Humbled by Reviewing Rising Star Nominations

Pharmacy TimesAugust 2018 Pain Awareness
Volume 84
Issue 8

Every year Pharmacy Times® partners with Parata Systems and sponsors the Next-Generation Pharmacist Awards.


Every year Pharmacy Times® partners with Parata Systems and sponsors the Next-Generation Pharmacist Awards. The goal is to highlight leaders in pharmacy across the profession agnostic to any pharmacy tribe and award innovators that are setting the table for the next decades of practice. More than 600 nominations were submitted by May 31. Up to 3 finalists and 1 winner will be named in each of 10 categories. Of these category winners, one will be named the 2018 Next-Generation Pharmacist at the award ceremony, scheduled for October 5 in Boston. The categories are:

• Civic Leader

• Entrepreneur

• Future Pharmacist

• Health-System Pharmacist• Lifetime Leadership

• Patient Care Provider

• Rising Star

• Specialty Pharmacist

• Technician

• Technology Innovator

• Rising Star


I chair the panel of judges, which include industry leaders from health care systems, retail pharmacies, hospitals, academia, associations, and pharmaceutical manufacturers.

I had the opportunity to review the submissions from the “rising star” category and was left impressed by the young talent who will set the stage for the next few decades of pharmacy practice. Like many of us, I have serious concerns about our profession’s ability and wherewithal to modernize its value proposition and navigate payment reform. While reading through the nominations

I was humbled and comforted by the innovation and foresight of the youngest among us. Here are just a few of the many examples of achievements I was able to review among the nominees for the category:

• Started the first dedicated behavioral health pharmacist position in the US Department of Defense;

• Practiced, only a few years out of school, in 3 different settings of care, published 6 articles, taught 8 different courses, and served on 7 different advancement committees;

• Started a nutrition consulting business along-side the pharmacy;

• Initiated 15 new full-time equivalent positions in the US Air Force;

• Created an asthma intervention program and increased medication adherence by 18 percentage points;

• Started a patient education and intervention program that reduced emergency room visits by 73% at a military installation;

• Implemented a patient health questionaiire (PHQ)-2 and PHQ-9 depression screening program in pharmacy workflow;

• Engaged in 23 different presentations, 20 continuing education sessions, 15 meta-analyses, and 10 continuing education articles on advancing pharmacy practice, all while working full time in a community pharmacy;

• Built an educational module for pharmacists providing opioid support services;

• Developed a novel falls program being adopted by others;

• Started a community practice transformation curriculum that has been provided to more than 500 advanced pharmacies

• Started an antimicrobial stewardship program, among others


What impresses me most about our young generation of pharmacists is their fearlessness. I have witnessed this courage in these award nominations and in my everyday interactions with community-based pharmacies, health systems, clinics, and consultants. New practitioners seem determined to buck the status quo. Service provision is not an aspiration to them, it is an expectation.


Community-based pharmacies are at a crossroads. Product-based reimbursement is becoming unsustainable without some services-based value proposition beyond safe and efficient prescription order fulfillment. A number of years ago I received a phone call that, in retrospect, was prophetic and marries nicely with these candidates: A longtime pharmacy owner said, “I’m not interested in developing and providing these services myself, but my young partners do and they won’t buy the pharmacies from me when the time comes unless we start them.”

It makes a lot of sense when considering they have 30 to 40 years of pharmacy practice ahead of them until they retire. They know change is coming and they are committed to taking advantage of those changes and not being left behind. Thank goodness for the next generation of pharmacists.

For more information on categories and eligibility requirements, visit

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