NCPA Honors Adherence Efforts of John Sykora and Jan Kavookjan

In recognition of their commitment to improving medication adherence, John Sykora and Dr. Jan Kavookjian were honored at the National Community Pharmacists Association's (NCPA) 2015 Annual Convention at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center held from Oct. 10 -14.

PRESS RELEASE

National Harbor, Md. (October 12, 2015) - In recognition of their commitment to improving medication adherence, John Sykora and Dr. Jan Kavookjian were honored at the National Community Pharmacists Association’s (NCPA) 2015 Annual Convention at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center held from Oct. 10 -14. Sykora received the 2015 NCPA Outstanding Adherence Practitioner Award, which is sponsored by Mirixa. Dr. Kavookjian received the 2015 NCPA Outstanding Adherence Educator Award.

The NCPA Outstanding Adherence Practitioner Award recognizes an independent community pharmacist who demonstrates a continuous commitment to patient adherence services. This year’s winner Sykora is the owner of

Abrams & Clark Pharmacy

in Long Beach, Calif.

Sykora is a true pioneer in patient care. His innovative entrepreneurial spirit led him to develop the foundation for the appointment-based, medication synchronization business model back in 1996, long before independent and chain pharmacies began offering the service to patients throughout the country.

“John Sykora is an outstanding and very worthy recipient of the 2015 NCPA Outstanding Practitioner Award, because he is a trailblazer in bringing medication synchronization to retail pharmacies,” said NCPA President John T. Sherrer, RPh, co-owner of Poole’s Pharmacy in Marietta, Ga. “John understands that if the United States is going to reduce the estimated

$290 billion a year

that is wasted on non-adherence then pharmacists must utilize proven strategies for ensuring drug regimens are being maximized. Medication synchronization programs are a shining example of that philosophy being applied to the real world.”

Sykora rightfully believes that aligning medication refills to one day a month is a “win-win” scenario for pharmacists and patients. Pharmacists benefit by having a more streamlined workflow that reduces unnecessary phone calls and faxes to prescribers, which allows for more time to be spent on patient care. Patients benefit from improved medication adherence, better chronic care management, and increased convenience. Sykora’s efforts became the inspiration for medication synchronization programs such as

NCPA’s Simplify My Meds® program

, which operates in more than 2,500 independent community pharmacies. In fact, nearly half of all independent community pharmacies currently provide some sort of medication synchronization programs for their patients.

“The value of medication adherence cannot be overstated,” said Marvin Richardson, CEO of Mirixa. “The entire health care industry collectively recognizes the importance of medication adherence. Community pharmacy plays a critical role in improving medication adherence and results in a profound positive impact on our patients’ overall health and wellness. We at Mirixa are proud to support the recognition of these efforts.”

The NCPA Outstanding Adherence Educator Award recognizes a pharmacy educator who has made a significant contribution to the education of pharmacy students in the area of medication adherence. It is presented during the NCPA Foundation Awards Ceremony. The award also recognizes educators whose contributions to medication adherence education are made through developing innovative course content and toolkits, as well as developing unique teaching strategies and active learning techniques. This year’s winner Dr. Kavookjian, is a professor at

Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy

(HSOP).

Her dedication to medication adherence education is evident. She teaches Health Behavior Change at HSOP, where students are provided the opportunity to role play in order to more fully understand why patients struggle with medication adherence. Medication adherence has been a core concept in the teaching of patient counseling and motivational interview training since the beginning of her academic career.

In addition to her course teachings, Dr. Kavookjian has been the faculty advisor for the school of pharmacy’s

Script Your Future

Adherence Challenge team; a competition that emphasizes inter-professional collaboration for patient medication adherence. Dr. Kavookjian also launched a school-wide study on patient medication adherence, as part of the pharmacy practice experience program, incorporating validated measures of adherence, and developing a toolkit for students to have for patient communications.

“We are pleased to recognize Dr. Jan Kavookjian as the winner of the 2015 NCPA Outstanding Adherence Educator Award,” said Sherrer. “Dr. Kavookjian is a tireless, dedicated leader in empowering her pharmacy students to become practicing pharmacists who are at the forefront of efforts to drive greater medication adherence. Her approach is embodied in a quote from Benjamin Franklin, who once said ‘Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.’”

Both awards are part of NCPA’s

Pharmacists Advancing Medication Adherence

(PAMA) initiative and are funded with support from Cardinal Health Foundation, Merck, and Pfizer.