KPhA recently awarded 13 members for their contributions to pharmacy and their communities over the last year, including bestowing the first-ever Vaccinators of the Year award. During the awards ceremony, which took place in conjunction with the 2021 KPhA Annual Meeting and Trade Show in Dodge City, 10 pharmacists were recognized for reaching 50 years of dedicated service. Additionally, Brian Caswell, owner and co-owner of four pharmacies in Kansas and Missouri, was recognized for the special role he has played in pharmacy for the last two years.
Brian is a past president of the Kansas Pharmacists Association, board representative for the NCPA Innovation Center, Lead Luminary for Kansas CPESN®, board member of the Kansas Pharmacy Foundation, and a member of the KU School of Pharmacy Advisory Council. He enjoys being active in state and federal legislative affairs along with finding new ways to practice to the top of his license. Brian has served as the President of the National Community Pharmacists Association for the last two years. A few of the interesting facts about Brian’s time as President are that he is the first pharmacist from Kansas to serve in that role, and he had the unique opportunity to serve for two years instead of the standard one-year term due to COVID. Thus, he has been the President during a time of unprecedented opportunity, stress, and reward for community pharmacy resulting from the reliance on pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic. During it all, Brian led NCPA with great humility, passion, and presence.
Award recipients included:
Bowl of Hygeia: Doug Funk, Doug Funk, retired pharmacist and former owner of Funk Pharmacy in Concordia
The Bowl of Hygeiais the most prestigious award in all of pharmacy. Established in 1958, the Bowl of Hygeia Award recognizes pharmacists who possess outstanding records of civic leadership in their communities and encourages pharmacists to take active roles in their communities. Doug currently lives in Lawrence, but practiced for most of his professional career in Concordia where he dedicated the majority of his adult life to bettering his community and pharmacy profession. Doug is a mentor, friend, leader, and tireless champion. During his pharmacy career, our recipient has taken on several leadership roles in pharmacy and community based organizations, including:
• The Cloud County Community College Scholarship Foundation Board
• Cloud County Health Center Board of Trustees
• Past KPhA President
• Past KPF President
• Chamber of Commerce Member
• Chamber Business and Businessman of the Year
• Founding Member for Cloud Corporation - which is an economic development entity for Cloud County and North Central Kansas
• Board of Directors for KU. School of Business Red Tire Program
• Member of the Deans Club at KU. School of Pharmacy
• Founding Member of Cloud County Community Foundation founded in 2002. The foundation has over $9 million, which assists non-profit groups in Cloud County.
Vaccinators of the Year Award: Dared and Renee Price, owners, Price Pharmacies
COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on pharmacies in the last year and a half. And during this time, pharmacies rose to the occasion. Among all of our regular responsibilities and in the middle of figuring out how to provide services to our patients safely, at the beginning of 2021, we provided new, life-saving COVID-19 vaccines at unprecedented rates. Through your actions, more of your friends, family, patients, and community members are alive today because of your efforts. In light of this impact, the KPhA Board decided to present a new award this year - the Kansas Vaccinator of the Year. Dared and Renee Price own six pharmacies in Southcentral Kansas. In 2021, Dared and Renee excelled at providing COVID-19 vaccinations to those in their communities. To date, their staff have administered 19,000 COVID-19 vaccinations. They have done this through in-store vaccinations and have held over 60 offsite clinics, including clinics at various municipalities, police departments, school districts, colleges, and private businesses. These clinics consisted of groups as small as 10 employees and as large as 800. For their collaboration with Creekstone Farms, they were featured by KAKE TV locally and Bloomberg News nationally. To ensure they had the staff to vaccinate at this scale, Dared and Renee empowered 25 of their pharmacy technicians by sending them through vaccination training, allowing them to administer vaccine to patients.
Pharmacist of the Year: Joe Heidrick, assistant dean, KU School of Pharmacy, Lawrence
Joe coordinates the school’s experiential education program, placing pharmacy students in various Kansas and United States professional practice settings. In addition to his regular duties at KU, in 2021, Joe has volunteered hundreds of hours to the Douglas County COVID-19 vaccination effort. He has single-handedly organized community vaccination efforts in the Kansas City area, including community businesses, churches, and other areas of need. He has organized thousands of dose preparations and organized multiple volunteers over the past four months. Without his efforts, the COVID vaccination rates for the state of Kansas would be noticeably lower.
Outstanding Pharmacy Technician: Ashley Guinn, CPhT, Hesston Pharmacy and Harvey Drug
Ashley has been the Advanced Lead Pharmacy Technician at Harvey Drug for the past three years and brings many years of patient care experience and has a creative, infectious energy that allows her to connect with both patients and other healthcare providers. Ashley manages a robust patient packaging program that includes; initial consultations to onboard patients and their families, continuous communication with providers, makes adjustments when necessary, and ensures patients receive their medications packs. In addition, she never tires of caring for patients. Ashley also works with the local behavioral health facility to optimize their sample program and in-patient dispensing for the hospital. During COVID-19, Ashley stepped up and became a certified immunizer. In addition, she worked many, many extra hours helping with community COVID-19 clinics.
Pharmacists Mutual Distinguished Young Pharmacists Award: Erica Wilkinson, pharmacist, Salina Regional Health Center Outpatient Pharmacy
Erica received her Doctor of Pharmacy in 2017 from the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy and completed a PGY-1 Community Residency with Dillons Pharmacy/University of Kansas School of Pharmacy in Wichita. Since graduation, Erica has continued to be an engaged member of the Kansas Pharmacists Association and Kansas Council of Health-System Pharmacy as a new practitioner. Over the last year as a member of the KNPN Member Engagement Subcommittee, she brought life to their “Phone a Pharmacist” social media campaign. Erica re-imagined the idea for a spin-off launched in March that has highlighted the accomplishments of Kansas New Practitioners. In addition to her work in the pharmacy and mentoring IPPE and APPE students and PGY-1 residents, Erica has been an advocate for expanding the role of the pharmacist in her health system and is actively contributing to building a proposal to add a pharmacist into the outpatient clinics. Erica also serves as the co-primary mentor to the Diabetes Support Group, a program run by the pharmacy residents.
Champion of Pharmacy Award: Matt Morrison, owner, Gibson's Pharmacy, Dodge City
Matt has been integral in the development of KPhA relationships with legislative leadership over the last three years. He has dedicated countless hours to educating legislators and other influential policymakers in Kansas regarding PBM activities and our bills to address those activities. He has done all this, largely face-to-face, while living and working in Dodge City.
NASPA Excellence in Innovation Award: Larry Davidow, clinical assistant profressor and clinical coordinator for the Pharmacy Skills Lab, KU School of Pharmacy, Lawrence
Larry is known for his innovative and unique approach to learning and has earned various awards and honors for his continued contributions to the profession. Although busy with the transition to virtual learning at the School of Pharmacy, Larry did not stop asking where he could help. Larry offered his knowledge and services to the KPhA to quickly and efficiently coordinate APhA Certification Training, Pharmacy Technician Training, and Pharmacist Refresher Training. In the end, 286 technicians and pharmacists were empowered with the knowledge and skills to play a crucial role in the COVID-19 vaccination efforts in Kansas. The supportive role of technicians was invaluable in expanding the pharmacy vaccination workforce and an essential contribution to the successful vaccination of our communities. For this, we would like to recognize Larry’s leadership and impact in rising to the challenge to innovate and design effective and efficient training for our technicians when Kansas pharmacies needed him most. He showed up with a generous heart and, as always, some anticdotal stories!
Board Member of the Year Award: Tessa Schnelle, lead clinical pharmacist and clinical coordinator, Osawatomie State Hospital; and clinical pharmacist, Olather Health System
Tessa attended the MidAmerica Nazarene University, where she earned a BA in Psychology. Afterward, Tessa spent a decade working in Human Resources for Target Corporation, where she met her husband, Deric. In 2020 she graduated with her PharmD from the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy. Tessa serves as the KPhA - Kansas New Practitioners Network director, is a New Practitioner Mentor for the University of Kansas APhA-ASP Chapter, is a committee member for Phi Lamba Sigma - Pharmacy Leadership Society, and is on the Staff Parish Relations Committee for the Church of the Resurrection in Leawood. Tessa and Deric live in Louisburg with their three children Dayton, Denver, and Dallas.
Board of Directors Award: Matt Morrison, owner, Gibson's Pharmacy, Dodge City
This award recognizes an individual who has provided exemplary service for one or more years to KPhA. This year, the board chose Matt Morrison for the award. Matt is a 2009 graduate of the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy who returned to his hometown of Dodge City to practice pharmacy at Gibson’s Pharmacy. In 2015, Matt and his wife Krista purchased Gibson’s Pharmacy from his father, Mike. Matt served as the President of KPhA in 2020. Additionally, he serves on the Compliant Pharmacy Alliance Regional Advisory board and on the Technology Steering Committee for the National Community Pharmacy Association. In his spare time, Matt enjoys watching his two sons’ athletics endeavors, flying, and traveling with his family.
KPhA President’s Award: Nate Rockers, owner, Rockers Pharmacy, Paola; 2020-2021 KPhA President
This award is presented to the KPhA member who has devoted a year or more to KPhA as Association President. They have the vital role of providing leadership and vision for the future of KPhA. Nate received his Doctorate of Pharmacy degree from the University of Kansas in 2002. Since graduation, he has practiced in Miami County, Kansas. In 2009 Nate purchased an independent pharmacy in Paola. He expanded in 2012 with another store in Miami County, and in 2016 opened a third location in Linn County. Nate currently sits on various community, national and professional boards, and committees. Nate enjoys spending time with his family and friends at the lake, managing his cattle operation on his farm, as well as golfing.
NCPA Leadership Award: Kristen Powell, manager of pharmacy practice, Genoa Healthcare; 2021-2022 KPhA President
This award goes to the KPhA member who assumes the role of providing leadership for our organization by serving as President. Kristen earned a BA in Psychology from Washburn University and a Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy. She is currently the Manager of Pharmacy Practice for Genoa Healthcare. Before that, she was Genoa’s site manager at Family Service and Guidance Center in Topeka. She previously was Genoa's site manager at Family Service and Guidance Center in Topeka. In service to the profession, Kristen sits on the Rural Nursing/Rx Technician Task Force with the Kansas Board of Pharmacy. Kristen is married and has two girls, ages 3 and 7. Volunteering is a large part of Kristen’s life. She donates a significant amount of her time to Christian Challenge at Washburn University, New Hope Food Pantry in Topeka, various events for Kansas Ballet Company, and her church.
The following KPhA members also were recognized for reaching 50 years of service as pharmacists:
- Max Heidrick
- Merlin McFarland
- Leland Hansen
- Randy Hilgers
- Don Hill
- Terry Kepka
- John Lowdermilk
- Stephen Mayo
- William Milligan
- Michael Preston