2017 Next-Generation Pharmacist Awards: Meet the Winners!

AUGUST 30, 2017
The Next-Generation Pharmacist® Awards is a national program that salutes pharmacy professionals who are de ning the industry’s future. Now in its eighth year, Plantsvszombies.info® and Parata Systems, cofounders of this prestigious awards program, recognize pharmacy leaders across a wide range of practice settings who embody the innovation and inspiration in pharmacy and the future vision of the profession.

Here are the winners in all 10 categories for the 2017 Next-Generation Pharmacist® Awards! We congratulate these outstanding winners!

Civic Leader 2017
Wilma Wilbanks, RPh
Staff Pharmacist Walgreens
Cleveland, Mississippi

GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS

Growing a new store into the busiest pharmacy in town through the loyalty and trust that my patients have in me is my greatest achievement in pharmacy.

SOURCE OF INSPIRATION
I am a third-generation pharmacist, and I have followed the example set by my many family members who were pharmacists. In particular, I admire the value of their contributions in the lives of their patients.

PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY
Work unceasingly and passionately for others. Improving the quality of life in your community elevates the standard of living for everyone, especially the children. Also, try to do something nice every day without getting caught!

VISION FOR PHARMACY
As the health care professionals who are often the most easily accessible to patients, pharmacists are poised to become even more integral in the coordination of patient care and direct delivery of services to patients.
 
Entrepreneur 2017

Stephanie Smith Cooney, PharmD
President, Gatti Pharmacy
Danville, Pennsylvania

GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS

I embarked on my pharmacy ownership career 1 year after graduating pharmacy school. I had a lot to learn and had many challenges to overcome. I’m particularly proud of leading transitions in my pharmacy and developing my team into an all-star group, and I’m excited about the new patient care opportunities that I envisioned that are finally coming to life.

SOURCE OF INSPIRATION
As a second-generation pharmacist, I spent a lot of time in a pharmacy as a child, and the environment really appealed to me. I love the dedication to patient care and the necessary attention to detail that community pharmacists demonstrate, along with the variety of available opportunities in this setting.
 
Future Pharmacist 2017

Kim Tho Nguyen, BS
Pharmacy Student, Keck Graduate Institute School of Pharmacy
Claremont, California

GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS

My greatest achievement in pharmacy school was having the fortunate opportunity to have a wide range of mentors. Without them, none of my accomplishments would have been possible. Working alongside my mentors, I helped to develop and implement PharmCAMP, a student engagement program that exposes primary and secondary school students from underserved communities to careers in pharmacy.

SOURCE OF INSPIRATION
My interest in oncology and pharmacogenomics influenced my decision to pursue a PharmD. Pharmacology was also my favorite topic during my undergraduate studies.

PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY
Never give up, and always be proactive, productive, and passionate about everything you do.

VISION FOR PHARMACY
We must promote innovative science and practice protocols as a means of ensuring the continuous recognition and development of the pharmacy practice as a research-oriented and evidence-driven profession.
 
Health-System Pharmacist 2017

Paul Lewis, PharmD, BCPS
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Johnson City Medical Center
Johnson City, Tennessee

GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS

As a parent and stepparent, my greatest achievement has been raising respectful and good-natured children. I suppose the same would apply to pharmacy. To me, the greatest achievement anyone can have is watching the success of others whom you have positively affected.

SOURCE OF INSPIRATION
Pharmacy is a living science, waiting to be explored and tested. It’s that never-ending quest to answer the unanswerable question that lured me to the profession.

PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY
Albert Einstein is said to have mused, “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Find what works best for everyone, and you can find a role that maximizes the full potential of each individual.

VISION FOR PHARMACY
I would like to see pharmacy taking a stronger role in health care leadership and in politics. We view health care from both the clinical aspect and the operational components, and we can help others to understand how they work together to optimize patient outcomes.
 
Lifetime Leadership 2017

Jeff Goad, PharmD, MPH
Professor and Department of Pharmacy Practice Chair
Chapman University School of Pharmacy
Irvine, California

GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS

I consider training thousands of pharmacists and pharmacy students to provide lifesaving vaccines to people of all ages, helping to stimulate the growth of pharmacist-based travel health services in the United States, being the first pharmacist to become president of the California Immunization Coalition, and becoming the first North American pharmacist to be selected as a fellow in the International Society of Travel Medicine to be my greatest accomplishments.

SOURCE OF INSPIRATION
Before I went to pharmacy school, I volunteered with an amazing neonatal intensive care unit pharmacist who showed me how great of an impact we can have on the lives of our patients.

PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY
In work and in life, if you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong.

VISION FOR PHARMACY
Pharmacists will become medication therapy providers for all patients, and pharmacies will become immunization, wellness, and self-treatment centers. Pharmacists will dispense care, not drugs. Pharmacists will also become the most valuable health care team member in all settings.
 
Patient Care Provider 2017

Joel Marrs, PharmD
Associate Professor University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Aurora, Colorado

GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS
There is nothing like the feeling I get when patients come back for a follow-up visit with me for their hypertension after they have started to monitor their blood pressure at home and have taken the initiative to increase their control over their own health.

SOURCE OF INSPIRATION
I entered the pharmacy profession because, as the son of a hospital pharmacist, I observed the impact pharmacists have in the hospital. My mother was a teacher, so I also witnessed the passion she had for her profession and her desire to help students achieve their best.

PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY
My personal philosophy is to always put the patient first when helping to determine the optimal plan. The key is to have respect for others while delivering your message in a way that is understandable and shows the passion you have for improving the care of every patient.

VISION FOR PHARMACY
I envision pharmacy playing an even larger role in public health from a primary prevention and secondary prevention standpoint.
 
Rising Star 2017

Capt. Brian Welch, PharmD
Pharmacist, United States Air Force
San Angelo, Texas

GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS

Harnessing my background in computer science, I’ve developed multiple programs that enhance military pharmacy practices. Moreover, I get to pursue this passion while serving the heroes who protect our freedom each day.

SOURCE OF INSPIRATION
I was working at my local grocery store when I was given the opportunity to become a pharmacy technician. After a few months, I was blown away by the complexity of pharmacy and fell in love. The 4 pharmacists I worked with were amazing mentors and encouraged me to pursue pharmacy.

PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY
Establish your faith and fully commit. Understand that life will throw you challenges but that the Lord didn’t intend for you to face them alone. Challenges are blessings that help us grow stronger in our faith. Anyone who finds success leaves a hardened path behind.

VISION FOR PHARMACY
Pharmacist roles in health care are ever changing; therefore, the systems we use should enhance our skill set rather than hinder it. We’ve only scratched the surface in realizing the full potential of pharmacist involvement in patient health care.
 
Technician 2017

Sarah E. Causey, CPhT
Senior Certified Pharmacy Technician, Walgreens
Cragford, Alabama

GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS

I feel my greatest accomplishment is helping my patients to afford their medication. By finding a co-pay assistance card or free trial offer or by working diligently to get a prior authorization, I will find a solution. This helps a great deal with medication adherence.

SOURCE OF INSPIRATION
I became a pharmacy technician in order to help others.

PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY
Treat every patient as you would treat your grandmother.

VISION FOR PHARMACY
I hope that pharmacists and technicians will increasingly take a more hands-on, personal approach to patient care.
 
Specialty Pharmacist 2017

Mike Swarner, RPh, BSPharm
Store Manager, Walgreens
Hagerstown, Maryland


GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS
My greatest achievements have been the individual relationships I have built with my patients and sharing their joy when they overcome a health obstacle.

SOURCE OF INSPIRATION
I entered the pharmacy profession to help folks in my community with their health. My first job was in a pharmacy, and I was amazed by the impact a pharmacist could have in his or her community.

PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY
Look for opportunities to help someone new every day, whether at work or in the community.

VISION FOR PHARMACY
I foresee pharmacists becoming the most accessible member of the health care team, a position that will allow them to optimize medication use and improve patient health outcomes.
 
Technology Innovator 2017

Kim Roberts, PharmD
Project Manager, Community Care of North Carolina
Winston-Salem, North Carolina

GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS

I am most proud of facilitating pharmacy software vendor adoption of the Pharmacist Care Plan HL7 standard as a vehicle for a new payment model for Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network.

SOURCE OF INSPIRATION
I entered the pharmacy profession because I saw there were a lot of innovative and nontraditional opportunities for practice in a rapidly evolving health care environment.

PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY
Building relationships is key for patient trust and overall business success.

VISION FOR PHARMACY
I believe that pharmacists will be able to optimize patient-centered care through integration of technology into pharmacy workflow. Use of interoperability standards will lead to the ability to update and share a team-based, patient-centered pharmacist care plan over time.


 

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