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NCPA honors pharmacy leaders, students with awards at Annual Convention


NEW ORLEANS — As the National Community Pharmacists Association’s 2016 Annual Convention continues here, the organization has honored various leaders in pharmacy, as well as pharmacy students with awards. On the heels of announcing the winners of the 2016 Willard B. Simmons Independent Pharmacist of the Year and the 2016 Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition, the NCPA has announced six awards given out at the Annual Convention. 


The awards honor pharmacists for leadership in adherence, lifetime achievement, and their commitment to education, as well as standout NCPA student chapters and members. 


NCPA recognized Springfield, Mo.-based pharmacist and Integrity Pharmacy president Joshua Jones with the Mirixa-sponsored 2016 NCPA Innovation Center Outstanding Adherence Practitioner Award for his work enhancing medication adherence among the home care population. Integrity Pharmacy uses an enhanced medication synchronization model, working to improve adherence among the homebound population through a customized medication management system. The company provides patients with individualized monthly packets, CAREpacks, with each day’s medication separated. The company has grown to have 44 employees and serve patients throughout Missouri in the last eight years. 


"[Jones’] groundbreaking efforts to help seniors maximize their medication regimens makes him a very deserving recipient of this year's NCPA Innovation Center Outstanding Adherence Practitioner Award,” NCPA president Brad Arthur said. "With an estimated $290 billion wasted annually on the improper use of medications in the United States, there is a pressing need to find better approaches to drive adherence. Jones' laser-like focus on medication synchronization and reconciliation in home care is making a real difference that only grows with each passing year."


In addition to NCPA honoring Jones, the NCPA Foundation awarded its NARD Ownership Award to former independent pharmacy owner and current lawyer James Schiffer. The award is now in its fifth year and recognizes an independent pharmacist who shows demonstrates excellence in community pharmacy ownership, and carries the original name for NCPA, which was founded in 1898 as the National Association of Retail Druggists (NARD). Schiffer is a certified immunizer in New Jersey and New York, and he works as a fill-in pharmacist at an independent pharmacy in Bayonne, N.J. He owned Jim & Phil’s Family Pharmacy, which he opened with his partner Phil Gatti in 1979, in Brooklyn until 2007. 


"James Schiffer started his pharmacy career at the age of 14 as a delivery boy and now, more than 50 years later, continues to support the industry through his law practice," NCPA Foundation president Charles West said “Over the course of his career, James owned an independent pharmacy in Brooklyn, N.Y., has served as an adjunct professor at Long Island University's Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences since 1987, and through his law practice focuses on health care issues, predominantly for pharmacists and pharmacies. His distinguished career exemplifies the spirit of this award and we are proud to recognize James as this year's recipient of the NARD Ownership Award.”



The NCPA Foundation also recognized excellence in teaching, naming James Sajbel its 2016 National Preceptor of the Year, which honors a pharmacist with significant contributions to pharmacy student education through their work as a preceptor. Sajbel owns the Prescription Shop in Pueblo, Colo., and has taught diabetes education to students at the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences for 25 years. 


His students are given hands-on experience with patients that have diabetes, heart conditions, hypertension and high cholesterol, and they educate patients about proper exercise and nutrition, as well as monitoring of blood glucose, A1C levels and cholesterol. Sajbel also works on the board of Ex Plus Pharmacies, a member-owned cooperative buying group with a program that encourages pharmacy ownership among younger pharmacists through a junior partnership. 


“Even though he could have retired a long time ago, James Sajbel says he continues to serve patients and give pharmacy students hands-on learning experiences in his pharmacy because he loves what he does,” West said. “ It is that unparalleled dedication to his community and his passion for mentoring students that make James truly deserving of this honor.”


Like Sajbel, Sharlea Leatherwood has shown leadership and a passion for community pharmacy, and was recognized for her work leading the NCPA and NCPA Foundation with the McKesson-sponsored 2016 John W. Gargavel Medal on Monday. The award is named for the NARD’s (now NCPA) executive secretary, who served from 1933 to 1961, and is given to those who embody his spirit of leadership and accomplishment. 


Leatherwood became NCPA’s first female board officer in 1992, then became the first female NCPA president in 2003, founding disease state management education program the National Institute for Pharmacist Care Outcomes during her term. She was a trustee of the NCPA Foundation following her time leading NCPA, eventually becoming the foundation’s president — a role she held for eight years. 


“Having worked with Sharlea to advance community pharmacy for many years on the board of the NCPA Foundation, I am proud to present this honor to a friend and colleague who exemplifies what it means to be a leader in our profession,” West said. “Sharlea has always been a forward-thinker, and her advocacy work over the years helped inspire a new vision for what the pharmacy profession is capable of when it comes to helping patients achieve better health outcomes. NCPA, the NCPA Foundation, and community pharmacy are stronger today because of Sharlea's visionary leadership.”


NCPA also recognized the career work of Pharmacy Providers of Oklahoma (PPOk) CEO Lonny Wilson, who received the Calvin J. Anthony Lifetime Achievement Award at the Annual Convention. Anthony’s career — which began when he received his Bachelor of Pharmacy degree in 1973 from Southwestern Oklahoma State University — has seen him begin as an independent pharmacy owner and grow to include work on various pharmacy organizational boards, including a five-year stint at NCPA’s EVP. 


Since 1989 Wilson has been the CEO of PPOk, a company used by more than 3,400 pharmacies in 48 states for some portion of its services, which include RxSelect third-party services, central payment, claims reconciliation, RXLinc claims transmission, contract compliance monitoring, MAC evaluations, RXProtect audit services and buying group programs. He served as NCPA’s president from October 2011 to October 2012 and has been on or led NCPA committees for the past 20 years. He was the Mirixa chairman from 2009 to 2012, and he is on the SureScripts Pharmacy Advisory Council. 

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