2011 Next-Generation Pharmacist Awards: Meet the Winners
The Next-Generation Pharmacist Awards
, created by a partnership with Pharmacy Times and Parata, honors pharmacists in 11 distinct categories, including Civic Leader, Entrepreneur, Future Pharmacist, Industry Advocate, Lifetime Achievement, Long-Term Care, Military, Patient Care Provider, Rising Star, Technician, and Technology Innovator. These pharmacy professionals and all the finalists will be honored at a gala event on August 29 in Boston. For more details, visit the Next-Generation Pharmacist
2011 Next-Generation Pharmacist
MAJ Jeffrey Neigh, PharmD, BCPS
Deputy Chief, Eisenhower Army Medical Center Department of Pharmacy
Owner, Medicap Pharmacy
John Forbes was named Urbandale Citizen of the Year for 2009, and a look at his extensive civic involvement demonstrates why he was an excellent choice.
A member of the Urbandale City Council, Chamber of Commerce, and Public Library board, as well as the Urbandale High School Booster Club, Forbes cares deeply about the foundation of his community and remains constantly involved in its future.
Forbes also coordinated the Central Iowa Honor Flight Committee, a group that raises money to send World War II veterans to visit the memorial in Washington, DC. Forbes has helped raise more than $1.5 million so far to sponsor 3 of the flights, which allow the veterins to travel all expenses paid on a chartered 747. He also serves as the medical director on the trips, overseeing a staff of 3 physicians.
When he is behind the counter at Medicap Pharmacy in Urbandale, Forbes abides by a philosophy of preventive medicine. In the late 1990s, he established one of the first screening and preventive health programs in Urbandale, offering blood pressure and bone density screenings, retina checks, and other services. Certified in immunization as well as pharmaceutical care, Forbes and his pharmacy staff also immunize between 8000 and 10,000 patients per year.
Past president of the Polk County Pharmacists Association and the Iowa Pharmacy Association Board of Directors, Forbes was honored with the Bowl of Hygeia in 2010 for his outstanding service to the community.
President/Owner, ApproRx and Waynesville Pharmacy
Ken Fields’ entrepreneurial ventures maximize the expertise of pharmacists to the benefit of the surrounding community.
Dr. Fields’ 2 pharmacies both offer lab services, including international normalized ratio (INR) testing, A1C testing, and hypertension monitoring. This has proved extremely convenient for patients, but it’s life saving as well—many times Dr. Fields’ lab has discovered dangerous INRs and uncontrolled diabetes or hypertension that saved possible trips to the emergency department (ED).
In addition to monitoring chronic conditions, Dr. Fields and his pharmacist wife run the Fields Mini-Medical Clinic, which was launched to meet the needs of local patients who are underinsured or uninsured. The service is also open to those who want immediate care without visiting an ED. Along with an onsite physician, the Fields help meet the basic medical needs of their community.
This young entrepreneur also helps patients who are opioid dependent. With support from Reckitt Benckiser, Dr. Fields opened a Suboxone clinic, which provides a team-based approach to addiction treatment. Currently serving 99 patients, the clinic has had excellent outcomes so far.
Dr. Fields founded ApproRx, a pharmacist-friendly pharmacy benefits manager that caters to securing medication therapy management (MTM) and wellness payments for pharmacists. ApproRx does not use mail order, and instead 90-day supplies of prescriptions are dispensed at the retail level. He has also convinced third party administrators and insurance plans that it is to their benefit to sell plans that include MTM services by pharmacists.
Future Pharmacist of the Year
University of Georgia College of Pharmacy, 2012
Kyle Burcher stands out for his tireless dedication to patient care and pharmacy advocacy.
Burcher often volunteers his time, always with the goal of using his pharmacy expertise to help others. He has served as a counselor at a camp that provides diabetes education for children with type 1 diabetes, volunteered at the Arkansas Free Health Center, developed pamphlets on proper diet for patients with diabetes for the American Diabetes Association, and raised money for the Easter Seals of North Georgia.
Burcher recently played a pivotal role in a massive Multicultural Health Fair at the state’s largest flea market. Anticipating the needs of the local Hispanic population, Burcher arranged to have 4 translators from the Spanish Club accompany the 51 pharmacy students. The volunteers provided screening and education to more than 350 patients.
This future pharmacist is an active member of the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP). At this year’s APhA-ASP-sponsored Dawgtoberfest, a health fair for the college community, Burcher coordinated pharmacy students to provide vaccinations and education to faculty members and students.
Burcher is also a strong pharmacy advocate. He organized a letter writing campaign in advance of the Georgia Pharmacy Association’s Pharmacy Legislative Day that resulted in 62 letters advocating propharmacy legislation. Burcher also participated in the National Association of Chain Drug Stores RxImpact Day, where he met with members of Congress to discuss the benefits of the Medication Therapy Management Benefits Act of 2011.
Industry Advocate of the Year
Clinical Community Pharmacist and Pharmacy Manager, Family Drug, Inc
Big Stone Gap, Virginia
Autumn Wells advances the field of pharmacy by providing critical diabetes services and training future generations of pharmacy professionals.
Dr. Wells is the only nationally certified diabetes educator in a 4-county area around Big Stone Gap, Virginia. A known regional diabetes expert, Dr. Wells sees patients from as far as 2 counties away who seek her expertise. She has added diabetic shoe fitting and diabetes education services to her pharmacy, as well as MTM, compounding, disease state management, and vaccination.
She is also an advocate for the industry in her various association roles, including president of the Lonesome Pine Pharmacists Association, a division of the Virginia Pharmacists Association. Dr. Wells has served on the Virginia Pharmacists Association’s Legislative and Local Association Revitalization committees and currently serves on the Communication Steering Committee for the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA).
Dr. Wells is also dedicated to teaching future generations. An adjunct professor at Mountain Empire Community College, she teaches pharmacy technician and medical terminology courses. In recognition of her commitment to her students, Dr. Wells was named Adjunct Faculty Member of the Year for the 2008-2009 academic year.
An active member of a variety of other national pharmacy organizations, Dr. Wells attends industry meetings regularly. She was honored with the Distinguished Young Pharmacist Award from the Virginia Pharmacists Association and also participates in many volunteer activities within her community.
Moose Drug Company
Mount Pleasant, North Carolina
For Whit Moose, Sr, pharmacy is in the family: his grandfather opened Moose Drug Company in 1882, and his sons are fourth-generation pharmacists.
After receiving his pharmacy degree, Moose joined the family business, and worked to innovate the pharmacy model his grandfather started. Under his stewardship, Moose Drug has expanded to 5 locations, all of which focus on patient care and providing cutting edge community-based clinical services.
Besides passing his passion for pharmacy to his sons, Moose secures the future of pharmacy by mentoring students. He started a community residency program in 2001, and has worked with 13 residents who have gone on to successful pharmacy careers. He also invites students completing experiential rotations into Moose Drug, where they have the chance to enhance clinical services, work on medication safety protocols, and organize community outreach programs.
Moose spent 23 years on the North Carolina Board of Pharmacy, with 3 terms as president. He is a past president of the NCPA and past president of the North Carolina Pharmaceutical Association, where he founded the North Carolina Leaders Forum to discuss legislative issues at the state level.
Moose is a highly respected civic leader, having served on the boards of the Red Cross, Carbarrus Meals on Wheels, and the Salvation Army, among others. He has won numerous awards, including the Bowl of Hygeia, UNC School of Pharmacy Alumna Association Pharmacist of the Year, and the M. Keith Fearing Jr Community Pharmacy Practice Award.
Long-Term Care Pharmacist of the Year
Consultant Pharmacist, Fiebelkorn Pharmacy Consulting Services, PLLC
Getzville, New York
A former hospital pharmacist, Tina Fiebelkorn has found her niche in longterm care pharmacy.
Fiebelkorn is extremely dedicated to her elderly patients. Certified in geriatric pharmacy, Fiebelkorn is a consultant pharmacist for 5 nursing homes, and is also employed part time with a local HMO, where she provides MTM services for patients with Medicare Part D. Her program has saved the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services millions in prescription medication costs while bringing positive outcomes for her elderly patients.
Fiebelkorn strives to make improvements to long-term care. She is a member of an ad hoc consultant pharmacy group that meets 4 to 6 times per year to discuss and network about patient problems and issues. She is also an active member of ASHP and the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP). In her work with the New York chapter of ASCP, she helps advocate for the needs of elderly patients.
One of the first women to become certified for immunization, Fiebelkorn also serves as a preceptor at the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy, where she educates students about the role of the consultant pharmacist and works in drug disposal programs and wellness clinics.
Fiebelkorn won the APhA One-to-One Counseling Award in 2008. She was also the featured speaker in the APhAASP interview series “Pharmacists— Medication Experts & Partners in Clinical Care,” for which she discussed the role of the consultant pharmacist.
Military Pharmacist of the Year
Deputy Chief, Eisenhower Army Medical Center Department of Pharmacy
Fort Gordon, Georgia
No matter what the situation, MAJ Jeffrey Neigh demonstrates a tireless work ethic and a strong focus on patient care.
Dr. Neigh began his career with a commission at Fort Hood, Texas, where he was chief of the inpatient and outpatient facilities and responsible for more than 35,000 active duty soldiers. Despite staffing shortages, Dr. Neigh worked tirelessly to ensure that patient care was never compromised. During this time, he was deployed to Kuwait, where he served as chief of pharmacy with the 21st Combat Support Hospital.
Upon his return, Dr. Neigh completed a residency at Brooke Army Medical Center and Wilford Hall Medical Center. After obtaining certification in pharmacotherapy, Neigh became the chief of clinical pharmacy. There he ran the Medication Use Committee, oversaw the residency program, and served as a credentialed provider for diabetes, dyslipidemia, and hypertension.
In 2008, Dr. Neigh became deputy chief, pharmacy at Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia. Even in this supervisory role, Neigh continues to directly impact patients by regularly staffing the oncology and outpatient pharmacies. He implemented the Warrior Transition pharmacy oversight program, which reviews more than 400 patient profiles weekly for safety concerns Dr. Neigh has worked to streamline record keeping and policies regarding medication reconciliation and implemented patient safety features in online formularies.
Dr. Neigh was awarded the Albert B. Prescott Leadership Award in 2010. He is currently beginning full-time study toward masters degrees in business administration and health care administration.
Patient Care Provider of the Year
Pharmacy Manager, Kroger
Steffany Loper goes the extra mile for her patients and teaches her pharmacy students to do the same.
Because the economy has negatively impacted her patients, Dr. Loper helps them save money by dispensing generics when possible, connecting them with assistance programs, and setting up free delivery accounts for elderly customers. She believes that showing patients the value of health care can increase adherence and improve outcomes.
Dr. Loper works to ensure that future generations of pharmacists have a solid background in high-quality patient care. As a preceptor for pharmacy students from The Ohio State University and Ohio Northern University, Dr. Loper ensures that students are immersed in patient counseling from the beginning of their rotation. Her students are able to put classroom knowledge to use with real patients, and her patients benefit from the in-depth, one-on-one interaction.
Dr. Loper believes that teaching pharmacy students how to communicate effectively with patients will help bring the field to a more holistic level of care in the future. She encourages her students to spend time with patients with diabetes, hypertension, and asthma to discuss lifestyle modifications and monitoring devices. Although she acknowledges that there is a lot of fiscal pressure on pharmacists to reduce wait times and increase prescription counts, she teaches her students that being a patient care provider comes first.
Dr. Loper received Kroger’s Pharmacist of the Year Award in 2008 for increasing the number of immunizations at her store from 750 to more than 1100 per year.
Rising Star of the Year
Clinical Coordinator, Kerr Health LLC of Kerr Drug, Inc
Zebulon, North Carolina
With just 4 years’ experience under her belt, Abby Caplan is shepherding pharmacy practice into a new era.
As clinical coordinator at Kerr Health in Zebulon, North Carolina, Dr. Caplan is an enthusiastic provider of disease state management and clinical services, including MTM, immunizations, point-of-care testing, and patient education.
Dr. Caplan’s accomplishments since graduating in 2007 embody the sea change taking place in pharmaceutical care and she has garnered national recognition. She was part of the Kerr team that was named MTM Provider of the Year by Outcomes Pharmaceutical Health Care in 2007, 2008, and 2009. She was also a diabetes educator for Kerr in 2008, when the health center was honored as one of the American Diabetes Association Providers of the Year.
In addition to providing outstanding patient care, Dr. Caplan has worked closely with legislators and state health plans to expand the pharmacist’s role at the state and national levels. She contributed to the landmark MTM bill introduced by Senator Kay Hagan (D, NC) in 2010 and collaborated with the North Carolina State Health Plan to launch a 12-month MTM wellness pilot that has yielded promising preliminary results.
Committed to advancing the profession, Dr. Caplan is also a clinical instructor for the University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy, where she serves as preceptor for students on community experiential rotations. Dr. Caplan has presented her research findings nationally and was published in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association.
Technician of the Year
Elk Grove, California
In her work as a practicing pharmacy technician and as owner of Pharmacy Resources, LLC, Jeanne Li is a champion for patients and a guiding light to her professional peers.
Li is a veteran technician with more than 25 years of experience in retail, inpatient, and outpatient settings. From her beginnings as a clerk to her current role as a pharmacy staffing specialist, Li sees every new setting as an opportunity not only to improve her skill set, but to build a foundation of hands-on expertise to share with other pharmacy technicians and pharmacists.
A compassionate advocate for patients, Li finds great reward in using her knowledge and determination to help people overcome barriers to care. One such patient, a new mother of twins, sought Li’s guidance when her son was denied coverage for a medication. Leveraging her experience as a reimbursement specialist for a home health company, Li fought the family’s insurance provider and won.
Li is also an active member of pharmacy organizations, an accomplished pharmacy author and educator, and a respected mentor to pharmacy technicians in her state. She served multiple terms as Chair for the California Society of HealthSystem Pharmacists’ (CSHP) Technician Division Executive Committee, bringing technicians’ issues to light within the pharmacist group.
In addition, Li contributes regularly to CSHP’s journal, sits on the advisory boards of several pharmacy technician schools, and travels to give talks to pharmacy technician students. In 2007, Li was honored with CSHP’s Technician Achievement Award for her service to the profession.
Technology Innovator of the Year
Director of Pharmacy, Greater Lawrence Family Health Center
Diane Gatchell’s knack for technology grew out of necessity and a desire to serve others.
When she joined the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center (GLFHC) in 2005, Gatchell wanted to make a difference in her hometown of Lawrence, Massachusetts. Armed with front line experience from a 14-year career in retail pharmacy, she helped establish GLFHC’s first Family Pharmacy, which now serves the center’s 120,000 predominately lowincome, underprivileged patients.
The Family Pharmacy opened its doors in 2005 and filled 130 prescriptions the first day. The operation grew rapidly under Gatchell’s direction, but she soon realized services were not reaching GLFHC’s more impoverished patients, some of whom lacked transportation to the main facility. Telepharmacy, she decided, was the best way to bring pharmacy care closer to the areas where patients worked and lived.
In 2007, Gatchell launched the first telepharmacy pilot program in Massachusetts. By enabling scripts to be filled by technicians at satellite locations and approved by pharmacists at GLFHC headquarters, the project dramatically increased access to medications and pharmacist counseling. Gatchell’s success led to a more than 10-fold increase in daily prescription volume, necessitating automation, which she researched and implemented for the Family Pharmacy in 2009.
Not content with these local victories, Gatchell now extols the benefits of telepharmacy for community health centers nationwide. In addition to conducting frequent tours of her pharmacy operations at GLFHC, she was a panelist at the 2008 National Association of Community Health Centers Annual Conference.