APhA Foundation names 2017 Pinnacle Award honorees

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APhA Foundation names 2017 Pinnacle Award honorees


WASHINGTON, DC — The American Pharmacists Association Foundation has announced the three recipients of the 2017 Pinnacle Awards. The awards, established in 1998, celebrate significant contributions to the medication use process through increased patient adherence, reduced adverse drug events, use of national treatment guidelines, improving patient outcomes, and enhancing communication among all members of the healthcare team. 


“The APhA Foundation is proud to honor the extraordinary contributions that these recipients have made to the profession of pharmacy,” APhA Foundation executive director Elizabeth Keyes said. “As the role of pharmacists in health care evolves, the Pinnacle Awards will continue to serve as a platform to support their recognition.”


The Awards are presented in three categories — the Individual Award for Career Achievement for people who who have demonstrated leadership in enhancing healthcare quality and medication use; Group Practices, Health Systems, and Health Care Corporations, which recognizes a significant scientific contribution and/or quality improvement project; and Voluntary Health Agencies, Nonprofit Organizations, Associations, Government Agencies, and Public/Private Partnerships, for organizations that have demonstrated approaches to assist patients and their caregivers in achieving better outcomes from their medications.


The 2017 Individual Award for Career Achievement has been awarded to pharmacist John Sykora, who has pioneered the appointment-based model, showing a demonstrated a deep, career-long commitment to direct patient care through his pharmacy practice at Abrams and Clark Pharmacy in Long Beach, California. He also has served in leadership roles with the California Pharmacists Association, APhA, the Long Beach Pharmacists Association, the Pharmacy & Therapeutics Committee of SCAN Health Plan, and the Pharmaceutical Care Network.


APhA said that the medication synchronization model that Sykora created in 1997 as the “personal service program” now is used in over 22,000 community pharmacies and has received national recognition by APhA and other leading pharmacist associations including Canadian chain Pharmsave. This program inspired the APhA Foundation’s Align My Refills initiative, and it spurred the California legislation to require health plans to approve most refill synchronization requests. 


The winner of the 2017 Group Practice–Health System–Health Care Corporation Award is Minnesota-based HealthPartners: Medication Therapy Management Program. The integrated health organization provides both care delivery and plan functions through a network of community and clinic-based pharmacists. It has the triple aim promoting improvement in patient experience, health outcomes, and affordability. It was health plan in Minnesota to provide an MTM benefit for members of its commercial plans in addition to Medicare and Medicaid members. Today, nearly 900,000 HealthPartners members across all 50 states can access MTM services with a pharmacist — either in-office, over the phone or in-home. HealthPartners has developed a pay-for-performance program to incentivize high engagement in its MTM program, and created standards for MTM services through collaboration with the Pharmacy Quality Alliance and other health system entities, APhA said. 


This year’s Nonprofit Organization–Association–Public/Private Partnerships Award has been awarded to the Community Pharmacy Foundation, which works to advance community pharmacy practice and patient care delivery through grant funding and resource sharing. The organization prioritizes funding on grants that highlight new and emerging patient care services that are sustainable, transferable, and replicable in community pharmacy practice.  Grantees are often from innovative community pharmacies or are academicians in partnership with community pharmacists operating in single and multiple locations.  Many studies evaluate payment models for pharmacist services delivered independently or in collaboration and partnership with other health care providers, APhA said. As of July 2017, CPF has funded 172 grants, of which 144 are complete and 28 are currently in study. 


The recipients will be honored at the APhA Headquarters in Washington D.C. at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 18. APhA said that the Pinnacle Awards are supported by a grant from Merck, as well as an educational donation from Amgen.


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