician dispensing services, medical compounding, mail-order pharmacy, health education, and other medical services.


COL William Pickard, RPh
Campbell University College of Pharmacy and Health Services
Morrisville, NC


COL William Pickard’s passion for serving patients extends past the pharmacy counter, and has brought him overseas with the Army and to service with his local sheriff’s office. Yet his greatest satisfaction comes from mentoring students at Campbell University College of Pharmacy and Health Services.

COL Pickard’s career began at Duke University Medical Center, following his graduation from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, where he coordinated clinical trials for many medications dispensed today, including treatments for HIV and cancer.

He joined the Army Reserves in 1983, after serving as a pharmacist and as chief of pharmacy at Durham Regional Hospital and at Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg. COL Pickard obtained a master’s degree in pharmacy practice from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1993.

During his time in the Army, COL Pickard deployed to Saudi Arabia during Desert Shield/Storm, serving as chief pharmacist and company commander at a military pharmacy that served a 400-bed hospital. After September 11, 2001, COL Pickard set up multiple military pharmacies throughout Afghanistan, Kuwait, and surrounding countries to serve US service members, allies, and civilians. He retired as a colonel with the US Army Reserve Medical Corps in May 2012.

While actively serving in the Army Reserves, COL Pickard received a Meritorious Service Medal with 2 oak leaf clusters, an Army Commendation Medal with 2 oak leaf clusters, an Army Achievement Medal, an Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, service medals for operations in southwest Asia, Afghanistan, and in the Global War on Terrorism, an Army Reserve Component Service Medal with silver leaf cluster, a National Defense Medal with 1 bronze service star, and a Reserve Overseas Service Ribbon with 1 oak leaf cluster. He was also selected as the Army Reserve Pharmacist of the Year in 2010.

Despite his retirement from military service, COL Pickard continues to serve his community as a sheriff’s officer, and as a member of the Search and Recovery Team and Anticrime Narcotics Division. Within the Anticrime Narcotics Division, COL Pickard is head of the Drug Diversion Unit.

COL Pickard currently serves as chairman of Campbell University’s Department of Clinical Research, where he oversees bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in clinical research. He supervises medical, pharmacy, and nursing students and pharmacy residents. He is also an adjunct associate professor at the University of North Carolina School of Pharmacy and at the Campbell University School of Pharmacy.