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The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy® (NABP®) has announced its leaders in the protection of public health for 2021. Each year, the Association presents awards to individuals who have worked with unwavering dedication to ensure NABP’s continued service to the regulation of pharmacy practice and its efforts to assist the state boards of pharmacy in protecting the public health.

This year’s leaders include:

  • Elizabeth Scott Russell, RPh, 2021 Carmen A. Catizone Honorary President Award recipient;
  • Timothy D. Fensky, RPh, DPh, FACA, 2020-2021 NABP President’s Award;
  • Washington State Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission, 2021 Fred T. Mahaffey Award recipient;
  • Joanne M. Trifone, RPh, 2021 John F. Atkinson Service Award recipient;
  • Parmjit K. Agarwal, PharmD, MBA, 2021 Henry Cade Memorial Award recipient, in recognition of the work of Pfizer Inc; and
  • Philip P. Burgess, RPh, DPh, MBA, 2021 Lester E. Hosto Distinguished Service Award recipient.

Biographies for the award winners follow.

2021 Carmen A. Catizone Honorary President Award: Elizabeth Scott Russell, RPh

Ms Russell is the former executive director of the Virginia Board of Pharmacy, where she served for nearly two decades. In addition, Ms Russell was a member of the NABP Executive Committee and also served as a NABP Government Affairs department staff member from 2010 to 2020. During her distinguished career as a pharmacist and pharmacy regulator, Ms Russell has made many valuable contributions to the Association, and to the shared mission of the boards of pharmacy to protect the public health. These contributions include representing NABP as a delegate at the United States Pharmacopeial Convention in 2015 and serving as a representative for the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention from 2010-2020. Ms Russell’s career in pharmacy spans nearly four decades, starting with her time as a pharmacist at Dart Drug in Richmond, VA. In 1982, she became a pharmacy inspector/investigator for the Virginia Department of Health Professions, where she remained until becoming the executive director for the Virginia Board in 1991. Ms Russell is a licensed pharmacist in Virginia and Arizona and is a volunteer with the Maricopa County (AZ) Department of Public Health Medical Reserve Corps. Ms Russell received her bachelor of science degree in pharmacy from Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University.

NABP President’s Award: Timothy D. Fensky, RPh, DPh, FACA

During his presidency, Mr Fensky led an initiative to promote pharmacist-provided medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for patients diagnosed with opioid use disorder. Under Mr Fensky’s leadership, NABP provided MAT webinars and other educational resources for pharmacists, met with members of Congress to encourage passage of the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act, and virtually hosted the Task Force on Medication-Assisted Treatment. As an active member of NABP, Mr Fensky has made many contributions to the Association, serving as an Executive Committee member, treasurer, and president-elect before becoming president. In addition, he has served on many of the Association’s committees and task forces, including the Task Force on Best Practices for Veterinary Compounding and the Task Force on Pharmacist Prescriptive Authority. Mr Fensky represents NABP on the Pharmacy Compounding Advisory Committee to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Providing his insights on sterile compounding, Mr Fensky has delivered several presentations on US Pharmacopeia compounding standards and regulatory updates for the Massachusetts Pharmacists Association and Northeastern University. He is an adjunct faculty member at both the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and Northeastern University, Bouvé College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Mr Fensky earned his bachelor of science degree in pharmacy from Northeastern University, Bouvé College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and received an honorary doctor of pharmacy license from the Oklahoma State Board of Pharmacy.

Fred T. Mahaffey Award: Washington State Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission

The Washington State Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission, a division of the Washington State Department of Health, regulates the practice of pharmacy, and the distribution, manufacturing, and delivery of pharmaceuticals within and into the state. The Commission protects and promotes public health and safety by issuing licenses, registrations, and certifications to qualified people and entities and by responding to complaints or reports of unprofessional conduct. In 2016, the Commission began a large-scale rule revision process intended to modernize existing rules, provide flexibility for licensees to practice within their scope of practice without overly prescriptive rules, and to place more emphasis on outcomes and technology while continuing to provide the necessary guardrails to protect patient health and safety. One foundational element of this work was to try to anticipate what health care would look like over the next 20 years, with the goal that the rules would remain contemporary. As a result of this process, the Commission streamlined Washington’s pharmacy practice regulations from 34 pharmacy rule chapters to one chapter with four parts while utilizing a transparent and open process. The Fred T. Mahaffey Award recognizes the success of this effort, as well as the Commission’s ongoing support of NABP and the shared mission of protecting public health.

John F. Atkinson Service Award: Joanne M. Trifone, RPh

Ms Trifone is the director of pharmacy investigations at the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Pharmacy, where she oversees all pharmacy compliance inspections and investigations. Serving as a member of the board from 2008 to 2014, and as president in 2010, Ms Trifone has more than three decades of experience in pharmacy practice and regulation. An active member of NABP, she has served on a number of task forces and committees, including the Task Force on Pharmacy Technician Practice Responsibilities, the Task Force on Mutual-Recognition Licensure, and the Task Force on Standards for the Use of PMP Data. She has also participated in NABP Interactive Forums for compliance officers and legal counsel, has served as an item writer for the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination®, and served as a member of the Committee on Resolutions. Ms Trifone received her bachelor of science degree in pharmacy from Northeastern University.

Henry Cade Memorial Award: Parmjit K. Agarwal, PharmD, MBA

Dr Agarwal is the senior director of pharmacy development at Pfizer Inc. In this role, she serves as the primary point of contact to all US-based national pharmacy associations and is responsible for developing areas of alignment between pharmacy and Pfizer in efforts to advance the proper and safe use of medicines. She was awarded the Henry Cade Memorial Award in recognition of the work Pfizer has done to provide coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccinations to the US market. Pfizer was the first company to receive an emergency use authorization from Food and Drug Administration for a COVID-19 vaccine and has supplied millions of vaccine doses to pharmacies and other vaccination sites across the country. The award also recognizes Pfizer’s longstanding support of NABP. Dr Agarwal received her doctor of pharmacy degree from Ohio Northern University. She received her master of business administration degree from Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.

Lester E. Hosto Distinguished Service Award: Philip P. Burgess, RPh, DPh, MBA

Mr Burgess is a former member of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Division of Professional Regulation – State Board of Pharmacy, where he served five terms as chair. He is also a former member of the NABP Executive Committee where he served two three-year terms. Mr Burgess’ distinguished pharmacy career has also included consulting work assisting health care clients with regulatory issues and implementing technology to improve patient care. He also served in a variety of roles at Walgreen Co, including serving as national director of pharmacy operations and national director of pharmacy affairs. Mr Burgess is currently the president of the Community Pharmacy Foundation, an organization that assists community practitioners by providing resources for research and development to encourage new capabilities and improvements in the delivery of patient care. During his career, Mr Burgess has served on many of the Association’s task forces and committees, including the Task Force on the Regulation of Telepharmacy Practice, the Task Force on Drug Return and Reuse Programs, the Committee on Constitution and Bylaws, and the Committee on Law Enforcement/Legislation. Mr Burgess earned his bachelor of science degree in pharmacy from the University of Tennessee, Memphis and his master of business administration degree from the University of Chicago.